Guyana, this morning, signed a Partnership Agreement with British Columbia with the intention of providing a framework for future endeavors, according to the Speaker of Guyana’s National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland.
The agreement was signed by Scotland on behalf of the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Linda Reid, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, accompanied by a Delegation of three- namely, Kate Ryan-Lloyd, Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, and Rob Sutherland, Director of the Hansard Department of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
Also present of the signing was High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, Pierre Giroux.
The Partnership Agreement signed between both Speakers outlines as its objective “ the development of inter-parliamentary co-operation between the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia and the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and shall thereby serve to improve understanding of the functions of both institutions, particularly in the fields of legislation, culture, economics, health, science and technology, and generally reinforce greater friendship, goodwill and mutual understanding of traditions, customs, procedures and practices of each House.”
Reid, whose tenure as Speaker in British Columbia will conclude in May, stated that this “friendship” was initiated by present Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence a little over a year ago.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia noted that her country has a lot in common with Guyana, highlighting that through this partnership she now hopes to achieve a “better practice” for her country.
“There’s lots of things we have in common with the Republic of Guyana, lots of mining, lots of indigenous issues, parallels in terms of how we do business and the fact that we can uplift our Parliaments at the same time, speaks to me…There are lots of lessons we can learn, we certainly want to learn some things about community, about committee…” she told media operatives.
According to the Partnership Agreement, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia and the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana will actively work towards developing the professional relationships between the two Assemblies through:
- Exchange of information regarding the work of the two Assemblies on matters of common interest;
- Professional development activities between the Assemblies;
- Exchange of visits between the two Assemblies as a means of fostering links between parliamentarians and parliamentary staff; and
- Meetings between representatives of the Assemblies at conferences or seminars they may attend.
Moreover, the agreement also noted that the Speakers from both Assemblies “shall be the Presidents of their respective sections and shall chair the meetings or designate another presiding officer from their Assemblies to do so.”
It was also outlined within the Partnership Agreement that “members shall meet from time to time on a date and at a location agreed to by both Speakers or their designates and an agenda for such purpose shall be prepared. The costs of such meetings would be shared to the extent that each jurisdiction has the resources to do so. Where this is not possible, each Group will seek funding from a donor agency.”
Reid and the delegation arrived in Guyana yesterday, and since then they have visited the Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Center and the Mahaica Children’s Home, to distribute toys.
The British Columbia representatives will be departing tomorrow.