Trudeau nominates Theberge, Belanger as commissioners for languages and lobbying
Official Languages commissioner Graham Fraser speaks at a news conference in Ottawa Thursday May 7, 2015 in Ottawa.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Wednesday November 29, 2017 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:12PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 30, 2017 6:05PM EST
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated an official languages commissioner on Thursday as well as a lobbying commissioner.
Trudeau's choice for the languages job was Raymond Theberge, who has been president and vice-chancellor of Universite de Moncton since 2012.
The Franco-Manitoban's name began circulating last week as the likely successor to Graham Fraser.
Madeleine Meilleur withdrew her candidacy earlier this year following accusations from the opposition she was too closely linked to the governing Liberals.
Trudeau praised Theberge as someone with a passion for the linguistic duality.
"I am confident that Mr. Theberge will hold our government to account for the full implementation of the Official Languages Act," Trudeau said in a statement.
The federation representing francophone and Acadian communities across Canada said it was thrilled the new commissioner is not from Ontario or Quebec -- something not seen in almost 50 years.
"What I see that is positive with the nomination, above all, is that someone was finally chosen -- it was about time," said federation president Jean Johnson. "We are officially happy with the nomination, full stop. Now, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work."
For the lobbying position, Trudeau chose Nancy Belanger, who currently has a high-ranking position at the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada.
The Prime Minister's Office said Belanger's legal career with the federal public service spans more than two decades.
Trudeau said Belanger has the legal background and leadership experience to do an outstanding job as lobbying commissioner.
Both nominations must be approved by the House of Commons and the Senate.