New Speaker in Quebec
On Tuesday, March 12, 2002,
the National Assembly elected a new Speaker, Louise Harel, by secret
Born in Sainte-Thérèse-de-
Blainville on April 22, 1946, Louise Harel obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the
Sainte-Thérèse Seminary in 1967 and then studied sociology at the University of
Montreal, where she also received a degree in law in 1977. She was called
to the Quebec Bar in 1979.
She was vice-president of the
Quebec general students’ union in 1968 and a staff member in the national
secretariat of the Parti Québécois from 1970 to 1971. From 1971 to 1974
she worked at the cooperatives service of the social development council of
metropolitan Montreal, and from 1979 to 1981 she assumed responsibility for
matters regarding the status of women at the Montreal social services centre.
Having been president of the
Parti Québécois riding association for Montreal Centre from 1974 to 1979, she
served as national vice-president of the party from 1979 to 1981.
Elected as the Member for the
riding of Maisonneuve in 1981, Mrs. Harel became chairman of the Committee on
Labour and the Economy during the 1984 parliamentary reform. Later in 1984 she
was appointed Minister of Cultural Communities and Immigration, and in 1985 she
became the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Justice.
After her reelection as the
Member for Maisonneuve on December 2, 1985, she was elected vice-chairman of
the Committee on Culture.
Reelected for a third term of
office in 1989 as the Member for the riding of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, she
chaired the Committee on Education and acted as opposition critic for, in turn,
manpower and income security, justice, and industry and trade. She was
also designated as the Member responsible for the Montreal region within the
Parti Québécois caucus. During this same period she chaired the Parti
Québécois task force on Montréal and its region.
Reelected for a fourth time on
September 12, 1994, Louise Harel became Minister of State for Concerted Action
and Minister of Employment in the Parizeau government. In a Cabinet
shuffle announced on November 3, 1995, she assumed in addition responsibility
for the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities.
On January 29, 1996, when Lucien Bouchard formed his new Cabinet, she
became Minister of State for Employment and Solidarity, Minister of Income Security,
Minister responsible for the Status of Women, and Minister responsible for
Independent Community Action.
On March 6, 1998, she was
named Minister responsible for the Centre-du-Québec region.
Reelected for a fifth term of
office on November 30, 1998, Mrs. Harel was appointed Minister of State for
Municipal Affairs and Greater Montreal and Minister responsible for Seniors on
December 15. She also chaired the ministerial committee on regional and
territorial affairs and that on the Montreal region.
Mrs. Harel is the 41st Speaker of the
Assembly since Confederation in 1867 as well as the first woman to hold this
Canadian Regional Council
The Council of the Canadian
Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its annual meeting in
Ottawa on June 1, 2002. The Council consists of the Chair (usually the
Speaker) of the CPA Branch in each federal, provincial and territorial assembly
as well as the Regional Representatives to CPA.
The meeting was chaired by
Speaker Ken Kowalski of Alberta. The main topic on the agenda
related the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference which will be
held in Canada from August 28 to September 10, 2004. This is an ambitious
undertaking involving several hundred parliamentarians and parliamentary staff
from around the Commonwealth. The conference will be split between Quebec
City and Toronto.
Other upcoming parliamentary
conferences were also approved by the Council including Regional Conferences in
British Columbia in 2003 and Newfoundland in 2005. The Regional Seminar
scheduled for 2002 will be replaced by a special Conference on Parliamentary
Government to be hosted by the Quebec National Assembly from October 9 to 12,
2002. The conference will include six plenary sessions bringing
together representatives of various legislatures as well as academics,
journalists, jurists and others.
In 2003 the Regional Seminar
will be held in Nunavut and in 2005 in Prince Edward Island. The
Conference of Presiding Officers will be held in Ontario in 2003, Nova Scotia
in 2004, Northwest Territories in 2005 and Prince Edward Island in 2006.
The 41st Canadian
Regional Conference will be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick from July 16-21,
2002. The host of the conference is Speaker Bev Harrison.
Among the topics for the
business sessions are the following :
- Royal Assent
- Members’ Remuneration
- Canada-United States relations since
September 11, 2001
- The Selection Process for Party Leaders
- Interprovincial Trade Barriers
- Power of the Legislative Branch vs
Authority of the Executive Branch
- Security in the Legislative Precincts
In addition, social activities
have been coordinated to ensure that delegates will be able to experience
summer events and local attractions. These include a visit to La dune de
Bouchtouche, Irving Eco-Centre, Le Pays de la Sagouine and Kings Landing
New Chair of Federal Branch
On May 2, 2002 Sarmite Bulte was
elected to a second term as Chair of the Federal Branch of CPA. She replaced Sue
Barnes who resigned following her election as Chair of the Finance
Committee of the House of Commons.
First elected as a Liberal
Member of Parliament in 1997, Ms. Bulte represents Parkdale-High Park in the
House of Commons. She studied at the University of Toronto and the University
of Windsor where she obtained a law degree in 1978.
She has been active in a number
of organizations including the International of Women Entrepreneurs of Canada,
the Legal Education Action Fund (LEAF) Endowment Committee, the Judy Lamarsh
Fund and the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs.
She has been a member of the
Liberal Task Force on Financial Institutions from 1997-1998, the Prime
Minister’s Task Force on Youth Entrepreneurship from 1998-1999, the Standing
Committee on Canadian Heritage, Chair of the Sub-Committee of International
Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment and Chair of the Liberal Caucus Committee
on the CRTC.
In August 2000 she was appointed
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. She has served as
Canadian Regional Representative on the International Executive of the CPA
since September 2000. She is also Chair of the Baltic States Friendship Group.
New Sergeant-at-Arms in New
On March 1, Daniel
Bussières was appointed to the position of Sergeant-at-Arms at the New
Brunswick Legislative Assembly. He replaces Phyllis LeBlanc who retired
March 31, 2002.
Mr. Bussières has 23 years of
experience with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He has participated in
numerous V.I.P. security programs and brings to the position experience in all
aspects of law enforcement and security.
He has served as Division
Security Coordinator/Recruiting RCMP “J” Division, and has been involved in
implementing RCMP Strategic plans across the country as National
Coordinator of the RCMP Policy review initiative. He is a member of the
Canadian Society for Industrial Security.