For Your Consideration

For Your Consideration

Payette’s departure a good opportunity to reexamine role of GG

She seemed like such a good choice.

Astronauts, in general, I think are eminently qualified for high public office. The dedication, perseverence, intelligence, skill and patriotism it takes just to actually achieve something that millions of children dream of, few wind up actually aspiring to, fewer still seriously contend for and only a tiny percentage of those even come close to, is truly remarkable.

And those who do achieve it don’t just become space travellers, they are ambassadors not just for their nations, but for humanity in general.

So, for someone like Julie Payette, governer general appeared to be a good fit, so good, in fact, the prime minister decided to forgo due dilgence. Oops.

Of course, the kind of driven personality it takes to become an astronaut, can also translate into toxic, which it apparently did in this case.

I imagine her former staff are feeling incredibly relieved right now.

I know of what I speak. I had the misfortune of working for someone like that. It is, to say the least, traumatic.

I clung to that job way longer than I ever should have. In fact, in retrospect, the red flags were there from the very beginning. I never should have taken the job in the first place, but it paid really well and it kept me in the profession I love at a time I was facing another potential career change.

When he fired me for the sixth time and it actually stuck, despite not having a job also being a traumatic experience, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

I never saw eye to eye with Stephen Harper on many things, but he did have some good ideas. One of those was having an independent panel to vet and select governers general.

If we are going to have a governor general, that should be reinstated, for sure.

But now that we are temporarily without one, maybe it is a good opportunity to reexamine whether we need one or what the office’s role should be.

On the one hand, the position is a vestige of our colonial past, the representative of a monarch we no longer bow to, a more or less powerless figurehead.

On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have an apolitical head of state, even if it is largely ceremonial. Not that any person is ever truly apolitical, but the office is. The GG is basically our top diplomat and for the right person, being apolitical in the role is not a state of being but a skill.

The governor general is also the manager of Rideau Hall, one of two official royal residences maintained by the federal government.

But it is not just that, it is also the location for official state affairs, such as receiving foreign heads of state.

Rideau Hall and the beautiful grounds are also ours, the Canadian people’s. As an aside, I’ve always said every Canadian should at some point in their lives visit Ottawa, it is a beautiful city and it is a beautiful city because we are all paying for it to be so.

In any event, this latest fiasco with the former GG should give us pause to reflect. Nothing should be sacrosanct.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dianna Plouffe, right, with Mayor Gladys Atrill in front of Town Hall following the announcement she will be the new CAO> (Facebook photo)
Director of corporate services named Smithers CAO

Dianna Plouffe replaces Alan Harris who is retiring at the end of April

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Volunteer Robbie McKnight works the screening table at the Coast Mountain College COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Smithers. (Deb Meissner photo)
UPDATE Smithers clinic expands vaccine eligibility to ages 55+

Community members born in 1966 or earlier can now register and will be notified when they can book

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal shipped its first vessel full of liquefied petroleum gas on April 9, just less than three years after breaking ground at the re-purposed pulp mill site on Watson Island.
Pembina ships first vessel of LPG out of Prince Rupert

More than $12 million spent to repurpose Watson Island for the LPG export facility

Styrofoam burning at the Woodmere Tree Nursery in Telka created billowing black smoke over Tyhee Lake and resulted in air quality advisory for Bulkley Valley. (Contributed photo)
VIDEO: Telkwa styrofoam fire air quality advisory lifted

A woodpile fire at Woodmere Tree Nursery spread to styrofoam blocks causing air quality concerns

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read