by Barry Weisleder
The resignation, on January 21, of Governor General and former astronaut Julie Payette, has the Canadian establishment in a tizzy. Her sudden exit comes in the wake of a damning report that found her and her top aide responsible for workplace harassment at Rideau Hall.
What are we to make of this situation?
The mainstream media and opposition parties are fixated on the failure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to properly vet, in 2017, his evidently uncongenial appointee. But this imbroglio is pregnant with another possibility.
Why not abolish the GG, as well as the monarchy that the office so dutifully represents? Consider this.
Ottawa spent over $50 million (including Payette’s salary of $300,000) on the office in 2018. That is to say nothing of the cost borne by each province to maintain a resident lieutenant governor who performs the same pointless ceremonial functions.
What price reactionary protocol? It’s not hard to think of many things on which better to spend the money. How about housing the homeless, or vaccinating front line workers and the elderly?
Julie Payette does not admit to any wrongdoing, although scores of her public service employees beg to differ. She reportedly reduced many to tears on a daily basis. Arrogance and a rarefied sense of entitlement seem to go with jobs at the top of the capitalist state. Nonetheless, it’s good to see some fruit of the generations of mass protests against elitism, sexism and racism: intolerance of toxicity in the work place – when it is doggedly exposed.
“It doesn’t serve a great purpose now that the governor general has resigned to ascribe blame to individuals,” Queen’s Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc told CBC. Is this to save Payette, Trudeau, or the whole anachronistic setup?
Trudeau said that Richard Wagner, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will fulfill the duties of the governor general on an interim basis, and that a recommendation on a permanent replacement will be made to Queen Elizabeth “in due course.”
Wouldn’t it be supremely better simply to abolish the Governor General position, terminate the presence on Turtle Island of the oppressive, blood-soaked British monarchy, and while we’re at it, dispense with the appointed Senate? Remember that the Upper Chamber was created in 1867 to protect the men of property. Canada’s first prime minister, John A. MacDonald, put it this way: “The rights of the minority must be protected, and the rich are always fewer in number than the poor.” (Confederation, Joseph Pope, 1895)
Though labour bureaucrats and NDP parliamentarians are loath even to ponder it, the working class, when it takes charge some day, will surely sweep aside the feudal remnants and all the parasites clinging to this malignant system.
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