Question Period: The Position of Governor General

By: The Hon. Patricia Bovey

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Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold, as you know, the position of Governor General has been vacant since Julie Payette resigned in January following an independent report on the toxic work environment in Rideau Hall. Although the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Richard Wagner, has been fulfilling the Governor General’s duties as administrator, this is not an ideal situation, especially with rumours of an upcoming election looming. Justice Wagner himself has mentioned at his annual press conference how this has been challenging to juggle both roles, as seen in the CBC article “Six months after former GG Payette’s resignation, chief justice still juggling two jobs.”

Senator Gold, will this government confirm that they will appoint a new Governor General before Parliament rises for the summer recess?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for raising this issue, colleague. The government knows full well that it’s not ideal for the Chief Justice of Canada, able though he is, to fulfill the Governor General’s duties on a long-term basis. Minister LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, has told Canadians that the government is at the end of a process to select the next Governor General, and the government looks forward to naming a “. . .Governor General who represents the very best our country” and of our people.

Senator Bovey: Could you confirm the timing, Senator Gold?

Senator Gold: I’m not in a position to confirm the timing.

Senator Bovey: Thank you.

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