News Alert: The prime minister admits mistake

- October 26th, 2012

I wish it were about something other than this, mind:

It was wrong to appoint an auditor general who is not bilingual, Prime Minister Stephen Harper now reportedly admits.

According to Montreal newspaper La Presse, the prime minister told his Conservative caucus last week he made a mistake last year when he appointed the English-speaking Michael Ferguson to the job, and indicated the government would support the NDP’s bill requiring officers of Parliament to be bilingual before their appointment.

NDP MP Alexandrine Latendresse, from the Quebec City riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent, tabled a private member’s bill, bill C-419, earlier this year that would require 10 positions to be bilingual. Those positions include chief electoral officer, privacy commissioner, ethics commissioner, information commissioner and official languages commissioner.

The Liberals and Bloc Quebecois have already indicated they would support C-419.

Categories: Conservatives

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4 comments

  1. pat grant says:

    will PM ever stop kissing Quebec ass??????

    competence to do job means a lot more to Canadian voters than speaking French ever will

    this stupidity has cost us gazillions and for what?

  2. Anna Osterberg says:

    As a bilingual nation, the symbolism of having bilingual officers of Parliament is very important. However, I personally believe that this factor alone should not veto the right of a person to be granted a job in higher-level government. Approximately 58% of Canada is English-speaking and 22% is French-speaking. Dismissing over half of Canadians solely based on the language they speak (or do not speak) is, in my opinion, degrading towards the purpose of the bill. Mr. Ferguson was most likely appointed because he was the most competent for the job, and that is what really matters: a person’s ability for the job they are being considered for, not their background.

  3. Greg K says:

    While I am quite delighted to see that the Prime Minister admitted his mistake, I’m disappointed to see it’s something so trivial. I don’t know much about Micheal Ferguson but it seems to me that if he has the job he should keep it regardless if he can speak french or not. No where in The PM’s statement does he say that Fergusons’ work is unsatisfactory and so I have to believe that the only reason he said this was to in some way increase (or repair) his influence over the french speaking populace, which at this point seems to be nothing more than a process to save face.
    In my opinion at least, everything that comes from a politician is used to save themselves regardless if it is meant or even relevant.

  4. Emily Nunez says:

    Even without bill C-419 being passed, bilingualism is a powerful asset to anyone applying for a position as officer of parliament. This is testament to a statement made by Tony Clement’s spokesperson, who made it clear that in the government officer selection process, bilingual applicants are primarily sought after, but in the end, the most deserving applicant earns the position. While I myself am a proud bilingual Canadian, I fear that the passing of this bill may prevent some of the most deserving applicants for the position from being appointed.

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