The appointment raised concerns with minority French groups like the New Brunswick Acadian Society. It says nominating a uniligual anglophone to this position shows just how hard it is to communicate with the Harper government.
New Democrat MP Yvon Godin, an Acadian, says this is proof Prime Minister Harper didn't think these nominations through.
"It's like telling the anglophones, we're going to give someone to represent you. And he only speaks French and he doesn't speak English at all and that's your representative and you deal with it," said Godin.
But Menzies, who has taken a French immersion course and says he plans to learn more, brushed off the criticisms.
"We have two official languages in this country. Not just French. not just English. We have two official languages," said Menzies.
Who better to represent Canada's two official languages than a minister from Quebec for the French and a parliamentary secretary for the English, he said.
Considering the membership of la Francophonie --including such great French-speaking nations as Albania, Egypt, Greece and Moldova--Menzies' appointment is actually quite fitting.
In any event, why do we have a ministry for la Francophonie and none for the Commonwealth? Our political, cultural and historical ties are infinitely stronger than those to la Francophonie.