Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Marc Dalton has put his name forward as one of five people running for the position of Speaker of the House.
Dalton is a Conservative MP who was elected for the second time in the Sept. 20 federal election.
The Speaker is chosen by secret ballot in a vote of all MPs, and selecting the next Speaker will be the first order of business when Parliament gets back in session on Nov. 22.
In the meantime, Dalton and the other MPs who have an interest in the prestigious post will be reaching out to MPs of every political stripe, asking for their support.
Dalton said it helps to be bilingual, which he is. He taught French before entering provincial politics in 2009, then federal politics in 2019.
He is also Metis, and said for MPs to choose an Indigenous person to be Speaker would by “symbolic, and also substantive.” Gilbert Parent, who was Speaker in the 1990s, had a Metis father.
The Speaker’s role is to maintain order and decorum in the Chamber, keep the business moving, and observe the rules and traditions of Parliament. The Speaker is to be impartial, and therefore he or she cannot participate in debate. The Speaker can only vote in the event of a tie, and even then there are traditions to guide their vote.
Dalton noted he served as deputy chair of the committee of the whole in the B.C. Legislature, which is a role similar to that of assistant deputy Speaker. He has also been vice-chair of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, and said he is no stranger to bi-partisan work.
Speaker is a job that brings a salary of $275,000, and the use of two separate residences. One is an apartment on Parliament Hill, and the other is an estate called The Farm in the Gatineau Hills
Also running are incumbent Speaker Anthony Rota, Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes, Conservative MP Joel Godin and NDP MP Carol Hughes.
Dalton leaves for Ottawa this week, and will be sworn in as an MP on Thursday.
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