Lagassé: Who does Canada need as its subsequent governor common?

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For instance, the governor common might determine to refuse a primary minister’s recommendation to dissolve Parliament if we not too long ago had an election, the federal government has misplaced the arrogance of the Home of Commons, and there’s one other occasion chief who can kind a viable ministry. The governor common might must have uncomfortable chats with the prime minister about issues the federal government is planning that aren’t constitutionally sensible or correct. In a disaster or emergency, moreover, the governor common could also be referred to as upon to exchange the prime minister. Nevertheless uncommon these circumstances could also be, they compel us to nominate governors common who’ve the energy of character to face as much as an errant authorities when obligatory, and to undergo the formal motions the remainder of the time.

Discovering somebody who has each a powerful dedication to nationwide service and the judgment to behave as a constitutional guardian is just not simple. Once we add bilingualism and previous skilled excellence to the combo, the duty turns into that a lot tougher. There is no such thing as a query, furthermore, that we must always attempt to nominate vice-regal representatives who mirror Canadian multiculturalism and variety. In response to those standards, commentators have emphasised procedural reforms, resembling extra rigorous candidate vetting and the revival of the vice-regal appointments committee established by prime minister Stephen Harper. These are necessary steps, however they’re targeted on kind over substance.


Our place to begin ought to be recognizing the actual qualities we’re on the lookout for in a vice-regal consultant and never complicated them with different accomplishments. Allow us to first be clear about what we would like in our governors common earlier than we determine one of the best ways to seek out them.

Philippe Lagassé is an affiliate professor at Carleton College, whose analysis focuses on defence coverage and procurement, and on the roles of Parliament, the Crown and govt energy in Westminster states.