OTTAWA - Calling him a man who "represents the best of Canada," Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday announced legal scholar David Johnston will be Canada's next governor-general.
Mr. Johnston, 69, the bilingual president of the University of Waterloo, is expected to assume the role on Oct 1.
"My wife and I have always believed that service--whether it is to family, community, university or country -- is our highest calling," Mr. Johnston said on Parliament Hill.
"We are proud to have this opportunity to serve Canada and our fellow citizens."
Tobi Cohen And Mark Kennedy
Canwest News Service
Jul. 9, 2010
Text of David Johnston's speech
I am very honoured to have been named Canada's next governor-general by Her Majesty the Queen, upon the Prime Minister's recommendation. This large responsibility is a sign of confidence that touches me profoundly.
My wife and I have always believed that service, whether it is to family, community, university or country, is the highest calling. And so we are proud to have this opportunity to serve Canada and our fellow citizens. One of the biggest privileges assigned to the governor-general is to meet Canadians from sea to sea.
During my time at Waterloo and McGill, I've had the good fortune to witness Canadians' creativity and ingenuity, our strong ties to our communities and to the world, as well as our diversity and our vitality. The opportunity to see these values at work across the country means a great deal to me.
The office of governor-general is an important institution, and we will do everything in our power to fulfill the needs of Canadians.
As the representative of the Queen of Canada, who is our country's head of state, I pledge to be a stalwart defender of our Canadian heritage, of Canadian institutions and of the Canadian people. In particular, I look forward to meeting with the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces.
In his book about Samuel de Champlain, titled Champlain's Dream, David Fischer describes Canada's first governor with the following: "If he did only this his entire life, he proved to have a vigour and endurance of which few could have lived up to." But it didn't end there. Champlain was a dreamer, a visionary like so many others who have many dreams. Several scholars discussed the dream he had of one day discovering the route to the Orient. Others talked of his dream in terms of colonizing New France.
But all these visions were part of a larger dream that has not been studied. This war-weary soldier had a dream of humanity in peace in a world of cruelty and violence. He envisioned a new world as a place where people of different cultures could live together in amity and concord. And this became his grand design. His dream for North America.
Friday July 9, 2010