So long, Michaëlle Jean? -

So long, Michaëlle Jean?

(UPDATED) Rick Hansen has not been approached; many are speculating on who will be the next GG


According to a Toronto Star report, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is looking for a new governor general, and will not be extending the term of Michaëlle Jean. A source for the Star story claimed that Rick Hansen, the Man in Motion wheelchair athlete, had been approached and turned down the position. But the next day, papers were quoting Hansen’s spokesperson as saying he had not been approached formally or informally and if he was, he would seriously consider the offer. Another name being tossed around is John de Chastelain, a former chief of staff and U.S. ambassador. Meanwhile, a recently released Star/Angus Reid poll has Jean’s approval rating at 57 per cent after her five years in the role.

Toronto Star


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So long, Michaëlle Jean?

  1. She's basically done everything he's asked. what more could he ask for?

    • She's not white, male and obsequious enough.

      • That was my first thought, too: the Conservatives is looking for somebody compliant.

        If the Tories can turn the Senate and the Governor General into a series of rubber stamps, there's less that stands in the way of their seeming goal of autocratic rule. Well, there's still Parliament, but they're bent on ignoring that.

        • That should be "the Conservatives are looking for somebody compliant", of course. I'll take Bad Proofreading for $400, Alex…

      • oh she's obsequious enough, surely.

    • The position is for a fixed term. The next person will be English speaking as it alternates between English and French speaking. I hope he pitcks someone who has actually done public service and known among some Canadians. Martin chose Jean for purely politically correct reasons, but she was just a television personality who had links to separatism when chosen as far as I know. Far more other people deserved the position. I would love to see Terry Fox's parents be joint GG's!

      • The position is for a fixed term.

        No, it's not. Convention is that he or she sits for at least five years, but the appointment is still "at Her Majesty's pleasure."

        As for who he's going to pick, I've got my money on Charles McVety. (And trust me, that's a bet I'm praying to lose!)

        • I don't Harper has the balls for that.

    • Someone who doesn't bitch-slap him every Canada day.

      I'll miss it.

  2. I don't know exactly what goes through her mind. She never properly answered to the questions around her association with the FLQ and her comments related to that situation. Recently her MANY comments insinuating that she IS the Queen of Canada are just embarrassing to the entire country and the government. We need someone who will represent Canada in a way we can be proud of.

    • She ever said anything remotely close to being the Queen of Canada.

      She is a King Maker, not a Queen.

  3. '.. A source claims that Rick Hansen, the Man in Motion wheelchair athlete, was approached and has turned down the position…'

    Gossip journalism,
    a source? didn't say a government source, could have been the janitor at the TorStar
    was approached? by who, didn't say, could have been the journalist that wrote this article

    There was a rumor that Preston Manning was being considered for GG. Now that would be a terrific choice.

    • Do you suppose that Manning would accept?

      • No, unfortunately.

        • I would also be surprised to see Manning accept the role…maybe a little later, after he finishes up with some of his other projects.

          What would make him such a good choice?

    • I really don't think appointing former politicians would be appropriate. Manning also would never accept, since he'd have to shut his pie-hole on policy for the duration (that is, unless they want to turn the whole period into an absurd fiasco).

      • Why pie-hole? While I disagree with more than just one or two of Manning's positions, there is still quite a lot that today's politicians (not limited to any party in particular) could learn from Manning in term's of being a parliamentarian; he doesn't deserve to be slagged like that.

  4. If this gossip is true, then perhaps M. Harper is setting the precedent that a term means exactly that, with no extensions, no matter what. Laudable.

    • Nonsense.

    • To clarify: his law preventing governments from dissolving Parliament early wasn't 'precedent' enough to stop him from doing just that. To suggest that this has any weight at all is completely and utterly ridiculous.

  5. Preston manning as GG would be the partisan choice. I nominate Peter Mansbridge

    • i think they have had enough people from the cbc for now about Craig Oliver haha

  6. Well, sure he is. In the next election, if the Libs and the NDP have a functioning majority, with or without the Bloc, Harper needs to have a toadie to ask him to form a government.

    Besides, Haitian-Canadians are concentrated in Montreal, and they don't vote for the Tories.

  7. I think we are way overdue for a Constitutional and parliamentary expert as a GG.

    The mission – the educate Canadians, who obviously don't understand it. Harper's made full use of the lack of understanding and misinforms Canadians.

