A Historic Resignation
To use the overused word ‘unprecedented’ again seems trite, but it is technically accurate; the resignation of Julie Payette from her role of Governor General is a historic first for Canada. She quit amid allegations of workplace harassment of her staff, certainly not an ideal way to leave any position.
Allegations such as this are sad, and seem to show a major difference between the kind of a person who is needed for the role of Governor General and the kind of a person who Julie Payette actually is. This happens; many people take on positions for which they are not suited, and then resign once the lack of a proper fit becomes clear. But this is a very high-level appointment, and the allegations against her are serious.
How did this happen? The short answer is that Prime Minister Trudeau picked the wrong person for the role. The longer explanation is that he seemed to ignore the warning signs and either did not undertake a vetting process that would have exposed the potential problems, or ignored the findings of the process. Either way, there were warning signs of trouble early on.
The wisdom of Stephen Harper in starting an Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments to ensure sufficient care is taken in these appointments should now be obvious. This Committee has been dormant since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada.
One nugget of interest is the way that Ms. Payette framed her interactions with her staff; she used a particular phrase in her official resignation statement: “We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.” Why does this sound vaguely familiar…? Ah, perhaps it is because it bears a similarity to a statement made by Justin Trudeau not so long ago in relation to the “gropergate” scandal: “…it’s not just one side of the story that matters…. The same interactions can be experienced very differently from one person to the next.”
Yes indeed, we all ‘experience things differently,’ and that is a major moral lesson that we can all learn, but hopefully before we hold a major office in our country! Actually, the lesson that should be taught and learned in advance of taking an office for one’s country is that there are absolute standards of right and wrong, and they are found in the Bible. Much could be learned by both of these people from its pages.
But Julie Payette made comments during her tenure that showed she did not respect religious beliefs; a Governor General ought to be someone who knows and respects the history of Canada and the beliefs of its citizens. This should include Canada’s Christian heritage.
As the Queen’s representative, the Governor General should be aware of the importance of the cross on the queen’s crown, sceptre, and orb; as the Archbishop of Canterbury said during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation: “Receive this orb set under the cross, and remember that the whole world is subject to the Power and Empire of Christ our Redeemer.”
Ms. Payette should not have been chosen in the first place—and perhaps she should not have accepted the position—but it is a great honour for any Canadian to be asked, and who would turn that down? No, while the fault for her immediate conduct does reside with her, the fault for her ill-advised appointment rests entirely with Justin Trudeau. He has shown himself to be a man of poor character, and he chooses people for appointments accordingly.
His track record ought to bear the negative fallout more than Julie Payette’s, but that is unfortunately unlikely: “The overall political damage to the government will likely be minimal, simply due to the chronic civic illiteracy of Canadians, many of whom no doubt responded to the breaking news of Payette’s resignation as governor general by asking who Payette is and what’s a governor general.” The official role and tenure of a Governor General is to be the representative of the Queen, who is Canada’s head of state; this term is usually five years in duration. It is largely ceremonial, but essential to our system of governance, a Constitutional Monarchy.
Character ought to be a first consideration for any appointment, and for the role of Governor General, a gracious and honourable character should be primary. Will our Prime Minister do any better on his second opportunity to appoint a Governor General than on his first? Let’s pray he does.
CHP Canada places character of prime importance before being accepted into any position of responsibility. It’s time for these standards to be held up again in our great nation. If you agree, join CHP Canada today.
P.S. One of the perks of being a Governor General is having expenses picked up by taxpayers even after leaving the position. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is trying to show that this is getting out-of-hand and needs to be stopped; please consider signing their petition on this issue.
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Other Commentary by Peter Vogel:
- Should Canada Boycott China?
- A Historic Resignation
- Winning the Battle Against Porn
- Anarchy, Tyranny, or Freedom?
- The Great (Opportunistic) Re-Set
- The “Liberalist” of Scandals
- Imagine There’s No Uncles…
- Borrowing Prosperity, Postponing Austerity
- CBC, Ethics, and Redeemer University
- So-Cons and Faux-Cons Part Two
- Defund the Police? Why Not?
- Time to Sell Your Stocks in Lego?