My apologies for yesterdays outage.. trouble with the Internet provider.
Michaelle (pronounced, MeekaEl) Jean (soft-g “gon” silent-n) was sworn in yesterday as Canadas’ Governor General. She took over the position from Adrienne Clarkson. For those not familiar, the Governor General is the Official representative of the Monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) in Canada. She gives Royal Assent to new laws, swears in the Prime Minister and other important political posts, and acts as Commander in Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces.
I have not heard her speech, but given the positively glowing reviews she has received from the nations major papers, on both political spectrums, it seems we are in for a treat.
No doubt, Michaelle represents the epitomy of what it is to be Canadian. She was born in Haiti. Her father moved their family to Montreal when she was young. She is active and well known in the Haitian community there and has worked for the betterment of Haitians still in Haiti. She embraced the French culture of Quebec and is now well known as a broadcaster for the French service of the CBC. She was also the host for many documentary programs on the English CBC and CBC Newsworld.
Jean made this Canadian identity a clear in her speech. Perhaps her most uplifting words were these:
“The narrow notion of ‘every person for himself’ does not belong in today’s world, which demands that we learn to see beyond our wounds, beyond our differences for the good of all.”
“Quite the contrary: We must eliminate the spectre of all the solitudes and promote solidarity among all the citizens who make up the Canada of today.”
This from a prominent and influencial native french speaker. A Woman. A Black woman. Finally. Someone who can speak for Canada. From Experience. In both official languages and across all cultures. As was said in the Globe and Mail:
“We are an entirely different country from the one reflected in the words and faces of those who lead us – old faces, old men, who nurse ancient animosities and scratch at phantom wound.”
Jean represents what Canadians believe they are. Multicultural, diverse, progressive and compassionate.
Join me in welcoming our new Vice Regal, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean.