Rideau Hall is the Official Residence of the Governor General Of Canada. This residence was built in 1838 by Thomas MacKay a businessman on 80 acres of land near the Rideau river and waterfall and facing the Ottawa river. It is a neighbourhood of Official residences for ambassadors of various countries, the Prime Minister Residence is across the street, though for the last 5 years it has been unoccupied pending a final decision on its demolition or renovation. Rideau Hall today is much larger than the original building, many expansions over the years since 1867 have been made, every Governor General has lived at Rideau Hall. The house has 175 rooms in total, with many used for official functions. It also has beautiful green houses providing flowers year round for the house.
When a new Cabinet is sworn in or when the Prime Minister shuffles his ministers, they all come to Rideau Hall to be sworn in by the Governor General. This happened this week, Prime Minister Trudeau and the ministers of his Cabinet were sworn in by Governor General Mary May Simon in the Ballroom.
The painting behind the group attracted my eye, usually the painting over the decades has changed depending on who is Governor General. The current painting is by Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) he was the most important signatory to the Refus Global Manifesto (1947). He participated in various artistic movement like les Automatistes, Lyrical abstraction and Tachisme. His paintings are amongst the most sought after in Canada and are found either in private collections or great museum around the World.
This is the largest painting ever produced by Jean Paul Riopelle. It was commissioned by the Government of Canada and inaugurated in February 1964 at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. In 1989, it was presented as a gift to France on the occasion of the bicentenary of the French Revolution and was on display at Paris’s Opéra Bastille.
Well I had a quick appointment this morning with my dentist over some pain I had been having for about 10 days and it would not go away. It turned out to be my very back upper molar, way back there, a tricky part it is so far back. But it had to be fixed and he identified the problem in no time at all and went to work, one hour later it is fixed. If for some reason tomorrow there is pain or his intervention today did not solve the problem, then he will remove it. But he believes the molar can be saved, so there we go. I am to call him in the morning with a progress report. I simply notch this up to having to suffer to be beautiful for my public, a regular Diana, candle in the wind kind of thing.
Today Canada has a new Governor General and Commander of the Armed Forces, etc, etc, etc. Mary Mae Simon is the 30th Governor General of Canada and represent the Queen of Canada.Amongst her many duties, she ensures that we always have a functioning government, signs all Laws into force once passed by Parliament, she advises and warns the Prime Minister on any course of action. She also represents Canada at all State Functions, receives Ambassadors, performs many other diplomatic functions like State Dinners and other State functions as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, etc.
It is very irritating to hear our idiot and lazy press go over the same nonsense over and over again. They are so incompetent at the CBC and Radio-Canada that they could not even tell you who was present in the Senate Chamber. It took them no less than 2 hours to identify her husband, the guy next to her. Come on folks why are we paying you 6 figure salaries for this type of garbage on TV.
The Senate is currently sitting in the Old Train Station in Ottawa across from Parliament and the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The Parliament buildings are being completely renovated until 2030 so the old train station which looks like a Roman Temple inside and out, think roman bath house was refurbished for hundreds of millions of dollars, no expense where spared.
The Installation ceremony takes place after the Queen designates a candidate on the advice of the Prime Minister. This was done 3 weeks ago and all the Letter Patents were issued by the Privy Council and the Queen bestowed several honours of Mary Simon including her own Coat of Arms designed by the Royal Herald. They also met formally through zoom.
Because Mary Simon is the first Inuk to serve in this function, She speaks Inuktituk, part of the ceremony was in Inuktituk. She was greeted at the door by drummers of the Algonquin nation, Ottawa is located in their territory. Then a Inuk drummer escorted her into the Chamber. It is important to note that as Mary Simon did in her speech, her people the Inuk who were known formerly as Montagnais, a name given to them by the French, live in the far North of Quebec and the people of the South are the other native nations living thousands of kilometre where all Canadians live. Its a North South thing, the Inuk culture and that of the other indigenous groups is vastly different and they don’t really get along given the difference in food, culture, language, beliefs, legends and myths and traditions. Then you also have the Inuit (eskimo)who are another group living in the Canadian Polar Circle.
Mrs Commanda who is Algonquin, and the Chief of Native groups in the South welcomed Mary Simon on Algonquin territory. Mary Simon thanked her acknowledging that her people the Inuk and the people of the South can work together. Commanda would not use that expression, for her it’s Native people and the non-native people (white). Language matters in defining perspective.
