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Liberal Member of Parliament Greg Fergus achieved a historic milestone, becoming Canada’s first Black Speaker of the House of Commons after Anthony Rota’s resignation for honoring a man linked to a Nazi unit in World War II.

Representing Hull-Aylmer since 2015, Fergus faces the challenging task of restoring order in a hyper-partisan House, and he has announced plans to issue “reflective guidelines” for MPs on permissible topics in the House.

Despite opposition from Conservatives, who cite ethics violations, Fergus, known as a gentleman, aims to fulfill his Speaker duties without partisanship.

Born in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a suburb of Montreal, Fergus, now 54, grew up as the youngest of three children.

His father, a high school teacher, emphasized education, sending him to a private boys’ school during a teachers’ strike in the 1980s.

Fergus’s grandfather, before World War II, switched identities to join the Royal Air Force, later immigrating to Montreal for a better life.

Fergus’s political passion dates back to his teenage years, subscribing to Hansard to read parliamentary debates and admiring figures like Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque.

Graduating from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University in political science and international relations, Fergus served as president of the Young Liberals of Canada from 1994 to 1996.

In 2007, he became the national director of the Liberal party, introducing changes that modernized the party and made it more efficient.

Fergus, despite not making it to Trudeau’s cabinet, held various parliamentary secretary roles and ran for office in 2015, winning against the NDP’s Nycole Turmel.

Known for his advocacy for the Black community, Fergus served as co-chair of the Parliamentary Black Caucus and headed the Liberal Black Caucus for six years.

In an emotional speech during Black History Month in 2022, Fergus condemned protesters displaying Confederate flags on Parliament Hill.

Fergus defended Trudeau during controversies, including the “elbowgate” incident in 2016 and the “blackface” scandal in 2019.

Despite admitting that the “blackface” incident was hurtful, Fergus defended Trudeau, emphasizing forgiveness for mistakes in light of a leader’s overall track record.

More recently, Fergus faced controversy for violating the Conflict of Interest Act by writing a letter of support for Natyf TV while acting as parliamentary secretary for the prime minister.

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion noted that this was out of character for Fergus.

Greg Fergus’s election as Canada’s first Black Speaker of the House of Commons marks a historic moment, ushering in a new chapter in Canadian parliamentary leadership.

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Greg Fergus, aged 54 as of 2023, represents the riding of Hull-Aylmer in Quebec.

In his early years, Fergus, at 14, subscribed to Hansard, the daily transcripts of House of Commons debates, and later served as a parliamentary page in 1988.

Fergus holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in social science and one in international relations, and pursued further studies in international relations at the master’s level.

Before entering Parliament, Fergus worked across various sectors, including the private and public sectors, not-for-profit organizations, and academia.

He held roles at all levels of the Liberal Party of Canada, eventually becoming national director.

First elected in 2015 with the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Fergus was re-elected in 2019 and 2021.

He has served as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, president of the Treasury Board, minister of digital government, and industry minister.

He was also a member of several House of Commons committees, including finance, and chaired the parliamentary Black caucus.

In his personal life, Fergus finds passion in running, politics, and jazz. He is married and has three children and two grandsons.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh describes Fergus as the friendliest MP on the Hill, and Liberal MP Emmanuel Dubourg characterizes him as a “cool guy.”

Fergus, in pitching himself as a potential new Speaker, reflected on his experience as a parliamentary page in 1988, expressing awe at the majesty of the House of Commons.

He emphasized the shared commitment of MPs from all parties and regions to better the country for its people.