The history of the mace in Newfoundland and Labrador begins with the hand painted wooden mace. This is believed to be the original mace, given by the British authorities to the newly elected House of Assembly in 1833.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association – Canadian Branch is pleased to report on some of its recent activities and support of exciting initiatives. In this article, the author highlights CPA Canada’s support of Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote event and its own celebration with Commonwealth High Commissioners in honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Canada’s sesquicentennial is an important occasion for the country to reflect on its past with a view to strengthening its future. Canada has been a member of the Commonwealth family and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for a large part of its history. It is undeniable that membership in these two organizations has contributed to Canada’s prominent role on the world stage over the past 150 years.
Building on his work promoting collaboration and discussion among Canadian parliamentarians with disabilities, in this article the author highlights plans for an exploratory conference looking to establish a Commonwealth-wide network. The three-day conference is being planned for this summer in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In the Spring 2015 edition of the Canadian Parliamentary Review (Vol. 38, No. 1), I joined with colleagues from across Canada to provide personal perspectives on what it’s like to be a parliamentarian with a disability and the associated challenges, including running for a party’s nomination and championing local accessibility legislation.
Parliamentarians often express the desire to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of bills. For example, parliamentarians thought of asking for the Supreme Court’s opinion in the recent Bill C-14 on medical aid to die. In this article, the author analyzes six contexts of hypothetical referral of Bill C-14: pre-filing, simultaneous referral to filing, post-filing referral, post-adoption referral, adoption Conditional on removal and referral to provincial courts. The conclusion is that while legislators want a court decision on the constitutionality of a bill, complications arise because the executive controls the current referral powers. Therefore,
Drawing on Library and Archive’s collection, the Library of Parliament curated an exhibit that features six of the most significant documents in Canadian and parliamentary history. In this article, the author gives an overview of the contexts in which some of the words that shaped Canada were written and identifies some interesting details on the documents themselves.
To celebrate and commemorate the 225th anniversary of Quebec’s parliamentary institutions, the National Assembly launched an exhibit entitled “1792. La naissance d’un Parlement.” In this article, the author presents some highlights from the exhibit and explains why cartoons were such a central part of it.
On April 4, 2017, in Quebec’s Parliament Building, National Assembly President Jacques Chagnon officially launched the celebrations marking the 225th anniversary of Quebec’s parliamentary institutions. In his speech, he noted, “It’s not every day that we take the time to recall the extent to which the National Assembly, its authority, its areas of jurisdiction and all the powers it now holds are the result of events that played out here 225 years ago and helped shape democracy in Quebec.” [translation]
Working relationships can be quite challenging at the best of times. But when there is debate or disagreement over the nature of work roles and who answers to whom, this relationship has the potential to be especially tense. A recent seminar (March 31, 2017) organized by the Canadian Study of Parliament Group explored this dynamic by asking stakeholders and observers to come together to discuss the roles played by agents of parliament and the parliamentarians they may variously serve, guide, guard, investigate and answer to.
Constitutional Amendment in Canada, Emmett Macfarlane, ed., University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2016, 337 pp.
Canada has a very complex system of amending its formal, written Constitution. This collection of essays edited by Emmett Macfarlane is a welcome guide to its intricacies.
A selection of recent publications relating to parliamentary studies prepared with the assistance of the Library of Parliament (March 2017- May 2017)
Alford, Ryan Patrick. “Two cheers for a Cabinet Manual (and a note of caution).” Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law / Revue de droit parlementaire et politique 11 (1): 41-60, March / mars 2017.