Thursday, August 04, 2005


UPDATE: The attempts by some to find controversy with the new G-G are just straight up lame.
  1. She apparently said: "Well, the attacks in New York and Washington were, in a way, foreseeable."
  2. Her husband directed a documentary La Liberté en Colère, that is being billed as a pro-soverignty film.

Give me a break. There might be things in her past that make her a tainted candidate for G-G, but this ain't it. On the first point, I agree with her. Considering what Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda and other islamic fundamentalists were saying/threatening about "the great Satan" (including using planes as flying bombs on U.S. soil) they WERE foreseeable.

One the second point, admittedly I haven't seen the film, but from the description, its not exactly a propaganda film for the BQ:

Thirty years later, four members of what was Le Front de libération du Québec
discussed why they create or participate in this revolutionary group. And their
explanations are not without passion...

C'mon folks. This is just a lame attempt to taint a candidate and blatant partisanship. Yeah, I don't know everything about these 2 quotes/facts, but neither, it seems, does anyone else. Right now, its pretty bush league stuff.

Now, on to my original post...

I have tried over the past months not to just link articles, but the Globe's John Ibbitson (almost) perfectly summarized what I was going to say:

"Prime Minister Paul Martin has made a fascinating but highly controversial choice for the next governor-general. Unless you are a regular viewer of CBC Newsworld or Radio-Canada -- and the ratings suggest you aren't -- you probably haven't heard of Michaëlle Jean."

Nope. Never.

"Although equipped with a potent résumé -- arriving from Haiti as a child, she has mastered five languages, taught Italian literature and earned high praise for her talents as a television host -- Ms. Jean is far from nationally prominent. Some will question whether a person with such a relatively modest profile should be asked to serve as head of state in Canada."


"Others (CH note: that would be me) will howl at what they see as the incestuous nature of the appointment. After all, Adrienne Clarkson was a female, visible-minority CBC broadcaster from Toronto. Ms. Jean is a female, visible-minority CBC broadcaster from Montreal. The only crucial difference between the two is that Ms. Clarkson was far better known outside Quebec than is Ms. Jean."


"Ms. Clarkson had to withstand her share of brickbats from pundits (CH note: me again), politicians and writers of letters to the editor who complained that she personified the Central Canadian cultural elite: too left leaning and too high brow to speak on behalf of the vast majority of Canadians who live outside Toronto or Montreal's better postal codes. Since Ms. Jean is the second consecutive choice from that pool, the criticism this time around will be even more intense."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

The bottom line is that I will wait to see what our new G-G is all about before I pass judgement. I like the fact that she is relatively young an many have described her as energetic and full of ideas. I do agree that Dutchess Adrienne did spend a lot of time working in the North, etc and for that I give her credit.

I just hope Ms. Jean becomes a Governor General for ALL Canadians, not just the cultural elite in this country. The office is more than Order of Canada awards ceremonies and representing Canada at state funerals.

I hope Ms. Jean remembers that.

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