Madeleine Meilleur, a former long-time councillor, local MPP and Liberal cabinet minister at Queen’s Park, has found a very difficult opponent in her quest to become the official languages commissioner … Chantal Hebert.
Hebert works for the Liberal Toronto Star (when the Star is against you as a Liberal, that’s trouble) and is respected on both sides of the Canadian cultural divide.
If and when Meilleur’s name is put to a vote in the Commons, her appointment might carry only because the Liberals hold a majority. Under that scenario, things could get difficult in the Senate. Some independent senators may balk at vetting an appointment that is devoid of consensual support in the other house. It does not help that some of the associations that toil on the front of French-language rights have expressed concerns over the integrity of the process.
This comes at a time when the Liberal government has presented legislation that could clip the wings of the parliamentary budget officer. To say that there is widespread opposition suspicion that the Liberals like watchdogs best when they are on a leash — just as their predecessors did — is an understatement.
In the last election campaign, Trudeau accused Stephen Harper of having turned Parliament Hill into “a partisan swamp.” He said he would clean it up. It is hard to reconcile that promise with an appointment that fails the non-partisan smell test.
To read the whole Hebert column, click here.
Video above: A Meilleur political announcement from two years ago.
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