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New Brunswick

The Second Session of the Fifty-fourth Legislative Assembly prorogued on Friday, June 16, 2000, after 65 sitting days. This marked the end of the longest session since 1981 and completion of the first full session since the Progressive Conservative Party came to power in the provincial election of June 7, 1999.

The session included the first all-night sitting in memory, a protest in the Gallery which forced the temporary suspension of a sitting and, for the first time in twenty years, the order for the withdrawal of a Member from the Chamber. Members passed the Conservative government’s first budget and passed legislation which resulted in a significant restructuring of government. The standing and select committees of the House remained active during the course of the session, which spanned six months.

In total, the House passed 51 Bills, the most substantial of which enabled a  major government restructuring which merged departments, created new ministries, and shuffled various programs.

Bill 34, An Act to Amend the Executive Council Act, established 15 ministries, reducing the size of Cabinet significantly from that of the  previous government which had 18 Ministers plus three Ministers of State, going into the 1999 election.

A major change, the amalgamation of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to form the new Department of Food Production, was the subject of intensive questioning in the House. On April 13, the Minister, Paul Robichaud (Lamèque-Shippagan-Miscou) announced that the new department would be renamed the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Aquaculture to reflect the desire of the farmers, fishermen, and aquaculturists to have their traditional identities reflected in the name of the new department.

Five Bills were left to die on the Order Paper, including a Private Member’s Bill introduced by the New Democratic Party Leader Elizabeth Weir (Saint John Harbour) which would have amended the Human Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against persons based on their social condition. The government indicated that it may consider the proposed legislation at a later date.

A Bill which would have abolished the province’s minimum wage board was also not passed into law, although much time was spent debating the legislation. The government did, however, raise the provincial minimum wage by 25 cents an hour to $5.75.

A Private Member’s Bill, An Act to Proclaim Holocaust Memorial Day Yom haShoah in New Brunswick, introduced by Eric MacKenzie, (Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak) received Royal Assent  December 17 and designates a special day to commemorate victims of the Holocaust haShoah and to reflect on and educate about the Holocaust.

For the first time in recent memory, the House passed a Private Member’s Public Bill introduced by an opposition member. Bill 37, introduced by Ms. Weir, designates April 28 as A Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace.

In bringing down the government’s first budget  March 28, Finance Minister Norman Betts (Southwest Miramichi) noted that New Brunswickers would benefit from:

  • a $33 million reduction in personal income tax effective July 1, 2000;
  • the lowest corporate income tax rate for small business in all of Canada;
  • the highest level of health care funding in New Brunswick history;
  • the highest level of education funding in New Brunswick history;
  • a five million dollar increase over four years in supplements for disabled New Brunswickers, and
  • a balanced budget with a surplus of $21.3 million.

In criticizing the Budget, Opposition Finance Critic Bernard Richard (Shediac—Cap-Pelé) characterized it as nothing more than smoke and mirrors and stated that the devil is really in the details. The opposition questioned which programs and services would be cut, how many regional offices would be closed and how much would really be downloaded to municipalities.

On April 9, as Premier Bernard Lord (Moncton East) began his remarks to close the Budget Debate, Speaker Bev Harrison (Hampton-Belleisle) suspended proceedings when a large delegation in the gallery began singing and shouting. The Speaker asked visitors in the gallery to respect the traditions of the House and allow the Members to carry on their business on the floor. When the interjections continued, the Speaker recessed the House to the call of the bells. An hour and a half later the crowd dispersed and the Premier completed his speech.

Early in the session the House adopted a report of the Standing Committee on Procedure which resulted in the elimination of evening sittings; however, the House subsequently passed a motion which re-established the evening sitting hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays until such time as the House had completed its consideration of the estimates in Committee of Supply.

The session included a number of procedural rulings by the Speaker, the most significant of which arose out of a point of privilege raised by Mr. Richard on March 29 in relation to the Main Estimates document. The Opposition submitted that the Main Estimates, introduced by the government along with the budget, lacked the traditional comparative data respecting previous years expenditures and essential comparative data for full-time equivalent positions. It was submitted that such information was traditionally provided to the House and was essential if members were to properly and effectively carry out their parliamentary duties. In a detailed ruling on April 4 the Speaker found that although the omission of comparative data from the Main Estimates document may constitute a legitimate grievance on the part of Members, it did not constitute an essential component without which the Members could not carry out their duties. The Speaker ruled that the matter failed to establish a prima facie case of breach of privilege and that the information could be obtained by other means.

Given the significant restructuring of government, the bulk of the House time was spent in Committee of Supply where 160 hours were spent questioning ministers on budget estimates. The Opposition stated that they would have to question the government at length to obtain the comparative information normally contained in the Main Estimates document. On one occasion, the House passed a motion permitting it to sit past the ordinary hour of daily adjournment to continue consideration of the estimates of the Department of Finance.  The sitting, which began at 1:00 p.m., stretched through the night before finally adjourning at 9:50 a.m. the next morning. The next daily sitting began at 10:00 a.m. that day and adjourned at 6:00 p.m. for a total of 29 continuous sitting hours.

On May 18, Select Committee on Education Chair Pat Crossman (Riverview) presented the Committee’s Second Report, the result of extensive consultations on a Green Paper entitled Let’s Discuss Public Education Governance. The Report outlined recommendations for a more effective structure to govern the province’s education system. Chief among the recommendations was a proposal to establish publicly and locally elected district education councils and to ensure meaningful parental involvement in the governance structure.

The Select Committee on Health Care chaired by Madeleine Dubé, (Edmundston), was appointed to examine, inquire into, and report to the House with respect to the delivery of health care in New Brunswick, and to consider other matters as may be referred by government. The Committee was requested by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dennis Furlong (Dalhousie-Restigouche East), to make recommendations to the House on the development of a wellness strategy for the province.

The Committee’s first report, submitted June 15, 2000, included a definition of wellness, background information on why wellness is important, and the benefits of  investing in a wellness strategy. The report also included an inventory of government health and wellness-related programs, policies and initiatives. The Committee subsequently developed a discussion guide entitled What about Wellness? which was designed to encourage discussion on wellness and which outlined a public consultation process to begin in the fall.

