moved for leave to introduce Bill C-464, An Act to provide for the appointment and dismissal of a Governor General.
Mr. Speaker, many Canadians, myself included, are delighted with the performance of Canada's new Governor General and wish her many years of success. We are not, however, equally delighted with the system by which governors general are appointed and may be dismissed, which is to say entirely at the discretion of the Prime Minister. This is the result of a holdover convention from the 19th century under which the Queen acts entirely on the advice of the prime minister in making these decisions.
This is most important not in regard to the appointment of a governor general but rather with regard to the dismissal of a governor general. It was on this basis in 1975 in Australia, a country in which I lived for some time, that the governor general dismissed the prime minister and the prime minister's first action was to attempt to cause the governor general to be dismissed by speaking directly to the Queen.
Had this occurred and had he been successful, the country would have been thrown into a constitutional crisis. The goal is to prevent this kind of thing from ever occurring in Canada in the future.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)