New Speaker in Québec
On April 5, 2011, Jacques Chagnon was elected Speaker of the Québec National Assembly replacing Yvon Vallières who resigned.
M. Chagnon was first elected as to the National Assembly for the riding of Saint-Louis in 1985 and re-elected in 1989, 1994 (in the new riding of Westmount–Saint-Louis), 1998, 2003 and 2007.
A native of Montreal he has a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Concordia University, and pursued graduate studies in political science and law at the Université de Montréal. He was Executive Director of the Québec federation of Catholic school boards from 1982 to 1985.
He has held a number of parliamentary positions including: Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister for Administration and the Public Service and Chair of the Conseil du trésor from 1986 to 1994. He was Minister of Education and Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) in 1994. From 1996-2003 he chaired the Official Opposition Party Caucus and served as Chair of the Committee on Public Administration from 1997 to 1998.
He was Minister of Public Security from 2003 to 2005. He was Second Vice-President of the National Assembly from 2007 until his election as Speaker.
New Clerk in Nova Scotia
On January 11, 2011, Neil Ferguson, was named Chief Clerk of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. He had been acting in that role since Rod MacArthur’s departure in August 2010.
Mr. Ferguson graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1986. After several years in private practice he joined the Nova Scotia public service where he worked in the Department of Justice. He served as Legislative Counsel and in April 2002 was named Assistant Clerk of the House of Assembly.
He is co-author with Bruce E. Davidson of Style and Procedures Manual – Drafting Regulations & Reports and Recommendations in Nova Scotia published by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice.
Regional Conference in PEI
In 2011 Prince Edward Island is celebrating 160 years of Responsible Government and the PEI Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association will host the 49th Canadian Regional Conference, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and the Canadian Regional Council Meeting.
The official arrival date for the CWP will be Wednesday July 13 with a reception for CWP delegates that evening. The CWP will meet on July 14 and the Regional Conference will take place from July 14-19.
In addition to the business sessions a few optional tours will be available for the one hundred or so expected parliamentary delegates and observers.
CPA Executive Meeting in Whitehorse
From February 23rd to 28th, the Yukon Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association hosted the CPA Executive Committee’s mid-year meeting. Preceding the meeting was a one-day meeting, also in Whitehorse, of the working party – a special parliamentary group considering ways to strengthen the CPA’s organizational structure and practices.