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The Tories put forward a motion to remove House Speaker Fergus

The Conservatives have put forth a motion in the House of Commons seeking the removal of House Speaker Greg Fergus, citing a perceived breach of impartiality in his role.

Mr. Fergus is alleged to have been associated with a Liberal Party event that featured advertisements criticizing Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre. The Liberal Party acknowledged the use of such language and issued an apology to Mr. Fergus.

Concerns were raised as a matter of privilege in the House by Conservative MP Chris Warkentin last week. Deputy House Speaker Chris d’Entremont made a ruling on May 27, allowing Mr. Warkentin to introduce his motion.

Mr. D’Entremont clarified that his ruling did not signify a verdict on the accusations, but rather determined the urgency of the matter for parliamentary consideration.

Mr. D’Entremont stated, “It is clearly in the interest of the entire House to promptly address this particular issue with due seriousness. Therefore, I find that a prima facie question of privilege exists in this case.”

The motion presented by Mr. Warkentin accuses Mr. Fergus of engaging in “repetitive partisan behavior outside of the Chamber,” which is considered “a betrayal of the office’s traditions and expectations and a violation of the trust necessary to fulfill his duties.” If passed, the Speaker would be required to step down in the ensuing days.

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The Bloc Québécois has also voiced support for Mr. Fergus’s removal.

“The Speaker’s presence is a distraction that Parliament cannot afford,” stated Bloc MP Luc Desilets in discussions on the Conservative motion on May 27. “The Speaker is expected to embody impartiality in the House, hence we are once again urging the Speaker to step down.”

Mr. Desilets highlighted this as the third occasion where Mr. Fergus has been linked to partisan actions since his election in late September.

The Speaker faced scrutiny in late 2023 for providing a video in full Speaker attire at the Ontario Liberal Party convention and mentioning his time as a Young Liberal during a speech in Washington, D.C.

The current issue revolves around a Liberal Party event titled a “Summer Evening with the Honourable Greg Fergus,” set for June 4. The event was arranged by the Hull-Aylmer riding party association, which Mr. Fergus represents.

The event’s announcement on the Liberal Party website, now removed, criticized Mr. Poilievre for suggesting “reckless policies.”

Mathieu Gravel, a spokesperson for the Speaker and the House of Commons administration, defended the event.

“The Speaker’s office had consultations about this event with the Clerk of the House of Commons, who raised no concerns as the event is within Mr. Fergus’s riding, which is permissible,” he communicated via email to The Epoch Times. Mr. Gravel clarified that the language used on the party website had not received approval from Mr. Fergus’ team.

Liberal Party National Director Azam Ishmael issued an open letter to Mr. Fergus posted on the X platform apologizing for the language utilized in event promotions.

“The Liberal Party of Canada unreservedly apologizes to you for this error, and we take full responsibility,” he expressed. The letter has since been removed.

Mr. Warkentin questioned the narrative, stating that nothing seemed to align based on his knowledge of local politics.

“Nothing gets submitted to the party without involvement from someone locally. The event was evidently a decision made by local individuals,” he remarked.

Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal MP and parliamentary secretary to the Government House Leader, accused the Conservatives of disrespecting the Speaker’s position and indicated they had consistently not supported Mr. Fergus.

“It wasn’t due to any actions from his time as Speaker up to now but due to their failure to vote for him as Speaker,” he articulated during debates in the House.

With the Conservatives and Bloc on one side and the Liberals on the other, the fate of Mr. Fergus lies in the hands of the NDP in a vote scheduled for later on May 28.

NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen stated in House debates that she does not endorse the Conservative motion.

“Was there a mistake made? Absolutely. Is it terribly unfortunate? Absolutely. Are we holding the right individual accountable in this instance? No,” she explained.

NDP MPs supported the Liberals in retaining Mr. Fergus as Speaker in late January but indicated he would not receive another opportunity if further partisan involvements surfaced.

Jennifer Cowan and The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

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