The Select Committee to Review Appointments by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council met during the first part of the session and considered a number of appointments to key agencies, boards and commissions. However, NDP Leader Elizabeth Weir resigned from the Committee early in the session, claiming that proposed appointments were too partisan. The two remaining Opposition Members continued to serve until July when Opposition Leader Camille Thériault (Kent South) indicated that the Liberal members would also resign from the Committee.

On April 5, Speaker Harrison ordered Liberal Member Shawn Graham (Kent) to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of the day’s sitting, for refusing to withdraw the statement that the Premier had “lied to the farmers” about the elimination of programs in the Agriculture department. It was the first time in 20 years that a Member had been ordered to withdraw from the House. Although Mr. Graham apologized to the Speaker and withdrew the remark the following day, the Member faced repeated calls from government Members throughout the session demanding that he offer an apology to the Premier.

In May, Speaker Harrison presided over the Eleventh Annual Student Legislative Seminar as 55 students from around the province spent the weekend at the Assembly attending workshops and participating in a model parliament debating issues that concern them most.

On October 5, Liberal Opposition Member Edmond Blanchard, Q.C., (Campbellton) resigned to become a judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. First elected in 1987, Mr. Blanchard held several portfolios in the Fifty-Second and Fifty-Third Legislatures, including Attorney General, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Finance.

From October 2 through 6, New Brunswickers expressed their personal condolences to the family of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau by signing a signature book in the Rotunda of the Assembly.

Lieutenant-Governor Marilyn Trenholme Counsell and Premier Lord officially welcomed Their Excellencies Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, on October 10, 2000, to the province. The Governor General addressed the assembled guests outside and then proceeded inside the Legislature to meet Members of the Cabinet, to sign the Distinguished Visitors Book and to visit the Legislative Assembly Building.

On October 22, Liberal Opposition Member Bernard Thériault (Caraquet) resigned in order to run as a candidate in the federal general election. First elected in 1987, Mr. Thériault was Legislative assistant to the Minister of Health and Community Services before serving as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Fifty-third Legislative Assembly.

On October 19, 2000, a proclamation was issued calling the Third Session of the Fifty-fourth Legislature into session on the fourteenth day of November, 2000.

Diane Taylor Myles
Researcher

Manitoba

The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba adjourned the First Session of the Thirty-Seventh Legislature on August 16, 2000. After 81 sitting days, a total of 50 pieces of legislation were assented to. The session adjourned on August 17, 2000. This marks the latest a legislative session has sat into the summer since 1983.

Some of the more significant pieces of legislation that came before the House since the last issue were:

  • Bill (No. 4) - The Elections Finances Amendment Act, including banning all donations from corporate, union and other organization sources; establishing a $3,000 annual limit on donations to political parties by individuals;
  • Bill (No. 17) - The Elections Amendment Act, including giving the chief electoral officer, instead of cabinet, the authority to appoint returning officers; shortening the minimum period of an election from 36 days to 33 days;
  • Bill (No. 44) - The Labour Relations Amendment Act (2), which makes a number of changes to The Labour Relations Act, including changes to certification votes, ratification votes, last offer votes, settlement of collective agreement by the Labour Board or an arbitrator.

Of the pieces of legislation mentioned above, Bill 44 received the most media and public interest. Public hearings for Bill 44 were held on August 14 and 15 with a total of 61 presenters heard in support of and in opposition to the Bill.

An additional piece of legislation that did not receive significant media attention but opens up a very broad new era was the passage of Bill (No. 31) - The Electronic Commerce and Information, Consumer Protection Amendment and Manitoba Evidence Amendment Act. Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, indicated that the legislation passed by the House is “the most comprehensive e-commerce legislation in the country that will encourage electronic business transactions and protect consumers. This legislation will ensure the maximum level of protection for consumers and companies who want to do business online.” On October 23, five of the seven sections of the Act came into force.

The Standing Committees were busy considering both legislation and annual reports. The Standing Committee on Industrial Relations met 5 times to consider legislation referred, the Standing Committee on Municipal Affairs met once to consider the consolidated financial statements of the North Portage Development Corporation, the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections met twice to consider bills referred and the Standing Committee on Public Utilities and Natural Resources met twice to consider bills referred.

On July 19, 2000, leave of the House was granted to proceed with an Opposition Day Motion sponsored by Jack Penner (Emerson). The motion requested that the Federal Government re-examine its position for financial assistance for the 1999 flooding that affected large areas of the province. It further requested that the Government of Manitoba consider examining all applicable programs, services and financial options at both the federal and provincial level. Following the passage of amendments, with unanimous consent, the motion also urged the federal government to work cooperatively with the province to provide funding for losses incurred as a result of flooding in Manitoba in 1999 and 2000.

On August 8, 2000, the Legislative Assembly unanimously agreed to a Private Member's Resolution sponsored by Bonnie Korzeniowski, Member for St. James. The resolution dealt with the recognition of August 9 as Peacekeeping Day to recognize the contribution of Canadian soldiers who have served as peacekeepers across the globe. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the House. The Premier subsequently proclaimed August 9 as Peacekeeping Day in Manitoba.

The 41st Annual Premier's Conference was held in Manitoba on August 10 and 11. Some of the issues discussed were health care, early childhood development, post-secondary education and economic and resource topics. This was Premier Doer's inaugural conference since being elected to office in October 1999.

On November 21, 2000, Manitoban's will be going to the polls. The constituencies of Tuxedo and Kirkfield Park became vacant with the resignations of Gary Filmon, former Premier of Manitoba and Eric Stefanson, Minister of Finance in the previous administration. Stuart Murray, who takes over as Conservative Party Leader at the upcoming Leadership Convention being held in November, will be running for the Progressive Conservatives in Kirkfield Park.

Manitoba's Legislative Building will be undergoing restoration and repair work on the building itself and on the well-known Golden Boy. The project commenced in October and is expected to take approximately one year. The restoration work includes reparation of the outside stonework, and structural repairs to the central tower. The Golden Boy will also be receiving a "face lift" and will undergo a regilding process. The year 2000 marks the 80th birthday of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

The date for commencement of the next session is yet unknown, but a fall sitting is anticipated for late November or early December.

