Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tory Caucus Unrest Making Speaker's Chair a Hot Seat for Andrew Scheer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tory Caucus Unrest Making Speaker's Chair a Hot Seat for Andrew Scheer

Article excerpt

Pressure's on Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer

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OTTAWA - It's not easy being Andrew Scheer these days.

The 33-year-old Speaker of the House of Commons is now getting pressure from all corners as he considers the question of how much freedom of speech an MP is guaranteed in Parliament.

Scheer, a Conservative, first heard colleague Mark Warawa formally complain a month ago that he had been denied the privilege of making a statement in the House by the party whip.

Now Scheer is hearing from the Liberals, who recently tabled their own motion on statements by members, those minute-long speeches MPs make in the few minutes before question period begins each day.

Independent MP Bruce Hyer jumped into the fray Monday. Hyer lost the opportunity to deliver one of those statements in the Commons a year ago when the NDP realized he was about to announce he was leaving their caucus.

"We must all recognize that we have developed a problem in Parliament of excessive party control and we must move to fix the problem before it erodes our democracy any further," Hyer said.

The Liberals saw their motion on members' statements postponed until later this week after the Conservatives suddenly moved up debate on an anti-terror bill.

It's expected more Liberal MPs will stand to support the spirit of Warawa's grievance over the next few days, if only to try to delay Scheer's ruling until after a debate on their motion. …

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