PM noncommittal about NDP plan for nonpartisan watchdog appointments

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem inclined to accept an NDP proposal aimed at ensuring only non-partisan individuals are appointed to be independent federal watchdogs — even though his first such appointment blew up in his face.The NDP is proposing to change parliamentary rules to require that a special multi-party committee — on which no single party has a majority — would have to give its stamp of approval to anyone nominated by the government to be an officer of Parliament.The proposal comes on the heels of controversy over Trudeau’s first pick to fill one of the watchdog roles — Madeleine Meilleur as official languages commissioner.Meilleur, a former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister who donated to both the federal Liberal party and Trudeau’s leadership campaign in the past, withdrew her candidacy last week after weeks of fierce criticism about her partisan allegiance to the government she was supposed to hold to account.Despite the furor, Trudeau is defending his new “merit-based” appointment process and is refusing to endorse the NDP proposal.At the same time, his government House leader, Bardish Chagger, is raising objections to the NDP plan.last_img

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