Time for a Governor General from BC

Posted by Daniel on Oct 22, 2009

Since the Governor General, Michaelle Jean, referred to herself, mistakenly it would seem, as Canada's head of state, the chatterati have been considering whether it might be time to cut our last link to the Mother Country and replace the Queen with our own, made-in-Canada, model.

I'm all in favour, though I sometimes wonder if the angry debate it would stir up would be worth the bother. Meantime, we've got the system we've got, and in that regard I note that Ms. Jean's term will be up next year. Isn't it time that someone from British Columbia got the nod to occupy Rideau Hall? And wouldn't it be appropriate given that 2010 is our Olympic year? I know that Governors General do not officially represent any one province but given that they are obviously selected as representative of certain groups (eg., Quebec, Acadians, immigrants, women) why not a representative British Columbian?

BC is one of five provinces which have not yet contributed a Governor General. The others are Alberta, Newfoundland, PEI and Nova Scotia. BC is not only larger than any of these, it is much larger than Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or New Brunswick, all of which have produced vice-regal candidates.

Do I have someone in mind? Modesty forbids... Nisga'a leader Joe Gosnell was mentioned last time around. Certainly an Aboriginal leader would be a good choice. But actually I wonder if former premier Bill Vander Zalm is not eyeing the prize. Recently Mr. Vander Zalm has put himself forward as leader of a populist anti-tax movement. And he has at least some of the requirements. He comes from an immigrant background, his people skills are notorious, and he used to live in a castle.

Is that a groundswell I feel under my feet?