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House Speaker, Senate President and other parliamentarians in Canada

 House Speaker Valerie Woods and Senate President Carolyn Trench-Sandiford are leading the Belize contingent to the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The conference, which continues through to Thursday is being held under the theme “Inclusive, Accessible, Accountable and Strong Parliamentarians: The Cornerstone of Democracy and Essential for Development”. The conference is hosting over 600 Speakers, members of parliaments, clerks and international experts, who are discussing various issues. House Speaker Woods spoke to us about why this dialogue is important to the development of democracy. 

In addition to parliamentary strengthening, representatives are looking at ways to better support parliamentarians, gender sensitization, improving women’s representation and challenges for small branch parliaments through a series of workshops and conferences. She explained that the challenges, that Belize’s parliament faces, are not unique and as such this conference is an opportunity to learn more about ways to respond to those issues.