    But, Harper wouldn't have the strength to do that. He'll want a yes-man

  8. I nominate Raheem Jaffer.

    • How about a two man team, Helena and Raheem?

  9. I suggest that it should not be the Prime Minister that chooses the GG. We need a more democratic method a secret vote by the House of Commons and the Senate?

    • I think that is really dangerous. The governor-general, like the senate, has no legitimacy precisely because he/she is appointed by the Prime Minister. If we subject either to a more legitimate form of selection, we increase their relevance in policy matters. That can have the unintended consequence of creating gridlock and empowering what is essentially a dictator (yes, the governor-general is a dictator – just one with no power).

      I certainly understand your sentiments – one of our fundamental norms in Canada is that democracy is a good thing. However, you have to consider both the specific effects on one institution, and the systemic effects on our entire government.

  10. How about we get rid of the monarchy altogether.

    I'm tired of Canada being a colony. Time for us to become a country.

    • There is no such thing as a country – all people, no matter where they are, have multiple levels of government (some of which are tied to explicit states, others of which are not). You are at once governed by a municipality, a province, a country, a Commonwealth, and a system of international law (to name but some of the layers that govern you). Moreover, you are richer for having more than one layer of government. Some problems are global, some problems are local, and some are in-between. Having a polycentric form of governance – and being part of something larger than our own community is manifestly in the interest of all of us.

    • here here i second that motion…no more monarchy…no more colony..just a dumb ole country

    • Somebody would still be needed to fulfill certain roles currently performed by the GG.

    • That could be a dangerous gamble…

      • not gonna happen, Wayne won't move his family

    • Oh god I hope not. The Orange One should stay in California. He was a terrible choice for lighting the cauldron (he looked put out by having to do it, with his grimace). He used to be a good hockey player. He doesn't even live in Canada. Give it a rest already.

      • As an idea from Stephen Taylor, it's actually not bad.. relatively speaking.

  11. Well, thats a nice thankyou for doing everything she could possibly do to keep his dysfunctional minority government clinging to power.

    • right on nciholas

  12. I say either Prince Andrew (hey, we're a constitutional monarchy so why not actually have a representative of the Royal Family in the position), Hilary Weston, Preston Manning, Rick Hillier or Wayne Gretzky. Those are my picks

    • prince andrew can kiss my canuck arse so can all the rest of the others listed and named it has to be someone totally different with appeal, smarts and awesome reviews …with no ties to other countries aka immigrants or there might be a tsunami or earthquake in that country of his or her origin…

    • I think Prince Charles will make an excellent king. Just you wait – he'll surprise us all. That said, I wonder if it might be to the benefit of the monarchy to pick the best-suited child, rather than simply the eldest.

      This would have the advantage of reducing the likelihood of a bad king, for two reasons. Firstly, it would enable the Queen to avoid picking clearly unsuitable heirs, and secondly, it would encourage her sons to compete in order to improve their own candidacy.

      Of course there is one bigger advantage. Charles has had to live his entire life being groomed to be king. He has had to make decisions on the basis of how they would affect his kingliness. Ironically, I think the result is that Charles has been over-managed, and unable to be his own man (for instance, not being able to marry his true love – until recently). Ironically, this has made him less credible as a potential king. We think of kings as being strong and independent. If Charles had been able to go his own way in life, he probably would have made different decisions and would have more to show for it today.

      I realize why the succession of the eldest son was historically useful. Firstly, it eliminates uncertainty (which was a big problem when you could raise armies in order to usurp the throne). Secondly, when life expectancy was short, and the new king often young, it made sense to be able to groom somebody for the throne from birth. Neither is a factor today.

    • great mention of Rick Hillier ! I would like to see him as a cabinet minister instead!

    • We should all remember that most had never heard of M. Jean before she became GG , a role she grew into. I think the reason she was chosen is atleast she knew how to talk to people which is what the GG does all the time, being a broadcaster. Rick Hansen would be a great choice. Autumn Kelly who is married to Princess Anne's son Peter -I think that would be an idea as she is born here in Canada and has a direct link to the Queen.

  13. "You know I am really tired of this asinine argument that because Canadians didn't SUPPORT the coalition, they must not understand parliamentary government."

    There's nothing wrong with not supporting the coalition – that's fine. What's wrong is when Conservatives and their supporters start saying that a coalition is some kind of coup, or that it is thwarting the will of the people of Canada.

