How does one value his country or his own rights? Most of us have little reason to even think about such questions as we pass through our daily routines. In Canada we have had our most basic democratic system of government manipulated and mangled for one purpose. Those we elected have found a way, though apparent democratic means, to design and mold government to their own needs. A long trusted even revered third party, a referee if you wish, is nothing more than a puppet. A Monarch who only thinks either through arrogance or simple lack of care that responsibility can be put aside without consequence.
It has been reported how Governor General David Johnston had made a public statement endorsing the oil sands as a “great Canadian development.” He had no authority to make such a statement. As the representative of Her Majesty the Queen he has publicly committed Her Majesty to that endorsement. A letter from his predecessor as Governor General is clear proof that David Johnston is in breach of his authority. As the representative of Her Majesty, the Governor General is installed by Her Majesty and in the end only can be removed by Her Majesty. A Governor General's tenure though five years, is at the “pleasure” of Her Majesty.
In writing Her Majesty informing her of the serious breach of authority by David Johnston I had few expectations. I was aware that the Governor General was chosen by Prime Minister Harper, even though many were shocked at the time. The letter arrived at Buckingham Palace by Express Post (therefore signed for and trackable) on Friday December 16th 2011. A response is dated December 19th 2011 and was dropped in my mailbox in St. Catharines Ontario on Friday December 23rd 2011 at noon. Buckingham Palace found urgency in delivering the letter within three and a half days from London to St. Catharines during the height of the Christmas mail rush. Why was it so important?
Her Majesty's response is posted here. This response is nothing more than insult to the people of Canada. She refers to herself as a “constitutional Sovereign.” What does that mean? If she has no authority than neither does the Governor General. It stands then that Royal Assent is not necessary on our Canadian legislation and the farce of paying out billions of our tax payer dollars to a show piece comical and without purpose. We have people in Canada unable to feed their families, the government cutting services and the people of the First Nations surviving conditions that even representatives of the United Nations were shocked over. Generations of trust and respect washed away by this response.
Governor General David Johnston in public committed Her Majesty in an endorsement of the oil sands. There is no comment in the response from Buckingham Palace on that issue, which is the key. Whoever advised Her Majesty on this response has done so to protect the Governor General but more importantly to ensure that the Monarchy does not comment on his endorsement. It is now fair to ask was the decision of Her Majesty the Queen her own? Was this response designed to protect the interests of BP and Shell? Both British giants have massive investments in the Alberta oil sands.
Have we now seen the full circle of the British Empire to 'the good ol' days' of Sir Francis Drake. A pirate unleashed onto the seas under the beck and call of a British Monarch to murder and pillage only to be knighted for his services. Are the executives of BP and Shell to be thought of as the modern day 'Sir Francis' of the business world. After all their massive investments into the oil sands bring even more massive profit and in the end rather healthy returns to the British government in taxes. True the days of sailing ships, swords and blood are over and those executives of BP and Shell only wield their cutlass at the executive board tables. Yet it was the British who used the influence of their MP's to sway, or attempt to sway, opinion in favour of the oil sands with European decision makers.
Her Majesty the Queen in her letter states that she would not intervene in this matter, that she acts upon advice “of her Canadian Ministers.” The Queen does not say simply Canadian Ministers but “her” ministers. As per the Letters Patent Constituting the Office of the Governor General and Commander-In-Chief of Canada point XIV “Governor General's Absence” is clear. “And whereas great prejudice may happen to Our Service and to the security of CANADA without first obtained leave from Us for so doing through the Prime Minister of Canada.” Though these Letters Patent were effective as of October 1st 1947 and seem dated by some sixty-plus years little has changed, even though some individual amendments made such as the selection of the Governor General. The University of Toronto Law Journal Vol 7, No. 2 (1948) states, “there seems to be no change in the status of governor general and he still remains an officer to whom his majesty has committed extensive but definite powers and functions.”
In our parliamentary democracy the Governor General has rarely used his powers. Though Royal Assent was denied once to legislation in Alberta and the Canadian parliament sent packing and a general election forced this year in 2011. Some claim his position is more symbolic rather than in fact active in government. And true our democratic and stable government has had little reason for a referee to interfere. Yet as the University of Toronto Law Journal continues, “It would appear that, in spite of all the changes, he is still under legal liabilities and all the older judgements and case-law in relation to “colonial” governors are of authority, while special statutes of the United Kingdom, over which Canada has no control, still govern his conduct and certain aspects of his legal liabilities.”
David Johnston does not do as he pleases nor as Prime Minister Harper dictates! As the Governor General his boundaries are definite and his conduct answerable to Her Majesty not the Prime Minister. It is only her Majesty that has full authority over the office of the Governor General. David Johnston as Governor General holds a post that is not chosen or elected by the people of Canada. He was chosen by Prime Minister Harper, and was chosen for one reason only. Yet he represents the Monarchy, he represents the Queen herself with his actions. In his endorsement of the oil sands he has brought public endorsement of Her Majesty to the oil sands. Cowardice has never been the currency of the realm as it is now. The honour and prestige of the Monarchy has been compromised by its representative and that cannot be ignored. David Johnston may make speeches and present his sanctimonious expressions but the puppet strings cannot be made invisible. He is the chosen one, and it is he who paid his dues in obstructing an inquiry into the actions of an ex-Conservative Prime Minister. It is he who put the seal of approval on the oil sands for Prime Minister Harper. Maybe David Johnston should print some decals and stick them on the barrels of oil from Alberta's oil sands, the way Crabtree & Evelyn does on their jams.
Her Majesty and the Monarchy has been compromised by Governor General David Johnston. It is not an issue of whether you support the oil sands or not. This is an issue of governance, of OUR CANADIAN DEMOCRACY. No one, regardless of whether it is the Queen, her representative in the role of Governor General, nor the Prime Minister of Canada may have the right to manipulate our Canada. We as Canadians cannot stand idle and allow this. This is the role and authority of Her Majesty to act and to remove David Johnston as Governor General of Canada and to issue a statement on her position relating to the endorsement Johnston made. The Governor General is responsible for his conduct only to Her Majesty. Or is the line of dialogue from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man's Chest – most appropriate in today's world - “No doubt you've discovered that loyalty is no longer the currency of the realm, as your father believes. I'm afraid currency is the currency of the realm.”
Have there been more amendments to the Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General and Commander-In-Chief of Canada?
Raise your Canadian voices, sign the petition to remove David Johnston as Governor General of Canada. The position of Governor General may not be elected by Canadians but we as Canadians will not be ignored, not even by Her Majesty the Queen.
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