Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

NDP proposes financial sanction for House Speaker Greg Fergus

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Greg Fergus testifies before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on Monday.

The Canadian Press

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New Democrats are pushing for the parliamentary committee tasked with “seeking appropriate corrective action” against House Speaker Greg Fergus to recommend a financial penalty.

Their parliamentary leader, Peter Julian, has made it known that this is what his political party is recommending which, unlike the Conservatives and the Bloc, does not for the moment want the resignation of Mr. .Fergus.

The Liberal MP for Hull-Aylmer, who has only served as Speaker of the House since October, is in embarrassment because of his recent virtual participation in a partisan event.

We are proposing disciplinary measures that are strong, important, so that this never happens again, said Tuesday Mr. Julian, who sits on the Standing Committee on Procedure and of House Affairs.

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The parliamentary leader of the NDP, Peter Julian, during the question period in Ottawa.

This committee, which heard Mr. Fergus on Monday, has until Thursday at the latest to submit a report for consideration by the House. all elected representatives of the Chamber.

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The motion which placed the file in the hands of this committee specifies that the latter should be instructed to request appropriate corrective action.

Mr. Julian did not specify how much he believes the fine should be or what other administrative measures the New Democrats are concretely considering. We are going to be in discussions about the report, so of course I cannot reveal any details, he responded to journalists who pressed him with questions.

Visions between parties probably differ on the sanction to be recommended. I want to tell the NDP ''a little courage,' argued the Bloc leader, Yves-François Blanchet, in his own exchange with the media. /p>

He argued that Mr. Fergus quickly disqualified himself from the office he occupies, which must be characterized first and foremost by neutrality and impartiality.

Financial penalties and slaps on the wrist are not a solution in his eyes. Even if he writes a check the next morning, he does not become someone who has the perspective and judgment necessary to manage a Parliament as complex as this one impartially and in troubled times. p>

It remains to be seen how committee members, who met behind closed doors on Tuesday, will find common ground.

Criticism of Mr. Fergus has been coming since last week. The trigger was the broadcast, at the Ontario Liberal Party convention, of a videotaped message in which he thanked the outgoing interim leader of this political party, John Fraser. p>Open in full screen mode

Speaker of the House of Commons, Greg Fergus, recorded a video to pay tribute to John Fraser, interim leader of the Liberal Party of 'Ontario.

If you were a hockey player, you were about to play a game and you saw the referee in his uniform giving a pep talk to the opposing team's locker room , context wouldn't matter, would it? You wouldn't want that official refereeing your game, Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer said Monday during Mr. Fergus' testimony in committee.

The main interested party responded to the MP, who was already Speaker of the House, that he considered it important to note that as a Quebec MP, he and Mr. Fraser were in a different league.

I also agree that the member is right, he added.

Mr. Fergus stressed that his colleagues in the Commons could decide to ask him to resign.

If the House decides that they no longer have confidence in my work, that I cannot regain the confidence of Members, that I cannot carry out the responsibilities of Speaker by learning from this mistake, with a desire profound and sincere to correct the situation […], absolutely I will leave.

A quote from Greg Fergus, Speaker of the House of Commons

However, it seems unlikely that the elected representatives of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs will demand in unison that Mr. Fergus relinquish his functions.

In addition to New Democrats rejecting a demand for resignation, Liberals maintained their confidence in the president, pleading that he apologized and understood the content of his error of judgment.

On the procedure committee, the troops of Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh have more members than the Conservatives and Bloc members.

The same mathematical addition applies in the composition of the deputies of the House.

He clarified that this scenario would only apply if an incident like the one that triggered an outcry was happening again.

The member for Hull-Aylmer was elected to the post of Speaker of the House in October, following the resignation of his predecessor, Anthony Rota. The latter left office in the wake of controversy over the recognition of a veteran who served under the Nazis during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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