The 18th Canadian Regional
Conference of the CPA (Alberta August 1979)
The Eighteenth Canadian Regional Conference
took place in Alberta, August 13 to 19 of this year . The Conference meetings
were held in the Legislative Chamber and Government House in Edmonton, and at
the Convention Centre in Calgary.
Some seventy parliamentarians, guests of the
Alberta Branch and of Mr. Speaker Gerard Amerongen, Q.C., M.L.A., represented
twelve of the thirteen Canadian CPA Branches. Because of a provincial election
campaign taking place at the time of the conference, the House of Assembly of
Nova Scotia was unable to send a parliamentary delegation but was represented
by one of its administrative officials in Parliament. Mr. Harry Blank, M.N.A.
(Quebec) attended the meetings in his capacity of Canadian Regional
Representative of the CPA and Mr. Palitha Weerasinghe, Assistant Secretary
General, represented the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Also in
attendance, as observers and guests of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta,
were parliamentarians from Britain, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The official inauguration was held in the
Legislative Chamber Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed delivered the welcoming
address and the conference was officially opened by the Honourable Ralph Steinhauer,
Q.C., C.M., Lieutenant --Governor of Alberta.
The Conference Agenda
The First Business Session was devoted to
CPA affairs and divided as follows:
1. C.P.A. Activities on the Commonwealth
2.C.P.A. Activities in the Canadian Region,
including reports from Canadian Branches on activities over the past year.
3. Report on the Canadian Regional Council
meeting, Ottawa, February 25, 1978.
4 --The Expanding Role of the C P A .
The Canadian provincial regional
representative of the CPA, Mr. Harry Blank (Quebec) is terminating his
three--year term of office this year; it is during this firs--t session that
the Honourable Gerald Ottenheimer, M.H.A., Speaker of the House of Assembly of
Newfoundland, was unanimously elected to succeed Mr. Blank.
The following topics were discussed at the
other four sessions of the conference:
1 . Energy -- Energy needs and problems from
the perspectives of Eastern and Western Canada .
2 . Procedural Reform : Looking Ahead to the
1980' s .
3A Ministerial Accountability and Freedom of
3B Parliament and the Ombudsman.
4. Financial Control: Methods of
parliamentary control over public finance and the improvement of their
effectiveness. Other activities on the program included a tour of the SYNCRUDE
oil sands near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta and a visit to Banff and Lake
Louise in the Rocky Mountains.
This Eighteenth Conference was most
successful and a greatly appreciated event which contributed a great deal to
the sharing of parliamentary knowledge and experience. All who attended the
conference are most grateful to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and
Mrs. Amerongen for their gracious hospitality and to the Alberta Branch for its
efficient and dynamic organisation.
The Nineteenth Canadian Regional Conference
will take place in New Brunswick in
Tuvalu Joins the Commonwealth
Tuvalu (formerly called Ellice Island before
January 1 1976, acquired independence on October 1, 1978. Two other states
became independenct in 1978 -- Dominica on November 3, 1978 and St. Lucia on
December 1978. Articles n them will appear in the next issue of the Review.
The resident population of Tuvalu is
estimated to be 8,000. The people are almost entirely of Polynesian stock and have
close ties with the Samoans and Tokelaus to the south and east . The main
languages spoken are Tuvaluan and English. The entire population is Christian
and predominantly Protestant.
Tuvalu comprises nine islands. The total
land area is only 10 square miles, and the islands lie in a chain running in a
north--west to south--east line some 360 miles in length. The islands are
remote from large centres of civilisation; Suva is 650 miles from the capital
Funafuti and Sydney is 2,500 miles away. In five of the atolls the reef
encloses sizeable lagoons and only at Funafuti and Nukufetau can ships enter
the lagoons. The surface of the islands nowhere rises more than 15 feet above
sea level. The climate of Tuvalu is pleasant if monotonous; there are no marked
wet and dry, or hot and cold seasons. The country is situated north of the
It is thought that the first time Europeans
set eyes on Tuvalu was Mendana who sighted Nui in 1568 and Kiulakita in 1595.
Following these early Spanish sightings further contact was not made until the
latter part of the 18th and first quarter of the 19th century.
The Reverend A.W. Murray of the London
Missionary Society visited the islands from Samoa in lk65. He placed Samoan
pastors on the islands and the new faith was universally embraced.
In 1892 after Captain Davis had proclaimed
the Gilbert Islands to be a British Protectorate, Captain Gibson of H M S .
