Members in good standing were invited to nominate a former parliamentarian as a candidate for your Association's eighteenth annual Distinguished Service Award.
The men and women who have served in our Parliaments as "unsung heroes", so to speak, are sometimes soon forgotten. The Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians was founded in 1987 and, in 1999, to fulfill its mandate, decided to initiate an annual Distinguished Service Award to recognize one of these unsung heroes.
The Distinguished Service Award was initiated under section 7. (e) of Bill C-275, An Act establishing the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, which was given Royal Assent on May 29, 1996. Section 7. (e) of the Act reads:
"The Association has the capacity of a natural person and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Association may, in furtherance of its objects... give recognition, by such means as it deems appropriate, for outstanding contributions to the promotion and understanding of Canada's parliamentary system of government."
The next DSA shall be made at our Annual General Meeting. Each member in good standing shall be asked to nominate one candidate with a description of the contribution that he or she has made. The selection of the award winner shall be made by a Committee composed of the President and additional members appointed by the Association President, all of whom must be paid-up members of the Association.
The process and criteria for the Award were developed in consultation with the Honourable John Fraser, the Honourable Bob Rae, and the Honourable Mitchell Sharp. CAFP members are asked to make nominations. A Selection Committee, headed by the President of the Association, decides on the recipient based on his or her contribution to public life while in office, and on their continued interest and activity in the promotion of human welfare and parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad.
The first Award was presented in the Senate by the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament on June 10, 1999. The award is presented during a reception hosted by the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament at the time of the Association's annual general meeting.
The 2016 Distinguished Service Award was presented to the Hon. Jack Murta during a ceremony on Parliament Hill on Monday, May 30th, 2016.
For more details, please see Press Release.
Previous Distinguished Service Award recipients are: