Champion of Democracy and Diversity
Ottawa, Ontario — On October 3, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended a warm welcome to the Honourable Greg Fergus, the newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons. This historic election marks not only a momentous shift in parliamentary leadership but also a significant milestone in Canadian history as Mr. Fergus becomes the first Black Canadian to assume the role of Speaker in the House of Commons.
A Speaker’s Essential Role
The Speaker of the House of Commons holds a pivotal position in the Canadian parliamentary system. Elected by fellow Members of Parliament through a secret ballot, their responsibilities encompass overseeing the proceedings within the House. This involves not only maintaining order and decorum in the chamber but also offering impartial interpretation of parliamentary rules. Furthermore, the Speaker staunchly safeguards the rights and privileges of all its members, ensuring fair and just representation.
Upholding Democratic Principles
In his new role, Speaker Fergus is entrusted with the vital task of fostering free speech and constructive debate within the House. Moreover, he will champion openness, transparency, and trust in the democratic processes that underpin Canadian governance.
As the nation’s elected representatives tirelessly work to address the most pressing concerns of its citizens, Speaker Fergus will play a critical and indispensable role in ensuring these discussions are conducted in a respectful and productive manner.
Beyond the Gavel
However, the duties of the Speaker extend far beyond the confines of the House of Commons chamber. In addition to presiding over parliamentary sessions, Speaker Fergus will assume the mantle of overseeing the House of Commons administration.
They will also serve as the spokesperson for the House in its interactions with the Senate, the Crown, and other external bodies. Moreover, the Speaker will fulfill various ceremonial and diplomatic obligations that are central to Canada’s political landscape.
A Message of Inspiration
Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his admiration for Speaker Fergus’s election and the significance it holds for Canada. In his statement, he underscored the historic nature of this occasion, emphasizing that Greg Fergus’s appointment serves as an inspiration, particularly to younger generations aspiring to engage in politics.
The Prime Minister congratulated Speaker Fergus and looked forward to continued collaboration with him and all Members of Parliament.
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada said,
“Today is a historic day. Greg Fergus not only brings a wealth of experience to this role, he is the first Black Canadian to become Speaker of the House of Commons – an inspiration to all Canadians, especially younger generations who want to get involved in politics.”
“I congratulate him on his election, and I look forward to continue working with him, and all Members of Parliament, to uphold the values that unite us as Canadians, make progress on the issues facing our country and the world, and build a more prosperous future for all.”
Speaker Fergus’s election signifies a moment of change, a step toward diversity, and a continued commitment to democratic ideals within the Canadian parliamentary landscape.