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G.G. David Johnston reflects on Queen's 60th anniversary

06/04/2013 07:24 EDT | Updated 08/04/2013 05:12 EDT
Canada's Gov. Gen. David Johnston says he has written Queen Elizabeth II to congratulate her on the 60th anniversary of her coronation, which is being celebrated this week in London.

- Read more about the Queen's 60th coronation anniversary celebrations

"I commented on the fact that what she represents is those old-fashioned values of duty, honour, service. There, at the core, is a trust relationship and I was saying trust is a very important concept in our society," said Johnston, during an interview in Vancouver with Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition.

"I think the Queen has represented that very well and we're very fortunate to have the form of government we have, a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy that I think works well."

When asked about the current Senate expenses scandal that has put the Conservative government on the defensive, Johnston declined to address the issue specifically, but said the way government functions is ultimately decided by Canadians.

"I have the opportunity to provide my own advice privately, but at the end of the day the citizens of our country will determine how we're governed and how well we're governed," he said.

Despite having no real political power of his own, the Governor General confirmed he has received correspondence from Canadians asking him to take action on the Senate spending scandal.

Challenges of the job

Johnston said there are many joys involved with his position, but managing an extremely busy schedule is one of the biggest challenges.

"Just in this last two weeks we were in Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, back home for a state visit by the President of Chile and his wife...and then Boston, New York, New Jersey, Halifax and then yesterday morning an early start to Montreal and then out to Vancouver and Victoria."

The Governor General said that in his travels, he likes to tell the world that Canada is a fundamentally good place.

"Canada is a good country in terms of international involvement and, domestically, Canada is a smart and caring nation, that people care about one another and work hard to be sure that our communities function that way."

The Governor General addressed an Asia Pacific Foundation conference on Tuesday afternoon. He also plans to meet with the Vancouver Community Foundation and will be attending a campus community collaboration organized by the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities in Victoria.

On Monday, Johnston met with the Langley Little League all-star team that traveled to Uganda last year to compete against a team which had been denied the opportunity to play at the Little League World Series despite qualifying for the tournament.

The Early Edition is on the air every weekday morning between 5:30 a.m. and 8:37 a.m. on CBC Radio One. 88.1 FM / 690 AM in Vancouver.

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