JoAnn McKerlie-Korol
Clerk Assistant

House of Commons

On September 18, the Speaker Gilbert Parent accepted the request of Peter MacKay and of Michel Gauthier for an emergency debate pursuant to S.O. 52, on organized crime.

Don Boudria, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, subsequently moved that the debate commence at 6:30 p.m.; that proceedings pursuant to S.O. 38 be suspended; that the speeches be limited to a length of 20 minutes followed by a 10-minute question-and-comment period and; that when no Member rises to speak, the House adjourn until the next sitting day. The request for an emergency debate followed two attempts by Mr. Gauthier to obtain unanimous consent to debate Motion M-428 immediately. M-428 was placed on the Notice Paper September 14, 2000 and deals with the issue of organized crime. Private Members' notices of motions normally require that at least two weeks notice be given before the matter can be taken up in the House (S.O. 86(2)).

On Monday, September 25, the Order Paper and Notice Paper was published in two parts because of the large volume of report stage motions (3,133) in amendment to Bill C-3 – An Act in respect of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other Acts. A separate list of motions on notice at report stage for Bill C-3 was printed for use in the House and was not reprinted in subsequent days.

On September 28, the Acting Speaker informed the House of the death of the Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1979, and from 1980 to 1984. The next day, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance), Gilles Duceppe (Leader of the Bloc Québécois), Alexa McDonough (Leader of the NDP), Joe Clark (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party) and Speaker Parent paid tribute to his memory. The House then adjourned until Wednesday, October 4, 2000.

On October 17, Mr. MacKay raised a question of privilege concerning the Report of the Information Commissioner tabled in the House of Commons Monday, October 16, 2000. The Member argued that, in this Report, the Information Commissioner complained about the actions of the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board, contending that these departments had challenged his powers and denied him resources to carry out his duties. The Member asked the Speaker to rule it a prima facie matter of privilege in order that a debate could take place on the issue immediately. Deputy Speaker Peter Milliken stated that in his opinion the Commissioner had not been impeded in carrying out his work and that the Commissioner had various avenues of recourse available to him to raise his concerns and to defend them. In addition, he noted that the Report had been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which can consider the concerns expressed by Members with respect to these issues. He therefore could not find a prima facie case of contempt.

On October 18, Paul Martin moved that this House support the economic policies of the government and presented an economic statement. There was no recorded division on the motion before the dissolution of Parliament.

On Sunday, October 22, the Prime Minister met with the Governor General to request the dissolution of Parliament, and a general election was called for November 27, 2000.

Marie Louise Paradis
Procedural Clerk
Table Research Branch

Prince Edward Island

The Second Session of the 61st General Assembly is scheduled to start late in November, and a fairly heavy legislative agenda is anticipated. Since 1997, the House has met for Fall and Spring sittings. The practice has been to concentrate on legislation and the Throne Speech in the fall and a mix of legislation and the annual budget in the spring.

During the Session, both the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Special Committee on the Election Act will report. The Public Accounts Committee has reviewed the Annual Report of the Auditor General, has met with the Auditor twice, and has under consideration the calling of any further parties and commissioning of any further audits. The Special Committee on the Election Act was appointed to consider possible improvements to the Act and has held three public hearings at which 13 presentations were received. Several areas of concern have been expressed relating to specific provisions of the Act, including mail-in balloting procedures, advance poll voting, hospital voting, training for election officials, and enumeration procedures. Also of interest, the Committee has heard representation recommending the implementation of a system of "proportional representation" for Prince Edward Island such that the proportion of the popular vote received would directly impact on the distribution of seats on the floor of the House.

On October 19, Kevin MacAdam resigned as MLA for Morell-Fortune Bay and Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Environment to run as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the November 27 federal election. Premier Pat Binns assumed the responsibilities of the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Environment.

Speaker Mildred Dover has agreed to again provide Province House, the Legislative Chamber, and her services as Presiding Officer for the 12th annual Rotary Youth Parliament-a weekend of mock parliament for high school students in December. It is anticipated that the students will be debating a broad range of issues such as mandatory school uniforms, legalization of marijuana, graduated drivers' licensing, pesticide use, and buffer zones near watercourses.

Jill Walsh
Clerk Assistant

Nunavut

The Third Session of the First Legislative Assembly reconvened in Iqaluit on October 16, 2000. The major piece of business that the Assembly dealt with during the last three sitting days of the Third Session was Bill 11, An Act to Establish Nunavut Day as a Holiday.

The Bill was introduced in February 2000, and referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Services for review. The Bill would have replaced the current civic holiday in August with a new holiday on July 9. After undertaking public consultations throughout the summer, the Standing Committee reported back to the House with its recommendation that the Bill be permitted to fall off the order paper. The Bill subsequently died when the House prorogued on October 18.

During the Session, the government tabled its comprehensive response to the May 2000 joint report by the Standing Committees of the Legislative Assembly on the 2000-2001 budget and departmental business plans. The joint report contained a total of 40 recommendations.

The sessional statistics for the Third Session were as follows:

  • 49 Sitting Days
  • 141 Ministers' Statements
  • 450 Members' Statements
  • 630 Oral Questions
  • 17 Written Questions
  • 13 Petitions
  • 112 Documents tabled
  • 10 Standing Committee reports presented

The Fourth Session commenced on October 20 with a Speech from the Throne delivered by Commissioner Peter Irniq. A number of items of business were transacted during the Session's nine sitting days. Kelvin Ng, Member for Cambridge Bay and Minister of Finance and Administration, presented the annual mid-year budget update and tabled the government's interim financial statements in the House. Nunavut continues to be a debt-free jurisdiction.

Interjurisdictional initiatives continued with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation between Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik and Greenland Home Rule Government Premier Jonathan Motzfeldt on October 24.

Hunter Tootoo, Member for Iqaluit Centre and Chair of the Standing Committee Ajauqtiit, presented the committee's final report on its review of elections in Nunavut. The Report presented a total of 65 recommendations for improving the administration of elections in the territory. The report followed extensive consultations with the public and stakeholder organizations.

