The Shards of the Office of Governor General of Canada


Introduction

In January 2021, Julie Payette resigned the Office of Governor General in disgrace. Her troubled tenure has shattered the credibility of the institution and provided anti-monarchists a greater platform on which to stand than they ever dared hope. In “A Star Goes Supernova,” I reviewed three years’ worth of newspaper reports which chronicled from 2018 to 2020 her steadfast refusal to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties and the toxic culture of harassment and recrimination which she brewed at Rideau Hall, leading to mass resignations, insincere and mendacious non-apology apologies, and, ultimately, to a damning independent report that proved her downfall. Payette’s resignation broke new ground in Canada but has precedents elsewhere in our sister Commonwealth Realms. In this piece, I will explain what happens when the Office of Governor General becomes vacant, review similar precedents in the other Realms where other Governors have resigned their offices, and show how we avoided an even messier and less edifying fate of dismissal. 

Appointing Governors General and Administrators

The Queen of Canada appoints the Governor General of Canada on the Prime Minister’s advice.[1] This appointment takes the form of a commission promulgated under Letters Patent – the most royal of all the executive instruments – and lasts either until the Queen issues new letters patent appointing the next Governor General, or until the Queen issues letters patent revoking the commission of the previous Governor General.[2] We usually follow the first option, but in this case, Payette’s resignation necessitates the latter.

The Governor General’s term is at pleasure and ends only when Queen issues new letters patent, but by convention lasts about five years.[3] This five-year custom had already emerged by the 19th century throughout most of the British Empire and holds true today in Canada and other Commonwealth Realms like Australia and New Zealand.[4] However, some Realms like Tuvalu specify the length of the term of their Governors General in their constitutions[5], and other Realms in the Caribbean have seen Governors General serve terms at pleasure for 20 years, such as Dame Pearlette Louisy of St. Lucia (1997-2017).[6] But the customary five-year term has become so engrained in Canada that another confusing custom has developed in conjunction with it: even though the Governor General serves at pleasure, with no fixed term, it has been customary since at least the mid-20th century to announce, somewhat misleadingly, “extensions” to the Governor General’s tenure when they serve more than five years. Such announcements occurred for Georges Vanier, Roland Michener, Adrienne Clarkson, and David Johnston, who all served longer than five years.[7] These “extended” terms tend to coincide with minority parliaments or upcoming elections where the Governor General would more likely need to exercise some discretion in appointing or dismissing a prime minister.

Succession to the throne happens automatically in accordance with law so that the office never becomes vacant. When the reigning sovereign dies, the first person in line to the throne automatically and immediately becomes the next sovereign. (The coronation occurs months later; it follows the rites of an ancient Christian sacrament and marks a joyous occasion after a period of mourning for the previous sovereign, but it does not cause the succession to take place). But the office of Governor General, predicated on delegated authority and an indirect lustre, does not benefit from automatic succession. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen on the Prime Minister’s advice and must then be sworn in, which means that the Office of Governor General can become vacant.

Section 14 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and section 7 of the Letters Patent Constituting the Office of the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada provide for Deputy Governors General, and section 8 of the Letters Patent provides for an Administrator. A Deputy Governor General can carry out most of the constitutional duties of the Governor General, apart from dissolving parliament.[8] That proviso does not flow directly from the Letters Patent themselves – which leaves to the Governor General, on ministerial advice, to determine which “powers, authorities, and functions […] as he may deem it necessary or expedient to assign” – and seems like an arbitrary threshold and distinction cooked up by the Privy Council Office. After all, summoning and proroguing parliament might be equally important as dissolving parliament, and appointing and dismissing a prime minister are more important than dissolving parliament, given that there is and must always be a ministry, but parliament does not always sit. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Puisne Justices of the Supreme Court customarily receive these extensive commissions as a Deputy Governor General.[9]

By 1960, the Governor General’s Private Secretary, the venerable Esmond Butler at that time, had received a more limited commission as Deputy Governor General to sign certain documents: “Warrants of Election, Writs for the Election of Members of the House of Commons and Letters Patents of lands and similar documents.”[10] In 2011, another iteration of the Private Secretary’s commission as Deputy Governor General gave Stephen Wallace the authority to act in Governor General Johnston’s stead for anything except summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament, appointing ministers, and giving Royal Assent in Parliament Assembled.[11](Presumably, this would mean that Wallace could have dismissed ministers and given Royal Assent by Written Declaration). Payette the Petulant’s Private Secretary, Assunta Di Lorenzo, must have received a similar commission as Payette’s Deputy Governor General, because the Canada Gazette records that Di Lorenzo has given Royal Assent by Written Declaration on at least one occasion.[12]

However, the commission of a Deputy Governor General is linked to the tenure of an individual Governor General and therefore expires upon the death, resignation, or retirement of each Governor General,[13] rather like how the tenure of the prime minister determines the tenure of the ministry as a whole.

