Legislative Assembly Mace Legislative Assembly of Alberta


C P A - Alberta Branch 1999 Annual Report

16th Canadian Presiding Officers' Conference
Ottawa, Ontario, January 7 - 10, 1999


  1. Role of Parliaments and Parliamentarians in 21st Century Governance
  2. The Changing Demographics of Parliamentary Assemblies
  3. Ensuring Order and Decorum
  4. The Casting Vote
  5. Agreements to be Ratified by Legislatures: Case Study of the Nisga'a Treaty

Alberta Delegation

The Honourable Ken Kowalski, Speaker
Mr. Don Tannas, Deputy Speaker
Dr. W.J. David McNeil, Clerk

Biennial Conference of Australasian Council of Public Accounts
Perth, Australia, February 21 - 23, 1999


  1. Competitive Tendering and Contracting Out
  2. Commercial Confidentiality
  3. Corporate Law Economic Reform Legislation: Review of Accounting Standards Setting in Australia
  4. Public Accounts Committees: A Canadian Perspective
  5. Compliance Auditing and Reporting by Auditors General
  6. Year 2000 Problem: Millennium Bug
  7. The Funding and Administration of Community Service Obligations/Universal Service Obligations
  8. The Cost of Accountability: Getting the Balance Right
  9. Audit Legislation: Trends in Australia
  10. Proposal for an International Organization of Public Accounts Committees
  11. Constitution of the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees

Alberta Delegation

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

Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie Régional Amérique
Section Presidents and Regional Mission 1999
Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 27 - March 4, 1999

Alberta Delegation

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
Edmonton, Alberta, June 20 - 22, 1999


  1. Working groups on topics including recycling, tourism, private-sector initiatives, environment and agriculture, forest products, and transportation
  2. Canada/U.S. Border: Bridge or Wall?
  3. PNWER in the 21st Century

Alberta Delegation

Mr. David Coutts, MLA
Ms Karen Leibovici, MLA

International Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF)
American Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF)
25th Plenary Session, Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF)
XVI Ordinary Session, Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF)
Ottawa, Ontario, July 4 - 11, 1999

Alberta Delegation

Mr. Paul Langevin, MLA, President of the Alberta Section
Mr. Wayne Cao, MLA
Mr. Denis Ducharme, MLA
Ms Karen Leibovici, MLA
Mrs. Louise Kamuchik, Administrative Secretary to the Section

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
Germany, July 10 - 25, 1999

Alberta Delegation

The Honourable Ken Kowalski, Speaker
Mr. Rob Renner, MLA
Mr. Tom Thurber, MLA

Delegate's Report (edited for length)

I was pleased to have been invited to participate in the second half of a reciprocal parliamentary exchange between Canada and Germany. The Partnership of Parliaments is a longstanding program between the U.S. and Germany, and its success led to an expansion of the program to include Canadian legislators.

I was impressed with the obvious thought that was put into creating our itinerary. Beginning and ending in the cosmopolitan cities of Berlin and Hamburg, the group was exposed to as broad a spectrum as could be accommodated in the time available. The bulk of the time was spent in discussion with a mix of private-sector, public-sector, and academic representatives.

The delegation had an opportunity to understand and reflect upon the tremendous implications related to the unification of the former East Germany with West Germany. Focusing not only on growth and economic expansion, we also viewed and discussed the social and financial pressures posed by attempting to assimilate a region that in many ways had been in a time warp for 50 years.

Geographically Germany is about one-third the size of Alberta. With a total population almost three times that of Canada, one could come to the conclusion that we would have little in common, but issues related to government and politics seem to be almost universal.

Technology is shrinking our world daily, and we are rapidly moving to a worldwide economy. If society expects its elected leaders to make critical policy decisions, it is wise to provide them with a better understanding of the global political and economic environments. Organizations such as the Partnership of Parliaments provide a valuable tool in assisting politicians to gain such knowledge and insight.

- Rob Renner

National Conference of State Legislators
Indianapolis, Indiana, July 24 - 28, 1999


  1. The Legislative Institution
  2. Oversight and Performance Evaluation
  3. U.S. Foreign Relations
  4. Women Legislators: World Leaders Weaving the Global and Domestic Agenda
  5. International Fiscal Federalism and Devolution
  6. U.S./European Trade Relations: We Have No Bananas Today
  7. The Digital Economy, the Internet, and State Taxation
  8. Africa Roundtable Discussion

Alberta Delegation

Mrs. Judy Gordon, MLA
Mr. Hugh MacDonald, MLA

Delegates' Reports (edited for length)

I had the pleasure of representing the Legislative Assembly and the province of Alberta as a member of the international delegation at this conference.

Many interesting issues were on the conference agenda. I found the policy discussions very informative, particularly the programs on long-term care, medicare reform, growth management and healthy cities, global climate change, the genetic revolution and how it affects agriculture, privatizing public education, and demographics and its impact on health care.

My family also attended the conference, and the programs available to them were excellent.

- Hugh MacDonald

It was my first opportunity to attend such a large function stateside, and I was duly impressed with the calibre and variety of the business sessions.

I attended numerous sessions, including one on the impacts of gambling and several on health reform. As Americans, like Canadians, are getting older and more racially and ethnically diverse, it was felt that failing to address these changing health needs could result in far-reaching economic and social ramifications. I also participated in a roundtable session on Fiscal Federalism and Devolution, where I discussed the fiscal relationship between the federal and provincial governments in Canada.

Many issues facing American legislatures are the same ones we as lawmakers face in our own country and province. I have no doubt we can well learn from each other, and it can only prove to be beneficial to send delegates to future conferences like this one.

- Judy Gordon


The electronic copy of the CPA - Alberta Branch 1999 Annual Report is UNOFFICIAL
and is provided for information purposes only.

Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Copyright (c) 2000 Legislative Assembly of Alberta