Liberals re-establish panel to help choose next governor general

Click to play video: 'Payette scandal sours Canadians on perks, expenses for former governors general, Ipsos poll shows'
Payette scandal sours Canadians on perks, expenses for former governors general, Ipsos poll shows
WATCH ABOVE: A new Ipsos poll suggests a clear majority of Canadians believe former governor general Julie Payette should receive neither a pension nor an expense account given her unprecedented early resignation from the post – Feb 12, 2021

The Liberal government is re-establishing an advisory panel to help select the next governor general.

Six people are on the panel, which was announced Friday by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

He’ll co-chair the group with Janice Charette, a former high commissioner to the United Kingdom now filling in as clerk of the Privy Council.

Click to play video: 'Rideau Hall report: Toxic workplace, yelling, humiliation'
Rideau Hall report: Toxic workplace, yelling, humiliation

The approach is much like one used by the previous Conservative government but dropped by the Liberals when it was their turn to pick a governor general.

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Their choice, former astronaut Julie Payette, resigned earlier this year after a damning report about working conditions at Rideau Hall.

The newly struck advisory group is mandated to submit a shortlist of candidates for the prime minister’s consideration.

In addition to LeBlanc and Charette, the members are:

Inuit leader Natan Obed

Universite de Montreal rector Daniel Jutras

Former secretary to the governor general Judith LaRocque

Interim Canada Post chair Suromitra Sanatani

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No apology from Trudeau over Payette appointment following ‘scathing’ report, resignation

“Members were selected for the diverse perspectives they bring to the work, as well as their expertise on issues relating to government and the Crown in Canada,” LeBlanc’s announcement said.

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Canada needs a new governor general “on an expedited basis,” LeBlanc said, so the panel will work as quickly as it can.

The Liberals are governing in a minority situation and a non-confidence vote or request from the prime minister to dissolve Parliament for an election is possible at any time. Having the office filled by a long-term occupant with the standing to deal with constitutional questions is more important than usual.

With the post of governor general vacant, Chief Justice Richard Wagner is carrying out key functions of the job as the Administrator of the Government of Canada.

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