In contrast, the Administrator only becomes active under specific conditions outlined in section 8 of the Letters Patent: “the death, incapacity, removal, or absence of Our Governor General out of Canada”. By convention, the “absence out of Canada” only kicks in after 30 days.[14] The Letters Patent also identify the Chief Justice of Canada as the Administrator. The Chief Justice could, at different times, serve as a Deputy Governor General and as the Administrator, but never at the same time.

VIII. And We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be that, in the event of the death, incapacity, removal, or absence of Our Governor General out of Canada, all and every the powers and authorities herein granted to him shall, until Our further pleasure is signified therein, be vested in Our Chief Justice for the time being of Canada, (hereinafter called Our Chief Justice) or, in the case of the death, incapacity, removal, or absence of Our Chief Justice, then in the Senior Judge for the time being of the Supreme Court of Canada, then residing in Canada and not being under incapacity; such Chief Justice or Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, while the said powers and authorities are vested in him, to be known as Our Administrator. […][15]

However, the Administrator does not assume office automatically if the Governor General resigns, is dismissed, or dies in office but instead must be sworn in by the Clerk of the Privy Council.[16]  The Administrator can then appoint Deputy Administrators in the same way that the Governor General appoints Deputy Governors General.[17] For example, on 2 July 1974, Chief Justice Bora Laskin was sworn in as the Administrator due to the incapacity of Governor General Jules Leger, and he appointed some Deputy Administrators the same day.[18]Chief Justice Laskin also carried out crucial constitutional functions as Leger’s Deputy Governor General. For example, Laskin as Deputy Governor General prorogued the 1st session of the 30th Parliament on 12 October 1976 by a speech from the throne in the Senate.[19]

Payette Resigns as Governor General and Chief Justice Wagner Is Sworn In As Administrator

I’ve been anxiously monitoring the Canada Gazette for the last week to see the official documents which make Payette’s resignation as Governor General and Wagner’s swearing in as Administrator operative, but they have yet to appear. But the following steps need to happen and presumably already have:

  1. The Queen issues letters patent terminating Payette’s commission as Governor General
  2. Chief Justice Wagner is sworn in as the Administrator of the Government and carries out all the duties of the Governor General until
  3. The Queen issues letters patent commissioning Payette’s successor and
  4. The next Governor General of Canada is sworn in.

Some historical precedents provide clarity here. On 16 January 1952, King George VI issued Letters Patent terminating Lord Alexander’s Term of Office because Alexander needed to resign the office of Governor General, with the agreement of Prime Minister St. Laurent, so that he could become the Minister of Defence of the United Kingdom.[20] The Canada Gazette recorded a proclamation from the Administrator, Chief Justice Thibaudeau Rinfret, on the same day.[21] These simultaneous executive instruments ensured the continuity of government.

Julie Payette submitted her resignation couched within a deplorable non-apology apology on 21 January 2021, which the Prime Minister’s Office curtly acknowledged that same day.[22] However, the best evidence suggests that Payette’s resignation did not take effect immediately, but instead two days later on 23 January. The Privy Council Office confirmed on 25 January that Chief Justice Wagner was sworn in as Administrator on 23 January.[23]

Payette announced her resignation on 21 January but did not leave office until 23 January, which means that Her Majesty the Queen must have promulgated letters patent terminating Payette’s commission on 23 January at the earliest. During those two days, the commissions for Deputy Governors General which Payette issued would have remained in force, though it remains as yet unclear whether any executive instruments were promulgated during those two days, and who would have promulgated them, because Chief Justice Wagner never received a commission to act as a Deputy Governor General for Payette. The distinction matters because a Deputy Governor General would act in place of the Governor General until the Administrator was sworn in. While the Administrator can do everything that the Governor General can do, a Deputy Governor General remains limited by the terms of his commission, as noted above. The Privy Council Office records that Her Excellency the Governor General-in-Council promulgated an Order-in-Council on the terms of employment of Payette’s Private Secretary, Assunta Di Lorenzo, on 22 January 2021 — not from the Administrator-in-Council. This would seem to confirm the timeline where Wagner did not become Administrator and Payette’s resignation did not take effect until 23 January. Orders-in-Council on and after 23 January should say “Administrator-in-Council” instead.

