OTTAWA — On Tuesday, Greg Fergus became the first Black Canadian to be elected House of Commons Speaker. Here are some quick facts about the Liberal MP, who has also described himself as a community activist, an ideas man, a long-distance runner, a grandfather and a failed musician.
Riding: Hull-Aylmer in Quebec
Early life: Fergus said he first subscribed to Hansard — the daily transcripts of debate in the House of Commons — at 14 years old. In 1988, he became a parliamentary page.
Education: Two bachelor's degrees — one in social science and one in international relations. Fergus also studied international relations at the master's level.
Before Parliament: He worked in the private and public sectors, with not-for-profit organizations and in the academic sector. He also worked at all levels of the Liberal Party of Canada, including as national director.
Parliament: Fergus was first elected in 2015 with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals. He was re-elected in 2019 and 2021. He has served as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, the president of the Treasury Board, the minister of digital government and the industry minister. He was also a member of several House of Commons committees, including finance. He chaired the parliamentary Black caucus.
Personal life: Fergus has described running, politics and jazz as three of his passions. He is married, and has three children and one grandson.
How his peers see him: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh described Fergus as the friendliest MP on the Hill, while Liberal MP Emmanuel Dubourg described him as a "cool guy."
Quote from a speech Fergus gave when pitching himself as a potential new Speaker: "In 1988, I sat right there at the foot of the Speaker's chair as a parliamentary page, where I was awed by the majesty of this sanctum of democracy. Where I learned that every MP from every party from every region impressed me with their love for this country and wanting to do better by their people. And I still feel that way."
The Canadian Press