OTTAWA– Liberal Official Languages critic Mauril Bélanger made the following statement today in reaction to a preliminary report by the Commissioner of Official Languages which found that the Conservative government did not respect its legal obligations by hiring a unilingual Auditor General:
“We now know, without a doubt, that the Conservatives violated our official languages laws by hiring a candidate to fill the post of Auditor General who wasn’t functional in both of Canada’s official languages. The nomination of someone unilingual – Francophone or Anglophone – is simply unacceptable.
The Liberal Party strongly criticized this nomination, boycotting the vote in the House of Commons to underline its unconstitutional nature. All questions and criticisms were rejected outright by this government, but it has now been confirmed that our concerns were well-founded.
This breach of the law shows the Conservative government’s condescending attitude towards the Canadian people. Mr. Harper must understand that bilingualism in Canada is about more than starting a speech in French, and that the millions of Francophones in this country deserve respect in all aspects of their democracy.”