Sixth Annual Canadian Seminar on
Parliamentary Practice and Procedure
In Ottawa, during the week of November 2 to
6, the Sixth Canadian Parliamentary Seminar took place, hosted this year by the
Federal Branch of the CPA. A large number of parliamentarians from the various
branches of the Canadian Region attended the seminar sessions. This Year the
principal theme of the debates centered on the challenges facing the
parliamentarian in the modern world including his role as a legislator, as a
member of his party and a representative of his constituents.
The Hon. Jeanne Sauvé, Speaker of the House
of Commons, acted as moderator for a panel discussion on the topic of the
Parliamentarian and the media" in which participated Mr. George Bain,
former newspaperman for the Toronto Star, now Head of the School of Journalism at
King's College, Halifax; Mr. Richard Daignault, of Le Soleil in Québec; Mr.
Allan Fotheringham, of Southam News, and Mr. W.A. Wilson, freelance political
columnist. The seminar also had as guest speakers two former senior
parliamentarians Mr. T.C. Douglas, former leader of the NDP Party, who spoke on
the subject of the conceptions of a parliamentarian's role and former leader of
the Conservative Party, Hon. Robert Stanfield. Who addressed the delegates on
the question of opportunities and frustrations off parliamentarians and what
can be done to improve their effectiveness.
A complete transcript of both the Regional
Conference and the Seminar will be made available to all delegates as well as
to all Branch Secretaries and to Canadian legislative libraries.
Study Group on Parliament and the
Scrutiny of Science Policy.
In the last week of November 1980, the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its Study Group on "Parliament
and the Scrutiny of Science Policy" in Ottawa. The purpose of the Study
Group was to examine government involvement in the complex of human activities
that comprises science and the formulation of science policy, and to determine
how that involvement can be scrutinized and improved upon by Parliaments. Eight
national legislators representing various regions of the Commonwealth and the
United States sat in closed sessions for wide-ranging discussions on this
The Study Group was sponsored by the
Headquarters Secretariat of the CPA and hosted by the Canadian Branch. The Rapporteur
for the Study Group was Dean Clay, Head of The Science Division of the Research
Branch of the Library of Parliament. He will be preparing a report for
publication reviewing the topics covered by the Group and the conclusions that
were reached. This report is expected to be published about the middle of 1981.
The participants in the Study Group were
Lord Sherfield of the United Kingdom, who served as Chairman, Dr. Gary Gurbin.
M P from Canada, the Honourable George Brown Jr. from the United States, Senator
Donald Jessop from Australia, Shri M.S. Sanjeevi Rao, MP from India, Professor
Ang Kok Peng, MP from Singapore, Senator Kusha Haraksingh from Trinidad and
Tobago, and the Honourable A.M. Mango from Kenya. Senator Maurice Lamontagne,
who was originally to have chaired the Study Group, was forced to withdraw
because of the establishment of the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution
in Canada. Ian Grey, Editor of Publications and Deputy Secretary General of the
CPA, represented the Headquarters Secretariat at the Study Group. Dr. Richard
Brock of Australia was present as an observer.
Six of the eight half-day sessions were led
off by guest participants who were invited to open discussion on particular
subjects. Professor Colin Campbell of Canada introduced the topic of
"Parliament and the Executive; Parliament's Role of Scrutinizing the
Executive", on the morning of 24 November. That afternoon, Dr. Roger Voyer
of Canada opened the discussion on, "The Importance of Science, Technology
and Innovation to National Goals". On the second day, Dr. Waiter Hahn of
the United States spoke on the topic of "The Role of the Executive in
Establishing Science Policy; the Influence of Officials, of Independent
Scientific Advisors and of Lobbies". In the afternoon, Dr. Tom Moss of the
United States discussed "Parliament and Decision-making Procedures in
Matters of Science Policy. He gave particular emphasis to the developed
The next morning, discussion centred on the
situation in developing Commonwealth countries with Dr. Rao acting as lead
speaker. In the afternoon, Dr. Frank Maine of Canada dealt with "Methods
and Reforms Enabling Parliaments to Improve the Scrutiny 01' Science
Policy". The same subject carried over to the morning of the final day
with Lord Shackleton of the United Kingdom making the opening remarks. In the
closing session, the Chairman and the Rapporteur reviewed the four days of
discussion and what had been accomplished.
"Parliament and the Scrutiny of Science
Policy" is the second such study group the CPA has sponsored. The 1979
Study Group on "Parliament and the Scrutiny of Public Finance was
generally considered to have been quite successful and the CPA is now
considering a continuing series of such meetings. The value of having such
broad participation was evident in the range of views put forward at the Ottawa
sessions and it is hoped that the publication of these discussions will be of
interest to readers in many parts of the Commonwealth.
