Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Should the Qualifications of a Governor General Be?

Governor General Michelle Jean's term will be up in a few short months and will not be extended. The Prime Minister is searching for a new one. With all that said, what should the qualifications of new GG be? They can be an example and set the tone for the nation.

Should a GG have to be born in Canada? Should they have to speak fluently both official languages? Should the GG be a man or a woman? Should they be able to hold dual citizenships? What should be the job requirements?

Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen has a good article on whether or not it should be mandatory for a GG to be bilingual. Apparently, yeah, they should.

I don't really care if the GG wasn't born here or not or do I care about the color of their skin. Look at our current one, Michelle Jean. She was born in Haiti and has done a remarkable job as GG. In fact I will be sad to see her leave. She's one of the best Governor Generals in my lifetime.

A GG in my mind should a have a full knowledge of Canada that should include our history and be able to carry out the official duties of a Governor General while reflecting Canadian values. For instance here are the duties that is required of a GG.

Official Duties of the Governor General of Canada

The official duties of the Governor General of Canada include:

  • giving Royal Assent to bills passed in the Canadian House of Commons and Senate
  • reading the Speech from the Throne which outlines the Canadian federal government agenda for a new session of Parliament
  • executing orders-in-council or cabinet decisions
  • appointing superior court judges, on the advice of cabinet
  • summoning, closing and dissolving Parliament, on the advice of the Prime Minister
  • inviting the leader of the party with the most support in the House of Commons to form the government. That party leader becomes Prime Minister.
  • in times of emergency or special circumstances, exercising the special personal authority of the Governor General to appoint or dismiss a prime minister or dissolve Parliament. This authority is rarely used.
  • receiving and sending ambassadors.

The Canadian Governor General plays a strong role in encouraging excellence in Canada through a system of honours and awards such as the Order of Canada and promotes national identity and national unity.

The Governor General of Canada is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces.

One I think,should also have a decent set morals because one in a high position like GG, standards should be set fairly high because they represent the country to the world and are in the public limelight and reflect the morals and values of the country.

But then again , all of us should set for ourselves a decent set of morals standards to live by too.

So, have your say. Remember, the Governor General whoever they maybe, represents all of us.