Meilleur pulls out of languages job cites controversy around nomination

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberals’ contentious choice for official languages commissioner has withdrawn her candidacy, saying her nomination has become a “controversy.”In a letter addressed to the heritage minister, Madeleine Meilleur said she didn’t think she would be able to do the job properly given the uproar since her name was put forth by the government.“As you know, my nomination has become the subject of controversy,” she told Melanie Joly in the letter dated Tuesday. “Considering this situation, I have concluded that my capacity to fully assume my functions and to act on behalf of Canadians would be greatly compromised.”The letter came after steadfast Opposition criticism of Meilleur’s possible appointment because of her ties to the federal Liberals.It also came after her appearance on Monday night in front of a Senate committee where she admitted having discussed “in passing” her interest for the job with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s two closest advisers.Meilleur’s comments left many senators speechless and increased speculation the upper chamber would reject her nomination.During testimony in May in front of the Commons official languages committee, Meilleur had made similar comments about her discussions with Trudeau’s advisersJoly wouldn’t say Wednesday whether Meilleur’s Senate appearance influenced her decision to withdraw.“Mrs. Meilleur took her decision,” Joly said. “She has been, and is, an important advocate in favour of linguistic rights in this country and I really hope that she’ll continue to do this important work.”Meilleur was a Liberal member of the Ontario legislature between 2003 and 2016.The federal Liberals insisted her selection was based on merit, experience and a track record of defending francophone rights.But New Democrats and Conservatives accused Trudeau of picking her for the job without consulting them.The Conservatives called her withdrawal from contention “good news” as they accused the prime minister of “embarrassing himself” and lacking judgment.Tory MPs repeatedly asked Trudeau during question period if the nomination process would be reformed.Trudeau, who took questions from MPs, as is his custom on Wednesdays, did not provide direct answers.Graham Fraser was the previous official languages commissioner.last_img read more

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