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Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Published Nat Post -Untouchable Governor General

Published Apr 5, 2007


Dear Editor,

Special thanks to Andrew Coyne for Spring Election? Maybe not, National Post A21, April 4,2007 .

May I add one corrective fact to his thought-provoking piece on the powers of the Governor General & Commander in Chief as Constitutionally paramount Executive Officer in Canada.

In the U.K., HRH the Queen is bound, as Mr Coyne says "... to accept (H)er first minister's advice in most things, but not in (H)er choice of first ministers" as part of the Ministerial Responsibility arrangement cooked up over there when they re-instated the Monarchy ( i.e. the Minister will resign if there's a mistake made, in the meantime You accept everything we dish up).

But in Canada, as a result of our arrested-in-development constitutional evolution, the Governor General is never required to accept the recommendation(s) of Her/His ministers

Contrary to popular knowledge EVERY time a recommendation is made, the Governor General is empowered by s. 12 of the BNA to decide a) "with the Advice", b) "or with the Advice and Consent of ... the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, or any Members thereof," c) "or by the Governor General individually". These provisions are never lost through desuetude. (NB this is distinctly different than the provisos of s.13 regarding the times when there is constitutional reference to the office of Governor General in Council).

The only reason this all seems "new" or "wrong" to regular Canadians is due to the two-step revenge of the Rt Hon Wm L King in reaction to the King-Byng dissolution feud that Mr Coyne cites.

In 1940, to prevent any future GG from saying No to any of Mr King's further recommendations, the wily PM usurped (by Order in Council 1940-1121) the GG's independent, supervisory advisors -s.11 the Privy Council- and lobbied to have the PM control the appointment of a "Canadian" to the position of Head of State.

The two reasons that no post-1950 Governor General has used the Office's powers to rebuff the government of the day is that they dared not offend their patron and as more of the 50+ years have passed, no Governor General had the public consent or mandate (not that it's constitutionally required in any way, no matter what Wm L King said back then) to assert the Crown's absolute authority over the democratic element.

So go for it, Your Excellency! in addition to being "a wildly popular viceroy -- and as a black, an immigrant, a francophone, and a woman, untouchable four times over" we can also give you the clout of the highest law in the land.

1 Comments:

Blogger tjeerd said...

If Harper wants to go to the people for a mandate, she should grant his wish, as she should.

9:46 pm  

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