The Governor General and the Prime Minister

An anonymous government official explains why the Governor General wasn’t in the room for yesterday’s meeting between the Prime Minister and First Nations leaders.

Harper’s team did finally instruct the Governor General to hold a ceremonial meeting Friday evening at Rideau Hall. But there was no question of involving Johnston directly in the meetings themselves.

“Our real bottom line was that it couldn’t be the same meeting because that line can’t get blurred,” said the official. “We’re the ones responsible here, we’re the ones that can act and have to act. Not the Governor General. There’s nothing he can do constitutionally, so we didn’t want to give that impression.”

Here again is Emmett Macfarlane’s analysis of the demand that the Governor General be present.




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The Governor General and the Prime Minister

  1. Amazing that Harp is on the one hand trying to boost the Royal Connection…royal portraits, joint embassies, royal navy etc….and yet denies the GG his place in govt. It simply won’t wash.

    ”Though the monarch retains all executive, legislative, and judicial power in and over Canada,[54][55] the governor general is permitted to exercise most of this, including the Royal Prerogative, in the sovereign’s name; some as outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867, and some through various letters patent issued over the decades, particularly those from 1947 that constitute the Office of Governor General of Canada;[56] they state: “And We do hereby authorize and empower Our Governor General, with the advice of Our Privy Council for Canada or of any members thereof or individually, as the case requires, to exercise all
    powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada.”

    More here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_General_of_Canada#Constitutional_role

    • Why rant on here….head on over to Emmett Macfarlane’s article on the issue and debate the political science professor from Waterloo on the issue. Further, read the front page of the National Post, there was an article on the subject this morning. It was written FOR YOU.

        • Oh so now Macfarlane works for the government. That is funny considering he was critical of the PM in his article.

          You have “no interest” in debating Mr. Macfarlane because he will intellectually kick your ass.

          • I said nothing about him working for the govt. The voices in your head have kicked in again.

            I don’t intend to debate what’s clearly in law, with anyone.

          • A paper bag would intellectually kick her ass

          • All you trolls….days, weeks even….of attacking me, and Spence and natives in general….. and foaming at the mouth with your racism…..and getting nowhere.

            Pisses you right off apparently. LOL

          • Andrew Coyne and Ezra Levant have gotten them really worked up. Not difficult to do on this subject.

          • Well, I would expect it of Ezra….he makes oodles of bucks being the contrarian…..the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh/cess pool in a PC country.

            But I thought Andrew Coyne had more class than that. More brains too….he, at least, has an education. But…he seems to be a bubba all the same.

          • On this issue he is in full harrumph mode. He needs a briefing from his cousin Deborah.

          • I wonder if he even speaks to her.

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          • That is so helpful. You have the answer to world peace as well, I take it.

          • My gawd, I never noticed that from Sot. The British academic pov from over a century ago! White Man’s Burden, and all that Kipling rot…LOL

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          • Celts practiced slavery.

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          • That makes as little sense as the rest of your fake ‘history’….the one you are simply making up to support your racism.

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          • Everyone is aware of slavery dude….in fact there is more slavery in the world today than at any other time in history.

            You’re fighting straw men….again.

            I give people as many chances as possible on here, but if you can’t discuss things without the constant BS….you’re in the Ciao basket again. Sorry.

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          • Since I’ve never said anything about those topics…..you are simply wasting time. Ciao

          • This level of discussion is an insult and puts this site in disgrace. Wherry must be wondering what he did to attaract this. Clean up your act Sot.

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          • It was the Hiawatha reference that tipped me off.

          • Tried it before, produced such progressive institutions as residential
            schools and the never to be forgotten kill the indian in the child
            final solution. They’ve had more than enough of your kind of doing away with
            this traditional use and cultural nonesense. Never again will someone
            like you tell them just what they have to be in order to fit your good
            little citizens of Canada mold. Really, i must tell my neighbours that
            going out on the land still is retarding their development as model
            citizens.

            Jeez, i thought we had buried the last of the Duncan Campbell Scott wannabes last century. You bastards just wont stay dead.

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          • At least she might have some friends who could run us down a hare or two, maybe a moose. Where you are most likely to be still sucking on the govt t*t somewhere or other, but calling it your entitlement or payback for govt confiscation, which more rational people refer to as taxation.

          • Doesn’t listen to her, that’s obvious.

          • I get the impression he doesn’t listen to most people.

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          • My definition of a troll is the standard one, I’m afraid.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

            I enjoy people disagreeing with me….it’s part of a good conversation

            Name-calling, racism, shrieking abuse, nyah nyah bubba bs….is not.

      • EmilyOne follows blindly. Whatever Chief Spence thinks is automatically accepted by EO. The blind following the blind. But that’s precisely the movement’s strenght. The movement needs people like EmilyOne. Without a steady supply of people like her, the movement would be no more.

        • I fully expect to see the GG out on the campaign trail hand and hand with Harper in the next election. That’s the logical extension of he simplistic nonsense being argued here.
          The FN’s started out with Victoria Queen of England and have ended up with Harper PM of Canada, and they had no say or input into any of it.
          Everybody knows what Macfarlane ( Wells, Simpson, Coyne etc) are saying. We get it,; we understand it; it’s not news! but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

          • Read the front of the National Post. It outlines your argument very eloquently.

          • Thanks that is a good article. Do you know anything about the status of the Tribes in the US?

          • No, sorry.

          • 1. the content of your first paragraph is complete nonesense (but probably a must if one wants to belong to the INM movement)

            2.Not eveybody knows what Macfarlane, Wells, Simpson and Coyne are saying. You don’t get it. You rather read Chris Hall and his unsubstantiated reported attempt at Harper bashing.

