The Governor General’s appointee to the Senate said she has gained a lot of knowledge from her participation in an online and residential course held in Montreal Canada.
Both courses were an introduction to parliamentary practices and procedures and the development of local parliamentary practices.
Senator Bakesha Francis-James said the one-week residency course was held at the McGill University’s Executive Institute in Montreal from October 7th to 10th. This was basically the second part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) accredited Fundamentals Programme which aims at strengthening parliamentary practices and procedures within CPA small branches.
The Independent Senator said that the residency comprised of several intense lectures, debates and presentations on contemporary issues in parliamentary governance.
The specific topics focused on Representation in Parliament, Codes of Conduct, Legislative-Executive Relations, Oversight, Challenges Facing New Parliamentarians, Practices and Procedures, Legislation, The Role of Parties, Administration & Financing of Parliament, Committees & Executive Scrutiny, Parliament & the Media, The Loyal Opposition and Leadership.
“I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge so far. This is a 10-month course that started in August and will run until March next year. We have two more courses that we have to finish online, but I am so thankful to our local Parliament for recommending me to be a part of this experience,” Francis-James said.
New Parliamentarians from Anguilla, the Bahamas, the Falkland Islands, Grenada, the Isle of Man, New Jersey, St. Kitts /Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Turks and Caicos Islands participated in the sessions.
Senator Francis-James was appointed in 2018, a selection of Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, as an Independent Senator in the Upper House.