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PositionCPA Activities

The 58th Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association--Canadian Regional Conference

From July 16 to 22, 2022, the 58th Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canadian Regional conference drew more than 80 delegates and 36 other guests to Charlottetown.

Following two years of virtual meetings due to the ongoing COV1D-19 pandemic, host Prince Edward Island provided a welcome return to in-person gatherings with an enjoyable programme of business sessions and other activities.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP)

Following a day of business meetings for steering committee members, on July 18 CWP Canadian Regional Chair Lisa Thompson welcomed attendees to the first business session. The session covered a review of the organization's previous activities, approvals for its 2022-2023 budget and strategic plan, and a discussion about strengthening funding.

In a session chaired by Nova Scotia ML A Susan LeBlanc titled "Women in Politics--Are We There Yet?", Manitoba Speaker Myrna Driedger surveyed the changes in our politics and sense of community as the world is gripped by the pandemic. Speaker Driedger, who is currently International President of the CWP, noted that women parliamentarians are looked upon to lead by example, energize people to be involved and inform policy. They must also be mindful of forging a path for others to follow so more women can build capacity and experience that will enable them to realize they too can make a difference at any level of government. Her presentation examined what the future could look like and what doors need to be opened to get there.

Sweta Daboo, executive director of the PEI Coalition for Women in Government, examined how COVID-19 changed the workplace for many women and what virtual meetings mean for networking opportunities. The session, chaired by Quebec MP Marie-Helene Gaudreau, sought to discuss how balance can be achieved in the new hybrid reality where in-person and virtual meetings co-exist.

A final session on "Improving Future Outcomes," saw Sheryl MacAuley, chief executive officer of Startup Zone, ask attendees what they imagined life would be like for women in politics five years into the future. Subgroups then discussed the question and presented their answers.

CPA Canadian Regional Conference

On the evening of July 18, Prince Edward Island's Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry and Speaker Colin LaVie officially welcomed attendees to the conference.

The following morning, Speaker LaVie chaired the first two business sessions where delegations from the CPA's Canadian branches provided jurisdictional updates.

Alberta's Deputy Speaker Angela Pitt chaired a panel on "Private Members' bills: the PEI perspective," featuring MLAs Cory Deagle and Lynne Lund, and PEI's Deputy Speaker Hal Perry.

The final session of the day, chaired by Quebec Senator Tony Loffreda, saw Quebec Speaker Francois Paradis present on how Quebec's Citizens' Roundtable has been used to promote innovation in a modern legislature.

On July 20, in a session chaired by New Brunswick Speaker Bill Oliver, British Columbia Speaker Raj Chouhan spoke about his Assembly's new governance framework (see...

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