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Will Stos is Editor of the Canadian Parliamentary Review.
On October 1, 2019, a general election in the Northwest Territories ushered in a profound change to the make-up of its Legislative Assembly. Prior to the election, just two of the territory’s 18 MLAs were women. After a determined campaign to encourage more women to become involved in territorial politics, nine women were elected along with 10 men in the newly reconfigured 19-member assembly. NWT had gone from having the lowest proportion of women parliamentarians in an assembly to the highest and virtually achieving gender parity. A 2021 by-election has brought women MLAs to a majority position in the assembly. In this article, the author recounts the events leading up to this historic moment.
The Northwest Territories has been called a trailblazer in terms of diversity and representation. Since responsible government returned in 1983, a majority of its MLAs and premiers have been Indigenous. Nellie Cournoyea became the Canada’s first Indigenous woman premier and only the second woman premier in the country in 1991.
A selection of recent publications relating to parliamentary studies prepared with the assistance of the Library of Parliament (February 2021 – July 2021).
Daly, Paul. “A critical analysis of the Case of Prorogations.” Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law 7 (1): 256-92, 2021.
On September 9, Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly elected Allan Rumbolt as its new Speaker. Speaker Rumbolt, who had been previously served as Deputy Speaker, replaced Paul Quassa. Mr. Quassa resigned as Speaker and MLA for Aggu on August 13.
First elected as MLA for Hudson Bay in 2008, Speaker Rumbolt won re-election in 2013 and 2017. In addition to his time as Deputy Speaker, he served as the co-chair of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Government Estimates and Operations and as a member of the Management and Services Board.
Christopher Yurris is enrolled in a Master program in Political Science at McGill University. He worked as a summer student at the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 2021.
This article highlights some of the ongoing work on legislative prayer being conducted by the research team of the BC Humanist Association (BCHA). Since 1984, the BCHA has provided a community and a voice for Humanists, atheists, agnostics and the non-religious in BC. Humanism is a worldview that promotes human dignity without belief in a higher power. Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the Research Coordinator for the BCHA, and has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge. Ian Bushfield is the Executive Director of the BCHA. Dr. Katie Marshall is a member of the board of the BCHA and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia. Ranil Prasad and Noah Laurence were summer researchers with the BCHA, and their positions were supported in part by the Canada Summer Jobs Program.Continue reading “Thoughts on Prayers: An Analysis of Prayers in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, 2003-2019”
Forrest Pass is a curator with the Exhibitions and Online Content Division at Library and Archives Canada. Between 2009 and 2013, he was Saguenay Herald at the Canadian Heraldic Authority and has researched and written extensively about Canada’s symbolic heritage.
A century ago this autumn, Canada adopted a new coat of arms. In this article the author recounts the events that prompted discussions for a new design and notes how Parliament and parliamentarians affected the selection in unexpected ways.
Scott Tannas was the person elected during Alberta’s 2012 Senate nominee elections. He was appointed to the Upper Chamber as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013. On November 4, 2019, he joined the Canadian Senators Group and has served as its interim leader since that time.
Following the introduction of a new application process for the Senate which introduced a large number of non-partisan appointees to the Red Chamber, a group of Independent Senators formed a caucus called the Independent Senators Group (ISG) in 2016. Later joined by Senators who had previously been a part of either the Liberal or Conservative caucuses, the ISG soon grew so large that other caucuses of independent Senators formed, including the Canadian Senators Group (CSG) and Progressive Senate Group (PSG). In this article, the author explains how this process unfolded and why he believes the new independent caucuses in the upper chamber are fundamental for the Senate to exercise unwhipped, unvarnished, and unimpeded sober second thought.
“Horner Family Political Dynasty to End; Former Finance Minister who comes from a Long Line of Elected Conservatives Announces that He Will Give up His Seat on Jan. 31,” declared a Globe and Mail headline on January 23, 2015. It is not known how or even if the Horner political clan reacted to the headline. What is clear is that the Toronto-based newspaper had under-estimated the longevity of one of Western Canada’s pre-eminent political families. On April 16, 2019, Nate Horner was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Drumheller-Stettler, and the long-standing political dynasty based in the Prairies continues.
As with many Prairie families, the Horners started out elsewhere, with the family first settling in Quebec in the 1800s, having emigrated from Ireland. Ralph Horner, one of the sons of the immigrant family, moved to Saskatchewan in the early 1900s, to establish a farm there. He soon entered political life, running, unsuccessfully, for the provincial Assembly on two occasions before being appointed to the Senate in 1933, where he served until 1964.