OTTAWA – Manitoulin residents were uncharacteristically tuned in to the 43rd parliament’s Speaker election, most no doubt rooting for our own Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes who was in the running for the position. Alas, it was not fated to be, as Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota came out on top when all the ballots were tallied.
Ms. Hughes was philosophical about the result, noting that her run was “a long shot” but recalled the words of her friend and mentor the late Jack Layton. “It was a long shot for me to get elected in the riding (when, on her third try, she finally defeated Liberal Brent St. Denis to crumble the riding’s longtime Liberal hegemony) given its previous voting history,” she said. “As Jack used to say, ‘don’t let them tell you it can’t be done’.”
The Speaker is elected by all of the MPs in a secret ballot using the preferential ballot system (electors chose their preferred candidates in descending order).
Shortly following the election, Ms. Hughes posted a photograph with Mr. Rota along with a congratulatory note:
“Congratulations to Hon. Anthony Rota on winning the Speaker election of the House of Commons. I wish him the very best in his new role and look forward to working with him and all parliamentarians in the 43rd parliament.”
The position of deputy speaker and assistant deputy speaker (a position Ms. Hughes and Mr. Rota both held in the previous parliament) had not yet been assigned. After consultation with the leaders of each of the officially recognized parties, the new Speaker announces to the House the name of a member they consider to be qualified for the position. The motion is deemed to have been moved and seconded and the question is put to the House without debate or amendment.