OTTAWA—A united Liberal caucus, lead by Liberal Leader Bob Rae, today made the decision to boycott the vote on the appointment of the new Auditor General. As a result of the Conservative government’s decision to put forth a candidate without the necessary qualifications, the Liberal caucus made a statement on the illegitimacy of the vote on the government’s appointee.
“There are clear qualifications that a successful candidate for Auditor General must meet. This Conservative government’s nominee falls short,” said Mr. Rae. “The role of the AG is not to simply sit in a back room with a calculator. The Auditor General must be a communicator. When you can only communicate in one official language, you alienate those who speak the other. The Conservative nomination process has been mired in flaws and the Liberal caucus will not validate that process with even a no-vote.”
The increased scrutiny Liberals have placed on the nomination process has been met with little more than excuses and half-hearted justifications by the government.
“The Conservatives’ attempt to convince Canadians that there are no qualified candidates who meet the requirements is completely ludicrous,” continued Mr. Rae. “We know that there were bilingual candidates on the short list presented by federal officials. Why then did they choose a short-listed candidate without an essential qualification?”
The Conservative government has now back-pedaled further, claiming that their nominee will be proficient in French, and thus a qualified candidate, after one full year on the job.
“The government is trying to sell a nominee who requires an additional 1200 hours of training to reach proficiency in French,” said Mr. Rae. “This is an extremely rigorous job, and what we need is a fully-qualified Auditor General today to communicate oversight and hold this government to account. That person is out there and until a qualified candidate is appointed, the Liberal Party will not validate this process with a vote.”