Led by the Deputy Chairman of the Pakistan Senate, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, the study visit involved meetings with Canadian Parliamentarians, public servants, as well as visits to Canada’s two chambers of Parliament, the Senate and the House of Commons.
The purpose of this visit was to provide an overview of Canada’s federal system, its intergovernmental arrangements, and the roles of the Canadian Parliament in governance, as well as foster continued cooperation between the Forum of Federations and its partners in Pakistan.
The two-day intensive visit to Ottawa included discussions with the Forum of Federations on future prospects for cooperation between the Forum and the Senate of Pakistan.
This was followed by a visit to the Senate of Canada, where the delegation was recognized during the proceedings. Consequently, the delegation was hosted by the Honourable Senator Salma Ataullajhan for a discussion concerning challenges facing both the upper houses of Canada and Pakistan as well as prospects for future cooperation.
Future cooperation between the Forum and the Senate of Pakistan was committed to through the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding.
The MOU was signed on behalf of the Forum by Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors Ms. Salma Siddiqui and on behalf of the Senate by the Deputy Chairman Mandviwalla. Other distinguished guests included Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Leslie, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Bruce Stanton, several other parliamentarians, guests from the diplomatic community, as well as senior officials from Global Affairs Canada.
On the morning of the second day the delegation met with Deputy Speaker Stanton, where further challenges being faced by both countries were discussed. Following this, a briefing by both the Intergovernmental Affairs Branch at the Privy Council Office and Finance Canada detailed Canada’s systems of federalism and democracy, the design of the intergovernmental mechanisms in Canada, the place and role of Intergovernmental affairs, and fiscal relations between the federal and provincial governments.