In addition to the review of Bills, proceedings in the Committee of the Whole were dominated during the Session by discussions on the issue of rising fuel prices in Nunavut.

A total of nine Bills received Assent during the Fourth Session. These were:

  • Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 1, 2000-2001
  • Floral Emblem Act
  • An Act to amend the Land Titles Act
  • An Act to amend the Workers' Compensation Act
  • Legislative Assembly Members Removal and Disqualification Act
  • An Act to amend the Statute Revision Act
  • An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act and other Acts in relation to the Legislative Assembly
  • An Act to facilitate the transfer of employees from the Northwest Territories Power Corporation to the Nunavut Power Corporation
  • An Act to amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The first annual reports of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nunavut were tabled during the Session. The reports were referred to two Standing Committees for review. The Languages Commissioner and Information and Privacy Commissioner were scheduled to appear in public before the committees in November.

During the Session, Olayuk Akesuk, Member for South Baffin, was elected to the Executive Council following the resignation from Cabinet of the Member for Nanulik. Premier Okalik announced a Cabinet shuffle following prorogation. Peter Kilabuk, Member for Pangnirtung, was assigned the Education portfolio. Mr. Akesuk became Minister of Sustainable Development. The Premier also took on the Justice portfolio. A by-election was called for December 4, 2000, to fill the vacancy in the electoral district of Quttiktuq. A total of eight candidates are contested the seat. A change at the Table occurred as Leona Aglukkaq assumed the position of Deputy Clerk of the Assembly.

The Session prorogued on November 3. The Fifth Session is scheduled to convene on February 21, 2001.

The sessional statistics for the Fourth Session were as follows:

  • 9 Sitting Days
  • 37 Ministers' Statements
  • 85 Members' Statements
  • 96 Oral Questions
  • 21 Written Questions
  • 5 Petitions
  • 20 Documents tabled
  • 1 Standing Committee report presented

Alex Baldwin
Director, Research and
Library Services

British Columbia

Premier Ujjal Dosanjh recalled the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for a special sitting on Sunday, September 17 to introduce, for the first time in British Columbia, a Supplementary Estimate.

The purpose of the session was to introduce and debate Bill 33, the Supply Act, 2000-2001 (Supplementary), which authorized additional provincial funding of $180 million for hospitals expenditures and $40 million for provincial health authorities to recruit and retain doctors in rural and small urban communities. The bill also allocated $70 million in restored Canadian Health and Social Transfer funding to the Ministry of Health for hospital equipment purchases.

The special session was called to meet the goal, established by the government's reformed budget planning and estimate debate process, to reduce the use of Special Warrants. The Ministry of Finance's Budget Process Review Panel recommended in its 1999 report, Credibility, Transparency and Accountability: Improving the B.C. Budget Process that:

Supplementary Estimates should be used whenever possible and practical instead of Special Warrants as a more transparent way to deal with requirements for additional expenditure approval during the year. To discourage use of Special Warrants, legislation should require a report to accompany any request for a Special Warrant and be made public when the Special Warrant is approved.

This recommendation was acted upon with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. As then Finance Minister Paul Ramsey announced at the introduction of the legislation on March 27, "the new Budget Transparency and Accountability Act holds the use of Special Warrants to a high standard of accountability and disclosure. However, the new government will move away from the use of Special Warrants and make tabling of Supplementary Estimates the rule, not the exception."

British Columbia has been witness to a dispute between physicians and the government for several months. Doctors have been participating in job actions to protest the shortage of rural doctors, and hospital authorities throughout the province have been declaring that cuts to health funding are threatening emergency and elective surgical services.

Legislative Committees

Two Committees were given new mandates during the Fourth Session.

On July 6, 2000, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services was empowered to analyse and make recommendations with respect to the pre-budget consultation report, which was prepared by the Minister of Finance in accordance with section 2 of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. The Committee was given a strong mandate to consult widely with British Columbians on proposals and recommendations surrounding the provincial budget and the government's fiscal policy for the coming fiscal year. It must report on its public consultation process no later than December 31, 2000.

Also on July 6, the Special Committee to Appoint a Child, Youth and Family Advocate was appointed to select, and unanimously recommend to the Legislative Assembly, the appointment of a Child, Youth and Family Advocate, pursuant to section 3 of the Child, Youth and Family Advocacy Act. The Child, Youth and Family Advocate is an independent officer of the British Columbia Legislature who is responsible for protecting the rights of children and youth and their families, and for ensuring that they have a voice in the provision of government services. Joyce Preston, the current Advocate, was appointed for a statutory six-year term as Child, Youth & Family Advocate for British Columbia when that office was created in May 1995. Her term expires in May 2001.

A number of Legislative Committees are continuing tasks assigned to them during the Third Session of the Thirty-Sixth Parliament.

The Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries is continuing its deliberations on a new agri-food policy for British Columbia. Last autumn, the Committee published a call for written submissions and conducted public hearings in 14 agricultural communities. As a result, the Committee heard from over 400 British Columbians on many issues of concern to the agricultural sector. The Committee has published two reports, a first report, which summarizes some of the larger issues presented to the Committee, and a second report, which recommends reform of the agricultural lease program. The Committee is currently reviewing all of the evidence it has gathered – from farmers, consumers, retailers, food processors, industry and advocacy organizations, and government ministries – in order to present a final, comprehensive report to the House in the spring of 2001.

The Select Standing Committee on Forests, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources met in October, completing its review of the Forest Renewal British Columbia Business Plan 1999/2000, and the Forest Renewal British Columbia Business Plan, 2000/01. The Committee also approved its Report on the Forest Renewal British Columbia Business Plan 1997/98 and 1998/99, which will soon be deposited with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

The Constitution Act, in section 3, authorizes Legislative Committees to "examine witnesses and documents and hear representations from persons and organizations", and the Standing Orders, in section 72, also allow Legislative Committees to receive written or spoken testimony from witnesses. Nonetheless, in an effort to ensure that all individuals and organizations wishing to appear before the Committee receive authorisation by both the Chair and the Deputy Chair, the Select Standing Committee on Forests, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, at its meeting on October 20, resolved that any requests to present or submit a written submission will be forwarded to the Office of the Clerk of Committees for consideration by the Clerk of the Committee, the Chair and the Deputy Chair. This resolution arose out of an earlier Committee decision that it would not hear testimony from witnesses unless their appearance was scheduled.

