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House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus says he is hoping to survive the political turmoil for appearing in his parliamentary uniform in a video tribute to the former interim leader of the Ontario Liberals.

“I hope so,” Mr. Fergus told The Globe and Mail in an interview on Monday.

Mr. Fergus, a Liberal MP from Quebec, acknowledged that “the members are upset,” adding that he could say little about the situation beyond a statement he issued earlier in the day on the matter.

“Obviously, I am concerned about the debate in the House, but will see where that leads,” said Mr. Fergus, who, two months ago, became the first Black person to serve as Speaker in the Commons.

But the Official Opposition Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois were calling for Mr. Fergus to resign immediately for appearing in a video tribute to John Fraser, who led the provincial Liberals on an interim basis after Steven Del Duca resigned as party leader when he failed to lead the party to power in the 2022 provincial election.

Andrew Scheer, the Conservative House Leader and a former Speaker, said Mr. Fergus had to go for running afoul of the impartiality required of the Speaker.

He compared the situation to a National Hockey League referee giving a pep talk to a team about to go on the ice. “How long do we think that NHL referee would continue in that post?”

He said Mr. Fergus’s conduct had so undermined the position of the Speaker that he was adding his voice to those who had asked Mr. Fergus to resign.

Earlier Monday, Bloc House Leader Alain Therrien told the Commons that Mr. Fergus had to leave the post because he had run afoul of the conventions of impartiality by his video praise for Mr. Fraser.

Full story here.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY'S HEADLINES

CBC says it is cutting 600 jobs, some programming- CBC and Radio-Canada will each cut about 250 jobs, with the balance of the layoffs coming from its corporate divisions like technology and infrastructure. Along with the job cuts, English and French programming budgets will be reduced.

Canadian diplomats sent to hot spots overstepped their authority, former CSIS head says - Richard Fadden, referring to the Global Security Reporting Program, said: “I recall that there were a couple of instances where we thought individual GSRP officers sort of exceeded their brief a little bit and started acting like intelligence officers.” Story here.

Assembly of First Nations to choose a new national chief this week - The vote will take place on Wednesday at a special chiefs assembly in downtown Ottawa.

Canada falls short in several areas of health care in comparison with other OECD countries, report says - The report, published today, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, reveals that Canada has fewer physicians overall per capita, spends less of its total health budget on primary care, and has relatively high maternal- and infant-mortality rates.

Canada must do more to connect the electric-vehicle supply chain, industry executives say - Canada must develop its own long-term blueprint, incorporating the minerals used in batteries and other components right through to assembling vehicles and developing charging networks, according to a survey of sector leaders. Story here.

Ontario Liberal Party needs to raise $1-million this month, says new leader Bonnie Crombie - Ms. Crombie told The Globe and Mail that she has challenged all riding associations to hold holiday fundraisers aimed at bringing in some of the money the Liberals will need to rebuild. Story here.

More than 300 criminal cases stayed or dropped in Quebec due to court delays, documents reveal - The Minister of Justice and the province’s prosecution service blame the increase in stays this year on a new court policy that took effect last year and reduced the number of days when judges sit for trials, which they say has made delays worse.

Short-term rentals have ‘significantly impacted’ housing affordability, Desjardins report suggests - The report released today shows the proliferation of short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo has had a significant effect on the affordability and availability of homes by reducing the number of units available for long-term rentals and resale markets. Story here.

Quebec employment minister wants to recruit asylum seekers to work in health care - Employment Minister Kateri Champagne Jourdain made the announcement today in Montreal, saying that many would-be refugees have work permits and want to contribute to Quebec society.

Ontario to investigate how kangaroo escaped handlers near Toronto, Solicitor-General says - Michael Kerzner says it’s very important to look into how the kangaroo, named Nathan, got away during a pit stop at the Oshawa Zoo and roamed in the wild for the next three days before being apprehended today.

THIS AND THAT

Today in the Commons - Projected Order of Business at the House of Commons, Dec. 4, accessible here.

Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - Private meetings, and Chrystia Freeland also attended Question Period.

Ministers on the Road - Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, is in Dubai, attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 through Dec. 12. Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne is also at the conference through Thursday. Today, he was scheduled to take part in the Canada-UAE Future Energy Forum and announce an initiative on net-zero concrete. Diversity Minister Kamal Khera, in Toronto, delivered remarks at the launch of the Canadian Business Disability Network. Filomena Tassi, minister for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, in Ancaster, Ont., talked about funding for the tourism industry in Southern Ontario.

Commons Committee Highlights - Tim Danson, lawyer and legal counsel for the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, appeared before the public safety and national security committee on the rights of victims of crime, reclassification and the transfer of federal offenders.

