New Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments

Ottawa, Ontario
4 November 2012

The Government of Canada is committed to a robust consultation process for the identification of candidates to be recommended to serve as Her Majesty’s representatives in Canada’s Vice-Regal offices. To this end, on November 2, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of a new non-partisan Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments, which will provide non-binding recommendations to the Prime Minister on the selection of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners.  The establishment of the Advisory Committee builds on the ad hoc Advisory Committee that aided the Prime Minister’s recommendation to Her Majesty on the appointment of the Right Honourable David Johnston as Governor General of Canada in 2010. The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of the full-time position of Canadian Secretary to The Queen, who will serve as ex-officio Chair of the Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee, composed of individuals from outside of government with diverse expertise, will deliberate on candidates and consult with key stakeholders when vacancies for the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors or Territorial Commissioners are anticipated.  The Advisory Committee will then present a report to the Prime Minister with a shortlist of proposed candidates for the Prime Minister’s consideration. In addition to the Chair, the Advisory Committee will include two permanent members and two temporary members.

Mr. Kevin MacLeod, who currently serves in the part-time position of Canadian Secretary to The Queen, will assume the full-time role. The first two permanent Advisory Committee members will be: Mr. Robert Watt, a Citizenship Judge and Canadian social historian who served as the first Chief Herald of Canada from 1988-2007 in the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General; and Dr. Jacques Monet, the Director of the Canadian Institute of Jesuit Studies and a specialist in Canadian constitutional and social history. For appointments of Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners, temporary members of the committee will be chosen from the jurisdiction of the appointment, bringing a regional perspective to the process. 

Further details on the Advisory Committee, including its membership and recommendation process, are set out in the related Terms of Reference backgrounder.