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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

New Speakers

Gerald Amerongen was re-elected Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly on May 24, 1979. He is the M.L.A. for Edmonton Meadowlark. Graduate of the University of Alberta; Arts and Law. Member of Edmonton law firm of Amerongen, Burger, Spencer & Ross; named Q.C. in 1966. Has been a member of advisory boards of Misericordia, General and St. Joseph's hospitals; participated in establishment of the Canadian Native Friendship Centre, Edmonton. Has served as president of Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta and national vice-president for Alberta of the Progressive Conservative Association of Canada; first president of Edmonton Centre Federal Progressive Conservative Association. First elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1971; re-elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1975 and in 1979. First elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1972 and re-elected in 1975.

Harvey Schroeder was re-elected Speaker of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly on June 6, 1979. He is the M.L.A. for Chilliwack. Social Credit Party. Former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. First elected to Legislature 1972. First elected Speaker in 1978. Born 1933. Married, three children. Graduated in Theology in Saskatchewan, 1958. Cost accounting with Canada Packers; Retail merchandising; established Palm Interiors of Chilliwack, 1954; Television and Stage production; public relations.

Robert McReady was elected Speaker of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly on March 12, 1979. Speaker McCready was first elected to the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly in 1967 and re-elected in 1970. Was Speaker of the same Assembly between 1968 and 1970.

New Commissioner of NWT

In January 1979, the former Prime Minister of Canada named John Parker Commissioner of Northwest Territories. Mr. Parker took office on April 15, 1979.

Mr. Parker was born in 1929 in Didsbury, Alberta. While attending the University of Alberta where he graduated with a B.Sc in Engineering, he was employed by Eldorado Mining Co. Following graduation in 1951, Mr. Parker was employed as geologist and mining engineer (Saskatchewan). engineer and manager of a mine (Yellowknife). From 1956 to 1964 he was engaged in mining exploration and with a partner formed Pucambrian Mining Services, in 1964, and established a consulting and exploration service in Yellowknife. In December, 1958, Mr. Parker was elected to the Yellowknife Town Council and was later Mayor of Yellowknife for two terms (1963 and 1965). In June of 1966 Mr. Parker was appointed to the Carrothers Commission, which was established to study and to report on the problems of the NWT. On March 2, 1967, John Parker was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the NWT. Mr. Parker and his wife, Helen, reside in Yellowknife with their two children Sharon and Gordon. Mr. Parker succeeds Mr. Stuart Hodgson in the office of Commissioner.

New Clerk in New Brunswick 

David L.E. Peterson was appointed Clerk of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly in March 1979, to replace Charles Blake Lynch. Born at Frederiction in 1942. Educated at New Brunswick Teachers College, University of New Brunswick (B.P.E. 1965) and (LL.B. 1969). Admitted to the Bar of N.B. 1969. Elected to municipal council 1974. Member Canadian Bar Association.

Visit to Canada by the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

At the close of the 24th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Jamaica last year, the Honourable John R. Harrison, M.P., Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, took office as President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Recently, President Harrison undertook a goodwill CPA tour that took him to numerous Branches of the Association and the Canadian Region of the CPA was among his points of visit.

President Harrison and Mrs. Harrison arrived in Montreal on May 6 for a weeklong tour as guests of the Speakers of the Federal and Provincial Parliaments and Branches of the Canadian CPA Region. As there was a general federal election in process at the time of his visit, Speaker Harrison set out principally to call on Provincial Parliaments and his visit, therefore, included such provincial capitals as Quebec City, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Edmonton. This cross-country tour gave Speaker Harrison an excellent opportunity to meet the provincial Speakers and a large number of his Canadian parliamentary counterparts in the provincial Legislatures. A provincial election was also taking place in British Columbia; however, the Hon. Grace McCarthy, Deputy Premier and Minister of Human Resources of British Columbia was able to attend the Farewell Dinner offered in Vancouver by representatives of the Canadian Parliament.

