The public discussion on which way Governor General designate Michaelle Jean and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond voted in the 1995 Quebec separation referendum misses the point. So does the discussion of Lafond's separatist friends.

The position of Governor General is more than a prestige job. It is an honour, to be bestowed on people who have performed a service to this country.

Jean and Lafond had an opportunity to perform a service in 1995. The 1995 Quebec separation referendum was a close call for this country. Those of us who wanted Quebec to vote "no" were chipping in for plane flights for Canadians who wanted to travel to a pro-Canada rally in Quebec.

Where were Jean and Lafond when we needed them? Were they knocking on doors or making phone calls to encourage their fellow Quebecois to vote "no"? Were they organizing pro-Canada events in their neighbourhood? Or even encouraging their friends, relatives, co-workers, and acquaintances to vote "no"?

Let's get some answers to these questions. And, if the answers aren't especially good ones, let's bestow this job on someone more deserving.


0 #7 Divya Patel 2010-02-09 07:51
:-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? what contributions did michaelle jean make to canadian society?
:-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-?
and what obstacles have they overcome
0 #6 Guest 2006-12-20 06:26
nice work!!!
0 #5 Guest 2006-01-28 08:44
Michaelle Jean is an accomplished and highly intelligent woman, but I don't think she was the best choice for GG. Her resume is lacking when compared to that of previous GG's. She does not have a record of public service. She is not recognizable to Canadians outside of Quebec.

I think Paul Martin was enamoured of this woman and moreso, her life story, as being representative of a new generation of Canadians. She was offered the position on that basis, rather than because of her previous contributions. He knew of her great potential as someone who could contribute to Canadian life. I think it would have been more fitting had he asked her to run for his party. Her appointment was too much, too soon, in my opinion.
-1 #4 Valerie Guillaume 2005-11-02 07:11
The negative response from the white racist canadians regarding the appointment of Canada's new governor general is to be expected because it reflects the general attitude of the broader canadian society. As an African Canadian living in this society the appointment of Michaelle Jean is a welcomed as well as a possitive change for all Canadians and especially those of us who are Black. She is definately a role model for our young children and her role as governor general will allow these children to dream and to believe that as Canadians they can achieve anything even the highest posts in the land. The negative attacks that she has recieved in the press is typical of those kinds of attacks against people of color and visible minorities in general. Canada now has a chance to practice what it preaches regarding multiculturalis m to the international community as well as to those different groups of people living here and calls this country their home. I believe that Michaelle Jean as governor general will make a positive contribution to this country and that we should all be proud of her and the contributions that she will make in the furture and has made so far. She is a beautiful and proud Black Woman and Canadian and more than qualified for the job that she has undertaken.
To those canadians who frowns at her appointment as governor general because she is black I say accept it. Change is inevitable.

Valerie Guillaume
0 #3 Guest 2005-08-23 02:39
I am the only person I have ever seen posting on these blogs who actually has been affected by the violence Madam Jean's FLQ felquist friends practiced. In 1969 my father, a second generation Montrealer who had spent 20 years working as a mining engineer in Sudbury got a job working on the Churchhills Falls power project which had its headquarters in downtown Montreal. So he packed us all up and moved us there. What a mistake.

We lived in lower Westmount, an enclave of what I soon learned to be were "les maudit anglais" or the "f*ing english". I was a thirteen year old school girl in grade 8 in October 1970. I was new to the city when the bombing started in earnest. Pipe box bombs in mail boxes were set by the Federation de Liberation de Quebec (FLQ). You never knew when to expect the next bomb. It became eerily normal. One day the inevitable happened and all the windows in our block were blown out. I was not injured by the flying glass but I was terrorized by it. Other kids on my block were hit by glass. The city was in a state of seige after James Cross the British Consulate was kidnapped by the FLQ. Then Monsieur Pierre Laporte, a democratically elected member of the Quebec cabinet was kidnapped and garrotted with his own cross chain by the FLQ. His body was dumped in the trunk of a Montreal taxi cab.

Can I describe the terror in that city and in my household. There were Canadian army snipers on every roof and tanks rolling down our beautiful boulevards.

The only thing that made me feel safe was when Pierre Trudeau was asked if he would invoke the War Measures Act he answered "just watch me". I knew that he cared about what happened to me and he was not going to let those bad men hurt us any more.

Pierre Trudeau, like Lester Pearson, MacKenzie King and every Prime Minister back to Sir John A. MacDonald would not watch bullies push Canadian citizens around...until Mr. Dithers came along and decided he would stop his dithering with the hot looking, Francophone Haitian/Canadia n/French Radio Canada (TV Canada) second tier "presenter" Michaelle Jean.

So what if Madam Jean had hired Jacques Rose to renovate her library in 1993. Do you remember Jacques Rose. I sure as hell do. He was the charming fellow who served eight years after the fact as an accessory to the assassination of Pierre Laporte.

Francis Simard is the good friend and cowriter of a documentary on the FLQ with Madam Jean's husband Jean-Daniel Lafond. Francis Simard also was convicted in the assassination of M. Laporte.

In the notorious "documentary" where Madam Jean toasts the demise of my beautiful home Canada by "taking independence" from it and where she refers to the "white niggers who have their black niggers in Quebec" (!!!?) she clinks wine glasses with Pierre Valliere, the valiant leader of the FLQ, poor M. Laporte's murderers.
0 #2 Jaimie McEvoy 2005-08-23 02:38
Everyone has missed the point - she's not qualified, period.

Qualified, some say? Qualified to do what? Travel to iceland?

No - qualified to be the head of state. There might not be much to do on a day to day basis, but there's plenty to do when things go wrong. The collapse of governments has actually required a Governor General to act from time to time, and to do so with experience, authority, and knowledge of constitution, history, procedure, and precedent. The worst part of what Martin has done is to appoint a Governor General who will not have those qualifications, should she be called upon to act - in a manner loyal to the country and its laws and customs - in the event of a parliamentary crisis. Should Martin's government fall, he'll be calling the shots, having selected a Governor General who knows full well who her protector is, and who in the opposition benches is baying for her blood.

I viewed with deep distaste the attacks by the Reform/Alliance /Conservative Party on Clarkson and the Governor General in the past, in their endless cultural campaign against the legitimacy of government and its institutions. This time, they've completely missed the point, to their own disadvantage. A Governor General ought to be someone who we can have confidence in, should terrorist attack, disaster, collapse of parliament, or anything else disrupt our government, to have confidence in that person to lead us and to restore our democratic norms of government. To have experts to consult is simply not good enough. To romanticize lawless violence is abhorent. Michaelle Jean is not suitable as our Head of State.

Jaimie McEvoy
New Westminster
0 #1 Guest 2005-08-16 14:16
Yes, give it to a province who has never had an appointment of GG. Newfoundland and Labrador.

Better still, let's make some steps towards a real democracy. Have each province and territory suggest three. Have the senate and RCMP whittle it down to one per province and territory then have house of commons present cases in public on each and finnally vote.

Comments are now closed for this entry

Other articles in Blog

Book review: Private Places, Public Spaces: a woman at home in the world, by Lucina Kathmann 13 Jul 2017

Seven Mexican journalists murdered in first half of 2017 15 Jun 2017

Book review: One Life, by David Lida 25 May 2017

Wine tasting in the Valle de Guadalupe 29 Dec 2016

Sea Shepherd society protecting endangered marine species in the Sea of Cortez 27 Dec 2016

- Entire Category -