Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the creation of a permanent new Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments. The new non-partisan Advisory Committee will provide the Prime Minister with non-binding recommendations on the selection of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners. The Prime Minister also announced that Mr. Kevin MacLeod, in his capacity as the Canadian Secretary to The Queen, will chair the Advisory Committee. Effective January 7, 2013, Mr. MacLeod has been appointed as the full-time Canadian Secretary for a term of six years. Mr. Robert Watt and Dr. Jacques Monet have been appointed to serve as the first two permanent members of the Advisory Committee, effective immediately.
“Canada’s Vice-Regal offices are a key part of the operation of our democracy. Our Government is committed to a robust and non-partisan consultation process for the identification of outstanding candidates for our Vice-Regal offices,” said the Prime Minister. “I welcome the establishment of this new Advisory Committee, whose members will bring both diversity of expertise and a regional perspective to this process. Mr. Kevin MacLeod, as Committee Chair, will bring a depth of knowledge to the process given his many years working with Vice-Regal offices in Canada. I am also pleased that Mr. Robert Watt and Dr. Jacques Monet, both of whom are accomplished and experienced, will serve as the first two permanent members of the committee.”
The Advisory Committee – with a diverse membership coming from a range of sectors – will also include two temporary members who will be chosen from the jurisdiction of appointment in the case of Lieutenant Governor and Territorial Commissioner vacancies.
The Prime Minister will initiate the Advisory Committee process when a vacancy in the office of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governor or Territorial Commissioner is anticipated. The process will involve consultation with key stakeholders on prospective candidates and advice to the Prime Minister on the progress of committee deliberations. As a final step, the Advisory Committee will present a report to the Prime Minister with a shortlist of proposed candidates for consideration.
In addition to chairing the Advisory Committee, the Canadian Secretary to The Queen will be responsible for advising the Prime Minister on matters related to the Canadian Crown, including providing advice on the Government of Canada’s heritage-related commemorative initiatives, high level coordination of Royal Tours to Canada, and state ceremonial and protocol advisory functions.