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Montreal Black community rallies behind federal House speaker after video blunder

Speaker of the House of Commons Greg Fergus rises during Question Period, Thursday, November 23, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Speaker of the House of Commons Greg Fergus rises during Question Period, Thursday, November 23, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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The West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA) says it is rallying behind Greg Fergus, speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, after a video he filmed was shared publicly.

"Previous speakers of the house have done graver things, and they were given a chance," said WIBCA President Joan Lee on Monday. "Let him prove himself, just like everyone else had a chance."

Fergus has apologized after a video he recorded, while wearing the Speaker's robes, for long-time friend and outgoing interim Ontario Liberal Leader John Fraser was played at a party convention on Dec. 1.

He admitted that he made a mistake but did not know the video would be played publicly.

"Regardless of it being aired publicly or privately, it shouldn't have been aired," he said. "I apologize. I know I messed up, and I won't do it again."

Both the federal Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois caucuses are now accusing Fergus of lacking judgment and impartiality.

They are calling for his resignation.

"He has been a beacon on parliament in his community, and one little mistake doesn't deserve for them to call for his resignation," argued Lee.

Fergus grew up on the West Island and is the first Black speaker in the House of Commons.

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