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Message From The Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Canadian Branch of CPA
Ian G. Imrie

At the time this article was written Ian Imrie was the Secretary-General of the parliamentary Relations Secretariat in Ottawa.

The Empire Parliamentary Association was founded in 1911 and our first Canadian Branch was established in 1912. In 1948 the Association changed its name to the one it presently bears, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. By 1949, the year in which Newfoundland joined the Canadian Confederation, a branch of the CPA was operating in all Canadian Provinces and auxiliary branches came into existence in the Northwest Territories and Yukon in the 70's.

When I joined the parliamentary staff in Ottawa, annual regional conferences were already being held by our branches, on a rotating basis and, over the years, the Canadian Region of the CPA, like its mother association, has made great progress. For example, conference rules were set down in the 60's and early 70's which led, in 1975, to the adoption of a permanent constitution for the entire Canadian Branch. The following year, a cost--sharing formula was established to provide a firm financial base on which the Canadian Branch could easily operate and undertake projects requiring long--range financial planning.

In 1973, a new dimension was added to our regional activities when the first regional seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure took place . This was a most successful event and other seminars have been held since -- always with the same high degree of success. With the Quebec Conference on the British Parliamentary System being held this year, a new and interesting trend may develop which could lead to future seminars being held, at times, in a Canadian Legislature other than in Ottawa. Also in 1978, another new and important initiative, the first in the series of Atlantic Parliamentary Conferences, took p lace at the House of Assembly in St. John's, Newfoundland,

With delegations participating from the various Atlantic Provinces. The inter--branch visit program has also been a very successful feature in our regional activities and I am sure our parliamentarians have benefited from these exchanges.

We already have a history of traditions behind us and there is no doubt that our activities are important since they are the sole vehicle providing regular meeting opportunities for our parliamentarians across the country. But this is not enough as only a limited number of our legislators, every year, can benefit from the experience: This is why this feature of our Canadian Regional Review should help in bringing closer the members of our Branches and their work to become better known and appreciated. Personally, I am confident that this new development is a worthwhile objective in our common aim at expanding the role of C P A.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 1 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03