Harper takes responsibility for naming auditor general who doesn't speak French

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper says Canada's auditor general ought to be able to speak both English and French.

In an interview with French broadcaster TVA, the prime minister says that while Auditor General Michael Ferguson is otherwise qualified for the job, it's a drawback that he only speaks English.

Harper, who appointed Ferguson last year, says it's his responsibility to avoid similar situations in the future, and hopes Quebecers don't doubt his commitment to both of Canada's official languages.

He says agents of Parliament should be bilingual because they are in charge of offices that are expected to function in English and in French.

Judges, on the other hand, need not be bilingual, he says, except in the case of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Harper says Canada favours an institutional bilingualism, rather than an individual bilingualism, and that Canadians ought to be able to choose between French or English.