Seminar: Members and Their Constituency

Seminar: Members and Their Constituency

Every Member of Parliament represents a constituency. Yet the amount of attention paid to the Member-constituency relationship by scholars is quite small compared to its importance in our democratic system. Members must spend time building connections to their constituencies, understanding concerns, and mediating these tensions within a party caucus if party policy conflicts with what an MP is hearing locally. Additional responsibilities such as being in cabinet or having a constituency far from Ottawa where travel is difficult can create other challenges. The Canadian Study of Parliament Group organized a seminar on March 16, 2018 which brought parliamentarians, academics, parliamentary staff and journalists together to explore ideas of constituency representation and engagement. This article summarizes the seminar’s sessions and provides some insight into how these various groups of stakeholders think about the nature of constituencies.

Connecting with Constituents: Observations on how MPs engage at home

CPA Activities

CPA Activities

New Nunavut Speaker

On November 17, Tununiq MLA Joe Enook was acclaimed as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. “Lets get to work,” Mr. Enook said, after assuming his duty as chair of the forum where the territory’s premier and cabinet were also selected. He formally took the Speaker’s chair on November 21 at the beginning of the first sitting of the 5th Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.

Formerly the Chair of the Baffin Divisional Board of Education, Vice-President of Nunavut Operations for the Nunasi Corporation, and Executive Assistant to the President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Mr. Enook has also held positions in the travel and tourism industry.

CPA Activities

CPA Activities

New British Columbia Speaker

On June 22, Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson was acclaimed as the new Speaker of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly, replacing Linda Reid.

A former executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, he also spent time as general manager of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association and the BC Milk Producers Association, and was director of the Kelowna Museum, the Okanagan Innovation Fund and the BC Bioenergy Network.

CPA Activities Vol 40 No 1

CPA Activities

New Yukon Speaker

On January 12, 2017, the 34th Yukon Legislative Assembly convened for the first time since the November 7, 2016 general election. The first order of business on the one-day Special Sitting was the election of a Speaker. On motion of Premier Sandy Silver, seconded by Leader of the Official Opposition Stacey Hassard and Third Party House Leader Kate White, the Assembly elected Nils Clarke, the Member for Riverdale North, as its Speaker. Mr. Clarke was the sole nominee for the role.

The Premier had announced his intention to nominate Mr. Clarke on December 3, 2016 at the swearing-in ceremony for Cabinet.

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene Vol 39 No 2

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

New Manitoba Speaker

On May 16, Manitoba’s MLAs elected Myrna Driedger as the new Speaker of the Assembly. Driedger succeeds former Speaker Daryl Reid who opted not to run in the most recent provincial election.

“I wish to thank the members for the high honour the House has conferred on me,” she said to the Assembly upon her election. “I leave the floor of this House to take the Speaker’s Chair. I leave behind all political and partisan feelings, and I intend to carry out the important duties of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly with impartiality and to the best of my ability.”

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene Vol 38 No 4

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

New Senate Speaker

On December 3, Governor General appointed George Furey as Speaker of the Senate, replacing Conservative Senator Leo Housakos.

Furey, who sits as an independent Senate Liberal, is a lawyer from St. John’s who was appointed to the Senate in 1999 to represent Newfoundland and Labrador on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene Vol 38 No 3

CPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

53rd Canadian Regional Conference

More than 100 delegates were welcomed to Victoria by host jurisdiction British Columbia for the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canadian Regional Conference from July 19-25, 2015. The conference theme focused on parliamentary security.