22 May 2017
The appointment of Madeleine Meilleur as the new Commissioner of Official Languages has been considered inappropriate by both opposition parties. NDP Leader, Tom Mulcair, on grounds that this is a purely political appointment of a fellow Liberal from the provincial level & also because the appointment was done without consultation with the opposition parties, which is a requirement. Opposition from the CPC also referred to the non-consultation but focussed on the fact that her command of the English language is less than adequate for this very powerful position which pays just a little less than what our Prime Minister earns. The Commissioner of Official Languages is paid: $314,100/yr. The Prime Minister is paid $172,700 as an MP and $172,700 as PM (totalling $345,400):
Her appointment is hailed by most of the French-power clique because she has been very effective in advancing the power of the 4% French-speakers in Ontario where she served as the Minister for Francophone Affairs & represented a mostly French seat (Ottawa-Vanier).
She will probably use this powerful position to influence PM Trudeau to pressure Mayor Watson & the City Council to make the city "Officially Bilingual". Hopefully, the PM might keep to his word of "non-interference" in a strictly municipal jurisdiction. All we can do is for the non-French majority of Canadians to let our PM know that, although he has broken many of his election promises, this is one he won't break. However, that is totally up to us - do we care enough or are we quite content to allow the French Minority to call the shots? If you care - please contact the PM's office: PM@PM.GC.CA
Most of the mainstream media has stayed away from this topic. Thank God for a few brave journalists like Brian Lilley of the Rebel media whose article in the Toronto Sun should be read Following the article is the link to his CFRA show on Thursday, May 18th, where you can actually hear Madeleine Meilleur speaking at a level of English that would not meet the stringent level of French spoken by an English-speaker wishing to pass the language test.
Yes, Canada’s language commissioner does need top-notch English
By Brian Lilley
First posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 05:50 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 05:58 PM EDT
Correctional Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur is seen at the Ontario legislature in Toronto on June 11, 2013. The new proposed official languages commissioner says she wasn't expecting the storm of controversy surrounding her nomination. Meilleur says she believes she has the requisite qualifications for the job. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)
There are many reasons not to confirm Madeleine Meilleur as the next Commissioner of Official Languages but the biggest reason has to be her atrocious skills in English.
As NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has already pointed out, Meilleur is a patronage appointment, a former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister that donated handsomely to Justin Trudeau’s leadership campaign.
Meilleur used her Liberal connections to vie for the job, contacting Trudeau’s right hand man Gerald Butts directly to ask for the posting. She also told MPs that she took Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff out for coffee to lobby for the appointment.
All of that makes her appointment a bit too cosy for a supposedly “rigorous, open, and merit-based process” as the Liberals keep claiming it to be in the House of Commons.
But all of that matters even less than Ms. Meilleur’s inability to speak English at the highest level
Now I know the rules of etiquette. Anglos apologize for their poor French and we can never criticize someone else’s English.
But hold on a minute.
Madeleine Meilleur isn’t just your average person applying for any job, she wants to be the top language cop in the country. The office of the commissioner conducts audits of how well federal departments and the civil servants that work for them are able to carry out their duties in both official languages. She wants to grade the ability of others to speak English and French and fails to give basic responses in proper English at a legislative committee?
Once off her written script, Meilleur had to dip into French, not once but several times when faced with basic questions in English. This is someone that has practiced law in Ontario, was a city councillor in Ottawa and served 13 years in the cabinet of Ontario’s Liberal government.
Yet when asked who she spoke to about getting her job, Meilleur couldn't come up with the English words for “heritage minister,” “prime minister,” or “privy council office.”
My critics, and Meilleur’s defenders, will try and paint this as some kind of anti-French bigotry but nothing could be further from the truth. Civil servants applying for high level jobs are required to meet strict bilingualism requirements, requirements that I don’t think Meilleur could meet.
Shouldn’t someone who wants to be the top language cop know the difference between the singular and the plural?
In her brief time speaking English at the committee, Meilleur repeatedly spoke of wanting to serve “Canadian” not “Canadians”
“There was 10 person, I think most of them were civil servant and there was a representative from the minister of patrimoine, heritage minister, and one from the premiere ministere,” Meilleur said.
So she says “10 person” not “10 persons” and doesn’t understand, despite all her years in political life, that when speaking of a group they are “civil servants” not the singular “civil servant.” And don’t you think you should know how to say prime minister in English if you want to be the Commissioner of Official Languages?
