Sean McQuaid is a research officer at the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly.Continue reading “Prince Edward Island’s Famous Five”
John Bushell, the owner of the first printing press in what was to become Canada, is well remembered for publishing the first newspaper in the land. However, he also has the distinction of publishing what is believed to be the first bilingual document in the country’s history. In this article, the author explains the story behind this unique and historic government document.Continue reading “Start the presses! The first bilingual published document in Canada”
Emma Davies is a Web Editor with Information Services at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.Continue reading “Parliamentary digital releases in the time of COVID-19”
FitzGibbon and Winder: Bully Boys and Officers of Parliament
Carrie Hull is manager of legislative research at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.Continue reading “FitzGibbon and Winder: Bully Boys and Officers of Parliament”
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.
One Building, Shared Jurisdiction: Prince Edward Island’s Province House
Will Stos is the Editor of the Canadian Parliamentary Review.
As the first woman in the Commonwealth to serve as a Speaker of an assembly, Nancy Hodges made an enormous contribution to the representation of women in politics. However, it was only one chapter in a long political and professional career in which she served as a tireless advocate for and champion of women’s rights.
The appointment of Sarah Annie “Nancy” Hodges as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in 1950 was a pivotal step for women in politics; Hodges became the first woman in the Commonwealth to hold the Speakership. During her time as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and of the Senate of Canada, Hodges was a trailblazer for the representation of women in politics and a champion of women’s rights.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some significant changes to how parliaments in Canada, and around the world, operate – particularly as they employ new technologies to increase parliamentarians’ ability to work and meet virtually. In the face of a similar pandemic about 100 years ago, these technologies didn’t exist or were in their infancy. In this article, the author explores how Canada’s provincial legislatures and federal parliament responded to the 1918-1919 Influenza and finds that many simply didn’t meet during the pandemic’s peak (or bizarrely held buffets immediately afterwards).
For all the talk of “unprecedented times,” it can sometimes be easy to forget that Canada has been through pandemics before. The 1918-19 Influenza pandemic (also known as the Spanish flu outbreak – a misnomer as the illness did not originate in Spain) devastated Canada – claiming around 50,000 Canadian lives and infecting thousands more, around 1 in 4 Canadians.1 The onset of this highly contagious and deadly disease forced the closure of public spaces across the country – including bars, schools, and other non-essential public spaces.2 Mask mandates were enacted and stay-at-home orders were imposed on some regions, much like today.3 With limited access to telephones – and Zoom decades away – what changes did provincial and territorial legislatures and the federal Parliament adopt in order to continue working through these difficult times?