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C P A - Alberta
Branch 1999 Annual Report
16th Canadian Presiding Officers'
The Honourable Ken Kowalski, Speaker
Biennial Conference of Australasian
Council of Public Accounts
Mr. Shiraz Shariff, MLA
Delegate's Report (edited for length)
Conference attendees included Australasian Council of Public Accounts (ACPAC) delegates and Auditors General of the Australian states, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and Papua New Guinea. International observers representing Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom also attended.
My impression of the conference was very positive. Tremendous learning occurred from sharing experiences. In particular, this forum provided an excellent opportunity to work with Auditors General identifying areas of improvement. I highly recommend that Alberta continue to participate in such conferences.
- Shiraz Shariff
de la Francophonie Régional Amérique
Mr. Paul Langevin, MLA
Delegate's Report (edited for length)
I found the meetings to be very informative and a good opportunity to discuss matters of interest with other participants. The purpose of these missions is to make Francophone and Anglophone parliamentarians from American parliaments aware of the existence of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) as well as its goals and achievements.
In having a mission at Lafayette and Baton Rouge, the group wanted to portray the interest and the solidarity that the American region has with the Louisiana branch, to reinforce our ties with the branch, and to promote its participation within the APF and French-speaking countries. The group also wanted to familiarize and promote the APF to parliamentary Francophones, Francophiles, and Anglophones from Louisiana, expand the range of the American region beyond its parliamentary scope, and strengthen the links between Francophone communities in Louisiana in order to promote the French language and culture in America.
The parliamentarians were also able to share thoughts and ideas with other members of the Louisiana community, and after the conference we met with Louisiana parliamentarians and assisted with parliamentary committee work.
- Paul Langevin
Pacific Northwest Economic
Region (PNWER) Meeting
Mr. David Coutts, MLA
Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF)
Mr. Paul Langevin, MLA, President of the
Delegates' Reports (edited for length)
This was my first opportunity to witness international debate, and I found it quite interesting. The APF international membership held a plenary session prior to the APF Régional Amérique Conference. As an observer I attended the political session. APF membership fees, problems concerning delinquent membership fees, and requests for APF delegations to assist and participate in democratic reform in some African countries were discussed and debated.
As a member of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie Région Amérique our Alberta delegation participated in discussions and debate regarding the use of technology in the roles of parliamentarians and the expansion of French language services in all provinces within Canada.
All in all, both conferences were very informative and interesting.
- Denis Ducharme
Delegations from 30 countries attended this conference, and it was very interesting to meet so many new people. Since my name is Wayne Cao on the list of delegates representing Canada, other delegates asked if I was of Japanese, Chinese, or Korean roots. I joked in French that I was of native North American Indian roots. But when talking to Vietnam delegates, to their surprise I quickly switched to the Vietnamese language, telling them that I was born in Vietnam and that in 1954 our family clan avoided the Communists from North Vietnam and moved from South Vietnam for the same reason at the end of the Vietnam war.
On the resolution to use the information highway to connect parliaments around the world, I expressed my support and encouraged its usage. I also voiced that there are countries where the governments have a monopoly on the telecom system and do not trust free flow of information, internally and externally.
During the social part of the conference we were well treated with receptions by Canadian ministers, the Speaker of the House, the Speaker of the Senate, and ambassadors of different nations.
It was very educational for me to learn about the problems of other nations and to meet with people from many places. I promoted the Alberta economic climate to other delegates by pointing out our Alberta initiatives.
- Wayne Cao
25th Plenary Session
This was the first APF plenary session held in Canada since Alberta became a member of the organization in 1998. Alberta delegates attending the conference gained much insight into events occurring in a number of countries that have French as their spoken language. Over 175 representatives from 35 Francophone countries and provinces from Europe, Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, and Canada were in attendance.
Topics of discussion included the Moncton summit to be held in September and its perspective on youth. The election of the new executive was announced with Nicholas Amougou Noma, Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Cameroon, becoming President of the APF and Jean Pierre Charbonneau, Speaker of the National Assembly of Quebec, appointed first vice-president. The Parliamentary Women of Francophonie discussed the difficulties encountered by women attempting to penetrate the political sphere in their jurisdictions.
XVI Ordinary Session
The opening session began with Dr. Bernard Patry, MP and president of the Canadian section, offering words of welcome to the 60 delegates. A business session entitled Is Our Youth Healthy? heard presentations from Senator Losier-Cool and Jean-François Simard, while the theme for the afternoon session was The Adaptation of the Inforoute to Francophonie and its Utility to Parliamentarians in America.
The two guest experts, Suzanne Richer, director general, International Information Bank on Francophone States and Pierre C. Belangr, news director, French Radio, Radio-Canada, participated in an interesting exchange with delegates on the use of the Internet by elected officials and members of the public. Delegates also informed their colleagues of the level of services in their respective jurisdictions.
The opportunity to meet new friends, renew acquaintances, and enjoy a healthy exchange of information with delegates of similar backgrounds while discovering an interesting number of differences will be of benefit to all Members of the Legislative Assembly who were fortunate enough to attend this worthwhile conference.
- Paul Langevin
Partnership of Parliaments