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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

37th Canadian Regional Conference

The annual conference bringing together parliamentarians from the branches of the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was held in Toronto from July 18 - 24, 1998.

More than 90 legislators and observers from every federal, provincial and territorial jurisdiction attended along with a number of international guests including the Hon. Billie Miller, Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the CPA; Eric Illsley and John Townsend, members of the British House of Commons,  and David Adkins of Kansas representing the Midwestern Legislative Conference on the NCSL. The CPA Secretariat was represented by Mahbub Alam.

The host of the conference was Speaker Chris Stockwell of Ontario and several other presiding officers also attended including Speaker Ken Kowalski (Alberta) Speaker Glenn Hagel (Saskatchewan), Speaker Louise Dacquay (Manitoba), Speaker John McKay (New Brunswick), Speaker Lloyd Snow (Newfoundland and Labrador), Speaker Ron Russell (Nova Scotia) and Speaker Sam Gargan (Northwest Territories).

The first business session dealt with the issue of “Correcting Past Wrongs – When is it the Government’s Responsibility?”  The discussion was opened by  Lois Moorcroft of Yukon.  The next session dealt with Conflict of Interest Guidelines. The opening presentation was made by Lindy Kasperski of Saskatchewan. A session on Referenda and whether they make governments more accountable featured a presentation by Jim Girling, Legal Counsel for the Cabinet Office in Ontario.

The fourth session looked at “Parliament and the Courts - Who is Legislating Whom?” with a presentation by Sue Olsen of Alberta.      Nicole Léger of Quebec opened discussion in the session that focused on the Year 2000 and Technology.

The remaining sessions featured panel discussions including one on environmental issues with Donald MacKinnon of Prince Edward Island and Doug Miller, President of Environics International Limited.  Another panel, consisting of Frank Corbett of Nova Scotia, Greg Deighan of Prince Edward Island and Senator Lorna Milne, looked at “Pollsters and the Press”.

Finally, there was a very interesting discussion on the creation of two new Territories in Canada’s North scheduled to take place in 1999.  John Ningark of the NWT and David Hamilton, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly led the discussion.

Aside from the business sessions visiting delegates were treated to a Blue Jays baseball game at the Skydome and a visit to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 21 no 3

Last Updated: 2020-03-03