New Speaker of the House of Commons
On April 14, 1980 for the first time in
Canadian history a woman was elected as Speaker of the House of Commons. Speaker
Sauvé was born in Prud'homme, Saskatchewan on April 26, 1922. She was educated
in Ottawa and attended the University of Ottawa before going abroad to study
economics in London and French Civilization at the Université de Paris . A
former national President of the Young Catholic Students she helped to found
the "Fédération des movements de jeunesse" and later worked in the
Youth Section of UNESCO in Paris.
Speaker Sauvé has had a very active career
as a journalist and broadcaster from 1952 to 1972. She has worked for the
Institute for the French and English networks of the CBC; appeared on the CTV
network and on American networks. During her media career, Madam Sauvé was Vice
President of ACTRA from 1968 to 1970 and General Secretary of the Federation of
Authors and Artists of Canada1966 to 1972. She has also been a Director at
Bushnell Communications Ltd. in Ottawa and at CKAC radio station of Montreal.
Speaker SauY6 also worked as a freelance editorialist for the Montreal Star,
from 1970 to 1972. She was appointed one of the founding members of the
Institute of Political Research by the Prime Minister of Canada in 1972.
Madam Speaker Sauvé was elected to
Parliament as the member for Laval-des-Rapides (formerly Ahuntsic) in 1972 and
then held three consecutive portfolios: Science and Technology, Environment,
and Communications. In Addition to her Communications portfolio, Mme Sauvé was
named Advisor for Francophone Affairs to the Secretary of State for External
Affairs in 1978.
Madam Speaker Sauvé is married to the
Honourable Maurice Sauvé, former minister in the Government of Lester Pearson.
They have one son.
Science Policy Seminar Ottawa – November
Following the success of the 1979 CPA Study
Group devoted to Parliamentary Scrutiny over Public Finance a second Study
Group on science policy will be held in Ottawa from November 23 to 29, 1980.
The Chairman will be Senator Maurice Lamontagne, P.C., who was Chairman of the
Canadian Senate's Science Policy Committee. The participants in the Study Group
will be senior parliamentary specialists in science policy from each of the
seven Regions of the Commonwealth. The meeting of the Study Group itself will
be in camera to encourage freer participation during the sessions but the
results will be published in a verbatim report early in 1981.
Multi-branch Visit Southeast Asia Region
The Canadian CPA Branches try each year to
play host to a multi-branch delegation from one of the other six Regions of the
Commonwealth. General Elections held in Canada during the last two years have
interrupted this program somewhat but a combined delegation from Singapore and
Malaysia, including a number of the Malaysian States accepted the invitation of
the Canadian Branches to visit Canada between June 5th and 16th. Their program
called for them to visit British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and
Ontario, as well as to spend several days in Ottawa.
Saskatchewan to Host First Conference Of
American and Canadian Legislative Clerks August 7 - 11,1980
As part of the 75th Anniversary of the
founding of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Clerks-at-the-Table have invited all
Clerks and Table Officers in the Parliament of Canada, each province and the
Territories, the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House in each state
of the United States and Congress itself. One representative from the United
Kingdom House of Commons will also attend. Among the topics to be debated in
panel discussions are: The Role and duties of the Clerk/Secretary in the
American and Canadian Legislative Systems, Committee Systems in Canada, the
United States and Great Britain, The Role and Importance of the Individual
Legislator, The Role of the Executive in Canadian and American Systems of
Three theme speakers will address the
conference including Premier Allan Blakeney who will speak on "The
Development of Divergent Parliamentary Systems from a Common Heritage".
Honourable Nicholas D. Coleman, Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate on The
Role of the Executive in the American System of Government", and the
Honourable C. Irwin McIntosh, Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan on "The
Role of the Lieutenant Governor Her Majesty's Representative in
This conference marks the first time that
Clerks and Secretaries from all over North America will come together in one
conference to discuss the Canadian and American legislative systems. Although
drawn from the same roots, the two types of legislative systems have developed
in different ways in response to different traditions, circumstances and needs.
The conference is intended to promote a spirit of learning, understanding and
friendship amongst the Canadian and American legislative officers.
