A good B.C. job for a prince in self-exile

Good Lord, could the Canadian Taxpayers Federation be any more uncouth?

Harry and Meghan - the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have relinquished their royal duties to escape the U.K. in favour of a quieter life in Canada raising little Archie - deserve a proper Canadian welcome, not a stiff backhand.

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Welcome to Canada, the federation's press release read Monday, but you'd better not be costing us anything as taxpayers.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won't say how much Canada is paying to provide security to the world-famous couple, who spent the Christmas season in Canada and are now apparently sequestered in a mansion near Victoria.

The whole thing is ridiculous. Their security costs would be a decimal point, following by a lot of zeros before eventually getting to a one, of the annual federal budget. Chump change against the marketing value of an heir to the throne and his lovely wife walking away from the royal life to raise their son in the cozy comfort of Canada.

Most Canadians take a kindler, gentler but firm tone to Harry and Meghan moving to Canada. "So what do you do?" is the real question, asked of any newcomer regardless of their station in life.

Harry, of course, is a decorated military man who served two tours in Afghanistan. Meghan is an actress with some solid credits to her name.

"Yes, of course, but what do you do NOW?"

A fair question easily answered.

While the Canadians who identify themselves as taxpayers fret about "their HARD-EARNED TAX DOLLARS!" (they often write and speak in all-caps and exclamation points), most other Canadians recognize Harry and Meghan's obvious future income potential. The appearance fees and public speaking engagements could feather their nest for years to come and we haven't even mentioned book deals and celebrity endorsements.

Yet if they would like to remain in Victoria, there is one existing and essential job Harry is particularly qualified for in the public service. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan would score some serious political points if Harry were named the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

It pays decent (about $125,000 a year) and it comes with a residence (Government House in Victoria). There are some political and ceremonial duties with the position but it's not particularly onerous work being the Queen's viceroy in Victoria.

All kidding aside, this would be a relatively smooth and simple thing to do. There is a long history in Canada of having British-born folks with titles being appointed as either lieutenant governors in various provinces or as the governor general of Canada. In 1952, Vincent Massey became the first Canadian to serve as governor general.

Lieutenant (pronounced "left-tenant" - this isn't some U.S. cop show!) governors are selected by the premier of the day and appointed by the governor general while governors general are chosen by the prime minister of the day and appointed by the reigning monarch, which has been Queen Elizabeth since John Diefenbaker was in power (and Massey was the GG).

Janet Austin has been lieutenant governor for less than two years but she serves "at her Majesty's pleasure," as the royal parlance states, meaning that the governor general and the Queen could install Harry (or anybody else they chose) in Government House at any time of their choosing. Furthermore, there's no official time limit on the length of the appointment (although it's usually about five years).

Of all the jobs fitting for a member of the royal family in a self-imposed exile in Canada, serving as B.C.'s lieutenant governor fits nicely, both for the royals in general, Harry and Meghan in particular, and for B.C. and Canada, too.

Having the queen's grandson, the future king's son and the brother of the king after that, serving as lieutenant governor would add a special significance to the post, serving as a reminder that the queen (or the king) is Canada's head of state, not the prime minister.

Lastly, modern lieutenant governors and governors general often use their station to promote various social causes, which would certainly appeal to both Harry and Meghan.

Just imagine the good that could come out of Harry championing veterans, for example.

It's not often that everyone wins but this could be one of those scenarios.

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