Report of CPA Task Force
In 1982 the Canadian Regional Council of CPA
agreed to set up a task force under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the
Quebec Assembly, Claude Vaillancourt, to have a fresh look at the Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association and to see whether it was fulfilling its mandate so
far as the Canadian Region was concerned. The task force included Speakers
Arthur Donahoe of Nova Scotia, Harvey Schroeder of British Columbia and John
Turner of Ontario, along with Keith Penner, chairman of the federal branch .
Subsequently, both Mr. Vaillancourt and Mr. Schroeder resigned as Speakers and
were replaced by their successors in the speakership, Richard Guay of Quebec
and Walter Davidson of British Columbia. Mr. Speaker Donahoe presented the
report of the task force to the meeting of the Canadian Regional Council on
June 4, 1983. Among other things, the report dealt with: organizational
structure, a regional secretarial, the expenses for former members of the
international CPA executive, a Canadian regional speakers' conference, and
professional and technical assistance for the Association.
It recommended that in future the chairman
of the Canadian Region be the chairman of the branch hosting the upcoming
Regional Conference. Other members of the executive would include the outgoing
chairman, two vice-chairmen representing the branches next in line for future
Regional conferences as well as two Regional representatives and the
secretary-treasurer. This reorganization would bring the executive structure of
the Canadian Region into line with that of the international CPA.
The Parliamentary Relations Secretatiat at
present provides services both for the Region and for the federal branch. The
task force realized that a separate secretariat would give greater autonomy to
the Region and be in keeping with the genera trend of the proposals. It
concluded, however, that the work of the Association does not yet require a
full time staff and that a part time secretariat might compromise continuity.
It felt, therefore, that it is premature to
establish a permanent regional secretariat, mainly because of the practical and
financial difficulties this would entail. The facilities of the Parliamentary
Relations Secretarial have always been extended as needed and will continue to
be at the disposal of the Canadian Region.
As far as additional professional and
technical assistance to CIPA is concerned, the task force recommended that the
Canadian Region continue to use whatever sources the members find most
appropriate and not link itself to a particular organization on a long-term
basis or by a blanket subscription. "The Region and/or each branch should
contract with the many excellent groups from time to time as need or interest
The task force had also been asked to
consider whether the Region should assume any expenses in assisting former
members of the CPA international executive to attend CPA conferences. It
concluded that in the present economic climate, with the number of persons in
this category increasing, there was no justification for providing funding for
this purpose from the regional budget. The task force noted, nonetheless, that
each branch is autonomous and thus entirely free to pay observers' expenses
from its own funds.
The task force recommended that a meeting be
held each year of federal, provincial and territorial Speakers to discuss
matters of their particular interest. It should be held in addition to the
annual meeting of the Canadian Regional Council and might be extended to
include Deputy Speakers and perhaps clerks as well.
New Chairman of the Federal Branch
The annual meeting of the Canadian branch of
CPA was held on June 14,1983. One of the items on the agenda was the election
of a new chairman to replace Keith Penner who had held the position for three
years and was now a member of the CPA international executive. There were three
candidates for the position. The winner was Louis Desmarais.
Mr. Desmarais was first elected to the House
of Commons in 1979. He has served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
Labour and to the Minister of State for Physical Fitness and Amateur sport. A
chartered accountant, Mr. Desmarais has been on the board of a number of large
corporations, including Canada Steamship Lines.
Fifth Atlantic Parliamentary Conference
In 1978, the first Atlantic Parliamentary
Conference was held in St. John's, Newfoundland on the invitation of the then
Speaker, Gerald Ottenheimer. Since then. conferences have been held in New
Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. The fifth Atlantic
Parliamentary Conference was convened once again in St. John's. Speaker James
Russell hosted a highly successful conference which brought together delegates
from all four Atlantic Provinces as well as CPA Regional representatives Keith
Penner and Speaker Gerard Amerongen from Alberta.
Mr. Penner made a presentation on the recent
changes in the rules of the House of Commons in Ottawa, and Speaker Amerongen
spoke about the Albertan legislative intern program. Other topics on the agenda
included, the need for research assistants for parliamentarians and the
Speaker's control over question period.
Twenty-Third Regional Conference
The twenty-third conference of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was held in Winnipeg from August 712,
1983. The Senate, the House of Commons and every provincial and territorial
legislature sent at least one representative to the conference. There were also
two observers from the British House of Commons, and one each from the
legislatures of the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. The conference was
opened by the Lieutenant Governor, Pearl McGonigal. Premier Howard Pawley
welcomed delegates on behalf of the Manitoba Government.
