Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Drummond for the question.
As my colleague knows, on July 28, the government relaunched the process for appointing the Commissioner of Official Languages. We sent a document to the leader of his party.
My colleague complains about a lack of consultation with his party and his leader, but we sent him a document that I have here with me entitled, “Commissioner of Official Languages — Selection Process to Appointment — Key Stages”.
As the NDP critic for official languages, my colleague from Drummond received a copy of that document. It is not some big secret.
The document indicates:
A selection committee is established to manage the process with the support of a search firm
The selection committee members, a majority of whom are public servants, is composed of one representative (senior official) from each of the following:
the Privy Council Office
the Treasury Board
Department of Canada Heritage
the Prime Minister’s Office
the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
...Leaders of the parties in both Houses of Parliament are invited to promote the opportunity to potential candidates, provide their input on stakeholder engagement and highlight qualities the selection committee should consider. This input will be shared with the selection committee.
That is a quotation from the document that he and his leader both received. The document indicates that we invited his leader to provide input at the beginning of the process. It is very clear in the document.
Once the process has been launched it then goes forward to an assessment, where the search firm screens the applicants against the criteria in the notice of appointment opportunity. There is a recommendation from among the qualified candidates upon review of the documentation provided by the selection committee. The Minister of Canadian Heritage submits the recommended candidate to the Minister of Justice, who then recommends the candidate to the Prime Minister.
There is then a parliamentary process. Consultations take place with the leaders and with the official languages critics, including my friend from Drummond, to inform them about the proposed candidate for nomination and to seek their input. Then there is the nomination and then the appointment.
All of this is clearly set out in a two-page document that was provided to my friend and to his leader back in July. There can be no lack of clarity around the process. It is there in black and white.
It is in process and we will, through this process, find the person who is best qualified to be the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Official languages are at the core of our identity as a country and are a priority of this government.