Curacao, having ascertained the wishes of the inhabitants, declared a
protectorate in the Ellice Islands. The headquarters of the Gilbert and Ellice
Islands Protectorate was established at Tarawa. From 1942 to 1943 the islands
were occupied by the Japanese.
On lst October 1974 the result of a
referendum held to determine the future of the Ellice Islands revealed that the
majority of Ellice Islanders were in favour of separating from the Gilbert
Islands and forming a new Colony. The Government of the Gilbert and Ellice
Islands subsequently confirmed that the wishes of the majority of the Ellice
Islanders would be respected. New separate constitutions for the Ellice, which
was renamed Tuvalu, and the Gilberts came into force on lst October 1975 and
administrative separation was implemented on lst January 1976.
The date of independence was agreed upon at
a constitutional conference held in London, last February. The Independence
Constitution provides for Tuvalu to become a constitutional monarchy with the
Queen as Head of State represented in the islands by a Tuvaluan
Governor--General. Parliament will be unicameral with 12 members elected by
universal adult suffrage .
Other matters discussed at the conference
included the financial arrangements between Britain and an independent Tuvalu,
and agreement was reached on proposals covering a special development fund,
capital and budgetary aid and technical co--operation arrangements.
Agriculture is virtually non--existent on
the islands due to the poor quality of the soil which is composed largely of
coral sand and rock fragments. The major part of all islands is covered with
coconut palms which provide the islands with an important source of food and
drink, and with copra their only cash crop. Sea fishing is excellent but as yet
this resource is used only for subsistence and in Funafuti to a limited extent
in the local market. The main food crops, apart from coconuts are babai, a
species of taro, pandanus fruit, bananas and occasionally pawpaws.
Tuvalu like Nauru. was accorded independence
with "special membership" in the Commonwealth. Under it, the country
has the right to participate in all functional meetings and activities of the
Commonwealth and is eligible for Commonwealth technical assistance. Tuvalu does
not participate in meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
Joseph Russell Perry was elected Speaker of the Prince Edward island
Legislaturer on June 6, 1978. Born in Prince Edward Island, June 1, 1916;
Educated: Palmer Road Elementary School, Summerside High School ; later
supplemented by courses at St. Dunstan's University, P.E.I. Served as a member
of the Armed Forces for four years during World War II; serving in Canada, the
United Kingdom and Continental Europe with an Artillery Regiment; Married.
Seven children. Was President of the West Prince Liberal Association from 1960
to 1966; Returning Officer for the Federal District of Egmont from 1966 to
1970. First elected to the Legislature in 1970; re--elected in 1974 and in
1978; Deputy Speaker, 1976 to 1978. Attended Parliamentary procedure seminar in
Westminster, 1977. Residence: 222 Phillip Street, Tignish
On September 12, 1978, the Hon. William
J. Woodroffe, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick,
announced that he would not run again in the October 23 provincial elections.
Mr. Woodroffe was first elected in 1967 and has occupied the Chair of the New
Brunswick Legislature since 1973. His main reason for not seeking re--election
was the interest of his family. Since October 1, Mr. Woodroffe holds the office
of Deputy Provincial Fire Marshall for New Brunswick.
Last September lst, Charles Blake Lynch
started in his new post as Judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick.
Blake Lynch was appointed Assistant Clerk of the New Brunswick Legislative
Assembly in 1971 and Clerk of the Assembly in 1973 .
Annual Meeting of Clerks-at-the-Table
The annual meeting of the Association of
Clerks --at--the--table of Canada took place in Quebec City from August 9 to
12. All the Canadian legislatures were represented at that conference, with the
exception of that of Prince Edward Island. Patrick E. Flahaven,
Secretary of the Senate of Minnesota and president of the American Society of
Legislative Clerks and Secretaries was the guest of honour. Mr. Flahaven was
accompanied by his wife and his five--year--old son, participants, has the
makings of a future clerk.
In the course of their debates the clerks
proceeded to elect a new executive. Thus, Henry Muggah from Halifax
succeeds Doug Blain from Alberta as president; Pierre Duchesne
from Quebec City was elected vice--president and succeeds Gwenn Ronyk
from Regina. Ian Izard from Victoria will act as Secretary, thus
replacing Jacques Lessard from Quebec City.
During the proceedings, the Clerks examined
several aspects OC parliamentary life, including the question of the ratification
of laws in the Yukon, recent amendments to the National Assembly's Standing
Orders, problems raised by an equality of seats between two Opposition parties
parliamentary privileges in Saskatchewan, the Question Period's procedure, and
other subjects submitted by the participants.