Madam Speaker, with respect to the appointment of the new Auditor General, Canadians can be confident that we have found a highly qualified individual for this very important position.
Mr. Ferguson brings with him the experience gained during a successful career in a series of senior financial positions with the Government of New Brunswick. We are fortunate to have found someone of his calibre to take on the demands of this important position.
As members know, the Office of the Auditor General plays a central role in ensuring the accountability and integrity of the Government of Canada. The Auditor General's job is one of the top financial jobs in the country, and it requires a top financial mind.
We looked for bilingual candidates. After an extensive process, Mr. Ferguson was chosen because he was the best qualified.
He has been a non-partisan public servant since 1985 and has had a distinguished career by any measure. Mr. Ferguson has succeeded in three important roles in New Brunswick: as comptroller general, auditor general and deputy minister of finance. In fact, he has had success after success in senior financial positions in the bilingual government of that province.
New Brunswick is a wonderful province with a rich heritage in both English and French. Mr. Ferguson's success in that bilingual jurisdiction is a good indicator of success in the federal government. Undoubtedly, the outstanding qualities that he brought to his career in New Brunswick will serve him well here in Ottawa.
The Auditor General has committed to improving his language skills in French. He has characterized this as a number one priority for him, including during his appearances before committees of the House and Senate.
Mr. Ferguson is a highly respected person in this field. We can be sure that he will carry on the high standards of auditing independence, integrity and excellence set by his predecessor Madam Sheila Fraser.
As Canada continues its efforts to strengthen accountability and transparency in its public institutions, while at the same time reducing the deficit and balancing the books, we will need a highly qualified individual in this post. That person is Michael Ferguson.