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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

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 23 29.1980

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 Government.

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 Saskatchewan."

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 regional content.

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 Seminar

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 finance.

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.

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Vol 3 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03