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What happens next, now that Anthony Rota has resigned as Speaker?

OTTAWA — Members of Parliament are set to elect a new Speaker next week, following the resignation of Anthony Rota. 

Rota resigned on Tuesday after facing calls from all major parties to step down for inviting man who fought for the Nazis to attend an address to Parliament by Ukraine's president last week and honouring him during the event.

Here's a look at what will happen next.

When will there be a new Speaker?

The House of Commons adopted a motion last night to hold an election for a new Speaker on Oct. 3.

Such an election is held after each federal election, or whenever the position is vacated.

Until then, Bloc Quebecois MP Louis Plamondon — the longest-serving member of Parliament — will be the interim Speaker and preside over the election. 

Plamondon is the first Bloc MP to serve in the role. Plamondon said in French on Wednesday that he finds it "a bit funny" that he — a Quebec sovereigntist — will be the Speaker of the House of Commons. 

What does the Speaker do?

The role of the Speaker is to ensure the orderly flow of business in the House of Commons and that parliamentary rules are observed by all MPs. This includes presiding over debates, the presentation of motions and legislation. 

MPs direct all of their remarks in the House of Commons to the Speaker. 

The Speaker's conduct is supposed to be impartial. That's why they do not participate in debates and they only vote in the case of a tie. 

Who is running to be Speaker? 

By convention, all 338 MPs are considered to be in the running, and MPs who do not want to run for the role must remove themselves from the ballot. 

For a candidate to be successful, they must receive at least 50 per cent of the vote — plus one vote. 

The Speaker job often goes to an MP who is a member of the political party in government.

Conservative MP Chris d'Entremont, who is already a deputy Speaker, has indicated he plans to run for the role, as has Liberal MP Greg Fergus. NDP MP Carol Hughes is also entering the race. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2023. 

Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press

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