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First Atlantic Parliamentary Conference Report
Bettie Duff

At the time this article was written Bettie Duff was Clerk of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland)

The First Atlantic Parliamentary Conference was held in St. John's, Newfoundland, June 20th to 22nd of this year. The Conference was held under the aegis of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Attending the Conference were Mr. Speaker Woodroffe of New Brunswick, leading the New Brunswick delegation, Mr. Speaker Ottenheimer of Newfoundland, who acted as Conference Chairman, leading the Newfoundland delegation; and Mr. Speaker Doucet, leading the Nova Scotian delegation. Unfortunately Prince Edward Island was not able to be represented.

Invited participants from outside the Atlantic Provinces included Hon. Renaude Lapointe, Speaker of the Senate; Dr. Maurice Foster, Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the CPA; Mr. Harry Blank, Canadian Regional Councillor; Sir Robin Vanderfelt, KBE, Secretary--General of the CPA; and Mr. Ian Imrie, Secretary--General of Parliamentary Relations. Mr. Albert Pen, Senator for St. Pierre and Miquelon, who had agreed to attend the Conference and to speak on the parliamentary system in France, had to cancel his visit because of poor flying conditions.

After delegates were welcomed to Newfoundland by Mr. Speaker Ottenheimer and greetings of the Parliament of Canada were conveyed by the Hon. Renaude Lapointe, Speaker of the Senate, Sir Robin Vanderfelt spoke on "The CPA as an Instrument of Understanding and Co--operation between Members." This was followed by a discussion and a general question and answer period.

Delegates had the opportunity to meet Hon. J.R. Smallwood, former Premier of Newfoundland, who lead the discussion on "The Provincial Legislator and National Unity."

For many delegates it was their first opportunity to visit Newfoundland. Since the House of Assembly was in session, the delegates were able to visit the Legislature and were formally welcomed by the Speaker. During their stay delegates and their spouses had the opportunity to visit Memorial University of Newfoundland, to lunch with the Mayor and City Councillors of St . John' s, and to visit the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the University. The Conference concluded with a reception offered by His Honour Gordon A. Winter, OC ., LL D ., and Mrs. Winter, and a dinner hosted later that evening by the Newfoundland House of Assembly.

It was agreed at the conclusion of the Conference that this should be an annual affair. New Brunswick offered to be the host of the Conference in 1979.


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Last Updated: 2020-09-14