Parliament has a new Speaker of the House in Liberal MP Greg Fergus, who previously served as the parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In his pitch for the job, Fergus vowed to improve the decorum in the House of Commons — something his predecessor promised with little success.
“What brought us here today requires a response. Words matter. Symbols matter. This, I know,” said Fergus Tuesday morning, hoping to charter a new course and put Nazigate behind Parliament.
Though the Speaker oversees the entire parliamentary bureaucracy and budget, Fergus is not expected to attend party caucus meetings as is the norm for the role.
The Speaker’s role is to act independently of the government and adjudicate disagreements over the rules.
“As your Speaker, I will restore, and quickly bring back the honour to this Chamber,” he pledged before MPs voted him in via secret ballot.
Fergus also boasted his parliamentary nerdiness, claiming to have “subscribed to and read” transcripts of Commons debates since the age of 14.
The Liberal MP from Hull-Aylmer told House parties he would be a “firm, thoughtful, collaborative, consistent and certainly fair” Speaker of the House.
His predecessor MP Anthony Rota became the Speaker in 2019 after upsetting establishment candidate and fellow Liberal MP Geoff Regan, the previous House Speaker who had the backing of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The position affords Fergus an official residence, called The Farm in the Gatineau Hills, and a $92,800 salary-top up from the $194,600 base pay that MPs receive.