Governor General designate meets virtually with the Queen

Mary Simon’s installation ceremony will be held on Monday in Ottawa

Queen Elizabeth II speaks to Governor General designate Mary Simon during a virtual meeting on July 22. (Photo courtesy of Buckingham Palace)

By Sarah Rogers

Governor General designate Mary Simon had her first meeting with the Queen virtually on Thursday.

The prominent Inuk leader was named Canada’s 30th Governor General on July 6. She will be the first Indigenous person to take on the role. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada and acts as head of state.

“I’m very privileged to be able to do this work over the next few years,” Simon told the Queen in a clip of the exchange posted to social media.

“I think it’s vitally important to our country.”

The pair chatted about Simon’s past work in Arctic politics and diplomacy.

During the video meeting, the Queen named Simon to a number of other honours, including extraordinary companion of the Order of Canada, extraordinary commander of the Order of Military Merit, and commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

Simon will be installed as Governor General in a Monday ceremony at the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa.

A description of the program on the Canadian Heritage website says the ceremony “will highlight themes important to the Governor General designate, including reconciliation and youth.”

The installation will also feature performances by artists “that reflect Canadian diversity and linguistic duality” as well as Indigenous ceremonial elements.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Dude Town on

    Well, thats nice.

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  2. Posted by Attasi Pilurtuut on

    I am honoured proudly enormously happy of her new role, as GG of Canada, she have respect for human society no
    matter the race.

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  3. Posted by Jess on

    The Queen in her years of preping for the crown has practiced and learnt not to inject hmm or ah or similar pauses in her delivery. A cool fact that you may have missed when listening to her speak.

  4. Posted by JJ Mccullough on

    This is beautiful, because her appointment vindicated the overrepresented status of the French language. Let’s acknowledge the French language is important to Quebec, but not to Canada as a whole. Indigenous peoples are important to Canada as a whole, as is their relationship to the rest of Canadians.

    If you want to give them a voice, let’s start by reappropriating overheightened power from Quebec to indigenous Canadians.

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    • Posted by You Have Narrow Vision on

      New Brunswickers would disagree with you.

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    • Posted by Familiarity with Canadian Reality Needed on

      I have to wonder about your knowledge of Canada. What is this idea that French is a Quebec thing only? As mentioned before, Nouveau Brunswick would like to have a little chat about the reality of Canada. We could start by reading the constitution.

      Also, considering that French is an official language of the entire north, not merely Nunavut you might want to reconsider your approach.

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      • Posted by JJ Mccullough on

        New Brunswick’s French numbers are dwindling. You could call it bilingual thirty years ago, but it is destined to be English.

        25% does not equal 50%, why should that overinflated number get to decide the fate of Canada? Demand that high offices have both language fluency, as if they of both equal importance. Newsflash, they’re not. Not globally, and not nationally.

    • Posted by David on

      They really don’t have an over heightened power, they have 8.5 million people and almost 25% of the population. That 25% of Canada also votes as a team much better than most provinces, which makes Quebec very effective.

      Foundation of democracy is one person is one vote.

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      • Posted by Disillusioned by Democracy on

        “Foundation of democracy is one person is one vote.”

        The ideal of ‘one person one vote’ really suggests parity of voting power, which is an essential part of the mythology that legitimizes elections, but it doesn’t take much observation to notice that not all votes are of equal worth, and it is difficult to see how they could be made so. For example, the Niagara Falls electoral district in Ontario has over 100k electors, while Nunavut has 18k.

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    • Posted by Understand Canada on

      What do you mean French is over represented?!?!?! French is an official language of Canada and has equal status to English. Equality, not over representation it’s as simple as that. And please, do not cherry pick parts of our constitution you want to follow and parts that you don’t. Our constitution says that French and English are equal and that same constitution guarantees aboriginal treaty rights like those contained in the NLCA. If you like the fact that aboriginal rights are enshrined in the constitution, don’t at the same time undermine the status of the French language. It’s all part of the same package!!

  5. Posted by Al Bundy on

    God bless her majesty! Long may she reign!

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    • Posted by Jay Arnakak on

      I don’t take the appointment of the new governor general in its narrow legalistic constitutional sense or context but as a call of history to Canada to come into modernity. Aboriginal status and/or French-English bilingualism henceforth define founding peoples.

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      • Posted by Paradigm Shift on

        Agree with you, Jay.
        Some have been quick to remind us that the role of the GG is to represent the Queen, no one or nothing else, pointing toward conventional understandings of the role that could just as easily been written in 1870 as 2021.

        From a legalistic point of view this isn’t necessarily wrong, but it fails to capture the symbolic meaning attached to having an indigenous person in this roll, which I agree, demonstrates the shifting relations and shifting social space in this country. This is, of course, long overdue.

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