A group of citizens has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the annulment of the appointment of Mary Simon as Governor-General of Canada, claiming that her inability to speak French – one of the two official languages - violates the Canadian Constitution.
“This is our Canada Day gift to Mr. Trudeau,” Frederick Bastin said sarcastically, adding that the legal reasons behind the request for a declaratory verdict were serious. Justice Quebec founder and historian as well as former PQ member Etienne-Alexis Boucher were behind the request, which was filed in a Quebec court yesterday.
Some were opposed to the appointment of Mary Simon, an English- and Inuktitut-speaking Inuit, but not the Moliere language, which was a “flagrant violation” of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Article 16 of the Supreme Law of the Land states that English and French “have equal status and rights and powers”, while Article 20 states that the people have the right to communicate with federal bodies in the language of their choice.
Example of New Brunswick
A court in New Brunswick has ruled that the appointment of a monolingual English lieutenant-governor violated the Canadian Charter, giving Mr Bastian the impression that their policy was legal. The decision, made in the spring, was appealed by the federal government.
In addition to the advisory panel responsible for finding a successor to Julie Payet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II approved the appointment of Mary Simon, ignoring Canadian bilingualism. On the contrary, it is written in the request that “the Governor-General of Canada cannot be expected to speak English.”
If Justice Quebec agrees with Quebec’s arguments, the High Court should declare her appointment “null, void and invalid.”