Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Breach of Trust and Dereliction of Duty

Recently a number of Ontarians have written to the Lieutenant Governor's office seeking assistance in regards to the Premier's government's "Breach of Trust"With the statement of Kathleen Wynne, during the debates on June 3, 2014, of:

Approx. 2:02 minutes – Premier Kathleen Wynne states:
 "I want to address the issue particularly of the relocation of the gas plants.  The decisions around the relocation of the gas plants that were made were wrong…And there was public money that was wasted in those decisions and that shouldn't have happened.
And in the process the public good was sacrificed to partisan interests. 
…  But I know – I know that people are still angry you have a right to be angry because – because – there was – there was a breach of trust between the government and the people of the province…" 

It would seem that the Lieutenant Governor's Chief of Staff, Anthony Hylton, doesn't even understand the authority of the Office of which he is the Chief of Staff.

He states, in his response letter, that the Lieutenant Governor does not "intervene in day-to-day issues and decisions made by the Government of Ontario," and that the Lieutenant Governor is "apolitical, and thus…does not get involved in any political activity."  I beg to differ. 
As stated in "The Governor General and Lieutenant Governors: Canada’s Misunderstood Viceroys", by - David S. Donovan, Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP), Paper presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association."

"But in truth, there is a long-standing legal foundation in Canada which endows our vice-regals with wide-ranging and significant political powers. The legal groundwork of which appears throughout The British North America Act, 1867, The Letters Patent, 1947, The Constitution Act, 1982, as well as Commonwealth law and tradition which encompasses the Royal prerogatives. Nevertheless, despite this legal foundation, misconceptions remain in both the public mind and the Canadian body politic, including conventions. Yet, then again, throughout Canada, instances exist in which these political powers have been invoked, upon the discretion of the vice-regal, which seem to snub convention; suggesting that they remain in full legal effect."[1]

This information has been presented to the L.G.'s Chief of Staff and yet he continues to forward letters, beseeching the L.G. to do something about the sitting government's breach of trust, to the Attorney General’s office, which was involved in the Breach of Trust.  As Frank Mackinnon stated, in the same paper:

"The Office of the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor are Constitutional fire extinguishers with a potent mixture of powers for use in great emergencies. Like real extinguishers, they appear in bright colours and are strategically located. But everyone hopes their emergency powers will never be used; the fact that they are not used does not render them useless; and it is generally understood there are severe penalties for tampering with them."

The paper goes on to say:

"Essentially, should circumstances arise, these eleven so-called ‘ceremonial’ vice-regals have the power to dismiss their premier or prime minister, call for an election, offer the government to an opposition party or coalition and even veto legislation."

With the current "circumstances" isn't it time for the Lieutenant Governor to exercise the powers granted to her, if not for the people of Ontario, at least for the Honour of the Queen?

Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whatever it touches.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

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