The Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians (CAFP) seeks to promote democracy by working with young Canadians and young parliaments around the world. CAFP has developed programs and activities to put the knowledge and experience of its members at the service of parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad, and provides non-partisan support for the parliamentary system of government in Canada.
The Association has a yearly calendar of activities, to raise funds for these programs and/or to help former parliamentarians stay connected with one another.
CAFP's Canadian programs include a Schools Program, its very successful Parliament to Campus program for universities, and a speakers bureau for community and other groups. CAFP is part of a network of similarly minded organizations that seek to engage Canada's youth in democracy. From time to time, CAFP also conducts studies on issues of importance to parliamentary democracy, governance and the interests of both current and former parliamentarians, and organizes related conferences. In 2010, CAFP partnered with the Public Policy Forum to organize Question Question Period to discuss ways of improving the tenor and tone of debate in Canada’s Parliament.
Former parliamentarians possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of representative government, and can greatly contribute to election monitoring missions and other democracy strengthening missions. To this end, in partnership with the European Parliament Former Members Association and the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, CAFP created the International Election Monitors Institute in 2005, which became the Global Democracy Initiative in 2012. CAFP and individual CAFP members have also participated in a number of democracy promotion initiatives abroad.
CAFP organizes a number of activities every year, which seek to raise funds for its numerous programs or to help former parliamentarians stay connected with one another. These include the Douglas C. Frith Dinner, an annual general meeting, the Memorial Service, a regional meeting, study tours, a dinner to present the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award.