New Speaker in Quebec
Mr. Claude Vaillancourt was elected Speaker
of the Quebec National Assembly on November 11, 1980 replacing Clement Richard
who was named Minister of Communications in a cabinet shuffle announced by the
Prime Minister, Mr. René Lévesque. Born on May 19, 1944, in Chicoutimi, Mr.
Vaillancourt received his primary, secondary and post-secondary education in
Jonquière. He then went on to study law at Laval University, in Quebec City
graduating in 1968. The following year, he became a member of the Quebec Bar.
Mr. Vaillancourt established a private law
practice in Jonquière where his professional activities covered a broad
spectrum of law-related fields. In 1973, he worked as a lawyer for the newly
opened Jonquière legal aid office. During this period, he became more and more involved
with the labour movemerit and in particular with the unions in his region. He
returned to his private practice in 1975 and became the lawyer for the
Fédération provinciale des syndicats de l'aluminium (Alcan) and for a local
In the fall of 1976, Mr. Vaillancourt was
elected MNA for Jonquière capturing nearly sixty per cent of the votes. In
1977, he was a joint chairman of the parliamentary committee which examined the
bill to establish a French-language charter. In 1978, Mr. Vaillancourt presided
over the lengthy and delicate activities of the parliamentary committee in
charge of examining the referendum bill.
Following the death of the Deputy Speaker of
the National Assembly, Mr. Jean-Guy Cardinal, in March 1979, Mr. Vaillancourt was
chosen to succeed him. During this period, in addition to performing his duties
as an MNA, he represented the National Assembly at various activities involving
foreign relations, either by welcoming foreign dignitaries or by taking part in
conferences for parliamentarians abroad.
At thirty-six years of age, he is one of the
youngest Speakers in the history of Quebec's parliament. Mr. Vaillancourt is
married and is the father of two children.
Appointments of Table Officers
The legislatures of several provinces have
recently selected new table officers. In Manitoba the appointment of Gordon
Mackintosh was approved by the Board of Internal Economy Commissioners of the
Legislative Assembly, effective December 11, 1980. Born in Fort Frances,
Ontario, Mr. Mackintosh attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies
from the University of Manitoba in 1976 and is currently completing the thesis
requirement for a Master of Arts degree in Political Studies. Mr. Mackintosh
was a Human Rights Officer with the Department of the Attorney-General from
January 1979 until his appointment. He replaces Mr. Andrue Anstett who was
Clerk Assistant from June 1973 to August 1979.
In Saskatchewan David Mitchell has been
named Clerk Assistant (Procedural). Mr. Mitchell has a Masters degree in
history and served as a legislative intern in the British Columbia Legislative
Assembly before coming to Saskatchewan. His duties will be procedural research,
clerk and researcher for several of the standing committees and at least one
special committee as well as duties at the Table. This is a new position in
Saskatchewan and brings the number of permanent full time Clerks at the Table
In Newfoundland Elizabeth J. Murphy was
appointed Clerk Assistant of the House of Assembly in November 1980. She is a
native of St. John's, Newfoundland with degrees in education from Memorial
University and law from Dalhousie University. She was formerly a teacher in
In British Columbia George MacMinn, former
Deputy Clerk and Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, has returned to the
Clerk's office as Deputy Clerk. He will also continue to serve as a Special
Commissioner to the Speaker in matters concerning parliamentary reform.
In the Northwest Territories the former
practice of assigning a government legal officer as Law Clerk to the Assembly
was discontinued at the conclusion of the Assembly in Baker Lake. Instead Earl
D. Johnson, a Yellowknife lawyer engaged in private practice in the city has
been employed as Law Clerk to the Assembly.
Finally, David M. Hamilton, formerly
secretary -treasurer of the village of Fort Simpson and a ten-year resident of
the Territories, was appointed Clerk Assistant of the Northwest Territories
Assembly. He replaced Pieter deVos who had resigned.
The Parliamentary Librarian, Erik Spicer.
announced the appointment of Richard Paré, 42, as Associate Parliamentary
Librarian, effective December 1, 1980. Mr. Paré was born in Quebec City and
received a BA from Laval University and a BLS from the University, of Ottawa.
Prior to his appointment he was Assistant to the Director of the Legislative
Library of the Quebec National Assembly and previously Director of the
Documentation Service for the Quebec Department of Communications.