CLAIM: The governor general of Canada “said she needs 958,000 emails to remove” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from office.
THE FACTS: The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General said “no such registry or process exists.” Social media users have spread an erroneous claim in recent days suggesting that Trudeau will be removed if enough emails are submitted. “The Governor General of Canada said she needs 958,000 emails to remove Trudeau,” reads the false post shared across social media platforms. The post includes contact information and instructions for individuals to send Mary Simon, the governor general, a “Non Confidence Vote to remove Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.”
But the secretary's office directed the AP to a statement it issued on Tuesday that said the office was “aware that misinformation encouraging citizens to contact the Governor General or our office to register votes of no confidence is circulating on social media. This information is not correct. No such registry or process exists.”
Philippe Lagassé, an associate professor of international affairs at Carleton University with expertise on the Canadian government, said such emails to officials may be a way “to draw attention to the cause these people are advancing.” But, he said in an email, a governor general “would not dismiss a Prime Minister based on a petition or emails from the population. This is simply now how the constitution operates.”
Among the duties of the governor general, who also serves as commander-in-chief, is to ensure that Canada has a prime minister and a government that has the confidence of Parliament. Lagassé said a governor general does have the legal authority to dismiss a prime minister, but “will not dismiss a Prime Minister as long as they hold the confidence of the House of Commons or are seeking to secure confidence (following an election, for example.)” “The only other cases where the Prime Minister could be dismissed is if the Prime Minister is flagrantly violating the constitution” or engaged in criminal activity, he added.
— Angelo Fichera