There are many examples of family members sitting in parliaments at the same time. However, the first father-daughter team to sit together in a legislative assembly did not happen in Canada until 1996. That is when Sue Edelman was elected to the 29th Yukon Legislative Assembly, joining her re-elected father, Ivan John “Jack” Cable.
Mr. Cable moved to the North in 1970 after obtaining degrees in Chemical Engineering, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Laws in Ontario. He practiced law in Whitehorse for 21 years, and went on to serve as President of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, President of the Yukon Energy Corporation and Director of the Northern Canada Power Commission. He is also a founding member of the Recycle Organics Together Society and the Boreal Alternate Energy Centre. Mr. Cable’s entry into electoral politics came in 1992, when he successfully won the riding of Riverdale in East Whitehorse to take his seat in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.
Continue reading “Yukon’s Cable-Edelman Family”
In just one general election the Northwest Territories went from having the least representation by women in its Assembly to the most in the country. Moreover, women MLAs were elected to fill four of six cabinet positions and to be the premier. In this article, the author suggests these dramatic changes are a response, in part, to a significant discussion and debate members of the previous legislative assembly undertook to improve women’s participation and representation in the territory. She reviews the proposal for temporary special measures as a way to build representation, outlines other recommendations MLAs made to encourage more women to participate in territorial politics, and explains why this environment ultimately led many more women to put their name son the ballot in 2019.
Julie Green, MLA Continue reading “Women Achieve Parity in NWT Legislative Assembly Without Guaranteed Seats”
Following a Legislative Press Gallery protest – about whether clothing that revealed bare arms was appropriate work attire in British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly – BC’s Speaker Darryl Plecas asked the Acting Clerk KateRyan-Lloyd to explore and update the institution’s largely unwritten dress guidelines. In this article, the author recounts the “Right To Bare Arms” drama, outlines the steps the Acting Clerk took to create new guidelines, and explains what kind of input her colleagues offered during the process. She concludes that revisiting the Assembly’s dress code and guidelines – especially in light of an increasingly diverse workplace and contemporary ideas about gender identity – was a valuable endeavour and encourages other parliamentarians to consider similar issues if they engage in a similar process.
Janet Routledge, MLA Continue reading “The “Right To Bare Arms” Drama: Dress Guidelines in British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly”
Maintaining order is an important part of the Speaker’s responsibility in parliament. In order to protect speech within a chamber, Speakers have long referred to written and unwritten rules and precedents which have limited non-verbal expression to communicate a message – namely props, decorations, displays, exhibits, and certain clothing. However, Speakers in different jurisdictions have opted to make some allowances provided these items do not fundamentally alter the desired decorum. In this article, the author traces the history of such rulings, beginning in Westminster, before surveying Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial parliaments.He concludes by highlighting practices in Australia and New Zealand. The author would like to thank theAssociation of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada for conducting a survey of Canadian jurisdictions for this paper. He is also grateful for the research assistance provided by the Ontario Legislative Library.
Continue reading “Take Off Those Olympic Mittens, but the Goldfish Bowl is in Order: Props, Exhibits and Displays in Parliaments”
Political representation of minority groups is an important aspect of modern societies. Are our parliaments generally reflective of the people they serve? In this article, the authors use the results of two recent Canadian provincial elections (Ontario, 2018 and British Columbia, 2017) to explore whether majority and minority groups are proportionally represented in legislatures and to probe some explanations as to why these groups may be over-represented or under-represented. They address notions of residential concentration and the assumption ofethnic affinity to partially explain where ethnoracial minority candidates are likely to be elected. In contrast topast work which has found a general under-representation of minority groups, this analysis finds some nuance.Some racialized groups, notably Chinese Canadians, appear to be proportionally more under-represented than others. The authors explore a range of arguments to explain this finding. In conclusion, the authors highlight two key findings from this research. First, they suggest it is difficult to make the case that being part of a racialized group has a negative impact on political representation at the provincial level – at least currently in two provinces with large racialized populations – without introducing nuance that subdivides ethnoracial minority groups. The second finding is conceptual: ethnic affinity cannot solely predict voting behaviour. The authors contend that the concept must be broadened to include centripetal ethnic affinity and transversal ethnic affinity.
Pascasie Minani Passy and Abdoulaye Gueye Continue reading “Ethnoracial Identities and Political Representation in Ontario and British Columbia”
Delegated legislation involves Parliament lending its legislative powers to the executive branch of government, such as to the cabinet or an individual minister. As the ultimate source of legislative power, Parliament has a special responsibility to keep an eye on executive lawmaking. The Australian federal scrutiny committee – formerly called the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, and now rebadged as the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation – recently carried out an inquiry to consider how it could improve its scrutiny process. In 2019 it published a unanimous report that was endorsed by the Australian Senate in November when it amended its Standing Orders in line with the committee’s proposed changes. This article provides an overview of the Australian scrutiny committee and its inquiry. It then considers the committee’s report and recommendations, which present an opportunity to consider changes to the parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation
in other jurisdictions such as Canada.
Lorne Neudorf Continue reading “Strengthening the Parliamentary Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation: Lessons From Australia”
The Canadian Study of Parliament Group’s annual conference explored the important, intricate and evolving relationship between Parliament and the Courts. Increasingly, Courts turn to the parliamentary record to inform
their decisions, while parliamentarians cite judicial pronouncements as the reason for action or inaction. Four panels were organized to examine when and how Parliament seeks to inform the Courts, how the Courts understand
Parliament, the role each institution plays within Canada’s constitutional architecture, and the many facets of this relationship – from reference powers to the notwithstanding clause.
Will Stos Continue reading “CSPG Conference – Parliament and the Courts”
In their legislative role, parliamentarians propose and amend laws, and review regulations. This seminar discussed the practical realities of law-making within the parliamentary context and provided an overview of shifts in Parliament’s legislative practices as a result of developments that have seen, among other things, an increase in Senate-initiated legislation and amendments, and the increased consideration of messages in the House of Commons. Whether parliamentarians are experienced
lawyers or persons with no legal background, they all participate in the legislative process; this seminar aimed to analyze how they go about that task and what it means for our democracy.
Will Stos Continue reading “CSPG Seminar: The Legislative Role of Parliamentarians”