As of 23 January 2021, Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of Canada,  became the Administrator of the Government of Canada and will fulfill any function that the Governor General would ordinarily do – signing Orders-in-Council, receiving Letters of Credence from foreign ambassadors, granting Royal Assent to bills, summoning, proroguing, or dissolving parliament, appointing or dismissing a prime minister, acting as the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, and presenting honours and awards– until such time that the Queen of Canada appoints a new Governor General of Canada on Prime Minister Trudeau’s advice.

On 29 January, Rideau Hall’s website now lists Chief Justice Wagner as Administrator on its homepage, saying, “The Chief Justice of Canada is currently serving as the administrator of the Government of Canada until such time as the next governor general is installed.”[24] The Prime Minister’s Office further announced on 29 January that Ian McCowan will become the new Secretary to the Governor General effective 1 February.[25]

Precedents Where Governors of Other Realms Have Resigned

Through her resignation, Payette the Petulant has brought Canada into the ranks of other Commonwealth Realms like St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, and Australia (both federally and in the states) which have also seen Governors General and Governors resign from office, some for political reasons and others – like Payette – for personal misconduct.

In June 2001, the Queen of Australia appointed Peter Hollingworth, the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the advice of Prime Minister John Howard.[26] Hollingworth’s tenure proved contentious from the very outset – rather like Payette’s, through for different reasons. Hollingworth received criticism over his handling of allegations of child sexual abuse during his tenure as Archbishop, which he had only exacerbated as Governor General by additional tone-deaf comments in an interview.[27] By February 2002, the Leader of the Opposition and most state Premiers had openly called upon Hollingworth to resign, but he met this criticism only with steadfast vice-regal obduracy. (Some of this might now sound eerily familiar to Canadian readers). In May 2003, an inquiry into the Anglican Archdiocese of Brisbane issued a scathing report criticising how Hollingworth had handled claims of sexual abuse as Archbishop, and an allegation that Hollingworth had raped a young woman in the 1960s also surfaced. The Senate of Australia passed a resolution on 15 May declaring Hollingworth incompetent and called upon him to resign the Office of Governor-General, or, if he refused, upon Prime Minister Howard to advise the Queen of Australia to dismiss Hollingworth forthwith.[28] Finally, the stubborn and entitled Hollingworth relented on 25 May and resigned as Governor General in disgrace.

Governors of the Australian states have also resigned due to personal misconduct. The Governor of Victoria resigned in 1985 after he and his wife had accepted free flights and hotel accommodations for a one-month jaunt around the world courtesy of Continental Airlines. This de facto bribe and transparent corruption violated the State of Victoria’s rules on how civil servants must conduct themselves. Premier John Cain advised Governor Sir Brian Murray to “consider his position,” a clever politician’s plausibly deniable way of suggesting that he resign without uttering the word. At first, the Governor refused to resign; he only did so a few days later when he understood that the Queen would have dismissed him otherwise.[29] Payette the Petulant probably tried to pull a similar stunt.

The case most similar to Payette’s comes from Tasmania, Australia’s Vancouver Island. In October 2003, the Queen of Australia appointed Richard Butler – a Labour partisan and anti-monarchist – as Governor of Tasmania on the advice of Labour Premier Jim Bacon. Butler’s appointment naturally provoked controversy from the start. (Canadian readers might also see some parallels here). Anne Twomey recounts that in August 2004, the Leader of the Opposition openly criticised Governor Butler after a “series of controversies concerning his public remarks, behaviour, and the resignation of a number of staff from Government House.”[30] (That sounds mighty familiar as well!) The new Labour Premier, Paul Lennon, seemed to agree with the Leader of the Opposition and advised Butler to resign as Governor after remaining senior staff at Government House “resigned en masse.”[31] But even Butler’s resignation proved controversial, because he received an inducement in the form of a severance of $650,000! In reality, he should have received nothing because Governors in Australia serve at pleasure, not for some fixed term of five years.[32]

