Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 10.18.05
Stanstead, Quebec


In Canada, I would put the "excellent" into "excellency"

Dear Stephen Harper,

By now, our new Canadian Governor General has settled in at Rideau Hall and you will have hopefully figured out how to pronounce "Michaëlle." I'm sure you join me along with all Canadians in wishing her an excellent reign.

But it's not too early to start thinking about the future.

By the time Ms. Jean's term is over, you could be prime minister and it will be up to you to select the next GG. I would like to put forward a candidate: me.

I think I would make an awesome governor general. For starters, I use the word "awesome," which I think you'll agree is a refreshing term for a head-of-state to use.

"How was your tour of Newfoundland, Your Excellency?"

"Black Tickle was awesome!"

Mostly, though, I think demographically I'm due. I'm a white, English, non-Quebecer male. Yes, yes, I've actually lived in Quebec for sixteen years but you're not really a Quebecer unless you were born here or until you've lived here long enough to have grandchildren, at which time Quebec law states that you must have a building or bridge named after you with a hyphen forcibly inserted between your first and last names.

I like to think of myself as pan-Canadian. I grew up in the Maritimes, lived in Toronto long enough to know I didn't want to, worked in Montreal, visited Victoria on a band trip in high school, and once wore a cowboy hat.

Demographics, though, are only part of the picture. What else can I offer this royal office besides a middle-class WASP mentality and a fairly solid hairline?

For starters, I am a true Canadian. I talk about the weather. I take Medicare for granted. I am patriotic but not so patriotic as to hang a flag on my front porch since it might offend someone. I like it when the Canadian media refer to celebrities as "Canadian" even though they have long since abandoned Canada, as in "the Canadian thespian Pamela Anderson…."

My political views have always been pro-federalist. You won't see any sovereignist skeletons in my closet. I did once call Jacques Parizeau a "love muffin" but you have to understand the context.

I also have a background in journalism, which appears to be a prerequisite these days for regal appointment. Apparently, we adapt well to high-profile yet essentially useless roles.

I am quite comfortable with people calling me "Your Excellency." In fact, I insist on it at home and when checking into hotels under a false name.

I like giving out medals.

I'm good at small-talk during reception lines: "Nice weather, eh? Try the crab puffs; they're awesome. I think you have something in your teeth there."

I understand the Order of Canada. It goes like this: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and the other bits.

I have never experimented with illegal drugs, although I am willing to take cocaine if you think it will increase my popularity in Quebec.

Like most Anglophones living in Quebec, I have developed language skills to enable me to communicate with all Canadians. It's called Franglais and it goes something like this: "I got a subvention to do a stage in animation formation at the Cegep, the one beside the dépanneur." No simultaneous translation required. That's efficiency.

I'm not a big fan of flying so you won't have to worry about me blowing the GG expense account on junkets to Istanbul or Reykjavik. Nor will you have to worry about expensive ball gowns. Except maybe at Halloween. Or if I'm feeling "special."

I could go on but I think you get the picture. I know my chances of being the next GG are close to nil but sometimes you have to dream the impossible dream like, I dunno, you actually becoming prime minister some day.


His Excellency