Canadian Parliamentary Review

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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 interesting suggestions.

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 Newfoundland!

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 4 no 3

Last Updated: 2020-09-14