(Ottawa) The fate of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, is sealed: after the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, now the Liberals and Conservatives are calling for his departure. He therefore no longer benefits from the support of the Chamber of which he is the guardian.
The fact that the Trudeau government decided to dump President Rota constitutes the final blow for the latter. He clung to his post despite the controversy he sparked, which traveled around the world and provided ammunition for the Russian propaganda machine.
The Leader of the Government in the House, Minister Karina Gould, on Tuesday invited President Rota to give up his chair. “I don’t see, based on the conversations I’ve had, that he would have the support of the Liberals, and I think it’s time for him to do the honorable thing,” she said before the cabinet meeting.
Before her, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, had these words: “We have been embarrassed as Canadians, and it is certainly an embarrassment for the House of Commons as well. And I think the Speaker of the House should listen to the members and resign.”
As for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he refrained from making this request, contenting himself with reiterating that Friday’s incident had been “deeply embarrassing”, saying he was “certain” that President Rota was “in the process of to reflect on [à la suite des choses] “.
Once the government’s support was withdrawn, the Conservative Party fell into the same camp. “Trudeau (and his Liberal President) have brought shame on Canada. The Liberal President will have to resign,” wrote leader Pierre Poilievre on X on Tuesday.
The Speaker of the House of Commons is an impartial arbiter of parliamentary proceedings. While it is true that Anthony Rota was elected under the liberal banner, his position requires him to be non-partisan when he is in his chair.
Anthony Rota found himself at the center of a scandal after it was revealed that Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran from his constituency whom he had invited to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech, was part of a Nazi unit during World War II.
And when he mentioned his presence in the stands, elected officials, senators and dignitaries gave the man a standing ovation, whose past they were unaware of. Despite the barrage of criticism here and elsewhere in the world, despite calls for resignation from the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, President Rota clung to his post on Monday.
Faced with the unanimity of the parties in the Commons, everything indicates that the principal concerned will have to resolve to leave his functions of his own accord, otherwise he could be the subject of a motion of censure in the Commons in the coming hours.
The president’s office had not yet responded to the new developments as of Tuesday morning.
The latest news was that a meeting between President Rota and the leaders of each party in the House of Commons was to be held at noon, at the initiative of the Bloc Québécois.