The 42nd session of Parliament elected the Liberal MP for Halifax West, Geoff Regan as Speaker of the House of Commons on Thursday.
“You have given me a very important responsibility and I need your support,” he said. “We need to respect one another, despite our differences.”
Regan, 56, said he would “not tolerate heckling, we don’t need it,” a comment that elicited some good-natured heckling itself. Regan also thanked his wife for her support, and noted it was their 22-year wedding anniversary.
Regan is the son of former Nova Scotia premier and federal cabinet minister Gerald Regan; his wife Kelly is a member of the provincial legislature.
Regan first served in Parliament in 1993, and this is his seventh term as MP. He was minister of fisheries and oceans from 2003 to 2006 under Paul Martin, and served as parliamentary secretary to the government house leader from 2001 to 2003 while Jean Chretien was prime minister.
At least three other candidates were vying for the position — Liberals Denis Paradis, Yasmin Ratansi and Conservative Bruce Stanton.
Ottawa-area MP Mauril Belanger was expected to also be a candidate, but revealed on Monday that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease — and withdrew from the race.
Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, who held the post since 2011, will act as Opposition House leader.
The election of a Speaker comes a day ahead of the Trudeau government’s first throne speech, to be delivered Friday by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
Insiders say the speech will be limited to the new government’s immediate priorities and won’t revisit each promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the federal election campaign.
The House will sit only until the end of next week before taking an extended Christmas break, returning in late January.
– With files from the Canadian Press