Parliamentary Delegation to Canada, Parliamentary Delegation to the United States of America Delegation Reports

by leave—I present the report of the Australian parliamentary delegation to Canada, which took place from 6 to 12 June 2015, and the report of the Australian parliamentary delegation to the United States of America, which took place from 20 September to 2 October 2015. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the tabling statement relating to the delegation to Canada.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to Canada

Mr President, from 6 to 12 June last year I was privileged to be one of four Members of Parliament to participate in a delegation to Canada. The delegation formed part of the official 2015 bilateral parliamentary visits, and was one of four such delegations which included Canada.

The delegation visited Ottawa, Ontario, Vancouver and Victoria. The delegation met with Members of the Federal and Provincial legislatures including the Presiding Officer of the Federal Parliament, public servants at the forefront of policy making, law enforcement and defence officials as well as business representatives.

Through these meetings, Members of the Delegation were able to discuss and learn more about issues of mutual interest to both Australia and Canada. Topics of discussion included: immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism, small business and tourism, defence matters, policing illicit drugs such as ‘ice’, indigenous matters, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, and Environmental matters. The Delegation also toured the HMCS Calgary and received a briefing from the Canadian Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific.

The Delegation was also pleased to be able to meet with the Hon Andrew Scheer MP, Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons. Discussions were centred on the respective role of, and election process for the position of Speaker in the Canadian and Australian Parliaments.

Continuing the theme of strengthening Parliamentary ties, the Delegation also met with Members of the Canadian Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Federal Ministers and Members, Provincial Members and the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly.

In addition to discussions about matters of mutual national interest, the Delegation was fortunate to be able to receive a briefing about the Canadian Parliament’s response to the 2014 terrorist attack which occurred within the Canadian parliamentary precinct.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who gave their time to meet the delegation and provide additional information to Members. I would also like to thank His Excellency Tony Negus APM, Australian High Commissioner to Canada and his staff who assisted and accompanied the delegation during its visit to Canada.

I would also like to make particular mention of Mr Lucas Robson, who so ably assisted Members during the visit and arranged an engaging and well-orchestrated visit program. Finally I would like to thank Stephanie Mikac, delegation secretary and the Members of the Delegation for their enthusiasm and participation during the visit.

Mr President, I commend the report to the Senate.