Members of Parliament have re-elected Liberal veteran Anthony Rota as Speaker of the House of Commons.
His re-election on Monday for a second term as president came as no surprise, as he had been widely praised, including by opposition parties, for skillfully leading the House through the COVID-19 pandemic in a fair and unfair manner. partisan.
The latest parliamentary session was unprecedented, and included huge technical and procedural challenges to enable the introduction of a hybrid format that gave parliamentarians for the first time the option to virtually participate in proceedings to prevent the spread of the virus.
Rota had also been widely praised for his good humor and calm demeanor in arbitration proceedings during what were often heated exchanges between parliamentarians from rival parties in a Commons where the Liberal government had only a minority of seats.
Canadians re-elected the Liberals to another minority on September 20 in a national vote in which only a handful of seats changed hands.
The election of a new president was the first order of business on Monday, as MPs returned to the House for the first time in five months.
Six other MPs ran for president: three Conservatives, a Liberal, a New Democrat, and a Green. Rota emerged as the winner after MPs cast secret ranked votes.
He made a show of being reluctantly dragged into the president’s chair, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holding one arm and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holding the other, a ritual that dates back centuries, to the days when a speaker of the British House of Representatives. Commons risked execution by delivering nasty messages from the House to the monarch.
“I am very honored to be here,” Rota told the packed room after climbing into the chair on a raised dais.
“Both politically and personally, this is something that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life. I guess one of the good things about being a Spokesperson is that I’ve probably pissed off both sides equally, so I’m grateful that you’ve worked on this.” .
Parliamentarians re-elect liberal Anthony Rota as Speaker of the House of Commons. #CDNPoli
Rota promised to be “fair and respectful” and concluded his short acceptance speech by saying, “Now that we have a Speaker, it’s time to get back to work.”
He received several standing ovations and was congratulated by all the party leaders.
Trudeau said Canadians elected a new minority Parliament “to do great things” and are relying on Rota to make sure it is done with “courtesy.”
“It is no small thing to build a stronger and better future, so there will be times when we will be caught up in a heated debate. But when that happens, we will have you, Mr. President, to guide us back to good. path”. Trudeau said.
O’Toole said Rota’s re-election is “a sign of confidence (from) his colleagues on all sides of this chamber.”
“You have been able to preside through a difficult time in our pandemic, making sure that our democracy, the light of our democracy did not blink during this time,” O’Toole said.
As a spokesperson, Rota is entitled to a salary of $ 269,800 and access to an official residence, The Farm, in Gatineau Park, across the river from Parliament Hill.
With the president now in place, the government can proceed with a speech from the throne on Tuesday, outlining its agenda for the new session of Parliament. The speech will be delivered by Governor General Mary Simon in the Senate chamber.
Once the ceremonial aspects of a new session are dispensed with, deputies will be able to get down to business on Wednesday.
This Canadian Press report was first published on November 22, 2021.