June 12th, 2024

Conservative attacks on Speakers in Ottawa, Regina a pattern, say Liberals and NDP

By The Canadian Press on May 29, 2024.

Speaker of the House of Commons Greg Fergus appears as a witness at a House of Commons standing committee on procedure and house affairs on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The House leaders for the federal Liberals and NDP say conservative politicians are displaying a pattern of attacks against Speakers’ independence.

Their accusation comes a day after the federal Conservatives failed for the third time to get House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus to resign over allegations he is too partisan for the role.

But Liberal House leader Steven MacKinnon says that “some” are creating a culture of intimidation against Speakers in different legislatures.

His NDP counterpart Peter Julian is drawing a connection to Saskatchewan, where the provincial government’s House leader stepped down after admitting he brought a gun to the legislature more than a decade ago.

That resignation came after the Speaker of that legislature accused the conservative Saskatchewan Party of trying to intimidate him as an impartial arbiter of debate.

A spokesperson for Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says there is no connection between what happened with a different party in Saskatchewan and how Parliament and federal Conservatives operate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

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