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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: “It is impossible for the Privy Council to be politically neutral, when it is acting as a secretariat for the Prime Minister, and is populated by government MPs and Cabinet Ministers”

'Pay close heed' to words of top bureaucrat on SNC-Lavalin affair, Trudeau says.  Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick said Thursday there was no inappropriate pressure on Wilson-Raybould
CBC News ~~ Feb 22, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians should "pay heed" to the country's top civil servant, who testified Thursday there was no inappropriate pressure placed on Jody Wilson-Raybould to override a decision to prosecute SNC-Lavalin 

...  Trudeau called Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick an "extraordinary public servant" who has served Canada with "integrity and brilliance."

.... Trudeau said the government has a fundamental responsibility to preserve jobs and promote economic growth while respecting the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

This pair of airheads are incapable of recognizing when they are in a breech of ethics. They have, by their own admission, tried to influence the decision of the Justice Department to prosecute SNC-Lavalin in criminal court.

Trudeau’s arrogance is boundless. Why are we are supposed to heed the advice of his secretary? Let me acquaint you with how Michael Wernick came to be Justin Trudeau’s secretary and lap dog. I am sure he does not know.

We have to go back to the spring of 1940 when Canada was at war with the Axis. Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King faced a unique series of events:

  • Germany had overrun central and western Europe; 
  •  France had collapsed;England was under attack;
  • In January, Clerk of the Privy Council, Ernest Lemaire, retired after 46 years of service ... and ...
  • In February Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir died from complications following a stroke.

The Cabinet was overwhelmed with extra duties brought on by the war effort and the Executive arm of government (Governor General and Privy Council) were dysfunctional. Mackenzie King passed an Order in Council that made the Privy Council the secretariat of the Prime Minister and cabinet to increase manpower for the cabinet. It was a sound decision based on the situation at the time.

 Mackenzie King’s 1940 Order in Council cannot override the
constitution, or diminish the Executive powers vested in the Queen.

The die was cast, and although the status of the Executive arm should have been restored following the end of WW2 it was not. Prime Ministers since have continued to use the Privy Council as a secretariat which Is contrary to the terms of our constitution and to the Governor General’s Letters Patent.

The Governor General, acting for the Queen, has substantial though rarely used powers. The Governor General is empowered to:

  1. constitute and appoint all such Judges, Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, and other necessary Officers (including diplomatic and consular officers) and Ministers of Canada, as may be lawfully constituted;
  2. upon sufficient cause to him appearing, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same, any person exercising any office within Canada, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted;
  3. exercise all powers in respect of summoning, proroguing or dissolving the Parliament of Canada ... and  ...
  4. providing Royal Assent to all laws passed by Parliament.

The Privy Council is intended to be a politically neutral resource and source of advice for the Governor General. It is impossible for the Privy Council to be politically neutral when it is acting as a secretariat for the Prime Minister and is populated by government MPs and Cabinet Ministers.

The government of Canada is made up of four sections:

  • The Executive, vested in the Queen and carried out in practice by the Governor General supported by the Privy Council; 
  • The Administrative, led by the Prime Minister with a Cabinet of Ministers and caucus of MPs;
  • The Legislative, consisting of the House of Commons and Senate;
  • The Judicial, administered by the Attorney General.

Mackenzie King’s 1940 Order in Council cannot override the constitution or diminish the Executive powers vested in the Queen. The Prime Minister’s office as currently configured is unconstitutional and that has led to autocratic rather than democratic governance.

We need to get our governance back on track and resurrect the watchdog role of the Governor General. I respectfully suggest that each province should put forth a candidate of good character for the Governor General role and the Queen choose a Governor General from those candidates.

The Governor General’s office should not be filled by an appointee of the PMO. 

The Governor General must be a politically neutral representative of the people and base his or her decisions on what is best for the people rather than what is expedient for the government of the day.

Our system of appointing judges and senior government officials need to be  politically neutral, and the Governor General is better suited to oversee such appointments than the Prime Minister.

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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