    Strictly speaking, the Bloc weren't part of the coalition – they just agreed to support it.

    "One of the advantages of OUR system of government is that we are governed by unwritten rules and principles, rather than explicit ones."

    The Conservatives are exploiting the fact that the other parties are assuming that our system of government is governed by unwritten rules and principles. There's nothing illegal about saturation attack advertising when an election is not happening, or mailbombing swing ridings with 10 percenters – or, possibly, even the alleged in-and-out spending scheme. But it's not how things have been done, historically.

    • Strictly speaking, without the Bloc, Dion was in no position to to form his coalition of losers.

      Canadians understood LibDipBlocheads had some 100 year old British sort of right to seize the government….they just didn't like the idea Libs lied about forming a coalition and the seppies having a veto and Jack with his hands on the cheque book.
      Try it again, but this time don't lie,
      imo, deceiving the general public is the #1 reason the GG gave PMSH his prorogue……you Libs lied

      • Strictly speaking, without the support of at least one of the opposition parties, Harper's in no position to be governing either.

        See, the whole thing about minority government is that you don't need a majority of the seats to govern. Just so long as the majority of the House of Commons supports you.

    • "The Conservatives are exploiting the fact that the other parties are assuming that our system of government is governed by unwritten rules and principles. There's nothing illegal about saturation attack advertising when an election is not happening, or mailbombing swing ridings with 10 percenters – or, possibly, even the alleged in-and-out spending scheme. But it's not how things have been done, historically."

      Attack advertising between elections has historically not been done because Canada usually has majority governments, rather than a perpetual state of election readiness. Moreover, limits on campaign spending mean that the one party able to raise money effectively (the Tories) have more money than they could spend within an election. This has nothing to do with their being unscrupulous – other parties would run ads in-between elections too, if they had the money. As for ten percenters, the other parties used them too, so there was clearly no unwritten rule against them. Living in an NDP-Liberal swing riding, I got plenty of stuff from Jack Layton (who is not my MP). Finally, once again, the in-and-out fundraising issue could not have happened before 2003 or so because that is when Chretien's campaign finance reforms came in. Moreover, the Tories were exonerated on that front anyway.

      The unwritten rules and principles I am talking about are entirely different, and much more explicit than that. I am talking about ideas like cabinet solidarity, or the existence of the Prime Minister (which is not established formally).

      • How can unwritten rules be explicit? I don't get it.

        My belief, sadly, is that the Canadian electorate is divided by an unbridgeable gulf. On the one hand, you have people who distrust the Liberals and especially distrust the idea of a coalition, especially if the separatist Bloc Quebecois are involved in some way, even remotely. (This ignores the fact that the Harper Conservatives were willing to get into bed with the separatists when Martin's Liberals held a minority government, but no doubt this is being praised as a clever tactical move, or something.)

        On the other hand, you have people who are deeply concerned about the Harper Conservatives and their seeming tendency to want to win at all costs, and to put short-term political gain ahead of the job of, well, actually governing the country. What is it that Harper stands for, anyway? Other than more prisons – which presumably would eventually be privatized – what is his vision of Canada? The only clue we have is the move he tried to pull before the coalition frightened him into proroguing Parliament, when he attempted to eliminate party political funding and gut pay equity legislation, among other things.

        I'm on this side of the unbridgeable gulf, the idea of a Harper majority scares me beyond words. The Conservatives appear to be on the wrong side of history: for one thing, most of the world is concerned about climate change and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels – and is trying to develop a new eco-friendly economy. Whereas the Conservatives seemingly don't even believe in the existence of human-based climate change, and seem to be wanting to turn Canada into a dystopian conservative petrostate.

        Believe me when I tell you that the notion of a Harper majority is least as scary, if not more so, than the notion of the separatists taking Quebec out of Canada. In both cases, the Canada I love, and that I grew up in, would be utterly transformed into something unrecognizable.

  14. I would like to see Peter Russel, and dearly hope they pick an esteemed constitutional scholar rather than continuing with likable journalists.

    But I do see the advantages for Harper with a "yes man" type.

  15. If the Queen of England wishes to have a representative in Canada then she should appoint and pay for said rep. No input is required from Canadians.