Second Atlantic Parliamentary Conference
The New Brunswick Legislature hosted the
Second Atlantic Parliamentary Conference that opened in Fredericton on June
22nd, 1980. Representatives have been invited from the four Atlantic Provincial
Legislatures. The First Atlantic Parliamentary Conference was held in St.
John's in June 1978, on the invitation of the Newfoundland House of Assembly.
That was the first time a Canadian parliamentary conference had ever been
organized on a purely regional basis. As such it was a very important
initiative and is being looked at with interest by other regions in Canada. The
agenda for the discussion during the conference is worked out amongst the
Atlantic Provincial Legislatures and is devoted to matters of a particularly
Alberta Saskatchewan Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association Conference, August 29 - September 5, 1980
On April 22, 1980, Gerard Amerongen, Speaker
of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta met with John Brockelbank, Speaker of
the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, in order to complete the planning for
a joint conference in Alberta and Saskatchewan this summer. Each Canadian
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association branch has been invited to send three
delegates to this conference in order to help the twin western provinces
celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary the creation of the two provinces.
The delegates will assemble in Calgary on
August 29, 1980 in order to begin a week of touring and celebrating. Some of
the highlights of the Alberta tour will include a visit to Heritage Park, a
tour of Banff and Lake Louise, a rodeo in rural Alberta, and participation in
the official celebrations on September 1, 1980 in Edmonton as part of a
re-enactment of the 1905 celebrations.
On September 2, 1980 the conference will
attend a joint luncheon in Lloydminster, the border city. Some of the highlights
of the Saskatchewan tour are: a visit to a potash mine; a tour of the
Diefenbaker Centre in Saskatoon; a visit and lunch at a Hutterite Conlony; and
participation in the official celebrations in Regina on September 4.
The plans have been made. The red carpet is
ready and both host branches hope that during this visit, Canadian
parliamentarians will have the opportunity to join the citizens of Alberta and
Saskatchewan in their anniversary celebrations.
Sixth Canadian Regional Parliamentary
To date four Regional Parliamentary Seminars
have been held in Ottawa, all in November. A fifth was held in October 1979 in
Toronto, organized by the Ontario Branch and a special Conference on the
British Parliamentary System" was held in Quebec in October 1978. The
sixth in the series of Canadian Regional Parliamentary Seminars is planned for
Ottawa during the first week in November. The theme will be The Member of
Parliament in the Modern World. The following subjects have been set down for
discussion: "Conceptions of a Parliamentarian's Role", "The
Parliamentarian as Legislator", "the Parliamentarian in his
Riding", the Parliamentarian in his Caucus", "the
Parliamentarian and the Media, "the Parliamentarian and his Information
Needs" and finally "Opportunities and Frustrations: What can be done
to improve the Parliamentarian's effectiveness.
Annual Meeting Saskatchewan Branch
On April 9, 1970, the Saskatchewan Branch of
the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its annual meeting and dinner in
Jubilee Theatre, Centre of the Arts. After hearing reports on the various
conferences, seminars and tours that the Branch had attended and participated
in, the Members heard from the special guest speaker, the Honourable Gerry
Ottenheimer, Minister of Justice of Newfoundland and the Canadian Regional
Councillor of CPA.
The theme of Mr. Ottenheimer's remarks was
that Canada has many divisive points – economics, language, culture and sheer
distance. Yet the people of Canada also have a lot in common including belief
in the rights of the minorities, impartiality of the Chair, rule of law with
courts above political interference, individual freedom, social responsibility
for the less fortunate and a common destiny.
He said that Canada is different from the United
States which is a social melting pot with the emphasis on the common
denominator. In Canada, we have a mosaic and encourage cultural difference. May
be the Canadian way is not better or worse than the American way, yet it is the
way we have chosen. Many of the meaningful points of life in Canada are taken
for granted while the points that divide are emphasized. CPA is the natural
tool to emphasize the points in common. CPA has the potential to develop a
consciousness and emphasis for our common history and destiny. Parliamentarians
face the challenge of encouraging people to look at not only the points on
which we differ but also what we have in common."
