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Tuesday, November 29th 2016 - Question Period with Minister Mélanie Joly - Commissioner of Official Languages

Commissioner of Official Languages

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Minister, I would like to welcome you. Since your government was elected, you have been aware that Mr. Graham Fraser, the Commissioner of Official Languages, is approaching the end of his term. However, a year did not seem to be sufficient for you and he agreed to a three-month extension of his term. Now, that is not enough. Even though you know that his term ends on December 15, 2016, you are accepting applications until December 2, and you are already talking about appointing an acting commissioner of official languages for several months.

In the meantime, the number of complaints is increasing, files are evolving and, at the end of the day, the losers are the minority language communities. Minister, why did you wait until the last minute to replace him?

Hon. Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P., Minister of Canadian Heritage: Thank you for your question. In its approach to revising political appointments, our government wants to have an open, transparent and merit-based process. I would remind the Senator that I do not appoint the Commissioner of Official Languages; that is Parliament's responsibility. Given the circumstances, I will have the opportunity to speak with my colleagues and the party leaders about revising the process and appointing a new Commissioner. This is a very important file to which I am devoting considerable time and energy.

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