OTTAWA — Liberal MP Anthony Rota has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons.
And Conservatives say he has them to thank for beating out fellow Liberal Geoff Regan, who had been Speaker during the last session of Parliament and wanted to continue.
The election of Rota, who represents the northern Ontario riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming, is the first sign of how the official Opposition intends to throw its weight around now that the Liberals have been reduced to a minority.
WATCH: Why the House Speaker gig wasn’t always such a coveted position.
The Conservatives, with 121 seats, didn’t have the numbers to elect one of their own to the challenging post of refereeing the Commons.
But they could ensure Rota, who had served in the last Parliament as one of Regan’s deputies, came out on top.
Two Conservative MPs, Bruce Stanton and Joel Godin, and one New Democrat, Carol Hughes, had also been in the running.
All MPs voted for the Speaker, casting preferential ballots.
Under preferential balloting, MPs list their first, second and subsequent choices. The votes for the last-place candidate are redistributed to his or her supporters’ second choices, a process that continues until one candidate emerges with more than 50 per cent of the vote.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2019.