Opposition parties work to block pick for languages commissioner
Madeleine Meilleur is seen at the Ontario legislature in Toronto on June 11, 2013. (Colin Perkel / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:35AM EDT
OTTAWA - Opposition parties are trying to block the nomination of Madeleine Meilleur as the country's new official languages commissioner.
Conservatives and New Democrats accuse Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of picking Meilleur for the job without consulting them.
The two opposition parties asked the Speaker of the House of Commons on Wednesday to review the process by which the Liberal party chose their candidate to replace Graham Fraser.
NDP House Leader Murray Rankin says in the House that his party's opposition to Meilleur isn't "personal."
He says in an interview that the nomination process for officers of Parliament must be non-partisan and not doing so would create a precedent.
Heritage Minister Melanie Joly has defended Meilleur's nomination, saying she is the "most qualified" for the job.
Joly says the nomination process was "open and based on merit," and dismissed accusations of partisanship.
Meilleur is a longtime Ontario Liberal and francophone rights advocate who retired from politics last June after 13 years representing the riding of Ottawa-Vanier.
She is a former attorney general and former minister for francophone affairs.