In debating the motion, members of the Committee explained that it is intended to provide clarification and guidance to the public, the Committee, and the Office of the Clerk of Committees as to the intent of the Committee with respect to witnesses' requests to appear and/or provide written testimony. The Deputy Chair of the Committee, Liberal MLA George Abbott, also explained that the rationale for defining the role of the Office of the Clerk of Committees in the motion was to acknowledge that the Office can provide the Chair and Deputy Chair with professional, non-partisan advice as to the procedural rules surrounding the appearance of witnesses or the transmittal of submissions to the Committee.

Since adjournment of the House, the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts has met twice to discuss the Auditor General's reports: Government Financial Accountability for the 1998/99 Fiscal Year - Part II - Financial Management and Fostering a Safe Learning Environment - How the British Columbia School System is Doing. The Committee has also approved three Committee reports: Forest Renewal B.C. - Silviculture Programs, Management of the Woodlot Licence Program, and Review of the Estimates Process. At its first autumn meeting on October 4, the Committee also welcomed Liberal MLA Val Roddick as a new member.

The Special Committee on Information Privacy in the Private Sector is continuing to examine the possibility of regulating the use of personal information in private sector transactions. In addition to the information it gathered through its call for submissions and public hearings in January 2000, the Committee is this autumn researching the views of British Columbian consumers and businesses through a series of focus groups.

Members of the Legislative Assembly

The Chair of the Special Committee on Information Privacy in the Private Sector, Rick Kasper, resigned from the New Democratic Party caucus on October 10, and is now sitting as an Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly. Mr. Kasper's resignation leaves the governing NDP with a two-seat majority in the House. There are now 38 government members, 2 independents, 34 members of the Official Opposition, plus the Speaker.

Other government MLAs, all cabinet ministers – Andrew Petter, Dan Miller, Penny Priddy, Joan Sawicki, Dale Lovick and Jan Pullinger – have notified Premier Ujjal Dosanjh that they will not be seeking re-election in the next provincial general election, which must take place by June 28, 2001. This precipitated a significant cabinet shuffle on November 1st.

Cabinet Appointments

A number of ministers moved from one portfolio to another. Graeme Bowbrick, formerly Minister of Advanced Education, Training and Technology and Minister Responsible for Youth, is now Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Human Rights. The former Minister of Forests, Jim Doyle, has now taken up the post of Minister of Municipal Affairs. Most recently the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Minister Responsible for Rural Development, Corky Evans, is now Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Seniors. Mike Farnworth is now the Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture, having been Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Seniors in the previous cabinet. The new Minister of Advanced Education, Training and Technology and Minister Responsible for Youth is Cathy McGregor, who has moved to this post from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Joy MacPhail is now Minister of Education and Deputy Premier, formerly Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier. The Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations and Minister Responsible for Northern Development is now Paul Ramsey, formerly Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations. Joan Smallwood has moved into the role of Minister of Labour from heading the Ministry of Women's Equality. The former Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture, Ian Waddell is now Minister of Energy and Mines. The Minister of Forests portfolio is now held by Gordon Wilson, most recently the Minister of Employment and Investment. And finally, David Zirnhelt has returned to cabinet as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Three members of cabinet have retained their former position Sue Hammell remains Minister of Multiculturalism and Immigration and Minister Responsible for the Public Service; Jenny Kwan remains Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers; and Harry S. Lali is continuing as Minister of Transportation and Highways.

There are also several new members of cabinet. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Minister Responsible for Rural Development is now Ed Conroy. Mr. Conroy has been an NDP MLA since 1991, and has, in the past year, served as chair of the NDP caucus and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, and has sat on the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries. Gerard Janssen, who has represented the NDP as the member for Alberni since winning its 1988 by-election, has served as government whip since 1991 and sat on various legislative committees. He is now Minister of Social Development and Economic Security. The new Minister of Women's Equality is Evelyn Gillespie. An NDP MLA since 1996, Ms. Gillespie has recently been serving as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Children and Families, Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and co-chair of the government caucus. Glenn Robertson is now the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks, having recently served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Forests and member of the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries. The Minister of Employment and Investment portfolio has been given to the Hon. Tim Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson has since March 2000 served as Deputy Speaker of the House, and has also served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health and sat on various legislative committees.

The most notable addition to the cabinet on November 1 was the appointment of the Edward John – who is not a Member of the Legislative Assembly – to the position of Minister for Children and Families. In British Columbia, cabinet appointments from outside the Assembly have occurred 16 times since 1883, most recently with the appointment of Bill Vanderzalm to the position of Premier on August 6, 1986, followed by his election to the Legislative Assembly some 10 weeks later in the provincial general election.

Under the Constitution Act, the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council is empowered to appoint to cabinet individuals who are not elected Members of the Legislative Assembly. However, it is customary in the Canadian House of Commons and in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, not only that an unelected cabinet minister seek election, but that he or she seek election as soon as possible after appointment, normally no longer than two or three months. According to the principle of ministerial responsibility, ministers must be available to the Legislative Assembly to answer for the actions of their ministries. As stated by Peter W. Hogg in his Constitutional Law of Canada, the election of cabinet ministers is also integral to the principle of responsible government:

What precisely are the conventions of responsible government? For convenience of exposition, I shall concentrate on Canada's federal government, but the rules are much the same in each of the provinces….

It is basic to the system of responsible government that the Prime Minister and all the other ministers be members of Parliament. Occasionally a person who is not a member of Parliament is appointed as a minister, but then the minister must quickly be elected to the House of Commons or appointed to the Senate.

According to the convention, Mr. John may be expected to pursue a seat in the Legislative Assembly before the next provincial general election, which must be called by June 28, 2001.

Mr. John, a lawyer, is a Hereditary Chief and the honourary Grand Chief of the Tl'azt'en Nation of British Columbia. He held the elected positions of Councillor of the Tl'azt'en Nation from 1974 to 1992, and Chief from 1990 to 1992. Mr. John has worked with various First Nations agencies to further aboriginal education in this province. He also negotiated the first child services agreement between the Ministry for Children and Families and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, which helped aboriginal children in care to reunite with their families.

