The Canadian Regional Seminar of
the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was held in Halifax from October
19-22, 2000. About 35 delegates and observers from every legislature
except the House of Commons, Nunuvat and Yukon attended.
The host of the Seminar was
Speaker Murray Scott of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Other
Speakers in attendance were Mildred Dover of Prince Edward Island, Lloyd
Snow of Newfoundland, Gary Carr of Ontario, Ken Kowalski of
Alberta and Bill Hartley of British Columbia.
There were six topics on the
agenda all of which generated considerable discussion. Harvey Hodder (Newfoundland)
led off a discussion on “The Consequences of Under-funding our Post-secondary
Educational Institutions.” Mark Parent (Nova Scotia) opened the
session on “Does Religion have a Role in Politics?” The Clerk of the
British Columbia Legislative Assembly, George MacMinn, presented opening
remarks in a session on “Enhancing the Public Image of Parliament and
Shawn Graham (New Brunswick) was the lead speaker in
the session on “Youth and Government.” The session on Family Policy was
lead off by Roger Paquin and Russell Copeman of the Quebec
National Assembly. Finally, the session on “The Use of Technology in
Legislatures” was led by Speaker Kowalski of Alberta.
The seminar was held in historic
Province House and delegates experienced many instances of traditional Nova
Scotia hospitality including a Lobster Supper and induction to the “Order of
the Good Time” established by Samuel de Champlain.