CBC Forum

Who should be Canada's next governor general?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says when it comes time to choose a new governor general next year, the appointment will take into account Canada's diversity. Readers shared who they'd like to see take over the role in our latest CBC Forum.

A new governor general must be selected next year; who do you think is right for the job?

The Prime Minister is unexpectedly asked how he will choose the next Governor General in 2017 1:14

"Because it's 2017."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says when it comes time to choose a new governor general next year he might end up saying those words, promising the appointment will take into account Canada's diversity.

Readers let us know what they thought about Trudeau's approach to the position in our latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about topics of national interest.

Aside from sharing their usual spirited opinions, CBC readers also threw out names of people they'd like to see in the position — choices that ranged from politicians to journalist to celebrities.

Aboriginal people were frequent choices, as were people who have spent time with the CBC.

The most popular choice was Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. 

Other names mentioned frequently included:

  • Astronaut Chris Hadfield
  • Comedian Rick Mercer
  • Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed
  • Activist Rick Hansen
  • Scientist David Suzuki

Some of the CBC Forum suggestions for the next governor general:

Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Susan Aglukark, Shawn Atleo, Margaret Atwood, Louise Arbour, Nahlah Ayed, John Baird, Conrad Black, Gordon Campbell, Douglas Cardinal, Joe Clark, Roméo Dallaire, Wade Davis, Gary Doer, Georges Erasmus, Phil Fontaine, Graham Greene, Sheila Fraser, Jack Granatstein, Wayne Gretzky, Chris Hadfield, Rick Hansen, Laureen Harper, Mike Harris, Prince Harry, Calvin Helin, Rick Hillier, Roberta Jamieson, Colleen Jones, Robert Joseph, Wab Kinew, Rosemarie Kuptana, Lisa LaFlamme, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Stephen Lewis, Clarence Louie, Preston Manning, Peter Mansbridge, Sean McCann, Sarah McLachlan, Beverley McLachlin, Rick Mercer, Ovide Mercredi, Rex Murphy, Steve Nash, Naheed Nenshi, Graydon Nicholas, Kevin Page, Neil Peart, Fred Penner, Ghislain Picard, France Picotte, Bob Rae, Roy Romanow, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Hugh Segal, Mojdeh Shahriari, William Shatner, Mary Simon, Murray Sinclair, Janice Stein, David Suzuki, Mary Walsh, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Tiger Williams

When they weren't suggesting appointees, most readers could be slotted into five basic camps.

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the full comment in the blog format.)

1. People who believe the next governor general should be an aboriginal person.

"I think Canada needs to appoint a member of Canada's First Nations as the next governor general. I think it would be a tremendous gesture in repairing relations between First Nations and the rest of Canada." — Hopeful Canadian

2. People who believe it should be someone deeply qualified.

"Let's stop appointing celebrities and start appointing constitutional scholars, given that the GG's role is almost entirely constitutionally entrenched. One of the few decisions Mr. Harper made that I agreed with was asking Her Majesty to appoint David Johnston, who was well versed in constitutional issues. While needed less in a majority government, it would help carry on a trend." — Danny Philp

​3. People who think the GG should be an Average Joe.

"​It's really just a ceremonial position. How about appointing an average Canadian person, one who works hard at the daily grind, pays their taxes, and does their bit in the community to make it better? Why it needs to be some sort of celebrity is beyond me." — flyingpasta

4. People who believe Trudeau is taking the wrong approach. 

"True equality is evaluating an individual for a position based on the content of their character, experience and value they can bring to the role. Race, religion, sexual orientation etc. should not be a factor." — Roderickoooo

5. People who think Canada should ditch the monarchy.

​"The GG is a colonial relic and does not belong in our modern democracy. The GG and all the nonsense that goes with it mean nothing to most Canadians, and [it's] time to ditch this silly attachment to our former colonial status. We're long past that." — Jim Harrison

Read the complete discussion below.

Can't see the forum? Click here.