William Shatner was robbed: vanilla-boring PM appoints vanilla-boring GG

William Shatner was robbed: vanilla-boring PM appoints vanilla-boring GG

David Johnston: an old, white, straight man becomes Canada's Governor General (Image: Mohammad Jangda) 

Well, our Governor General Guessing Game is over.

Shortly after his breakfast and, we presume, morning software update, Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Canada’s next Governor General. Sixty-nine-year-old legal scholar David Johnston, most recently the president of the University of Waterloo, will be the nation’s next representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Johnston is a departure from the previous two vice-regents in that he has neither a uterus nor a staff key card to the CBC headquarters. He is instead a legal scholar with a long pedigree, having studied at Harvard and Cambridge, and taught at Queen’s.

It’s funny that a prime minister who appears to take a dim view of the Commons, the Senate and the current GG has made an appointment that appears to take the role of governor general seriously. Johnston is a legal and constitutional expert. Of course, given that nine days out of 10, the role of the GG isn’t a serious one, this could be a mistake.

While fans of William Shatner, Ron MacLean and Don Cherry must be bummed out, the overwhelming reaction to this appointment has to be a yawn. This is a guy who doesn’t curse, except in Latin, and whose coworkers call him “the opposite of inflammatory,” according to Jane Taber. The whole vibe so far seems to be less “head of state” and more “headmaster at Hogwarts.”

How is a nation accustomed to the glamour and poise of Michaëlle Jean and Adrienne Clarkson supposed to get used to Johnston? All we can do is wait for an awesome showdown the next time a prime minister tries to prorogue Parliament. Does Johnston know the cruciatus curse?

David Lloyd Johnston [Wikipedia]
• Academic David Johnston set to be next governor general [Toronto Star]
• David Johnston to be Canada’s next GG [Toronto Sun]
• Scholar selected as new Governor-General: report [National Post]
• ‘He’s the opposite of inflammatory’ [Globe and Mail]
• David Johnston to become next GG [CBC News]