I am pretty sure that Mrs Simon will meet with criticism from the indigenous First Nations (people of the South) who view her with suspicion. The Natives in Canada are not united and there is much conflict amongst them, diverging agendas.
So once installed there was a 21 gun salute and the Flag of the Governor General was raised on the Peace Tower of Parliament replacing the Canadian Flag. The same is done at Westminster when the Queen goes to Parliament, her Personal Standard replaces the Union Jack.
Other differences today, only the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was present instead of the full 9 Judges, there was no Chief of the Defence Staff, the position is vacant currently. Only some Senators and a handful of Members of Parliament. Her sons and step child and the rest of her family were present. All this of course is due to Covid 19, sanitary precautions are still being enforced.
was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec). She is the 30th Governor General of Canada. She lives in Ottawa at Rideau Hall, the Official Residence of the G.G.
Thing is, I have managed to stay busy in retirement and am not lounging at home in front of the TV, we don’t have one. A year ago when we last travelled to New Brunswick, I did look briefly at the television and found it so stupid it was beyond words. My dentist used to have television but now its radio music which is fine by me, not missing it.
This morning I got my second shot of Pfizer so I am now fully vaccinated and it should be fully effective by 31 July. Good feeling, no reaction and happy to have this behind me now. I wonder at the efficiency and high spirit of all the nurses at the Vaccination Centre in Charlottetown. The happy attitude certainly helps and what I saw was people coming for their shot in a good mood.
I also had to renew by Provincial Health Card in the last few weeks, it is done online and takes all of 3 minutes, got my new card in the mail. I was also asked if I wanted to donate organs to save a life. I said Yes, once you are dead you can still help so many people who are desperate for a donation. It is the right thing to do, no questions.
Today Her Majesty the Queen announced that she had approved the recommendation of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and named Mary Ningiukadluk Simon as our new Governor General and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in Canada. We have been without a Head of State for 5 months. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was acting G.G. as per Constitutional arrangements. In CANADA in terms of ranking, First is the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, Second, the Governor General and then the Prime Minister.
Mary Simon is the first indigenous person to occupy this High Office, She is from Nunavik in Northern Quebec and is an Inuk person. She speaks Inuktitut and English, but I know from people who worked with her when she was our Ambassador to Denmark that she understands and reads French, she has been studying French to be able to speak it. My old colleagues in the Foreign Service described her as a wonderful person of great intelligence.
Simon began her introductory remarks in Inuktitut, and went on to thank both Trudeau and the Queen for their confidence in her taking on this “very historic opportunity.”
“I believe we can build the hopeful future in a way that is respectful of what has happened in the past…If we embrace our common humanity and shared responsibility for one another, Canada’s greatest days are yet to come,” Simon said.
From Nunavik, in northern Quebec, Simon has long been an advocate for Inuit rights and culture. She has worked as a radio host with CBC North and later served as chair of national advocacy organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the National Inuit Education Committee.
She has also worked alongside the federal government on several files over many years, including on the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on the Charlottetown Accord, the repatriation of the Constitution, and during the implementation of Canada’s first land claims policy.
Simon was the first Inuk to be a Canadian ambassador, representing Canada both as the ambassador of circumpolar affairs and as the ambassador to Denmark.
Today in the many posts that I read about Canadian Political life, I saw this piece by Professor Dr. Philippe Lagassé, who is a known expert on Canadian Parliamentarism and the Constitution, his work is always interesting to read and clear. Not one to get lost in unnecessary verbiage.
We currently have a minority government in Canada, the last election gave to the Liberals of Justin Trudeau the best chance of holding what is called the confidence of the House of Commons. No other party has enough seats or can form a coalition to govern.
It has now been 2 years + since the last election and this past session ending in two days to recess for the Summer has been marked by endless partisan games on the part of the Conservative party and personal attacks on the family of the Prime Minister. The House has not been able to do much work and many important bills are stuck in endless debates at Committee stage. Just yesterday the UNDRIP bill was passed after 3 tries and 9 years of debates. UNDRIP is the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, an important piece of Legislation which will create a more equal footing for all indigenous nations in Canada in dealing with the Federal Government. This is obviously far too much time taken for one piece of legislation. .