Like I said, I don’t think Meilleur could pass the testing required for a job as a civil servant.
Francophone callers to my radio show and commenters on social media postings about this have noted that they have steeper requirements for bilingualism than Meilleur exhibits.
If a candidate was put forward to hold the position with French skills as poor as Meilleur’s English skills, Francophones would rightly be outraged.
The NDP is opposing Meilleur’s confirmation, not based on language but over her cozy relationship with the government, her years as a Liberal, her donation record. Mulcair says it does not give her the distance, objectivity and independence the job requires
As someone that has been listening to Meilleur speak for nearly two decades, that cozy relationship appears to be the only qualification she has.
About the author:
To hear a recording of Madeleine's fluency in English, link to Brian's radio show on Thursday, May 18th:
Look for the podcasts for Thursday, May 18th:
The podcast is broken into 3 segments of one hour each. Click on all three segments to get a recording of her interview with John Nater, CPC MP for the Perth-Wellington riding in Ontario.
Here's another brave writer from the English media:
“ILLEGAL”: Trudeau Ignores Law In Nomination Of Language Commissioner
May 20, 2017
Justin Trudeau thinks he is above the rules.
He apparently thinks his government is above the laws as well.
Trudeau has “nominated” Medeleine Meilleur to be the next Commissioner of Official Languages.
Meilleur is a former Kathleen Wynne cabinet Minister from the Ontario Liberals, and has previously donated to both the federal Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau’s campaign for party leader.
Here’s why that’s a problem:
Just like the Ethics Commissioner, the Commissioner of Official Languages is supposed to be non-partisan. Clearly Meilleur is a partisan individual. And even worse, the opposition parties say they were not consulted on Meilleur’s nomination, despite the law stating the opposition parties must be consulted.
That would make the appointment illegal.
Reports show Meilleur only “consulted” with Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s two top advisors in the PMO, in addition to Mathiew Bouchard, who serves as Trudeau’s Quebec advisor.
Opposition rips “illegal” nomination
Considering Trudeau appears to have violated the law by arrogantly refusing to consult the opposition, neither the Conservatives nor NDP are pleased.
As reported by the Globe and Mail, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said, “This is about an appointment process that is singularly deficient and, as far as we’re concerned, illegal at this stage.”
Conservative MP John Nater said, “There has obviously been direct intervention by the Prime Minister’s Office. The candidate has met with key officials in the Prime Minister’s Office. It is a disappointing outcome to see a distinguished provincial politician have to be put through a process where she is being tainted by the actions of the Prime Minister.”
More Trudeau corruption
Trudeau’s arrogance has led to an attitude of corruption that has spread through the entire government. After all, he faced an investigation from the Languages Commissioner for refusing to answer a question in English at one of his sham town halls.
So the fact that he seems to be illegally appointing a partisan political crony to the position shows his intention to corrupt that area of oversight into a role that does his bidding and lets him get away with whatever he wants.
It’s yet a further example that Justin Trudeau sees the government as his own birthright and personal toy, and has zero regard for the Canadian people2 he is supposed to be serving, or the laws he is supposed to be upholding.
Translated by Google from the French media
OTTAWA - The new Commissioner of Official Languages, Madeleine Meilleur, received a real group shot from members of the opposition parties who sit on the Standing Committee on Official Languages on Thursday, May 18.
BENJAMIN VACHET email@example.com | @BVachet
Members of the Liberal Party of Canada (DPL), including Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, claim that she was the "best candidate for the position," the government's arguments are not with the opposition In the House of Commons.
Particularly vindictive the New Democratic Party (NDP) had even sent its leader, Thomas Mulcair, to welcome Mrs. Meilleur.
He did not spare the former Liberal MP from Ontario, while ensuring that the opposition of the NDP to his appointment is primarily formal and has nothing to do with his personal qualities.
"We think it's a mistake. You do not have the critical distance to do that! "Mulcair said.
The former Attorney General defended his experience and assured that all his actions taken as Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs in Ontario had been "over the political parties and in the interest" of the Franco- Ontario minority.
"I was selected through a rigorous process. I know that I would be impartial in the performance of my duties, if I am lucky enough to be appointed. I want to be judged on my behavior and my accomplishments. I can not erase the last 13 years of partisan politics. "
A reflection that did not fail to make Mr. Mulcair react.
"That's the problem, Ms. Meilleur!"
