New Speaker in Ontario
There is a new Speaker in Ontario
following the resignation of Allan McLean. Chris Stockwell’s political
career began with the Etobicoke Board of Control when he became the youngest
member ever elected to the Board. With this victory, he also became a member of
Etobicoke and Metropolitan Toronto Councils. While working at this grass-roots
local level, he handled Etobicoke’s financial and personnel matters and was
also a member of several other Council committees. He was re-elected to this
position in November 1985.
Prior to being elected at the
provincial level, Mr. Stockwell was the representative on Metro Council for the
Etobicoke Ward of Lakeshore/Queensway. He was elected to this position in
November of 1988 and served until September 1990. While at Metro Council, he
was a member of two very controversial committees: Market Value Assessment and Sunday
Shopping. He served on the Standing Committees that included: Economic
Development and Planning, Waterfront, and Parks and Property. During this time,
he was also the Chair of the Metro O’Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts.
He was first elected to the
Provincial Legislature on September 6, 1990 and was appointed by the Leader,
Mr. Harris to be critic in the Conservative shadow cabinet for Finance and
Revenue. In subsequent years, Mr. Stockwell has held critic responsibilities
for Management Board, GTA, Energy, and Municipal Affairs.
He was re-elected on June 8, 1995,
to serve his second term as MPP for Etobicoke West and was a member of the
Ombudsman Committee. On October 3, 1996, he was elected as Speaker of the
Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Twentieth Canadian Regional
The annual seminar organized by the
Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was held in
Fredericton from October 25-27, 1996.
Attendance was reduced slightly as
a result of the Liberal National Convention in Ottawa and a provincial election
in Prince Edward Island however approximately forty delegates and observers
attended and were treated to some interesting discussions.
The seminar was hosted by the
Speaker of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, Danny Gay and four
other Speakers attended including Dale Lovick (British Columbia), Stanley
Schumacher (Alberta), Louise Dacquay (Manitoba) and Lloyd Snow
(Newfoundland and Labrador). The Speaker designate from Yukon, Robert Bruce,
was also in attendance.
Some of the most lively discussion
occurred during the first session on "Gambling as a Source of Revenue for
Governments". Judy Gordon presented a paper on the Alberta
experience (see article on p. 11 of this issue) and during the course of the
morning it became apparent there are different views among legislators on the
use of gambling to raise money, although most jurisdictions are now involved in
gambling one way or another.
Another well researched paper was
presented by Speaker Lovick on the role of the Speaker. He questioned whether
Speakers can or should be expected to disavow all political affiliations during
their speakership. He argued that while impartiality in the Chair was
essential, it was straining credulity to think that occupants of the Chair
suddenly cease to be active in their own political party. (See article on page
The third session dealt with fixed
term parliamentary election versus dissolution at pleasure. The lead speaker
was Dennis Richards of Nova Scotia. It appeared there was general
satisfaction among the delegates with the present system which leaves the
choice of election date to the Prime Minister.
Mark Koenker of Saskatchewan was the lead speaker for
the final session on personal conscience, caucus solidarity and social responsibility.
He described the dilemma in which members sometimes find themselves when they
disagree with a policy of their party on a particular issue.
The host of the seminar, the New
Brunswick delegates and the staff of the Legislature went to great lengths to
make sure that all delegates enjoyed their time in Fredericton.
The following CPA and related
activities are scheduled to take place in 1997.
January 23-26Presiding Officers
March 10Commonwealth Day
May 7-23Parliamentary Visit,
July 12Regional Council, Regina
July 13-18Regional Conference,
September 18-22Conference on Free
Trade in the Americas, Quebec
September 17-2543rd CPA
International Conference, Mauritius