announced the creation of an ad hoc
advisory group for selecting the next
governor general. This is not a full
revival of the former Advisory
Committee on Vice-Regal
Appointments. Still, this is welcome news and something
this blog has been calling for since 2018.
Privy Council for Canada and Minister for Intergovernmental
(Co-Chair) Janice Charette, interim Clerk of the Privy
Daniel Jutras (Rector of the Université de Montréal)
Judith LaRocque (former Secretary to the Governor
Natan Obed (President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami)
Suromitra Sanatani (Interim Chair of the Board of
Directors of Canada Post).
created solely for choosing a governor general. Provincial
lieutenant governors are excluded from the group's mandate.
This may speak to how temporary this group is intended to
be. While disappointing it should be noted the previous
committee also started out as an ad hoc group.
government in the advisory group's structure. The previous
committee had one (non-voting) representative of the
government in its membership. This advisory group makes
the government's representative a co-chair. And the member
in question also happens to be a close personal friend of the
prime minister. If you are trying to create an arms-length
process this is not how you go about it.
The inclusion of Janice Charette and Suromitra Sanatani may
be a nod to the tension created between the former governor
general and the bureaucracy. Suromitra Sanatani presumably
knows something about vetting candidates from their
Judith LaRocque's (former secretary to the governor general)
inclusion mirrors the appointment of Shelia-Marie Cook (at
the time the current secretary to the governor general) to the
previous committee. A current secretary was not included as that individual was shown the door the same time Governor
General Julie Payette was.
Natan Obed is an interesting inclusion. Getting First Nations
input on the selection of the governor general makes sense
when you consider the close relationship they have with the
monarchy and the fact this relationship often flows through
the governor general.
Overall, a positive step away from the prime minister being
able to unilaterally appoint their own boss.
A Kisaragi Colour