Nipissing-Timiskaming constituency members call on Speaker to step up on anti-racism

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 10:38am


Image Caption

Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming, and Speaker of the House of Commons.


An open letter from concerned members of his constituency calls on MP Anthony Rota to show stronger leadership around anti-racism in his role as Speaker of the House. (Photo


As members of the Nipissing-Timiskaming riding, we the undersigned, object in the strongest possible terms to our political will, invested in Mr. Anthony Rota, being used to maintain procedural protocols that protect and uphold racism.

Last Wednesday in the House of Commons we witnessed a courageous speaking of truth when Jagmeet Singh the leader of the NDP called out Alain Therrien of the Bloc Quebecois for being racist. In what promised to be a pivotal moment for our government when the world is awakening to its denial of racism, this promise was short lived. After a brief deliberation we witnessed the Speaker of the House remove Singh from the Commons. Canada’s first racialized party leader was being punished for calling out the very racism that eventually led to his removal—by our elected MP.

The Prime Minister has suggested in recent weeks that Canadians need to pay attention to larger systemic challenges, but we must also ask how this is possible when the government is operating within a code of conduct that protects racist actions disguised in decorum and politeness. The preservation of racism within our parliamentary process is a collective failure of our country and on Wednesday it felt like our community of Nipissing-Timiskaming staked out a position on the wrong side of history.

In recent weeks, we have expected more from our elected Member of Parliament. On Anthony Rota’s social media platforms there has been silence regarding the Black Lives Matter movement while close to 3,000 people from our community of only 52,000 marched in solidarity calling for action on dismantling racist systems, amidst a pandemic no less. Meanwhile in parliament, Mr. Rota himself has played a pivotal role in actively reinforcing a system that punishes those who call out racism instead of those who are perpetuating it. 

This begs the question—when our elected official becomes the Speaker of the House, does remaining neutral erase his accountability to us?  Do we as the electorate unwillingly forfeit our voice in the House of Commons?  

We are asking that Mr. Rota shows us otherwise. Nipissing-Timiskaming is waiting for our elected MP to show us he still sees us from the Speaker’s chair. 




Holly Cunningham, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Catherine Murton Stoehr, Nipissing Timiskaming

Kim Kitchen, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Kimberly Lediett, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Jessica Love, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Sarah-Vi Leroux, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Lindsay Sullivan, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Jaymie Lathem, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Shea Lacombe, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Chris Jones, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Stephanie de Montmorency, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Robin Alex McDonald, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Liza Vandermeer, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Chantal Phillips, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Evan Newman, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Maurice Switzer, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Amy Louise Ells, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Lindsey Voisin, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Jared Hunt, Nipissing Timiskaming

Suzanne Brooks, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Shannon Claussen, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Henri Giroux, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Chantal Phillips, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Evan Newman, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Liz Lott, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Kaiden Peldjak, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Jamie Murton, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Brooke McCartney-Langson, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Wendy Peters, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Amanda Mathias-Mizzi, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Ian Mizzi, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Vincent Aquilina, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Johanna Kristolaitis, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Meghan Trussler, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Nathan Kozuskanich, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Scott Robertson, Nipissing-Timiskaming

Katrina Srigley, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Anna-Gibson Olajos, Nipissing-Timiskaming 

Bob Olajos, Nipissing-Timiskaming