The Liberal members of the committee tried to calm the game by recalling Mrs. Meilleur's accomplishments and quoting twice the comments made by the NDP critic for Francophone Affairs in Ontario, France Gélinas, in tribute to Mme Meilleur, at the time Where she left politics, said she was "francophone before being liberal."
Nova Scotia Acadian MP Darrell Samson expressed satisfaction and stolen Ms. Meilleur.
"Please do not erase everything you've done in the past 13 years in Ontario. It was exceptional. So imagine the country! "
Non-compliance with the law?
On the eve of Ms. Meilleur's passing before the parliamentary committee, the NDP expressed reservations about respecting the procedure for appointing the new Commissioner of Official Languages, as provided for in the Official Languages Act.
Under the Act, appointments may only be made after consultation with the leader of each recognized party in the Senate and the House of Commons and after approval by resolution of both Houses.
According to the opposition parties, no consultation took place and the leaders of the NDP and the Conservative Party of Canada (CCP) were only notified by a letter from the Prime Minister indicating the choice of Mrs. Meilleur, without any discussion.
Conservative MP John Nater said he was surprised that Ms Meilleur had been informed of her appointment in April, when interim CPC leader Rona Ambrose was only informed in May, he said.
The two opposition parties are all the more worried that this process could, they say, set a precedent, even as the mandate of the ethics commissioner draws to a close. They asked the Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan, to comment on the appointment process.
In the House, Conservative MP Sylvie Boucher, an official language critic for her party, also questioned the transparency of Ms. Meilleur's appointment, when confirmed by the government .
"The recipe is simple: $ 5,000 to the Liberal Party, $ 500 to the Prime Minister's leadership race, and then, we get the position of Commissioner of Official Languages!" She said.
Ms. Boucher was referring to Ms. Meilleur's contributions to the LPC funds.
According to revised data from Elections Canada, the new Commissioner of Official Languages has made several donations to the party over the last ten years for a total of slightly over $ 2,200, including a $ 125 donation to support the leadership candidacy. Stéphane Dion, in 2006, and donations to local Liberal associations.
The former Minister for Francophone Affairs of Ontario would also have contributed $ 500, according to data submitted to Elections Canada, to support Justin Trudeau's PLC leadership bid in 2012. It did not contribute to any Another federal political party, according to the same data from Elections Canada.
These contributions were questioned before the committee by the Conservative MP, Bernard Généreux.
"These contributions were made when I was a member of Parliament and a minister. If I am the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, I would be non-partisan, "she argued, acknowledging later that she should prove her good faith. "I know I'll have to be careful to show that I'm neutral."
The leader of the NDP insisted on his fears.
"How will you be able to investigate the Prime Minister when you have contributed to his campaign? You are liberal in heart. How are you going to judge someone you've supported? That is why this position must be independent and non-partisan. "
At the end of the appearance, Mr Mulcair insisted: "Far from being reassured, we are even more convinced that this appointment (Madeleine Meilleur) would be a mistake that undermines credibility Of the office of Commissioner of Official Languages. "
At the press conference, he attacked the Prime Minister.
"The fault here is Justin Trudeau. It is an opaque and artificial process! "
Mr. Mulcair also expressed concern about Ms. Meilleur's explanation that she had met with several close advisors from Mr. Trudeau's office prior to his appointment, and then one of them during one of his two interviews for the position of Mr. Commissioner.
Upon leaving her appearance, the former Ontario minister felt that this privileged access to the Prime Minister's family had not helped him.
"I was told that it was an open process and that everyone should go through the same process. And I think I had a ribbon to go up because of my thirteen years in active politics, "she said.
While Ms Meilleur left provincial politics just a year ago , her appointment as Canada's Official Languages Commissioner would not, in principle, violate any rule since the restrictions imposed at the provincial level apply only to provincial positions, As explained by the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario.
Questioned by #ONfr , the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner at the federal level returned the ball to the Privy Council Office (PCO), which manages the appointments of officers of Parliament. The Office ensures that the process is open and transparent, even if the final choice of the candidate rests with the Prime Minister alone and the names of the persons who have been in charge of studying the candidatures are kept secret.
Those reading this message who may have left the province of New Brunswick, please respond to an appeal from the beleaguered English-speakers who need help to fight back. In Canada where the Rule of Law is still respected, the only way to fight back is politically. Contact:
Claire Dykeman: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Kris Austin: email@example.com (Leader of the People's Alliance of N.B.)
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