Dismissing Governors from Office

The precedents and underlying principles of Responsible Government in the Realms show that the Queen would be bound to accept a Prime Minister’s advice to dismiss a Governor General from office with cause but that Her Majesty would be entitled to a full briefing and rationale to account for this advice.[33] However, Her Majesty would be justified in refusing to act outright or to delay in carrying out that advice under exceptional circumstances, such as where a Prime Minister advised her to dismiss a Governor General to prevent his own dismissal, or because the Governor General had refused to dissolve parliament, or if the Prime Minister sought to otherwise “subvert the constitution”;[34] in such cases, the Queen’s refusal to act on the Prime Minister’s advice would, in effect, force the Prime Minister’s resignation. However, none of these exigencies applied in the case of Julie Payette. The Trudeau government remained stable, and Payette had not attempted to dismiss Trudeau directly, or indirectly by refusing to carry out constitutional advice. If Payette the Petulant had refused to resign, then the Queen of Canada would have been bound to dismiss her from office on Prime Minister J. Trudeau’s advice. This reality might ultimately have induced her to resign rather than face the even graver humiliation of dismissal.

The Privy Council Office of Canada took the same view in 1968, noting: “Should the Government advise removal for cause the Sovereign could hardly decline the advice.”[35] The Queen of Canada would dismiss a Governor General of Canada by issuing letters patent terminating the Governor General’s commission; the Administrator would then carry out the duties of the Office of Governor General until the Queen appoints a successor.[36] Most interestingly of all, Rideau Hall itself – at least under His Excellency David Johnston – also came to this conclusion, declaring: “The ultimate sanction against an abuse of power by a governor is dismissal.”[37]

The closest precedent in Canada involved Governor General Lord Alexander in 1952. It outlines the process that we would follow, but under an entirely different set of circumstances. King George VI of Canada issued letters patent terminating Alexander’s commission, not for conduct unbecoming, but because British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had wanted to make Lord Alexander the Minister of Defence of the United Kingdom. The British and Canadian governments, George VI in his capacities as both King of the United Kingdom and the King of Canada, and Lord Alexander himself, had all come to the agreement.

Outright dismissals of Governors General have occurred in unstable Commonwealth Realms, usually from the fallout of coups d’etat, such as in Sierra Leone in 1967 and Fiji in 1987, both of which became republics shortly after the coups.[38] Precedents from Australia show that the pungent threat of dismissal often induces even the most recalcitrant governor to resign. This implied threat of dismissal might have persuaded Payette the Petulant to resign the Office of Governor General of Canada in January 2021 as well, though we will not know for certain without the corroboration of primary-source documents. Or perhaps Justin Trudeau will one day clarify this messy business in his post-prime ministerial memoirs.

Conclusion: Appointing a New Governor General

In July 2010, Prime Minister Harper convened an ad hoc Governor General Consultation Committee to vet and recommend candidates for Michaelle Jean’s successor as Governor General of Canada. According to the press release at the time, “The advisory committee engaged in extensive consultations across the country, meeting with leading constitutional experts, past and current political leaders, and other distinguished Canadians before providing the Prime Minister with its confidential recommendations.” Harper nominated David Johnston on this committee’s recommendation in the fall of 2010, and he became of the best Governors General in living memory. He proved so successful that in 2015, Harper took the rare step of announcing that Johnston would continue in office for another two years, until 2017, rather than retiring after the customary five in 2015.

In November 2012, Harper established the Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments , to “provide non-binding recommendations to the Prime Minister on the selection of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners.”[39] Members of the Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments were appointed by Order-in-Council under the Public Service Employment Act.[40] Prime Minister Trudeau has thus far opted not to use the Vice-Regal Appointments Committee, which has gone dormant. But it operates on the same principle in creating the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments[41] , and Trudeau could easily re-convene it if he wished.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Trudeau might now want to consider re-activating the Vice-Regal Appointments Committee that his predecessor established in 2012. This committee generally did well in recommending fit and qualified persons for the office of Governor General – in the redoubtable David Johnston – and in the various offices of the Lieutenant Governors of the provinces between 2012 and 2015. Perhaps by relying on a reconstituted committee, the Prime Minister can avoid nominating another deplorable and monstrous narcissist to the Office of Governor General.