            3.You are correct on your last point: the whole story has not been told.

            Here are some questions to be answered in order to begin telling the whole story: What are the Natives doing on reserves, for instance, to eradicate Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? What policies are in place to stop alcohol intake when pregnant? Now, I know the treaties speak of prohibition of alcohol, but what are the elders and other Natives doing to prevent FAS? I mean, in order to create FAS one must drink alcohol.

            Let us solve problems one at a time, beginning with answering the question I have just posed to you. Give us an answer.

          • Not Chris Hall, but Craig Oliver has been very insightful in two comments he has made on Martin program. Only reporter I’ve heard/read who really has a deep understanding of the issues here and the native problem.
            Your 3 has nothing to do with GG/PM issue.

          • I heard Oliver’s deep thoughts alright. Just last night on CTV evening news he said in closing that Trudeau recognized the erring of his ways, but he didn’t know if Harper would ever recognize them even if he (Harper) was on the erring side.

            Yes, such closing remarks are not uncommonly used on national tv.

          • You say #3 has nothing to do with GG/PM. Right.

            GG/PM has nothing to do with solving problems on reserves. #3 does. So what is it the Native Chiefs want to accomplish?? Here I am thinking they would want to solve real problems. Sorry for misunderstanding them and their plight.

          • You know that the child suffering from FAS does not care about the GG/PM relationship. You know – the child with a limited future because of FAS. What do the Chiefs and Elders have to say to that child?

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      • It’s on the govt page too, boyo

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    • Has the INM movement recruited you yet? They should because you could design some awesome slogans for them.

    • Following blindly. You must be a INM and Spence supporter.

    • sure but 999 times out of 1000 that’s the GG’s job. There’s only been a couple of times in the entire history of Canada when the office-holder has had to make a difficult judgment call (sadly, it’s likely GG Jean made the wrong call).

  3. Here’s to hoping that Bob Rae, the interim Liberal Chief, will read Emmett Macfarlane’s analysis. It is important that he does so sooner rather than later!

    (These days we have no clear indication as to what Chief Mulcair is reading, if he is reading anything at all.)

    Here’s to hoping that the wisdom of such GG relationship within Canada will be upheld because now that the Quebecois have been granted nation-hood (albeit with the caveat of such ‘nation-hood’ being confined within Canadian legal parameters attached) it would be sheer foolishness to let wisdom go to waste.

    And besides, the number of real Canadians living in this country is far too high for wanting to set the clock back. It ain’t gonna happen.

    • It is easy for Bob Rae to say things because he will never be PM. What people don’t seem to recall is that meeting with the GG and the PM wasn’t the only demand the chiefs that boycotted made. They also insisted that the GG and the PM show up at their hotel. How would that have worked? Do they even consider security?

      • It’s easy for Bob Rae to say anything because the media at large does not further question him on anything he says. Whereas in the case of the government, a lot of media members already have their suspicions before any questions have been asked.

  4. Ernie Crey (Native and writer on Native issues) asked a rather interesting question the other day on his facebook page.

    He asked “What is the GG’s name? Answer quick without looking it up on google”

    You see, the point he was trying to make was simple but very insightful. If most Natives don’t even know the GG name then how can so many Natives claim that the GG is of utmost importance? He called them on it!

    • What evidence does he have that they (the chiefs? the general reserve population? random native-looking people on the street?) couldn’t answer it?

      • Very good point, briguyhfx. There is no evidence and I should add that Mr.Crey never went so far as to say that.

        It is my bad to have added the part which states that ‘If most Natives don’t even know the GG name then how can so many Natives claim that the GG is of utmost importance?”

        Still, Mr.Crey’s question is still a very important one and the question sets out to prove a point. So next time you are talking to a Native person, ask the question: ” Without looking it up, what is the current GG’s name? and see for yourself. Now that would be interesting, would it not?

        • No, it would not be interesting. But then, I am not a gotcha journalist interested in pandering to some racist base.

          • Ernie Crey is not a journalist. He is a Native writer and activist.

  5. While there is no problem with the GG holding a ceremony across the way and it was a good compromise (I would also have no problem if the GG came to the real meeting, but he should make it clear he does not set policy, the only time it would be considered appropriate for him to speak at all would be to make basic statements about his role or point out uncontroversial constitutional maxims), I find it absurd that this government suddenly claims to care about blurring the lines of how our government works!

    • They are not doing anything of the sort. Could you please point out where the government suddenly claims to care about blurring the lines of how our government works?

      This well being of this country has an uphill battle to fight with ignorant people like you wanting to be taken seriously. Good grief!

      • “Our real bottom line was that it couldn’t be the same meeting because that line can’t get blurred,” said the official.

  6. It was really disappointing that the media never called out #idlenomore, Spence, and the aboriginals making the demand that the GG be in a policy meeting, and explain why this was an outrageous demand, that reflected a complete misunderstanding of the Canadian constitution and the rule-of-law in Canada.

    On this point, the media acted like a press spokesperson for the cause, more than the media. No matter how legitimate the cause is, if they advocate something patently absurd, they should be challenged on it.

    Strike 2 against the media, on using the term hunger strike for what wasn’t really a hunger strike.

    • Reflecting your particular wishes is not the job of the media.

    • Yes, perhaps keeping a tally will be helpful. Of course the media’s role is to be informed so that real questions can be asked. Did you read Chris Hall’s reporting this morning on CBC? It a real beauty!

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