This coming Thursday 24 June will be the last day Parliament sits before Summer recess and this is when the Prime Minister may decide to seek to ask for Parliament to be disolved. The problem at the moment is the vacancy of the position of Head of State, since January when the Governor General Julie Payette resigned amidst a scandal involving her harrassing staff and being violent, she decided to quit instead of facing the enquiry. So in our Constitution at the moment it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is doing the job and he is called the Administrator. His last point #12 is important because Canada is a Monarchy and not a Republic, our system is based on the Westminster Parliamentary tradition.
So here is the text of Professor Lagassé on the finer points of our Parliamentary system.
In anticipation, here are a few fundamentals and reminders to keep in mind:
First, the Prime Minister has the authority to request a dissolution of Parliament. He does not need to wait for a vote of no confidence.
Second, the Administrator (Chief Justice Wagner) has the authority to exercise the Governor General’s power to dissolve Parliament upon the Prime Minister’s request. The absence of a Governor General does not preclude a dissolution.
Third, the Administrator would not have the discretion to refuse the Prime Minister’s request to dissolve Parliament at this stage. Not only has this Parliament been sitting for a while, but there is no viable alternative government that can hold the confidence of the Commons.
Fourth, the caretaker convention would begin with the dissolution of Parliament and would end after the election, unless the result of the election isn’t clear.
Fifth, the caretaker convention isn’t really a constitution convention, but a practice. This practice holds that the government should act according to a ‘principle of restraint’. The government remains the government and ministers still constitutionally and legally empowered to make decisions. This is particularly important given that we’re still in a pandemic and it may be necessary for the executive to act with despatch and discretion.
Sixth, the Prime Minister’s appointee to the Supreme Court is in no way affected by a dissolution of Parliament, and given the he’s already been named, his appointment would not engage the ‘principle of restraint’ under the caretaker convention.
Seventh, Trudeau remains Prime Minister until he resigns or is dismissed, even if his party wins fewer seats than another party on election day.
Eighth, if the Liberals remain in power following the election, it will still be the same Trudeau government as before. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister elect. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister designate. He simply remains the Prime Minister.
Ninth, if Trudeau resigns on election night or afterwards, his replacement will be the Prime Minister designate until their ministry is formally sworn in.
Tenth, if we do not have a new Governor General by the time the election is held, the Administrator has the authority to do everything a Governor General could do with respect to government formation.
Eleventh, the Governor General’s role in government formation is actually quite constrained by the codified rules of the constitution, except if there an vote of no confidence early in the life of the new Parliament.
Twelveth, Canadian election night coverage is unduly influenced by American concepts and language. This can be problematic when the election produces a minority parliament.
On the 20 January the USA got a new President and 2 days later Canada saw our Acting Head of State resign under a dark cloud. Our Governor General Julie Payette had to step down after a scathing report on her creating a toxic work place that saw dozens of people quit or go on sick leave, more than 50 people testified against her and her own RCMP security detail had horror stories to tell of how badly she treated them.
Julie Payette was the candidate of our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who once again shows how his idealism and woke agenda coupled with lack of judgement and failure to follow through will always land you in big trouble. Instead of listening to the non-partisan selection committee and doing all the necessary background vetting, Trudeau charged ahead and recommended Payette to the Queen who approved her nomination. Turns out Payette was the worst person for the job, she refused to listen to advice, did not follow protocol, refuse to move into Rideau Hall the Official Residence in Ottawa, preferring to stay in her cottage North of Montreal. Would disappear without notifying anyone including her security detail, which would send alarm bells all around. Refuse patronages which had been on the books for a century, refuse to sign documents or give Royal Assent to Laws preferring to take her time in some cases 5 months. In our Canadian System no royal assent means nothing can go ahead and the government comes to a standstill. She also famously delivered Christmas messages wearing a jump suit like those shoppers at Walmart, there is a relax look but this went far beyond any minimum standard. She did not care and made a point of it.
What really did her in and her good pal and second in command Asunta was her harrassment of staff, majority women. Having screaming rages and tantrums, demanding they answer difficult math problems and name all the planets of the solar system, Payette is a former astronaut, staff were harassed and bullied by a woman who by all public accounts was a shining example of successful feminism, unfortunately no background checks were done. There were rumours about her 2 previous high profile jobs both she quit under a cloud for exactly the same reasons. There was also her tortuous family life with 2 ex-husbands, one pressed charges of battery against her and the un-ending custody battles. How could the Prime Minister be so thoughtless, I would have loved to be listening in on the conversation when he had to call Her Majesty, the big boss, to explain to her why Madame Payette was resigning. Knowing the Queen and her inquisitive mind, I am sure she was well aware of the details before the call and was waiting to see how Trudeau would explain himself for this fiasco. Not to forget that Queen Elizabeth has known him since he was 7 years old.
