Taking command - Macleans.ca

Taking command


Within this story about efforts to deliver foreign aid in Haiti is an intriguing anecdote about Michaelle Jean’s role in the deployment of the Canadian Forces in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake.

Two years ago, Ms. Jean, then governor-general, was having dinner with U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson at Rideau Hall when the earthquake struck. After working the phones, she managed to convince Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff, Walter Natynczyk, to send help immediately instead of waiting for an official call from the Haitian authorities.

The Governor General does hold the title of commander-in-chief, but there is probably an interesting discussion to have about the precedents and implications of a Governor General getting involved in overseas deployments.