Estevan MLA Doreen Eagles recently returned from an interesting and educational trip to Sri Lanka as part of an official three-person provincial delegation to the 58th annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, Sept. 9 to 15.
Eagles was selected due to her role as government caucus chairwoman and she was joined by deputy speaker Glen Hart and deputy clerk Iris Lang.
“There was a big focus on terrorism and border security as it related to all the Commonwealth countries. We also spent a lot of time discussing human rights issues,” said Eagles.
“Some of the talks got a little heated and there were full days of debates and discussions, not a lot of time off to go exploring other things,” she added.
Eagles said she treated the distant excursion as a real learning experience. She said that Sri Lankans were very generous hosts with most of the sessions held in Colombo at the convention centre. She said there were about 800 delegates in total.
Eagles said the Saskatchewan delegation battled through jet lag since getting there required 13 hours of flying time. She said that a short stop-over in Dubai in the Middle East on the way home was appreciated since it gave them some respite and some touring time on the way home.
A visit to the Canadian High Commissioner's office was included in the Sri Lankan visit which was another educational experience since the Canadian delegates learned of some of the intricacies that go into delivering those kinds of services to Canadians overseas.
Other items discussed during the Commonwealth sessions included conflict resolutions and peace-building platforms that might be deployed to ease international conflicts.
While in Sri Lanka, most of the Canadian delegates found time to conduct meetings that addressed regional differences in this country.
Eagles was also dispatched to Washington, D.C. this past summer as an official provincial delegate to the annual Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region's annual gathering. Attendees at these working sessions dealt with North American issues as they relate to energy needs such as carbon capture, coal and other fuels for generating electricity and energy options.