Former cabinet minister gets diplomatic appointment - Bernadette Jordan, the former Nova Scotia Liberal MP who once served as fisheries minister, has been appointed Consul General in Boston. The office of Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced the news today. Jordan was MP for the riding of South Shore-St. Margarets from 2015 until 2021 when she was defeated by Conservative Rick Perkins.

Singh on paternity watch - NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says, on X, that he and his wife, Gurkiran, are awaiting the birth of their second child. They have one daughter, Anhad. “We are really excited, but also a little nervous and we’re going to be spending some time on this big transition as Anhad becomes a big sister and we welcome this new baby into our lives,” he said.

After being rejected by one party, Gunn has been accepted by another - Aaron Gunn was rejected as a candidate for the leadership of the BC Liberals because his views were deemed inconsistent with party commitments to reconciliation, diversity and acceptance. However, the filmmaker, journalist and self-described “advocate for taxpayers and common sense” has been confirmed as the federal Conservative candidate in the Vancouver Island riding of North Island-Powell River, according to his X posting here. New Democrat Rachel Blaney has held the riding since 2015, and was re-elected in 2021 with 39.5 per cent of the vote compared with 36 per cent for the Conservative candidate. The BC Liberals have changed their name, and are now the BC United Party.

Two members of the ex-prime minister’s club - Former prime minister Stephen Harper posted here, on X, about an encounter with another member of the small club of living former prime ministers of Canada.

New diplomats arrive - Governor-General Mary Simon is accepting the credentials of four new diplomats today, welcoming representatives of Gambia, Cambodia, Eswatini – a small, landlocked country in southern Africa – and Suriname.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

Private meetings, and Justin Trudeau will meet with Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai.

LEADERS.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Dubai, is at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28.

No schedules released for Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh or Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

THE DECIBEL

On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, The Globe’s data editor Mahima Singh and personal finance reporter Salmaan Farooqui explain the methodology behind a recent project on the most livable city in Canada that saw The Globe and Mail rank more than 400 cities across the country. The Decibel is here.

PUBLIC OPINION

Ranking the premiers - Quebec Premier François Legault is Canada’s least popular premier, according to new research from the Angus Reid Institute. Details here.

Former BC Liberals now third in voter support - BC United – the former BC Liberals, who governed the province from 2001 to 2017 and changed their name earlier this year – are running third in a new Abacus Data poll behind the BC NDP with 44 per cent of the current vote share and the BC Conservatives with 26 per cent. BC United are at 17 per cent. The BC Greens are running at nine per cent. “Another party” is at three per cent. Details here.

OPINION

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on why Canadians are still in the dark about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar:All Canadians ever get from Ottawa is condescending admonitions to trust the government and stay out of the way. But this entire episode is proof that, if you’re going to make a serious allegation public, then the evidence can also be made public without jeopardizing the related investigation. The public deserved the truth in September. It deserves it even more now.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how B.C. has discovered that decriminalization is not a cure-all for the drug crisis: “The voices of those advocating in favour of decriminalization have only grown louder over the years. The biggest reason is the most obvious: The war on drugs – throwing people in jail for possession of narcotics – has failed miserably as a deterrent. Not just in the U.S., but here, too. Public health care officials have been proclaiming for some time that you can’t treat addiction as a crime. And incarcerating people for possessing drugs that they and they alone plan to use has been, and continues to be, a losing strategy.”

Gabriel De Roche (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the Ontario Liberals chose the path of restoration and least resistance in selecting Bonnie Crombie as leader: So if you see the task of rebuilding the Ontario Liberal Party as winning over, say, an additional 13 to 15 per cent of the electorate, to get back into majority government territory – which, to be clear, is a very grounded view of a political party’s fundamental mission – Ms. Crombie’s victory provides much to celebrate, and gives Premier Doug Ford much to fear. But if you were looking to the Ontario Liberals’ rebuilding process to help redefine the purpose of a centrist party for a new generation of voters, that will have to wait for another time – or, potentially, another rout.”

Yasmine Abdelfadel (le Journal de Montréal) on Quebec Premier François Legault’s annus horribilis: That’s the phrase Queen Elizabeth II used to describe 1992, a year of misfortune befalling the British monarchy. You could say that 2023 is François Legault’s annus horribilis. January: Sophie Brochu announces her resignation as president and CEO of Hydro-Québec. In health care, nurses’ sit-ins in Quebec’s various hospitals are starting to pile up. February: Quebec receives one-sixth of what it asked for in health care from the federal government, and this failure is largely attributed to François Legault, who is accused of neglecting Canadian interprovincial relations for too long.”

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