Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have been trying to establish a couple of things for my Liberal colleagues today, and one is that the specific nature of officers of Parliament, in particular, requires that there be no taint of partisanship at all. They must be impartial to work on behalf of all parliamentarians. The most recent example is the nomination by the Liberals of a person who had very recently been elected as a Liberal and who also donated to the Prime Minister's campaign. In testimony, she admitted that she would be in a conflict of interest in investigating the Prime Minister himself.
By anyone's definition of officers of Parliament, they must be able to do their jobs. Whether it is the ethics, lobbying, or languages commissioners, it does not matter. We have not been able to establish for my Liberal colleagues that nominating people in a conflict of interest is a bad idea.
To my point, every Liberal I have heard so far has said that nominations are going swimmingly. For Canadians tuning into this, they say that the nomination process is awesome and to forget the little thing with Madam Meilleur recently, because that was an aberration. However, a report from the CBC just a month ago said that the backlog in appointments by the government is up 80%. Five months after the Prime Minister suggested that his new appointments process would clear the backlog, the problem has gotten dramatically worse. No one is questioning the idea of the nominees having merit, diversity, and all those things, but to suggest that things are going well when the backlog has grown by 80% under their process is an opinion, not a fact.
First, could we at least establish that partisanship is a bad idea for an officer of Parliament? Second, could we admit to the fact in front of us that appointments seem to be a problem for the government and it is in need of a little help? There is nothing like a little help among opposition parties and government to make things work better for Canadians.