In November 1981 the Nova Scotia House of
Assembly will host the 7th Canadian Regional Seminar on Parliamentary Procedure
organized by the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Nova Scotia was the site of the first CPA Canadian Regional Conference which
coincided with the two hundreth anniversary of representative government in
that province. The fondness Nova Scotian's feel for their parliamentary
heritage is probably unsurpassed in Canada. The article by Shirley Elliott on
"Government Printing Before 1800 once again illustrates this point.
Delegates to the last seminar, held in
Ottawa, had an opportunity, to discuss the opportunities and frustrations of
backbenchers with the former Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Robert
Stanfield. The entire transcript of the conference will be available to
delegates and to legislative libraries but we are publishing excerpts from Mr.
Stanfield's speech to give more members an opportunity to consider some of his
For the same reason we are also publishing
an article by the Hon. John Reid based on a paper he delivered to the Canadian
Study of Parliament Group meeting in Halifax in June 1981. A transcript of the
proceedings will be available to members of that group but we are grateful for
Mr. Reid's permission to make his text available to a wider audience.
Parliamentarians across Canada face a number
of common problems. Aside from the aforementioned feature articles this issue
includes a study by Richard Jennings on the scrutiny of science policy in
Ontario and one by Louis Massicotte on ways of limiting debate in the Quebec
National Assembly. Each focuses on a particular problem in a single legislature
but both are intended to inform members and staff in other legislatures of
developments in these areas. This type of inter-parliamentary dialogue was one
reason for establishing the Canadian Parliamentary Review, and as more and more
legislatures hire fulltime professional staff we look forward to publishing
other articles of this kind.
In addition to these rather technical
articles this issue also contains two pieces which should interest both
specialists and non specialists alike. Lorraine Williams has written a diary of
her experiences and impressions at a recent CPA activity. The story can be seen
as a simple description of events; as a commentary on socio-political
differences between east and west or even as an outsider's view of the
different way two prairie provinces approached the same event. In any case it
makes for an interesting story and we hope it will encourage other non-experts
to contribute similar pieces to the Review. Finally the article on
parliamentary privilege in Newfoundland is, despite its foreboding title, the
amusing story of an incident which, some would say, could only, happen in