Focus on gender equality in Parliaments and parliamentary strengthening at 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Canada Regional Conference in Ottawa

Over 60 Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the Canada Region have renewed their focus on gender equality in Parliaments and a commitment to parliamentary strengthening at the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canada Regional Conference, which has taken place in Ottawa, Canada from 22 to 27 July 2018. 2018 marks the centenary anniversary of women’s right to vote in the Canadian Federal elections.

Following an Indigenous Welcome to the CPA Canada Regional Conference, the regional conference was opened by Hon. George J. Furey, QC, Speaker of the Senate of Canada who said: “Canada has remained active as a founding member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. It was great to speak at the 56th Canadian Regional Conference of the CPA and to kick off our important discussions. I enjoyed spending time with Parliamentarians at this annual meeting which brings together delegates from provincial, territorial and federal legislatures across Canada to discuss issues of common interest.”

The CPA Canada Regional Conference host, 
Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP, Chair of the Canadian Federal Branch of the CPA said:“It was with great pleasure that the Canadian Federal Branch of the CPA hosted the Association’s 56th Canadian Regional Conference in Ottawa. We were pleased to welcome CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Lifaka to join us. This year’s sessions were particularly topical. The guest speakers engaged parliamentarians in thoughtful and meaningful discussions. The topics ranged from foreign interference in democratic process, women’s role as agents of change as well as the important role of the Inter Parliamentary associations in helping build better economic, cultural and diplomatic ties. We are privileged that the CPA provides a forum for debate to thrive in a respectful and non-partisan environment.”

The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon, addressed delegates at the opening of the CPA Canada Regional Conference and said that Parliamentarians must be part of the sustainable development agenda as they can play a vital role in its implementation and updated members on the work of the CPA Headquarters Secretariat. To read the CPA Chairperson's speech to the CPA Canada Regional Conference please click here.

The CPA Canada Regional Conference was attended 61 Commonwealth Parliamentarians from the federal, provincial and territorial legislatures of the region as well as sixteen Parliamentary Clerks and many special guests who attended workshop sessions on a wide range of topics including: Parliament and the #MeToo movement; Foreign Interference in the Democratic Process; Balancing Work and Family Time during the Parliamentary Schedule; Underrepresentation of women in Parliament; Inter-Parliamentary Relations; Balancing Public and Private Life in the Age of Social Media

The regional conference delegates also heard from a number of organisations including the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF); the Samara Centre for Democracy; Concordia University; the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS); Equal Voice; the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; and the Canada Institute. Hon. Bruce Stanton, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, addressed delegates at the closing of the regional conference.

Ahead of the CPA Canada Regional Conference, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Canada Region held a regional meeting and workshop sessions introduced by the CWP Canada Regional Chair, Hon. Laura Ross, MLA (Saskatchewan). During the CWP Canada Regional meetings, the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP together with Hon. Laura Ross, MLA launched the new CWP Canada Regional website at www.cwpcanada.ca.

At the conclusion of the 56th CPA Canada Regional Conference and as Canada marked the centenary of women’s suffrage in Canada’s federal elections, four Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) – the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP (Cameroon); CPA Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Alexandra Mendes, MP (Canada Federal); Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP, Chair of the CPA Canada Federal Branch; and CWP Canada Regional Chair, Hon. Laura Ross, MLA (Saskatchewan) – were photographed at the ‘Women Are Persons! - Famous Five’ monument at Parliament Hill recognising the campaign for gender equality. 

To view images from the 56th CPA Canada Regional Conference please click here.

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Updated 1 August 2018.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat,  
Richmond House,
Houses of Parliament,
London SW1A 0AA,
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org