Speaker Harrison who was born in 1921, is a member of the National Party of New Zealand and was first elected to Parliament in 1963. He served as an officer during World War II in various postings at home and abroad. Since elected to Parliament he has served as Government Whip, Opposition Whip, Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees. Speaker Harrison has attended several CPA Conferences and other Commonwealth Parliamentary meetings.

As President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Speaker Harrison will be the host to some 200 parliamentary delegates and observers who will attend CPA's 25th Annual Conference in New Zealand next November. The October issue of this Review will carry an article on the host Country and Parliament of the Conference.

Ghana and Nigeria Return to Civil Government

On June 18, Ghanaians voted to elect a president and a 140-Member Parliament. For the election of their President, the people of Ghana will return to the polls in a runoff election as none of the 10 presidential candidates obtained a clear majority. In the parliamentary election, Ghanaians have given half of the 140 seats to the People's National Party.

Throughout the month of July Nigerians will elect the Members of their future Senate, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly. On July 28, each of the 19 States will elect its Governor, and on August 11, there will be an election to elect the President of Nigeria.

Tynwald: A Thousand Years of Unbroken Traditions

For the Isle of Man, 1979 is a year to remember as it celebrates a unique milestone the marking of the Millennium of its Parliament of Tynwald. One thousand years ago, the Island came under the domination of the invading Norsemen from Scandinavia the Vikings; they set up their kingdom of Mann and the Isles with a form of government based on the principle of freemen knowing the law and observing it. The proclamation of this law took place on occasions like the pagan feast of the Summer Solstice, usually to an assembly in an open field. The tradition is upheld and according to custom, on July 5 there is an open air assembly at the meeting place of the Vikings, the parliament field (in old Norse, Thing Vollr) on Tynwald Hill.

To celebrate the Millennium Year, the Government of the Isle of Man has set up a yearlong program of festivals, cultural exhibitions and ceremonial occasions. The main ceremony will, of course be the open air assembly on July 5.

The Canadian Branches of the CPA will be represented by a small parliamentary delegation during the period of the official Tynwald ceremonies. On July 4, the Canadian delegation will plant a Canadian red maple tree on Tynwald Hill to commemorate the founding of this thousandyearold parliamentary institution.

The Country (Capital Douglas) The Isle of Man, which has an area of approximately 572 sq. km, is located in the northern part of the Irish Sea, just below Scotland; in 1976, the population was estimated at 66.496. "Manx" is the old Norse name for the Isle and there is a "Manx" language still being spoken. In 1901, the number of Manx-speaking people was under 5,000; this number decreased over the decades and was reduced to 165 in 1961; in 1971, however, it had increased to 284.

Constitution and Government The sovereignty of the isle was for many centuries vested in grantees of the Crown called "Lords of Man and the Isles" but the sovereignty was purchased by George III of England in 1765. (1) The Isle of Man is still a possession of the Crown but has a very large degree of autonomy.

The Isle of Man is administered in accordance with its own laws by the Court of Tynwald, consisting of the Governor, appointed by the Crown; the Legislative Council, composed of the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Attorney-General and 8 members selected by the House of Keys; and the House of Keys, a representative assembly of 24 members chosen on adult suffrage. Bills after having passed both Houses are signed by the members, and then sent for the Royal Assent. After receiving the Royal Assent, a Bill does not become law unless promulgated within the ensuing twelve months, and on the first "Tynwald Day" (July 5) following it is announced in the English and Manx languages on the Tynwald Hill. On the promulgation taking place a certificate thereof is signed by the Lieutenant-Governor and the Speaker of the House of Keys.

Finance and Economy Revenue is derived mainly from income tax and customs duties. A special relationship exists between the Isle of Man and the European Economic Community providing for free trade and adoption by the Isle of Man of the EEC's external trade policies with third countries. The Island remains free to levy its own system of rates and taxes. The principal agricultural produce of the island consists of oats, wheat, barley, potatoes and dairy products. Another important sector of the Isle's economy is tourism. The Parliament of the Isle of Man is a member of the CPA and is represented in the Association by an auxiliary branch.


1 An Encyclopaedia of Parliament" by Norman Wilding and Philip Laundy (Cassell, London, Fourth (revised) edition, 1972).

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 2 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-09-14