Banner photo credit: Justin Trudeau/X – formally Twitter

By Jena Lynde-Smith

On Oct. 3 in a historic mid-session vote, Greg Fergus became the first Black Canadian to be elected as a Speaker in the House of Commons, a role he said he would lead with respect.

“The Speaker, to use the old hockey analogy, is nothing more than a referee,” Fergus said in his first speech in the House.

“And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that nobody pays good money to go see the referee. They go to see the stars: you.”

Fergus is a Carleton University alumnus, graduating with an honours degree in Political Science (International Relations) in 2002.

“The Carleton community is particularly proud to see alumni such as Mr. Fergus succeed to key posts in the Chamber,” says Jerry Tomberlin, Carleton’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. “While the position will no doubt come with many challenges, I am certain that Parliament and Canada will be well-served by his exceptional experience and judgement.”

In May of this year, Fergus returned to Carleton as a panelist at the university’s inaugural Challenge Conference. The conference brought together purpose-driven business, government, academic and community leaders to discuss Canada’s mental health crisis.

“We expect perfection,” said Fergus in the conference’s panel on the cost of mental health.

“From journalists to teachers, to politicians. We’ve got to stop.”

Greg Fergus at Carleton University’s Challenge Conference on May 10.

Fergus has been a Member of Parliament for Hull–Aylmer since October 2015. Since 2021, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of Treasury Board. His election as Speaker is both a testament to his hard work and a groundbreaking milestone for Canada’s House of Commons.

Read the official announcement here.

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Thursday, October 5, 2023 in
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