For the first time in many years, a regional
conference was held while the host legislature was still in session. This made
for an extremely hectic week for Manitoba Speaker James Walding, Binx Remnant,
Clerk of the House, Gordon Mackintosh, Deputy Clerk and all members of the
organizing committee. However, everyone who attended will long remember the
hospitality and friendship offered by them and by all Manitobans. In difficult
circumstances they succeeded in making this one of the most successful regional
The conference began with a rousing Oxford
Union type debate, chaired by Newfoundland Speaker James Russell, on the
resolution that "politician is a dirty word". Supporting the resolution
was Winnipeg journalist and broadcaster, Peter Warren. His opponent was Speaker
Arthur Donahoe of Nova Scotia. Following their opening statements and rebutt s
twelve other delegates (dubbed the "dirty dozen" by Speaker Russell)
participated in the debate.
Prince Edward Island Speaker Marion Reid
presided over a lively debate on the resolution 1hat Canada is being needlessly
balkanized by the increasing scope and complexity of provincial residency
requirements". Supporting the resolution were Bev J. Harrison (New
Brunswick) and Jack Ellis (Federal Branch), Opposing it were Huguette
Lachappelle (Quebec) and Bill Sweinson (Saskatchewan). The resolution went to
the crux of what it means to be "a Canadian" and generated some
strong feelings among both debaters and delegates.
The debate format was also used for two
other motions one of which was a resolution that "conflict of interest law
is an unnecessary infringement of members' privacy". Janet Koper (Alberta)
defended the motion, while Conrad Santos (Ontario) spoke against it. The final
resolution was on a motion that "government spending should be increased
to provide an economic stimulus". Elie Martel (Ontario) defended the
motion while Tom Rideout (Newfoundland) opposed it.
The debate format proved quite popular and
stimulated general discussion. No divisions were taken: and on a few occasions
debaters intervened after their presentation to make it clear that they had
agreed to support a position that did not necessarily coincide with their own
Apart from the business sessions, delegates
had numerous opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Manitoba.
One afternoon was spent visiting the Mennonite Village Museum at Steinbach and
the Suncrest Hutterite Colony near Kleefield. Another was spent on board the
"Paddlewheel Princess" which travelled along the Red River to old
Fort Garry. In the evenings there were opportunities to visit some of the forty
different ethnic pavillions which constitute the "Folklorama"
festival. A pit barbecue at picturesque Kelburn Farm owned by the James
Richardson Company was also one of the highlights.
New Lieutenant Governors
In June Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau
announced the appointment of two new Lieutenant Governors, Robert Gordon Rogers
for British Columbia and Frederick William Johnson for Saskatchewan.
Mr. Rogers was born in Montreal on August
19, 1919. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College in Kingston and of the
University of Toronto. He served in the Canadian Armoured Corps in Canada and
Europe during World War II and took part in the D-Day Invasion of France.
A civil engineer, Mr. Rogers has been
Chairman of the Board of the Canada Harbour Place Corporation since June 1982.
An executive in the forest industry in British Columbia since 1960, he was
Chairman of the Board and chief executive officer of Crown Zellerbach Canada
Limited from 1975 to 1982. He is a member of the board of a number of senior
Canadian corporations and active in business organizations related to the forest
industry and the Pacific Basin, including the Export Trade Development
Corporation. A past vice-chairman of the Pacific Basin Economic Council,
Pearson College of the Pacific and United World Colleges and past chairman of
the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, he is the national vice-president
of tile Boy Scouts of Canada.
The 24th Lieutenant Governor of British
Columbia was sworn in by the Chief Justice of British Columbia, Allan
McEachern, in a ceremony at Government House on July 15, 1983. He replaces
Henry BellIrving, who is retiring.
In Saskatchewan the ceremony installing Mr.
Johnson as Saskatchewan's 16th Lieutenant Governor took place on July 6 in the
Mr. Johnson was born February 17, 1917 in
Staffordshire, England and moved to Canada with his family in 1928.
After teaching school in Saskatchewan from
1936 to 1941, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Europe. Once
discharged, he studied law and was called to the Bar in 1950. In 1965, Mr.
Johnson was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan. He has
been Chief Justice of that Court since July 1977.
Mr. Johnson was chairman of the Saskatchewan
Royal Commission on Government Administration in 1964. He was the first
chairman of the committee responsible for the building of the Saskatchewan
Centre of the Arts. He has been a member of the Council of the Canadian Bar
Association since 1965 and of the Canadian Judicial Council since 1980.
Mr. Johnson replaces C. Irwin McIntosh as
the Crown's representative in Saskatchewan.