TORONTO - It is a historic event, no matter what one’s perception of the utility of the Office. I am of course referring to yesterday’s induction of Canada’s 30th Governor General, the Right Honorable Mary Simon. She is the country’s first Indigenous (Inuk) Canadian to hold that position.
If there were ever a time when an event called for pomp and circumstance, this would certainly have been it. Given the health environment, the event was rather low key and unassuming for the installation of one who is the Head of State, represents the sovereign (Queen Elizabeth), has the responsibility to lay out a plan of governance (Speech from the Throne) and to proclaim (sign) all legislation.
Without her, the Parliamentary process can neither begin nor close. She is the guardian of the Constitution, or so that is the theory. In any case, unlike the Prime Minister – who represents government - and Leaders of Opposition parties who aspire to represent an alternative, the Governor General alone represents all Canadians.
That in itself should be a source of great pride for members of Canada’s First Nations. It is not her task to discharge but her appointment in and of itself should go a long way to healing and reconciling the grievances, both perceived and real, that the Aboriginal community has voiced against their fellow Canadians.
She manifests a quiet, reserved demeanour, unencumbered with the need to display ostentatiously the importance of her role. As befitting someone who bring something new and refreshingly different, she was unaccompanied by the ubiquitous bagpipes and drum batteries attending the installation of the newest occupier of what was essentially a military overlordship.
In other words, she surrounds herself with a quiet, tranquil, serenity; no pretense, no presumption. The Corriere Canadese and staff wish her and the country well. Auguri.
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