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Examining freedom of expression on social media and its effects on political engagement at 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Canada Regional Conference in Saskatchewan

Over 60 Commonwealth Parliamentarians and Parliamentary Clerks have recommitted to increasing parliamentary strengthening at the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canada Regional Conference, which has taken place in Regina, Saskatchewan from 22 to 29 July 2023.

Delegates were welcomed to the CPA Canada Regional Conference by Hon. Randy Weekes, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan and CPA Saskatchewan Branch President.

The CPA Canada Regional Conference was attended by Members of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Legislatures of the Region.

Delegates attended workshop sessions on a wide range of topics including freedom of expression and cyber-violence: the use of social media and its effects on political engagement with presenter, Hon. Nathalie Roy, Speaker of the Québec National Assembly; women in the economy with leading women entrepreneurs from Western Canada; Members’ orientations experiences from Members and parliamentary staff; and an examination of harassment in the workplace practices.

Parliamentarians also examined methods for ensuring legislative debates remain civil in today's modern discourse with Hon. Alexandra Mendès, Assistant Speaker in the Canada House of Commons and CPA Canada Federal Chairperson; Hon. Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly; Hon. Ted Arnott, Speaker of the Ontario Legislature; and Hon. Bill Oliver, Speaker of the New Brunswick House of Assembly.

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg attended the Regional Conference to reiterate the CPA’s commitment to the CPA Canada Region as well as updating delegates on CPA activities ahead of the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) due to be held in Accra, Ghana from 30 September to 6 October 2023. He said:

“I was very pleased to hear of the innovative work being undertaken in the CPA Canada Region to address the challenges for Legislatures in their engagement with the citizens of Canada. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives from Commonwealth Parliamentarians in Canada as well as the opportunity for Members to learn from each other.”

59th CPA Canada Regional Conference in Saskatchewan

Delegates visited the First Nations University of Canada in Regina.

59th CPA Canada Regional Conference in Saskatchewan

59th CPA Canada Regional Conference in Saskatchewan

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Canada Regional Conference

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Canada Regional Conference

Ahead of the 59th CPA Canada Regional Conference, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Canada Regional Conference also took place.

The CWP Canada Regional Chair, Hon. Lisa Thompson, MPP (Ontario) chaired the meetings which focused on inspiring leadership for women in political life.

Delegates heard from the Mayor of the City of Regina, Sandra Masters, the first female Mayor and one of the youngest women to head a metropolitan council in Canada. The CWP delegates also heard from women leaders on their tools to attract, prepare and support women into public office and from 11-year-old Mady Adamson who has become a social media sensation by sharing videos online about agriculture in Saskatchewan.

Members had the opportunity to hear about CWP Canada activities and to emphasise the importance of promoting the CWP to Parliamentarians across the Region.

Delegates also toured the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan building and visited the First Nations University of Canada in Regina.

The Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association comprises of the provinces, territories and the federal Parliament of Canada. The Region is governed by a Regional Council which is made up of representatives from each of the Legislatures of Canada. Find out more about the CPA Canada Region.

-ENDS-

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 media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org.

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