Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Aug. 15, 2005)

G-G selection must not be by ‘royal’ edict

John Pifer

Surely the Michaella Jean fiasco proves that if ever a case was to be made for Canada to adopt a different system of choosing key administration power players, this is it.

Instead of a decree from on high, and the cynical partisan selection by King Paul of Ms. Jean as Canada’s Governor General, Canadians must demand that an objective, intensive selection process be adopted.

Instead of questions being raised after the fact, with serious allegations of this Haitian-born woman’s flirtation with Quebec separatism, and her husband’s obvious involvement with it, the people deserve to have an opportunity to ensure that due diligence is carried out when such a crucial role is being cast.

Now, there are few politicians that this scribe has encountered through the past 35 years – at municipal, provincial, national or international levels – who could admit they had screwed up. Whether it was ego, or a messianic complex that had them convince themselves that they never had done or said anything inaccurate or inappropriate, confessing to getting it wrong was just not an option.

You loyal reader(s) often will have seen references in this corner about treating all politicians with disdain. The prime reason for that is because of this refusal to tell the truth when it is obvious to anyone with an IQ of an eggplant that they are lying, or refusing to face reality.

Now we have Prime Minister Paul Martin proving the point, by sticking with his personal selection of Ms. Jean to be Canada’s head of state, regardless of whether or not she is suitable or appropriate for the position. Do not forget that this is not just a titular post for an individual to be the Queen’s representative in this colony of ours. The G-G has some clout, and with a minority government, may be called upon to take far-reaching important decisions about which party is capable or deserving of being in power.

And that goes to one of the prime reasons why Our Paul chose Our Michaella – because she is partisan, and is more likely to toe the Liberal line than any other. She comes with a left-leaning background, sprouting full-grown from the breeding ground of Quebec separatism known as the CBC-TV French network.

Last week’s column regarding the heavy-handed dictatorship that is Mr. Martin’s method prompted more personal e-mails to me than any column I have written in the past 12 years. In all cases, readers were grateful that their perspective had been reflected.

Perhaps the best example of the feedback came from Joan and David Ledgerwood of Mission, who wrote:

 “With the exception of your anti-monarchy comments, we feel the same as you  -- disgusted, frustrated and incredulous that (eastern) Canadians keep (the Liberals) in power.  The depth of Liberal corruption is really unbelievable and probably far more systemic than we could ever know.  Could you consider doing more columns on this topic, and getting them published in eastern newspapers? As for the monarchy, we feel it is preferable to the alternatives (el presidente?) and its history is at least relevant to the heritage of many Canadians who are of British extraction, as are we. Keep that candour coming.”

Rest assured that I will – more next week.

Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at


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