Alternatively, if the Prime Minister believes that he cannot long delay nominating a successor during this minority parliament and pandemic, he could emulate the Australian practice of appointing former state Governors as Governor General. For example, Quentin Bryce served as Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008 before becoming Governor General of Australia in 2008, and Michael Jeffrey had been the Governor of Western Australia from 1993 to 2000 before being sworn in as Governor General of Australia in 2003. In fact, Prime Minister John Howard brought in an proven former state Governor in 2003 because Peter Hollingworth resigned in disgrace. Sir John Kerr was the Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales in 1974 before his appointment as Governor General of Australia later that year. Richard Casey even served as the British Governor of Bengal during the Second World War and later as Governor General of Australia from 1965-1969.

Not only have several former Governors later become Governor-General, but the serving Governors of the Australian states all hold dormant commissions which allow them to act as the Administrator of the Commonwealth; by convention, the longest-serving state Governor becomes Administrator in the event of incapacity, death, or resignation of the Governor-General.[42] When Governor General Hollingworth resigned in disgrace in 2003, the Governor of Tasmania, Guy Green, therefore became the Administrator of the Commonwealth and acted in that capacity from May to August 2003.[43] State Governors also often serve as the Deputy Governor General of the Commonwealth, as does the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.[44] If Canada adopted this practice of using a Lieutenant Governor, instead of a Supreme Court Justice, as the Administrator, this would require new Letters Patent.

The Australian method would avoid the possibility of having to advise the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as Administrator of the Government of Canada to prorogue or dissolve a minority parliament and give Royal Assent to bills that might one day become the subject of litigation before the Supreme Court. It would also allow the Prime Minister to nominate in short order someone with unimpeachable credentials and experience in carrying out the constitutional, ceremonial, and civil roles of the Office of Governor General from the start and who could also attract back the talent and institutional memory that vacated Rideau Hall under Payette. Such fit and qualified candidates would include Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia from 2012 to 2018, and David Onley, who became one of the longest-serving Lieutenant Governors of Ontario during his 7-year tenure from 2007 to 2014. (I should disclose that I have met both of them, praised their handling of constitutional controversies in 2012 and 2017, and attended the Speech from the Throne of 19 February 2013 in Ontario at Onley’s invitation).

Crucially, both Guichon and Onley also have experience dealing with minority legislatures and single-party minority governments, and they both handled constitutional controversies arising from those minority legislatures in their respective provinces with aplomb and tact, doing precisely what they should have done in upholding the principles of Responsible Government in each case. Onley even became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2017 for “ha[ving] advanced the public’s understanding of people with disabilities, particularly during his tenure as Ontario’s lieutenant governor, where he made inclusion and accessibility the overarching themes of his mandate.” He also greatly advanced the public discourse around the constitutional role of the Governors under Responsible Government during his tenure (as I wrote at the time in 2013) and established a top-notch website for the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario which admirably explained the constitutional and civil functions of the Queen’s representatives. Either could enter Rideau Hall with all the necessary experience from the first day and reforge the shattered credibility and shards of the Office of Governor General simply by being competent.

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Notes

[1]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 103.

[2]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 107-108.

[3]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 103.

[4]Peter Boyce, The Queen’s Other Realms: The Crown and Its Legacy in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (Federation Press, 2008), 35.

[5]Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 807.

[6]Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 811.

[7]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 106; CBC News, “PM Extends Clarkson’s Term as Governor General,” 30 September 2004; CBC News, “David Johnston to Remain Governor General Until 2017,” 17 March 2015.

[8]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 209.

[9]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 209.

[10]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada: Appendices, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 307-308.

[11]Christopher McCreery, “Confidant and Chief of Staff: The Governor’s Secretary,” chapter 13 in Canada and the Crown: Essays on Constitutional Monarchy, edited by D. Michael Jackson and Philippe Lagasse,197-218 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013), 210.

[12] Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 44: Parliament, 3 November 2018, page 3798..

[13]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 209.

[14]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 213.

[15]Section 7 of the previous iterations of the Letters Patent from 1931, 1905, and 1878 also provided for the continuity of government “in the event of the death, incapacity, removal, or absence” of the Governor General, but first vested that authority in the Lieutenant-Governor of Canada (usually not named), other person designed by the King or Queen of the United Kingdom, and only then, if neither of those two previous conditions were met, would the responsibility “to administer the Government” fall to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. These previous iterations do not use the formal title of “Administrator.”

[16]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 213.

[17]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 215.

[18]Canada Gazette, Extra, No. 17 (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 2 July 1974), 2739, 2666.

