Source: Facebook

The Conservatives hope to rally the NDP to remove House Speaker Greg Fergus and trigger a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons. 

Fergus was under fire for the language he used in an advertisement promoting an upcoming event, which critics called an inflammatory display of political bias. 

“House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus has once again shown his disregard for the neutrality required in his role,” said Chris Warkentin, Deputy Whip of the Official Opposition in a statement released on Tuesday. 

In the invitation for his event called ‘A Summer Evening with the Honourable Greg Fergus,’  he wrote, “Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives propose reckless policies that would risk our health, safety and pocketbooks.”

This is not the first time that the Conservatives have accused Fergus of Liberal bias since becoming Speaker of the House, a role which requires him to moderate debate in the House of Commons in a non-partisan manner. 

Fergus removed Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre from the House of Commons last month after he refused to withdraw a claim that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was a “wacko.”

Poilievre’s comments followed Trudeau accusing the opposition leader of associating with far-right extremists and pandering to white nationalists to acquire votes. 

Trudeau also went on to say that Poilievre was not fit to be prime minister without reprimand from Fergus. 

“The promotional material uses inflammatory partisan attacks about the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party. This is the same Speaker who, just a few weeks ago, used the authority of his position to kick out the Leader of the Opposition while giving a free pass to the Prime Minister for using similar language,” wrote Warkentin.

“This Speaker has shown that he has no intention of remaining non-partisan. In addition to the two instances mentioned above, the Speaker has spoken at a cocktail fundraising dinner for a neighbouring Liberal, addressed the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention in full Speaker garb, and jetted off to Washington to make a speech about his days as a member of the Young Liberals.”

Fergus was elected as a Liberal MP, represening the riding of Hull-Aylmer in Quebec and became House Speaker last October. 

Warkentin acknowledged that while any sitting Speaker who intends to run for re-election as an MP must partake in fundraising events, he believed Fergus’ language around the event, which doesn’t appear to be a fundraiser, crossed the line. 

“I note that your advertised event does not appear to be a fundraiser, as there is no ticketed price. With such a highly partisan description, your event appears more akin to a partisan political rally than anything else,” said Wekentin. 

Conservatives argue that Fergus has made enough impartial decisions and actions that would deem him unfit for the role of House Speaker.

“Conservatives have known for months that the Speaker has no intention of doing his job well or fairly. Unfortunately, Trudeau’s NDP coalition partners have stood behind Fergus, preferring a Speaker who will protect Trudeau to one who shows a modicum of fairness in the chair,” continued Warkentin’s statement. 

“After Fergus’ last malfeasance, however, the NDP promised that they would call for Greg Fergus to step down if something like what happened at the Ontario Liberal Party convention ever happened again.”

The Conservatives are now seeking support from the NDP, who have a supply-and-confidence agreement with the Liberals to join them in a vote of non-confidence to remove Fergus as House Speaker. 

“It has happened again. If Fergus refuses to see the obvious error of his conduct, the NDP must finally join the Conservatives and the Bloc to express non-confidence in the Speaker.”