Report of the Study and the Scrutiny
The Study Group is a new venture of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Its purpose is to bring together a
small number of experienced Parliamentarians from different regions of the
Commonwealth, to enable them to study in depth some aspect of the work of
Parliament and to produce a report for general publication. The first of these
Study Groups met in London in September 1979 to consider the performance of
Parliaments, generally agreed to be inadequate, in their scrutiny of public
The report is not an academic study but is
directed specifically at practitioners, parliamentarians, civil servants,
specialist commentators and other interested parties. This is a wide enough
group in itself but, in practice, almost everyone is directly affected by how
Parliament handles public finance, whether as a taxpayer or a beneficiary of
public expenditure. The report describes the current practice, the main
shortcomings which have emerged, the numerous recent proposals for reform and
the fewer changes which have so far occurred, and concludes by highlighting
where there is general agreement on possible future action.
A striking feature of the discussions was
the similarity of experiences and views from politicians from as different
economic and social structures as Australia, Barbados, Canada, India, Malaysia,
the United Kingdom, and Zambia. These similarities have something to do with
the common constitutional framework based on the Westminster model, but they
also reflect common economic and political pressures. These pressures have
arisen not just in the Commonwealth but also in many other countries with very
different constitutional structures where there are also growing calls for
improved legislative scrutiny over public finance. There were naturally
differences between the seven participants about the appropriate methods of
parliamentary scrutiny and control for their own particular country. But these
differences reflected contrasts in the size and sophistication of their
respective legislatures and in their stage of economic development rather than
any dispute about the underlying approach. On this there was broad agreement.
26th CPA Conference: Zambia 1980
This year the 26th Commonwealth
Parliamentary Conference will take place in Zambia from September 27 to October
4. Parliamentarians from some 110 legislative chambers in member nations, their
states and provinces as well as from associated states, self-governing and
dependent territories will be invited by the Parliament of Zambia. Formerly
known as Northern Rhodesia, Zambia derives its name from the Zambezi River
which rises in the north-western corner of the country. It came into being as
an independent state within the Commonwealth on 24th October, 1964, just nine
months after internal self-government had been achieved. Zambia is an entirely
landlocked country, bordered by Zaire Angola, South-West Africa, Botswana,
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. Apart from the Victoria Falls in the
south and the Kalambo Fails in the north, the country consists of bush and low
forest land. On the border with Zaire lies the Copperbelt, a highly
industrialized area which produces much of the country's wealth. There are
three seasons: a cool dry season from May to August, a hot dry season from
September to November, and a wet season from December to April. In the hot season,
day temperatures may vary from 80100F, but at night there is a very distinct
drop in the temperature.
A 1978 estimate gave Zambia's population as
5,472,000, mostly African with a small European and Asian presence.
Although there are a number of dialects in
Zambia, some of which vary only slightly, there are seven main local languages
spoken. English is the official language of the administration. Christianity is
the main religion. Lusaka, the capital, Kitwe and Ndola are the three largest
cities of the country with Lusaka having a population of 559,000. Livingston,
situated near Victoria Falls in the south of the country was the first capital
of the then Northern Rhodesia and now has a population of 72,000. It is the
home of the Livingston Museum, which as part of its various collections, houses
personal relies of Dr. David Livingston, the missionary explorer who died in
Zambia. It is one of the tourist capitals of the country.
Zambia became a one-party state in December,
1972, when the Constitution of the Republic was amended to provide that there
should only be one legal political party, the United National Independence
Party (UNIP). The General Conference of the party elects the party President
and Members of the Central Committee. The party's president is the sole
presidential candidate in the presidential elections. In order to be proclaimed
President of the Republic, he must first receive a majority vote from the
electorate. If he does not, the party nominates another candidate and the same
procedure is repeated. The President is elected for the same period as the
members of the National Assembly, which is normally five years.
The Central Committee of the Party comprises
twenty-five members including the President of the Republic, the
Secretary-General of the party, and twenty-three members, three of whom are
nominated by the President. The Prime Minister is an exofficio member. The
Prime Minister is the Head of Government Administration and Leader of the
National Assembly. Ministers and Ministers of State are appointed by the
President of the Republic after consultation with the Secretary-General of the
UNIP and the Prime Minister and must all be members of the National Assembly
which consists of 125 elected members and up to ten members nominated by the
President. Although the President is not a member of the National Assembly, he
can address it or send messages to it.