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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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- Philosopher King of Real Estate Business in Ontario (self-assessed)
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Lt Gov - Ribbon Cutter or Citizen's Champion?

Dear TorStar Editors,

Thanks for the Holiday Monday edition and the inclusion of a commonly held opinion regarding our Governors General and Lt Governors - " While David Onley's passion for the rights of the disabled is admirable ... he is merely a ribbon-cutting stand-in for an elderly woman who has become irrelevant to the vast majority of Canadians. "If he wants to champion a certain social cause, (he) should run in the next election, and do so with the consent of the electorate."
Indeed, in Great Britain, the Monarch's role has been limited (by the principle of Ministerial Responsibility - see 3rd para) to one of be(ing) consulted by Her Cabinet plus to warn and to encourage this 'Monarch-in-Council' group of advisors - as 2/3rds mentioned in the last paragraph of Ms Henderson's article.

In Canada, where we have "a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom " , one of the many differences in the Canadian system is the role of Monarch's representatives' in Executive Power decision-making.

Section 12 of the BNA Act 1867 gives the Governor General powers, as an individual (ie with, or without the Advice/Advice & Consent of the Cabinet), to veto each and every Act or Bill of the Legislative Order of government beneath Him/Her and S.65 + s.90 entrench and apply these same powers to the various Lt Governors.

Canada was established with Great Britain's Monarch-in-Council as suzerain, in addition to the Monarch being Sovereign. Any legislative happenings in this Dominion were/are subject to a two-stage approval process of 1) Royal Assent (or not) in Canada by the Monarch's local representative ( ss.55& 90) and 2) Disallowance (or not) at the next level up the chain of Authority (ss.66 & 90).

Constitutionally, the "Governor General-in-Council" (s.13) can Disallow any provincial Bill within 1 year (and has done so) and the Monarch (in-Council until 1982) can Disallow any Dominion Bill within 2 years (never been done, but by definition, no Constitutional power disappears simply through lack of use)

In summary, the Governor General and the Lt Governors are NOT anachronistic, symbolic "ribbon-cutting stand-ins" but are the last bulwark of tradition and prudence on behalf of the Queen of a Free and Democratic citizenry standing against the capricious actions of an over-reaching, or self-serving Cabinet.

We throw the torch to Mr Onley to read and understand the significance of these sections of the Constitution Act 1867, and armed with that knowledge, to revive the "Withholding of Assent" check-and-balance power of the Office he soon will hold and exercise that power at the earliest opportunity.

The next time you are asked to hold your nose and grant Royal Assent to a measure that the Cabinet wants, and that you feel the people need not endure, just say NO, Mr Onley, please just say NO.

That seemingly-defiant, future action will restore the the Crown to its place above the scrabble of elective politics and simultaneously, will transfer collective ownership of that Crown to the Citizens of Canada.

The suzerainty of the UK Cabinet-in-Council will be functionally extinguished (legally ended in 1982), the 'patriation' of Canadian sovereignty will be complete and the role/duty of citizens-as-owners of the country be established.

That action will be one to remember as the tipping point of Canadian democratic evolution and that day the one when Canadians became fully enfranchised ... not with a bang, but with a pen stroke.

As Lt Governor, Mr Onley can be far more important to All Ontarian and All Canadians than any party-disciplined MP or MPP.

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