The Ministry for Children and Families reported in 1999 that aboriginal children and families are disproportionately represented on the ministries' caseloads, comprising 30 percent of BC's children in care, although they make up only 8 percent of the total BC child population. Recognizing that the health of aboriginal communities is strongly linked to their needs for self-reliance, cultural esteem, and strong kinship ties, the ministry has implemented a number of child, youth and family programs for aboriginal communities that attempt to address those needs.

Wynne MacAlpine
Committees Researcher

Newfoundland and Labrador

On the day when the House of Assembly adjourned for the summer, May 11th, 2000 Ross Wiseman was sworn in as the Member for Trinity North. That seat was vacated when Doug Oldford resigned for health reasons on March 28th.

In the last month there have been a number of changes in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. On October 16th Brian Tobin resigned as Premier. Beaton Tulk was appointed Premier. Ernest McLean, Minister of Government Services and Lands is Acting minister of Development and Rural Renewal, the department for which Mr. Tulk was responsible.

Judy Foote, Minister of Education will be away from her ministerial duties for several months for health reasons. Lloyd Matthews, Minister of Finance is Acting Minister of Education.

Charles (Chuck) Furey resigned from the House on October 28th to seek the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of St. John's West. Sandra Kelly Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is the Acting Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation which was Mr. Furey's responsibility.

On November 1st, John Efford, Minister of Fisheries, resigned from Cabinet to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party in Newfoundland. The Honourable the Premier is Acting Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

As a result of these resignations a number of MHAs have been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries. Gerry Reid, (Twillingate-Fogo) is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheriesand Aquaculture; Gerald Smith, (Port au Port) and former Deputy Chairman of Committees is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Development and Rural Renewal and Percy Barrett, (Bellevue) is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education and to the Chair of the Social Policy Committee of Cabinet. Ralph Wiseman, (Conception Bay South) is Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and Wally Andersen, (Torngat Mountains) is Parliamentary Assistant the Premier on Aboriginal Affairs.

Tom Lush, M.H.A. (Terra Nova), a former Speaker, has been appointed Minister without Portfolio and Government House Leader replacing Mr. Tulk in this position.

Bob Mercer, (Humber East) has been nominated Deputy Speaker and Mary Hodder, (Burin Placentia West) has been nominated Deputy Chair of Committees.

There have been some changes in the Public Accounts Committee as well. Yvonne Jones, (Cartwright- L'Anse au Clair) and Ross Wiseman, (Trinity North) have been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee replacing Mr. Lush and Ms. Hodder.

The House of Assembly will resume sitting on December 4th.

Elizabeth Murphy
Clerk Assistant and
Clerk of Committees

Ontario

The Legislature began its Fall sitting on September 25, 2000 by welcoming its newest Member, Ted McMeekin. Mr. McMeekin, the Liberal candidate, was elected in the September 7 by-election held in the riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot. With his election, the standings in the House are: Progressive Conservatives – 58; Liberals – 36; New Democrat – 9.

The first item of business brought forward by the Government was Bill 112, which amended the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Act. The McMichael art collection was donated to the Province of Ontario by Robert and Signe McMichael in 1965, and it finds its home in the McMichael Gallery at property also donated by the McMichaels, in Kleinburg.

The purpose of the Bill was to restore the focus of the McMichael Gallery's collection to its original 1965 vision, being a collection of works primarily by Group of Seven artists and their contemporaries. The preamble to the Bill noted that "the focus of the collection has changed over time", with a large and growing assemblage of contemporary and Native art. The Bill restructured the Collection's board of trustees to give dominance to the Collection's redefined goal of reflecting the cultural heritage of Canada and to be comprised of art works, objects and related documentary material created by or about Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, David Milne, A.Y. Jackson, Lawrence Harris, A.J. Casson, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer, J.H. MacDonald and Franklin Carmichael and those artists who have made contributions to the development of Canadian art. Following public hearings and amendments in committee, the Bill was passed and received Royal Assent.

Bill 88, the Electronic Commerce Act, was returned to the House following public hearings and amendments in committee during the summer adjournment. The Bill removes barriers to the legally effective use of electronic communications by governments and by the private sector. The Bill is based on the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act which the Uniform Law Conference of Canada adopted in 1999, and is consistent in principle with the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce. The Bill was passed and received Royal Assent.

For the second time, the Ontario Legislature passed a Bill which had been initiated by a standing committee, under new Standing Orders adopted early in the current Parliament. An Act regulating the practice of professional forestry was introduced by the Chair of the Standing Committee on General Government, Steve Gilchrist (PC/Scarborough East) on behalf of the committee following self-initiated hearings by the committee last Spring. The Bill continues the Ontario Professional Foresters Association as a self-regulating professional body. Earlier in the Parliament, an Association of Former Parliamentarians was established following the adoption of enabling legislation initiated by this same committee.

The Legislature has also considered legislation which will allow the provincial government to permit the establishment in Ontario of private, degree-granting post-secondary institutions. Reaction to the Bill, predictably, has been split. Those in opposition question how affordable tuition rates will be in these private institutions, and as a result wonder if accessibility may suffer. The Government counters that such institutions will offer additional spaces for students at the post-secondary level which will be created at no public expense. This diversification, it is argued, will augment opportunities for students to gain access to the province's conventional universities. As of this writing the Bill has been sent to a committee for public hearings.

Legislation was introduced to establish the Office for Victims of Crime, designed to provide advice to the Attorney General, Jim            Flaherty (PC/Whitby-Ajax) on the operation of the Victims Bill of Rights, which was enacted in 1995, and on ways to enhance services for victims of crime. The Bill of Rights, among other provisions, confirmed certain principles relating to the treatment of crime victims including their right to information about the conduct of investigations and prosecutions, the dates of hearings, the right to make victim impact statements and information about the sentencing and release of those convicted of the offenses.

Bill 117, An Act to better protect victims of domestic violence, was introduced. The Bill provides for intervention in cases of domestic violence beyond what is allowed under the current law and allows spouses, former spouses, same-sex partners, former same-sex partners, persons who are cohabiting, persons in a dating relationship and relatives who reside together to apply for an order under the Act.

