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In this issue we feature two articles on the remuneration of federal and provincial parliamentarians. It is hardly surprising that members in one jurisdiction are interested in salaries elsewhere or that persons outside parliament are anxious to know, for whatever reason, the salaries of their elected representatives. The study by John McDonough, is an update of similar ones which appeared in our March 1979 and March 1980 issues. These have been among the most requested articles published in the Canadian Parliamentary Review.

The article by Randall Chan represents a new departure into the highly complicated realm of pensions. The purpose of his article is not to demonstrate that one legislature has a better pension plan than another. Conditions of work vary so much that, as with salaries, what is appropriate in one province may be unsuitable for another. Nevertheless we hope our parliamentary readers will find these comparisons useful, particularly when new proposals to amend their pension plans come before them.

An important development for those interested in committees in Canada was the creation, a few years ago, of the Standing Committee on Crown Corporations in British Columbia. In this issue the second chairman of the Committee, Jack Kempf, outlines the activities of this committee to date.

The expulsion of a duly elected legislator by his fellow members is a rare but extremely serious matter. The article by Gordon Mackintosh deals with a recent case in Manitoba., In ordinary times we tend to forget that parliamentary procedure is an attempt to codify what successive generations have found to be just. A parliamentary crisis reminds us how hard it really is to discover this justice. Pity the presiding officers when the path to proper procedure is strewn (as it often is) with dubious precedents, federal-provincial tensions, ideological differences, personal conflicts and public opinion.

A less exciting procedural matter is dealt with by Gary O'Brien in his article on the Senate Order Paper. Order Papers are notoriously dull documents but as Robert Stanfield wrote in our last issue: "you cannot really function effectively as a member of the legislature unless you understand how things are done." Understanding an Order Paper is a necessary part of the education of every parliamentarian and staffer.

Finally we hope former Speaker James Jerome's reflections on the introduction of television into the House of Commons will be of as much interest to our readers as it was to delegates at the 1981 Commonwealth Speakers' Conference where he was one of the special guests. We are grateful to Mr. Jerome for permission to publish extracts of his remarks.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 4 no 4

Last Updated: 2020-09-14