Senator Raoul Dandurand: Champion of an Independent Senate

Article 12 / 12 , Vol 40 No 4 (Winter)

Senator Raoul Dandurand: Champion of an Independent Senate

As the number of independent, non-partisan senators has grown, Canadian parliamentary observers have been increasingly mentioning the name Raoul Dandurand in conversations. The author of this article suggests the legacy of Senator Dandurand, who long ago advocated for an independent Senate that was more of a dispassionate reviewing body than a replica of the partisan House of Commons, is particularly relevant to the Senate’s contemporary discussions and debates on its procedures and practices.

After Mackenzie King’s Liberals formed government following the 1921 election, the new Government Leader in the Senate was wary of changing his seat in the chamber. To Raoul Dandurand, the electoral reconfiguration of the House of Commons and the formation of a new government had little bearing on the work of the Senate. “I disliked the idea of crossing the floor,” he said in his first speech as Government Leader. “What did that action purport? Its meaning was there were in this Chamber victors and vanquished.”1 This made little sense for a legislative chamber that he understood to be more of a dispassionate reviewing body than a replication of the partisan politics of the House of Commons.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Trailblazer: Canada’s First Female Clerk

Article 14 / 14 , Vol 40 No 3 (Autumn)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Trailblazer: Canada’s First Female Clerk

Newfoundland and Labrador was the last province to enter Confederation, but it boasts an important Canadian first – Bettie Duff, who served as Clerk of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1977-1991 was the first woman to hold this position in the country. In this special edition of the Canadian Parliamentary Review celebrating 100 years of Canadian women parliamentarians, it is fitting that we are also able to honour one of the trailblazing women working within parliamentary institutions that support parliamentarians’ ability to fulfill democratic responsibilities.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Shining a Light on Ontario’s Parliamentarians – Chandeliers in the Legislative Chamber

Article 12 / 12 , Vol 40 No 2 (Summer)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Shining a Light on Ontario’s Parliamentarians – Chandeliers in the Legislative Chamber

Look up! Look way up in Ontario’s legislative chamber and you’ll be able to marvel at some magnificent chandeliers dating back to the 1890s. Tracing changes from gasoline to electricity, to more modern considerations such as broadcast requirements and energy efficient LED bulbs, the author shines a light on this interesting aspect of parliamentary history.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: The Unusual Case of the Nunavut Carving Vol 40 No 1

Article 11 / 11 , Vol 40 No. 1 (Spring)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: The Unusual Case of the Nunavut Carving

To honour Canada’s development and prevent rewriting of history, by tradition stone carvings or sculptures are never removed from the country’s Parliament buildings once placed there. There is a single known exception – a Canadian coat of arms was removed to make room for representation of the country’s newest territory.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Railway Travel, Tea Stains and Legislative History Vol 39 No 4

Article 13 / 13 , Vol 39 No 4 (Winter)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Railway Travel, Tea Stains and Legislative History

A strange piece of material from an historic trip through central and southern Alberta by members of the province’s first legislature, staff and others has found its way back to the legislature more than 100 years after it was produced – antique tea stains still intact.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Ontario’s Speaker’s Chair Vol 39 No 3

Article 11 / 11 , Vol 39 No. 3 (Autumn)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Ontario’s Speaker’s Chair Vol 39 No 3

The focal point of Ontario Legislative Chamber, the Speaker’s Chair is a symbol of authority that also has a very practical function for its occupants.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past Vol 39 No 2

Article 10 / 10 , Vol 39 No. 2 (Summer)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past

In keeping with the motto Je me souviens, the Parliament Building of Québec is like an open book, presenting us with a gallery of illustrious historical figures.

The Parliament Building is a fitting tribute to the women and men who shaped the history of Québec. Engraved on the wainscotting inside the building are the names of 84 historical figures.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past Paul Martin Sr.: ‘A Good House of Commons Man’ Vol 39 No 1

Article 12 / 12 , Vol 39 No.1 (Spring)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past Paul Martin Sr.: ‘A Good House of Commons Man’ Vol 39 No 1

Most remembered today for his leadership ambitions and signature programs from ministries he led, Martin was widely regarded as a strong parliamentarian and a ‘good House of Commons man’ in both government and opposition.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Under the Crimson Cloth: The Story of Canada’s Confederation Table Vol 38 No 4

Article 13 / 13 , Vol 38 No.4 (Winter)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: Under the Crimson Cloth: The Story of Canada’s Confederation Table

Canada’s historic Confederation Table has returned to the province of Quebec for the first time in more than 100 years for a special exhibit – but its home is now Saskatchewan.

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: The Joe Howe Door and Responsible Government Vol 38 No 3

Article 10 / 10 , Vol 38 No 3 (Autumn)

Sketches of Parliament and Parliamentarians Past: The Joe Howe Door and Responsible Government

This article examines how the proceedings of Nova Scotia’s Legislative Council became open to the public and provides answers to a well-known legend in Province House.