    • Oh please. Spare me the "it's so expensive" meme. The total cost to you a year for the GG is about 57 cents. Give it up. It's people like you that destroy the institutions and history that made Canada the country it is today. I'm all for lower taxes, but keep it in perspective bud. The GG makes $104,000/year. The PM makes $250K/year and boneheads like Guergis make $200K. Get real and get some perspective.

  16. Whomever it is, I hope (s)he is the very model of a modern Gov'ner General, with information vegetable, animal, and mineral.

  17. I nominate Don Cherry. He was 7th in the Greatest Canadian contest and only 3 in the top ten were living persons.

    • The CV of the GG candidate should demonstrate political, socio-economic, historical and diplomatic acumen. I think Mary Simon would be wonderful. She has/was/is:
      -an Order of Canada
      -a Gold Order of Greenland
      -Ambassador to Denmark (and for Circumpolar Affairs)
      -and a whole lot of other very important roles and accomplishments:

  18. I see no reason for a GG.

  19. It is time to have a non-partisan Governor General. Who but a ROYAL would fit that catagory. Nothing that governments in Canada do will affect a Royal. The position is ceremonial. A Prince would certainly fill that position the best. Prince Andrew, Edward, William, or Harry would bring something regal to the position. The GG, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, would be best represented by the military trained Princes. It would take quite a long time to declare Canada a republic. Time for a Royal Governor General, it is only a 5 yr. term.

  20. If Harper’s Senate appointments are any indication, the next GG won’t be anyone of Hansen’s calibre.

  21. I second the nomination of Don Cherry

  22. So the simili-Queen is leaving…she'll have to adjust to be an ordinary citizen again. We will see soon if this hypocrit gold-digger will keep her commitment to Haiti, without her taxpayer funded entourage and fanfare. Along with her, let's get rid of this archaic, costly and useless position.

  23. I don't understand why people nominate Wayne Gretzky, Ya he was an unbelievable hockey player but what has he done for Canada lately and what makes him qualified to be the GG?

    • Wayne Gretzky is now a US Citizen. Has lived in the US for 20 years. His wife is American (not a problem) but his 5 kids attend school in the US. He hangs around with celebrities and the life style of the rich and famous. Although his family speak Ukranian, his roots are "Russians" who escaped Russia.

      You can't appoint Gretzky and attack Ignatieff.

      • When did a double standard ever stop them?

  24. Extend the GG term & get rid of the Senate appointments & friends

  25. About time. She's been a disaster, and it's increasingly obvious that the GG is not just a figurehead with solely ceremonial responsibilities.

    I can think of at least three incidents during her tenure which were each, considered singly, sufficient to require her replacement: the Morgentaler OC fiasco, the designation of herself as Canada's Head of State, and the prorogation fiasco(s).

  26. Your statement is proof. A lot of Canadians didn't support the Cons, the Libs, the NDP. Coalitions are NOT agenda items. ….hever mind, you just don't get it.

    Problem is – Harper is playing on the ignorance of the lack of understanding by Canadians. I heard on call-in shows, people on the street questions, comments on articles.

    It's disturbingly clear that most Canadians DON'T understand our system, whether you like it or not.

  27. I think it's time for a hockey guy to be GG. I still feel that Jean Belliveau is the best GG we never had. If he won't do it, how about Serge Savard? or Frank Mahovlich or Gordie Howe or Bobby Orr?

    I love Don Cherry, but he's no diplomat. Steve Yzerman is too young.

    • And let's move the official residence to a Tim Horton's.

    • Bobby Orr would be a great GG.

  28. The only reason Harper is not renewing the GG's term for an additional two years (which has been done before) is because of the dressing down which he received at the hands of Michelle Jean when he asked her to prorogue Parliament in order to avoid defeat in Parliament. She was not amused and tore a strip off him. Now he is just going to look for another lackey.


  29. I want to be the king of Canada! I'm bilingual. I know Canadian and American English. I can write "color/colour" and "center/centre." Then again, if I am the king, I can kreate the english languaj to soot my own purposes. Everyone else will have to folloe my languaj decrees!

  30. Graham Fraser–the Official Languages commissioner.

  31. I vote for me! I would like to troop around the world. Remember when the last female GG ( how soon you forget names) was at a war memorial in France and she was standing beside the Queen. I thought the GG was to represent the queen, not hob nob with her! I wouldn't do that nor would I eat raw seal meat! Where's the applications?

  32. Don't forget…the GG probably has to be bilingual. That comes first, or they at least have to have French as their first language. Any other knowledge is a bonus.