This is a mean trick to play on a useful person. Frankly I could care less that Mary Simon is the first aboriginal person on the job. It is a job with no practical use in our society. Why send her out to pasture?
Having Ms. Simon as governor general is a waste of a rare talent. The woman is a competent spokesperson for climate change. She is a former diplomat. She is an effective spokesperson for Canada’s Inuit peoples.
Why appoint a competent and effective person to a job where you are not allowed to think for yourself? Why appoint her to a ceremonial role? And why appoint her to a role that is no longer needed?
I guess 150 years ago, we needed someone to represent the ‘great white mother,’ to impress our aboriginal peoples. After all, we know that Queen Victoria never thought for herself. She was a nebbish. She gave the name Victorian to a boring age in British history.
It is very impressive that Mary Simon was able to convince the Russians to allow their Inuit from the Chukotka Peninsula to participate in the Inuit Circumpolar Conference of 1989. It was prime minister Chrétien who appointed her the first Canadian Ambassador to the newly formed Arctic Council, which she chaired, and later served as Canada’s senior participant. Her list of accomplishments at that time included serving as ambassador to Denmark and the list goes on.
But does Canada need such an accomplished person in the role of governor general? Canadians are well aware that the appointed occupant of Rideau Hall in Ottawa has few tasks and little responsibility. Half the job is finding something to do with their time.
There is no doubt that she can read throne speeches—provided they are in English or Inuktitut. The lady regrets that she does not speak French. That is already raising eyebrows in Quebec but she promises to work on it.
Her new job will probably be the most boring task she ever undertakes.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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