[19]Deputy Governor General Bora Laskin, [“Prorogation Speech,”], Canada, Senate Debates, 30th Parliament, 1st session, 12 October 1976, 2453.

[20]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 103, 105; Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada: Appendices, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 205-206.

[21]Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada: Appendices, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 205-206; Canada Gazette, Extra, No. 1, (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 28 January 1952), 279-280.

[22]Canada, Office of the Governor General, “Statement from the Governor General,” 21 January 2021; Canada, Prime Minister of Canada, “Statement by the Prime Minister on the Resignation of the Governor General,” 21 January 2021.

[23]Canada, Privy Council Office, “Statement from the Privy Council Office,” 25 January 2021.

[24]Canada, Office of the Governor General, “Administrator,” accessed 29 January 2021.

[25]Canada, Prime Minister’s Office, “The Prime Minister Announces a Change in the Senior Ranks of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General,” 29 January 2021.

[26] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 811.

[27] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 812.

[28] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 811-812.

[29] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 803-805.

[30] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 813.

[31] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 813.

[32] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 814.

[33] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 823-834; Andrew Heard, Canadian Constitutional Conventions – the Marriage of Law and Politics, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 78-81.

[34] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 824.

[35] Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 124.

[36] Canada. Privy Council Office, Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada, Henry F. Davis and André Millar (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1968), 123.

[37] Canada, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, Constitutional Role, Conventions and Government Scenarios for the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of CanadaA Compendium of Sources, June 2015, page 20.

[38] Anne Twomey, The Veiled Sceptre: Reserve Powers of Heads of States in Westminster Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 775-780, 805-806

[39]Christopher McCreery, “Subtle Yet Significant Innovations: The Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments and the Secretary’s New Royal Powers,” chapter 9 in The Crown and Parliament, edited by Michel Bédard and Philippe Lagassé, 241-261 (Montreal: Thomson-Reuters, 2015), 245. The Advisory Committee consisted of two permanent members, Robert Watt and Jacques Monet, and two members ad hoc for the province concerned, and the Canadian Secretary to the Queen as ex-officio chairperson.

[40]Canada, Privy Council Office, Order-in-Council PC 2012-1482, 2 November 2012.

[41]Canada, Privy Council Office, Order-in-Council PC 20160011, 19 January 2016.

[42]Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. S 205, 17 June 2003.

Australia, Queen of Australia, Letters Patent Relating to the Office of Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, 21 August 1984. Prerogative Instrument C2004Q00670. Australia’s Letters Patent are decidedly less extensive than Canada’s.

[43] Rafael Epstein, “Sir Guy Faces First Day as Administrator,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 15 May 2003; ABC News, “Sir Guy Green Returns to Hobart,” 7 August 2003.

[44] David Elder, editor, House of Representatives Practice, 7th Edition (Canberra: House of Representatives of Australia, June 2018).

 

About J.W.J. Bowden

My area of academic expertise lies in Canadian political institutions, especially the Crown, political executive, and conventions of Responsible Government; since 2011, I have made a valuable contribution to the scholarship by having been published and cited extensively in my field. I’m also a contributing editor to the Dorchester Review and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
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4 Responses to The Shards of the Office of Governor General of Canada

  1. Robert Ede says:

    look forward to you comments on the BNA/Constitution-ality of the wartime, emergency Order In Council #P.C. 1940-1121 –that appointed one person to two jobs — one in the Legislative Power and the other in the Executive Power … only Cdn example (aside from the Office of Monarch) of such a thing.

    Like

  2. PierreB says:

    Excellent follow-up to your previous article.

    Two typos have crept in. I believe you meant to write “de facto bribe” vs. “bride”. There is also a superfluous “i” in “Iit would also allow…”

    On another topic of interest to you, I read a Globe and Mail opinion piece entitled “‘O Canada’ without the cross – why it’s time to revisit the lyrics of the national anthem”. The author seeks to have the French lyrics revised to remove the word “croix” – in “Car ton bras sait porter l’épée, il sait porter la croix” – as non-inclusive and obsolete. Fodder for another article perhaps?

    Like

    • Thanks. My dyslexic typo of “bride” vs “bribe” amused me, but I have corrected it nevertheless, along with the “It”.

      I shall have to look up that piece in the Globe and Mail that you mentioned. If you’re interested, you can read all that which I’ve opined on our national anthem in my subject index “History of British North America — O Canada.” I have not found any serious French-language arguments for altering the text to the original French O Canada though.

      Like

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