Don’t mock faith, Wall tells Governor General
REGINA Premier Brad Wall is criticizing Canada’s Governor General and asking her not to mock faith.
Wall wrote a letter to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette over his concerns recent comments she made mocked the religious beliefs of millions of Canadians.
In a speech last week, Payette said, “We are still debating and still questioning whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process.”
Saskatchewan’s premier said he thought the remarks were not appropriate for a governor general, and that Payette should be more representative of Canadians.
“I saw someone who was mocking people who believe that there is some sort of intelligent design, who have a faith, that believe in a Creator, that believe in the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Allah or what Hindus believe,” said Wall. “As a governor general, if that’s what you believe, that’s fair but … I don’t think you should present those views because there is an insensitivity to millions of Canadians who don’t agree.”
Wall noted Queen Elizabeth — who, as Governor General, Payette represents — is the “Defender of the Faith”, not “the Attacker of the Faith.”
Criticism of a governor general from a premier is rare, but Wall is not shy about picking fights. Asked why he thought it was appropriate to write a letter to Payette, he said, “it’s important for Saskatchewan people to hear the views of our government and me, that I don’t agree with those kinds of statements and I don’t think they’re becoming of the Governor General.”
Despite his critique, Wall said Payette is well qualified to serve as Governor General, based on her record of public service and professional achievements. He also said he hopes she comes to Saskatchewan soon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t seem to have any issue with Payette’s speech. He said his government and Canadians understand the value of science.
In a speech in the New Brunswick legislature Tuesday, Payette did not directly address controversy over her earlier remarks, but praised Canada’s tolerance and freedom of religion. The former astronaut spoke about seeing Canada from space without borders and talked of the need to work together.
Payette became Canada’s 29th governor general since Confederation when she was appointed to the position in October.