Other legislation considered by the Legislature included:

  • The Red Tape Reduction Act, 2000
  • A private Members' Bill to establish a vehicle ignition interlock program to prevent previously convicted impaired drives from operating motor vehicles without providing a breath sample to an electronic device installed in their vehicles
  • A private Members' Bill to proclaim the month of June as deaf-blind awareness month
  • A private Members' Bill to amend the Child and Family Services Act, to provide that child protection workers have the authority to investigate allegations of physical abuse and sexual molestation of children by teachers and other caregivers and to apply for appropriate court orders
  • A Government Bill respecting social housing, which will transfer social housing administration from the provincial to the municipal level
  • A Bill to authorize the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission and The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton to make payments of $100,000 to each of the estates of four employees of OC Transpo who were killed on April 6, 1999
  • A Government Bill to regulate the transfer or sale of convertible starter pistols, deactivated firearms and imitation firearms

The House paid tribute to four former Members who had recently passed away: Frank Miller was a Member of the Legislature for 16 years, whose political career was capped when he became Premier of Ontario in 1985; Bob Welch was an MPP for 22 years, serving all of them on the Government side of the House and holding many Cabinet portfolios, including Deputy Premier; Morton Shulman, who once had been Ontario's Chief Coroner and, as a successful entrepreneur and television personality, was widely acknowledged as one of the most colourful characters to serve in the Legislature in modern times was a Member from 1967 to 1975; Tom Wells served in the Robarts and Davis administrations in various Cabinet portfolios, and was well-known to Ontarians for his role as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister during the period when the Canadian Constitution was repatriated.

Todd Decker
Clerk of Journals and
Procedural Research

Quebec

The National Assembly resumed its proceedings on Tuesday, 17 October 2000. During this sitting, the Speaker tabled a letter he had received from the Member for Mercier and Minister of Relations with the Citizens and Immigration, Robert Perreault announcing his resignation effective on October 6, 2000.

Following this resignation, the party standings of the National Assembly are as follows: Parti Québécois – 75, Québec Liberal Party – 48, and Action démocratique – 1, for a total of 124 Members.It should be noted that the Member for Richelieu, Sylvain Simard is now Minister of Relations with the Citizens and Immigration.

Since mid-October, two Government bills were passed by the Assembly:

  • Bill 157, An Act to order the resumption of certain road freight transport services, mainly to ensure the provision, in the territory of Quebec, of road transport services for container freight from or to the Port of Montreal or any intermodal terminal in Quebec. The Government of Quebec introduced this bill in response to the road transport blockage in the Port of Montréal. Following an agreement between the Government, the Official Opposition and the Independent Member, within hours, the bill passed all of the stages from its introduction to its passage.
  • Bill 120, An Act to amend the Animal Health Protection Act and other legislative provisions and to repeal the Bees Act, whose purpose is to effect a comprehensive revision of provisions relating to animal health protection and to render more efficient the sanitation controls required to protect the health of animals and persons who are in contact with animals or consume animal products.

At the sitting of October 24, 2000, the Speaker rendered a decision concerning the exercise of the right to petition the Assembly. The Speaker first noted that, despite the fact that, in Quebec, the right to petition the Assembly was given force of law in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, for want of specific provisions in the Charter on the manner in which this right is to be exercised, the procedural framework of its exercise remains that which is stipulated in the Standing Orders of the Assembly, which, under its constitutional parliamentary privileges, has the exclusive authority to govern its proceedings without outside interference. The Speaker thus was justified in preventing a Member from tabling a petition impugning the conduct of a Member, since Title VI of the Standing Orders prohibits the impugning of a Member's conduct without resorting to a specific procedure. It is for this reason that the Speaker cannot accept the tabling of a petition that impugns the conduct of a Member, nor can he allow, under these circumstances, that leave be requested to set aside the Standing Orders. Moreover, no person may directly petition the Assembly since, according to the current rules of procedure, it is through a Member that a petition may be presented to the National Assembly. Also, the Assembly is not obliged, within the framework of a debate, to rule on the content of the petitions it has received. The rules of procedure of the Assembly in no way state that the Assembly must hold debates on and put the question to petitions.

Finally, the Speaker indicated that, despite the fact that he deems it preferable that citizens receive replies to their petitions, there is nothing in the Standing Orders at the present time that provides for the possibility of responding to petitions sent to the Assembly.

The resumption of the proceedings of the Assembly on Tuesday, October 17, 2000, marked the beginning of a pilot project on the computerization of the Throne and the Table in the National Assembly Room, for which testing shall continue until the end of the fall session. The project could eventually lead to the computerization of this entire room according to the desire expressed by the Members.

The changes consist, first of all, in the addition of a new multimedia unit in front of the Speaker's Throne. This piece of furniture contains the speakers and dials which were formerly placed at the foot of the Chair and also holds the two microphones, which are now more discreet and more efficient. The new elements are a portable micro-computer, which allows the Speaker to receive messages from the Table concerning parliamentary procedure, and television monitors, which allow him to see the external broadcasting of the proceedings of the Assembly.

The pilot project consists furthermore in the installation of three computerized work stations at the Table. These work stations for the clerks allow them, in addition to sending messages to the Speaker, to write and send a computerized scroll (draft of the Votes and Proceedings), to have access to parliamentary research data banks and to receive messages from the branches of the Assembly that are directly involved in parliamentary proceedings (Secretariat of the Assembly, Parliamentary Procedure Research Directorate, Secretariat of Committees).

The Director of the Secretariat of Committees, Doris Arsenault, has joined the current Table group since the resumption of proceedings on Tuesday, October 17, 2000.

The Assembly’s Internet site, http://www.assnat.qc.ca, now contains, under the heading “Parliamentary Proceedings”, the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for the session of 1913-1914. This is the first of a series of documents that shall be electronically searchable and which shall enrich the documentary heritage of Quebec society. It includes the highlights and major issues of the session, an analysis of the newspapers and sources used for reconstructing the debates, as well as a bibliography. Two lists complete the historical introduction: one is of the Members of the Executive Council, the other is of the Members of the Legislative Assembly.

