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New Speaker puts MPs on notice over unruly, toxic behaviour in House of Commons

OTTAWA, Ill. — Speaker Greg Fergus is warning MPs that he will use all powers available to him to maintain order and decorum in the House of Commons if they can’t do it themselves.

Fergus rose before question period today to declare his intention to bring down the temperature during parliamentary proceedings.

He says behaviour in the House has deteriorated over the years, and heckling from MPs intended to intimidate and drown out others has become boorish, rude and insulting.

Fergus, who was elected Speaker at the beginning of October, says he’s committed to protecting MPs’ freedom of speech, but questionable language and provocative statements will not be tolerated.

He says there’s a growing tendency for MPs to make pointed criticisms as a way to bully or attack each other’s integrity, and that’s introducing toxicity to question period and other proceedings.

The official Opposition tried to prevent Fergus from delivering his speech, with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre saying he shouldn’t have delayed question period to do so and the daily question-and-answer session is “sacred.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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