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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

New Speaker in Nunavut

Kevin J. O'Brien was born on October 26, 1955, in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on February 15, 1999. After serving as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories from 1995 to 1999.

Mr. O'Brien was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on March 29, 2000. He has also served as the Chair of Full Caucus and as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Community Empowerment and Sustainable Development, which has oversight responsibility for the Departments of Justice, Community Government and Transportation, Sustainable Development and Public Works and Services.

After leaving high school, Mr. O'Brien worked in the construction industry before attending university. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax and a Master of Science degree from North Texas State University in Dallas, where he was also an instructor.

Since completing his education, Mr. O'Brien has had fifteen years of experience at various levels of government. He began by working in the New Brunswick city of Bathurst in 1980, and then at St. Mary's University in Halifax. He also ran his own company for a number of years before moving to the Arctic.

Mr. O'Brien's introduction to northern life was in the Beaufort-Delta region where he was the Senior Administrative Officer in Tuktoyaktuk. Prior to his election to the Legislative Assembly, he was Director of the NWT Housing Corporation for the Keewatin District.

He lives in Arviat, a community whose population is 95% Inuit, located on the west coast of Hudson Bay. Mr. O'Brien enjoys an arctic lifestyle, including hunting, fishing and other traditional activities.

New Speaker in British Columbia

On March 15, 2000, Bill Hartley, Member for Maple-Ridge-Pitt Meadows was elected as the 34th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Mr. Hartley was born in Vancouver and educated in the Burnaby area, studying political science at Simon Fraser University.

Mr. Hartley has enjoyed a diverse career history working as a pottery teacher, childcare worker, music promoter, and restaurant owner. His numerous community activities include a founding role in the Alouette Arts Society and the Haney Alliance for Nuclear Discouragement, as well as involvement with the Fraser Valley Regional Library, Cythera Transition House, the Ridge Meadows Society for the Mentally Disabled and the United Way North Fraser Governing Committee. He embarked on his public service career by serving as executive assistant to former Member of Parliament, Mark Rose, from 1979-1983. Mr. Hartley also held elected office at the municipal level, serving as an alderman in Maple Ridge from 1983 to 1987 and as mayor from 1987 to 1990. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1991, and re-elected in 1996.

In recent years, Mr. Hartley has held a number of parliamentary positions, including Deputy Chair Committee of the Whole from 1996-1998, Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries from 1998-2000, and Deputy Speaker from 1998-2000. Upon the resignation of former Speaker Gretchen Mann Brewin in February 2000, Mr. Hartley assumed responsibility as Acting Speaker until being elected to the post one month later.

Mr. Hartley has participated in a number of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association events, including the international conferences in the Bahamas (1992) and New Zealand (1998). He has also attended Canadian Regional Conferences in Toronto (1998) and Quebec City (1999) as well as the Canadian Regional Seminar in Fredericton (1996).

New Speaker in Prince Edward Island

The new Speaker of the PEI Legislative Assembly, Mildred (Rodgerson) Dover, was born and raised in Fanning Brook, Prince Edward Island. She received her early education in the one room school in Fanning Brook and went on to further her education at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, PEI, graduating with Honours Standing in June 1958.

Her teaching career began in 1958 at Marshfield School, Marshfield, PEI, where she taught all subjects from Grades 1 to 10, and served as Principal from 1961-62. From there, she held various teaching positions at West Royalty School, Queen Charlotte Junior High School, Charlottetown Rural High School, and Holland College. In June 1993, Ms. Dover retired from teaching after 35 years with Unit 3 area schools.

Ms. Dover served on the Board of Governors of the PEI Teachers Federation and as a member of the PEI Department of Education Senior High English Committee. During her years at Charlottetown Rural High School, she served as department head for English teachers and staff advisor to student council and other various school committees, as well as organizing and supervising student exchange trips.

In 1993, Ms. Dover entered provincial politics. She ran again as a candidate in the November 1996 Provincial Election and was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly and appointed Minister of Health and Social Services. Ms. Dover was elected Speaker of the House on May 11, 2000.

Meeting of the Canadian Regional Council of CPA

The Executive of the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its annual meeting in Ottawa on Saturday June 3, 2000. The meeting was chaired by Speaker Mildred Dover of Prince Edward Island and Speakers from most provincial and territorial legislatures were in attendance. Also participating was the federal regional representative Bob Speller, MP and the Chair of the federal Branch Sarmite Bulte, MP and Gilbert Parent, Speaker of the House of Commons.

Aside from adopting the budget for 2000-2001, the Council considered arrangements for the 2004 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held in Canada. It was agreed that the conference, which attracts more than 600 delegates from around the world would be held in Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto in September 2004.

The Council also approved a number of revisions to the Rules governing the Canadian Region many of which clarified practices and procedures that had developed over the years but had never been formally adopted by the Council. A number of future activities were also finalized including Regional Conferences in Prince Edward Island (2000), Alberta (2001) and New Brunswick (2002), Regional Seminars in Nova Scotia (2000), Saskatchewan (2001) and Quebec (2002); Presiding Officers Conferences in New Brunswick (2001) and Newfoundland (2002).

Ms. Bulte was elected as regional representative to CPA and replaces Mr. Speller whose three-year term has expired.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 23 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03