I'd like to go back to the point that I was discussing earlier with Mr. Théberge, so that he understands that our opposition is based on the way in which the government made its choice.
We are one of the recognized parties in the House of Commons. We have 44 members, although you only need 12. The law requires that there be a consultation. Like my friend and colleague Guy Caron said the context of a response to the Prime Minister, for a consultation to occur, you have to ask for the opinion of the person being consulted. For that to happen, the government would have had to submit its choices and proposals and justify them, and so on. Based on the jurisprudence, we believe that a government that claims to consult a party by presenting the person it has chosen has not consulted the party; it has informed it. That is clear to us.
And so I wanted to say that we are going to maintain our position, because we think that the work that must be done by the Commissioner of Official Languages is too important to be tainted by procedural defects in the nomination process. We are not changing our minds on that. Nothing in the non-responses of the minister has changed our point of view in this regard.
Before Mr. Caron drafted his comments, I had written a very similar letter. The minister replied that we had asked that francophones outside Quebec and anglophone Quebeckers be consulted and that an Acadian candidate be considered. She forgot one thing, which is that the primary purpose of my letter was to point out to her that she had never consulted our party, the NDP. And yet it was clearly stated in the letter. I wanted to clarify that point. It is part of our work as parliamentarians to see to it that laws and the rule of law be respected. We live in a society governed by the rule of law. This position is crucial, in our opinion.
That being said, I want to go back to the current provisions of the Official Languages Act. I know that Mr. Théberge knows them very well. Aside from the issue of what happens to the recommendations, there is the concrete case of Air Canada, a company which is in a way, the dunce of the class when it comes to official languages. The previous commissioner, Graham Fraser, said so on many occasions and produced a thick report substantiating his analysis.
I would like to know what tools the Commissioner of Official Languages should have, in your opinion, to obtain compliance from a delinquent like Air Canada, which obstinately refuses to comply with the Official Languages Act.