CPA (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) Activities: The Canadian Scene

Canadian Parliamentary Review, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

CPA (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) Activities: The Canadian Scene


Kevin J. O'Brien was born on October 26, 1955, in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on February 15,1999. After serving as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories from 1995 to 1999.

Mr. O'Brien was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on March 29, 2000. He has also served as the Chair of Full Caucus and as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Community Empowerment and Sustainable Development, which has oversight responsibility for the Departments of Justice, Community Government and Transportation, Sustainable Development and Public Works and Services.

After leaving high school, Mr. O'Brien worked in the construction industry before attending university. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax and a Master of Science degree from North Texas State University in Dallas, where he was also an instructor.

Since completing his education, Mr. O'Brien has had fifteen years of experience at various levels of government. He began by working in the New Brunswick city of Bathurst in 1980, and then at St. Mary's University in Halifax. He also ran his own company for a number of years before moving to the Arctic.

Mr. O'Brien's introduction to northern life was in the Beaufort-Delta region where he was the Senior Administrative Officer in Tuktoyaktuk. Prior to his election to the Legislative Assembly, he was Director of the NWT Housing Corporation for the Keewatin District.

He lives in Arviat, a community whose population is 95% Inuit, located on the west coast of Hudson Bay. Mr. O'Brien enjoys an arctic lifestyle, including hunting, fishing and other traditional activities.

New Speaker in British Columbia

On March 15, 2000, Bill Hartley, Member for Maple-Ridge-Pitt Meadows was elected as the 34th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Mr. Hartley was born in Vancouver and educated in the Burnaby area, studying political science at Simon Fraser University.

Mr. Hartley has enjoyed a diverse career history working as a pottery teacher, childcare worker, music promoter, and restaurant owner. His numerous community activities include a founding role in the Alouette Arts Society and the Haney Alliance for Nuclear Discouragement, as well as involvement with the Fraser Valley Regional Library, Cythera Transition House, the Ridge Meadows Society for the Mentally Disabled and the United Way North Fraser Governing Committee. He embarked on his public service career by serving as executive assistant to former Member of Parliament, Mark Rose, from 1979-1983. Mr. Hartley also held elected office at the municipal level, serving as an alderman in Maple Ridge from 1983 to 1987 and as mayor from 1987 to 1990. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1991, and re-elected in 1996.

In recent years, Mr. Hartley has held a number of parliamentary positions, including Deputy Chair Committee of the Whole from 1996-1998, Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries from 1998-2000, and Deputy Speaker from 1998-2000. Upon the resignation of former Speaker Gretchen Mann Brewin in February 2000, Mr. Hartley assumed responsibility as Acting Speaker until being elected to the post one month later.

Mr. …

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