There were several legislatures of the Quebec Parliament between 1867 and 1964, yet no verbatim proceedings were produced. In 1974, the reconstruction of the debates finally began, a task which consisted in fully transcribing everything that was said by the Members of the Legislative Assembly. The debates from 1867 to 1912 were already available on paper, but the 1913-1914 session presented a greater challenge, that of publishing two different versions of a same document, including a virtual index. The next publication, in both paper and electronic form, should be available in the autumn of 2000. It shall comprise the session of 1915.

From September 11 to 13, 2000, some 110 citizens from all over Quebec met at the Parliament Building to take part in the first legislature of the Seniors' Parliament, a parliamentary simulation organized by the Association québécoise de défense des droits des personnes retraitées et préretraitées (AQDR), in collaboration with the National Assembly and the Amicale des anciens parlementaires du Québec (AAPQ).

Under the chairmanship of Denis Hardy, barrister, former Member and vice-chairman of the AAPQ, the Seniors' Parliament – which is composed of retired women and men - aimed to set forth the preoccupations, reflexions and hopes of citizens of over 55 years of age.

In the course of the legislature, the seniors held debates on the following bills:

  • An Act respecting the implementation of a citizenship income, which would replace programmes such as income security, allowances for newborns, family allowances and student aid;
  • An Act respecting the economic acknowledgement of the social commitment of citizens, whose aim is to recognize, for tax deduction purposes, a financial value for the volunteer time devoted to the development of the charities and benevolent institutions of Quebec;
  • An Act respecting the knowledge and know-how transfer programme in the workplace, which aims to ensure the knowledge and know-how transfer between retired employees and their replacements.

Johanne Lapointe
Secretariat of the Assembly
Translated by: Sylvia Ford
Secretariat of the Assembly

Alberta

On November 14, 2000, the Fall Sitting of the Fourth Session of the 24th Legislature began. Notable bills introduced in the sitting include:

  • Bill 26, Holocaust Memorial Day and Genocide Remembrance Act, introduced by Ron Stevens, (PC), MLA for Calgary-Glenmore. This Act recognizes the Day of the Holocaust (Yom ha-Shoah) each year as Holocaust Memorial Day. By unanimous consent, this Bill received all three readings on November 16th.
  • Bill 29, Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Amendment Act, 2000, introduced by Heather Forsyth, (PC), MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek. This Bill amends the 1998 legislation which allowed authorities to take children involved in prostitution into protective custody for 72 hours. Provisions of this legislation were held to be unconstitutional last July and the matter is now the subject of a judicial review before the Court of Queen's Bench. The Bill allows children to be confined for 5 days with the possibility of further confinement for periods of 21 days. Children confined are to be informed in writing of the terms of the confinement, court dates and of the right to legal representation

Prior to the commencement of the fall sitting, the Government indicated it would be proceeding with three Bills left on the Order Paper from the Spring Sitting:

  • Bill 3, Statute Revision Act, allows for the revision and consolidation of the Public Statutes of Alberta;
  • Bill 20, Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2000, provides for amendments to the Alberta court system as well as improved access to the courts for Albertans;
  • Bill 22, Alberta Corporate Tax Amendment Act, 2000, which parallels changes to federal legislation, will incorporate previously announced changes to the Alberta Royalty Tax Credit and deal with interprovincial disposition of property.

Provincial Treasurer Dr. Steve West presented Supplementary Estimates for the fiscal year 2000-01 totaling just under $1 billion. Of this total, close to $300 million is allocated to the Department of Health and Wellness for regional health authorities to reduce waiting times for diagnosis and treatment and to assist in replacing and acquiring medical equipment. Over $400 million is allocated to the Department of Infrastructure for health care facilities capital projects and for the renovation and modernization of school facilities.

Changes in Membership

Mary Anne Jablonski (PC) was elected in the September 25, 2000 by-election for the constituency of Red Deer-North and was sworn in as a Member of the Legislative Assembly on October 23rd. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Stockwell Day, Leader of the Canadian Alliance Party. On October 25, Sue Olsen (Liberal, Edmonton-Norwood) resigned her seat to run in the federal constituency of Edmonton Centre-East for the federal Liberal Party. Ms Olsen, a former Edmonton police officer, was first elected to the Alberta legislature in 1997. No date for a by-election has been set. As a result, the standings in the Assembly are: Progressive Conservatives: 64, Liberals: 15, New Democrats: 2, Independent: 1, Vacant: 1

Other Events

On November 8, 2000 Speaker Ken Kowalski presided over a ceremony in recognition of Remembrance Day which took place in the Rotunda of the Legislature Building. The program included remarks by Dave Hancock, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Nancy MacBeth, Leader of the Official Opposition, and Dr. Raj Pannu, Leader of the New Democrat Opposition. Members of the Legislative Assembly, Members of the Royal Canadian Legion, representatives of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires as well as other guests were also in attendance.

On November 16, 2000 Speaker Kowalski hosted a reception in the Legislature Rotunda in honour of Holocaust Memorial Day and Genocide Remembrance. The Speaker together with representatives of the Jewish communities of Calgary and Edmonton addressed the gathering. Members of the Legislative Assembly as well as representatives from various cultural and religious communities attended the reception.

On November 20, 2000 Speaker Kowalski, in conjunction with Premier Ralph Klein, announced the official launch of the School-at-the-Legislature "Put Life into Learning" program. Under the program, Grade 6 students have the opportunity to experience Alberta's parliamentary process by spending a week at the Legislature. The Assembly facilitates student interviews with Members, officials and Legislature staff. This interactive program is generously supported by three community partners: Shaw Communications Inc., Capital Savings and Credit Union Limited and Quality Colour Press Inc.

On November 23 the official portrait of Alberta’s 14th. Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. H.A. (Bud) Olson, was unveiled at a ceremony hosted by the Speaker.  The portrait by Tag Kim, will hang in the Legislature Building.  Mr. Olsen was sworn in as Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor on April 17, 1996 and served until February 10, 2000.

Robert Reynolds
Senior Parliamentary Counsel


Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 23 no 4
2000






Last Updated: 2019-07-15