The Canadian Scene
New Yukon Speaker
Newly elected Liberal MLA Jeremy Harper became the 26th Speaker of the Assembly on May 11, 2021.
“It is the Speaker’s duty to be impartial and to treat all members equally and without favour,” said Speaker Harper, calling the role an honour and privilege. “This high standard must be met in order to maintain the confidence and respect of the [Legislative] Assembly and I commit today to carry on this tradition.”
The Mayo-Tatchun MLA is a member of Selkirk First Nation. Speaker Harper has worked as a recreation coordinator with the First Nation for more than two decades and served as a Wolf Councillor. For nine years he served as a part-time director for the Selkirk Development Corporation and is also a member of the Canadian Rangers. In his spare time, he enjoys playing baseball and hockey and hunting for his family.
New Newfoundland and Labrador Speaker
After two ballots, Lewisporte-Twillingate MLA Derek Bennett was elected Speaker of the Newfoundland and Labrador Assembly. Speaker Bennett, who expressed surprise at his victory, was selected over former Speaker Scott Reid, Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Brian Warr, and Paul Dinn.
Speaker Bennett told his fellow parliamentarians that he intended to restore civility to the House of Assembly and said all parties must work together for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in these challenging times.
“There are times when things get heated,” Speaker Bennett conceded, but he explained that “people look upon us as leaders,” and respectful debate must be enforced.
An emotional Speaker Bennett thanked his family for their support and made special mention of his grandchildren who he can’t see in person often due to the pandemic. “Poppy loves you,” he told them from the Speaker’s chair.
Speaker Bennett, who worked as the Director of Recreation and Tourism with the Town of Lewisporte for 25 years, was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019 and 2021.