The third and current Mace of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia made its first official appearance in the Chamber on February 17, 1954 for the opening of the second session of the 24th Parliament. Entirely handmade by Jefferies & Company, Victoria silversmiths, from native British Columbia silver, it is plated with 24 carat gold and weighs 11 pounds. The traditional design has a long shaft topped by a deep bowl surmounted by a representation of St. Edward’s Crown and the Royal Cypher. The bowl bears the coats of arms of Canada and British Columbia, and four embossed scenes depicting the province’s forestry, fishing, farming and mining industries, similar to those shown in murals painted on the ceiling of the Upper Rotunda of the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that politicians are people too and must deal with many types of personal issues while serving the public in a job with particular stresses on them and their families. Members’ assistance programs offer support to parliamentarians and their families and it would be a good practise for legislatures to routinely review them to ensure they are effective.
Parliamentarians don’t often speak about the personal costs that a political life can have, or what we can or should do about it. In all our legislatures, Members devote a lot of time and energy to our jobs as we desire to make positive changes and are passionate to make the world a better place for our people and their children and grandchildren.
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) – Canadian Region has been engaged in a number of outreach projects to foster interest among women in the political process, including campaign schools for women. The authors outline their participation in a recent Northwest Territories’ campaign school and note that despite differing styles of government (consensus versus party system) across Canada’s territories and northern areas of provinces, there are many similarities in the kinds of relationships parliamentarians create with constituents in largely rural northern communities.
As members of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians’ Canadian Region steering committee, we were delighted to take part in a recent campaign school for aspiring women parliamentarians in the Northwest Territories.
At some point in their career, all parliamentarians are new parliamentarians. They come from diverse walks of life and assume their role with different levels of familiarity with parliament and expectations about their new roles. In this roundtable discussion, the Canadian Parliamentary Review spoke with seven recently elected MLAs from Alberta and Prince Edward Island to ask about their initial impressions of parliamentary life and how they were able to learn about the many facets of their work.
CPR: How did you first become interested in running for office and what road led you to becoming a parliamentarian?
Building on an earlier study of Canadian parliamentarians who were part of the same nuclear families, the author explores grandfathers and grandchildren who served as parliamentarians.
In an earlier article, I presented a comparative study of Canadian parliamentarians who lived under the same roof (spouses, parents–children, brothers).1 In this study, I looked at grandfather–grandchild relationships in Parliament. When reporters ask Justin Trudeau how his father influenced his own political career, he tells them that they should not overlook the influence of his maternal grandfather, James Sinclair. Born in Scotland in 1908, Sinclair was a trained civil engineer. He served as a squadron leader in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, and he was elected as the Liberal Member for Vancouver North in 1940 and then for Coast-Capilano in 1949. From 1949 to 1952 he was the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, and then from 1952 to 1957 he served as the Minister of Fisheries. His political career ended nine months later with the second election of John D. Diefenbaker’s Conservative government. He died in 1984 at the age of 75.2
The purpose of this paper is to calculate what the results of the 2015 federal election in Canada might have been using a system of proportional representation based on the system in use for elections to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish model was recommended by the Law Commission of Canada in its March 2004 report1. This paper does not attempt to deal in any depth with the implications of a proportional representation system, such as the tendency for it to result in a minority government, or with the relative merits of the various possible systems for proportional representation. Those matters are canvassed more fully in the Law Commission report.
This article presents a brief history of the oldest written rules of the first “Canadian provinces” and introduces two unpublished manuscripts on the Rules of Quebec and Lower Canada.
From the fourteenth century until the early nineteenth century, parliamentary procedure in the House of Commons was more a matter of custom and practice rather than explicit written rules.2 It was not until 1810 that the Commons officially codified some of its procedures as Standing Orders.3
In 2006, Canadians were introduced to a new ad hoc parliamentary process to review Supreme Court candidates prior to their appointment. This article explores how the English-language news media framed this appointment and review process. The authors note the media emphasized conflict surrounding the process over its scrutiny of the candidates themselves and conclude that it remains an open question whether the process of parliamentary vetting actually provided a meaningful educative function for Canadians.
Ces constitutions qui nous ont façonnés : anthologie historique des lois constitutionnelles antérieures à 1867 Guy Laforest, Eugénie Brouillet, Alain-G. Gagnon et Yves Tanguay, Presses de l’Université Laval, Québec, 2014, 372 pp.
Guy Laforest Eugénie Brouillet, Alain-G. Gagnon and Yves Tanguay. The Constitutions that Shaped Us: A Historical Anthology of Pre-1867 Canadian Constitutions, McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal, 2015, 360 pp.
A selection of recent publications relating to parliamentary studies prepared with the assistance of the Library of Parliament (September 2015 – November 2015)
Andreychuk, Anita Raynel. “Codes of conduct: Developing an ethics and conflict of interest code.” Parliamentarian, (Issue 2, 2015): 112-15.