Incredibly enough Madame Payette in her letter of resignation does not apologize but simply said that that there were some disagreements. Trudeau in Parliament and to the Press lied by stating that the vetting process had not worked well. Everyone knows there was NO process, is he not man enough to simply admit he made a terrible mistake and a costly one at that.
Now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will take on the duties of Governor General until a new person is named. Hopefully it will not be too long and this time there will be a complete vetting. Life will go on but my faith in Justin Trudeau is shaken, maybe it is time for him to retire, his arrogance has gotten the better of him.
Rideau Hall, Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada, Ottawa.
This morning in the Senate of Canada the new Governor General, H.E. the Right Honourable Julie Payette spoke for about 15 minutes in French, English and Algonquin without notes on what would mark her mandate. It was very impressive to watch, I have never seen that before. The Chiefs of the First Nations in the Senate were delighted by her address to them in their own language, certainly a first. In her speech she made an impassioned appeal for Canadians to tackle “serious and pressing global issues like climate change, migration, nuclear proliferation, poverty and population growth.
Also today her new Personal Coat of Arms was unveiled, this is a gift from the Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II.
You see the musical score at the top it is from music of Alessandro Marcello, you can hear it below. Payette is a very musical person. She often sings in choirs and loves baroque music. She has been associated with Tafelmusik and they played at her investiture today.
The shield has an Astronaut’s helmet at the top for her former profession. Two Canadian Lynx, an elusive animal support the shield, the wing is her aspiration to always do better and the Crown is the symbol of her Vice-Regal function. The motto surrounding the shield is taken from the Order of Canada. Her own personal motto appears at the bottom
Through hardship to the Stars.
The mathematical symbol for the sum, Σ (sigma), placed in its centre, illustrates the power of facts and science, and reminds us that we share the Earth and a responsibility to care for it.
At 10am on Monday 2 October Julie Payette, former astronaut will become Canada’s 29th Governor General, the investiture will take place in the Red Chamber of Parliament, also known as the Senate in Ottawa.
The former Governor General David Johnston said his goodbyes a few days ago and will go into retirement.
The titles of the governor general are Vice-Roy, Commander in Chief of Canada, Chancellor of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Prior of the Most Venerable Order of St-John of Jerusalem. All those honours and titles are given by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth and will be transferred to the new Governor General on Monday morning.
Here is what H.E. David Johnston did during his period in Office. Compilation courtesy of the CBC.
We can only wish Ms Payette good luck in her new function. She is single and so will not have a spouse to share the burden of the Office with, this is a first.
On this day in 1952 Vincent Massey became the first born Canadian to be named Governor General of Canada, a function which had always been held in the past by a member of the Royal Family or British Aristocracy.
His predecessor had been Viscount Alexander of Tunis, the Government of Canada had since 1919 pursue a policy of independence and wanted to put an end to the tradition of British governors since Canada was no longer a colony since 1867. The Prime Minister informed London that the next Governor General would be a distinguished Canadian.
Vincent Massey was chosen, he came from a wealthy family whose business in the Farm Equipment Massey Harris and then Massey Ferguson was well known. He had been the first Canadian High Commissioner (Ambassador) to London, we did not have a High Commission in London prior to 1931 we had an agent who represented the interest of Canada. Massey was a published author, an Art Collector, he bequeathed his collection to the National Gallery of Canada. During the Second World War in London he would entertain Canadian troops on weekend at his country estate outside London and one rule was that you could drink in the salon and dining room but never in your room, gentlemen don’t drink in bedrooms and a soldier could not do it either. He was a stickler for details and protocol. The troops love him for it.
Massey was what was then called an Imperial Canadian, he had a vision of the Dominion of Canada within the Empire and he promoted all things Canadian. His brother was Raymond Massey the actor.
After the end of his five year term as Governor General he was succeeded by General George Vanier, a first World War hero. Shortly the Prime Minister should be announcing who will succeed the current Governor General David Johnston whose extended term is now expiring.
Vincent Massey, wearing his uniform of Governor General of Canada
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown