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Strahl appointed deputy speaker

Chuck Strahl, the MP who represents Pemberton and D’Arcy in Ottawa, now has something else to add to his resume: he has been appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

The appointment is a big one and was also unexpected; Strahl was chosen by the Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, from a field of Conservative nominees.

The appointment is an indication that Strahl is widely respected in Parliament because the role of the speaker is to maintain order when Parliament sits, so the process of lawmaking runs as smoothly as possible.

The member for the Chilliwack Fraser Canyon will now lead the House of Commons whenever Milliken, who is a Liberal MP, is absent.

During long sessions of Parliament Strahl and Milliken will often share duties as the Speaker.

Opposition Leader Stephen Harper said in a press release that Strahl had earned the "respect and admiration or his colleagues in all parties for his knowledge of Parliament, his balanced approach and his good humour."

"Chuck’s constituents, and the people of British Columbia, should be proud that once again the Conservative benches have provided such as capable MP to help preside over the House of Commons."

Harper added that it was also a positive step that Strahl was appointed by the speaker rather than the Prime Minister, as has traditionally been the case.

"This has removed the usual partisanship from the process and will help ensure that the House works well now and in the future," he said.