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The Association’s purpose is to find points of convergence in the respective national policies of Canada and the United States, initiate dialogue on points of divergence, encourage exchanges of information and promote better understanding between Canadian and American parliamentarians on shared issues of concern.

The association convenes an annual meeting, alternating between Canada and the United States, attended by delegates from the Parliament of Canada and the United States Congress where they seek to identify shared values and find possible solutions to a variety of bilateral and multilateral matters of concern to both countries.

In addition to the Inter-Parliamentary Group’s annual meeting, association members continue their bilateral efforts by travelling to Washington for meetings with US Senators and members of the House of Representatives to discuss such issues as trade, softwood lumber, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and other border concerns, energy, environment, security and defence. Delegations from the Canadian section also participate in national and regional conferences of governors and state legislators, as well as in national and regional summits organized by business groups and local parliamentary associations interested in transborder trade and tourism.

The idea for a Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group started as early as the 1940s, when federal legislators in Canada and the US discussed the possibility of establishing a joint committee to address issues related to post-war reconstruction.

The plan for a bilateral association was revisited at various times, including in the late 1950s when a report by US Representatives Frank M. Coffin and Brooks Hays suggested the establishment of some form of Parliamentary consultation between Canada and the United States. In June 1958, the Prime Minister of Canada mentioned the concept in a speech, and in July of that year the subject was discussed by the US President and the Canadian Prime Minister. In September 1958, representatives of the US Congress travelled to Ottawa for preliminary discussions with Canadian Parliamentarians. The first annual meeting was held on 9-10 January 1959 in Washington, D.C and federal Parliamentarians from both countries have met at least annually since that time.

  • Lyla Malow, Association Secretary
  • Marie Dumont, Advisor
  • Sarah Lemelin-Bellerose, Advisor
Parliamentary Associations are governed by the procedures set out in their constitutions. These constitutions call for the creation of an executive committee to direct their work and provide for an annual general meeting of the membership.