28th Governor General of Canada, educator, administrator and author. Married to Sharon, they have 5 daughters and 12 grandchildren.
Governor General David Johnston has dedicated his life to public service. A strong believer in both equality of opportunity and excellence, Mr. Johnston spent the bulk of his career in higher education as a professor and later administrator of some of Canada’s leading universities. Since being installed as Canada's 28th Governor General in October 2010, Mr. Johnston has travelled widely across Canada and around the world, connecting, honouring and inspiring Canadians and their global partners. He has focused his mandate on strengthening learning and innovation, philanthropy and volunteerism, and families and children.
Let's all think about why and how Canadians can be encouraged to give their time, talent or treasure for the common good, and then find ways to put our ideas into action. And let's challenge ourselves to become an even more caring nation.
Immigration is a basic fact of Canada, as old as the country itself. Indigenous peoples were the first inhabitants of our land, followed by generations of newcomers who came in search of peace and prosperity. This continues to the present day with the arrival of immigrants and refugees from around the world. Newcomers are a source of strength for Canada. Everything in our history shows this to be the case. Diversity is a source of insight, ideas and energy that deepens our ability to solve problems and to engage with the world.
Why do I share this story on National Aboriginal Day? Because the Salluit Running Club is an example of something we don't hear enough of in southern Canada: a good news story from the North. And while it cannot and must not be forgotten that Salluit, like many northern communities, faces significant challenges--including, most tragically, an alarmingly high number of youth suicides--I encountered many reasons for hope during my visit to communities in northern Manitoba, Nunavut and Nunavik.
Vincent Massey, the first Canadian-born governor general, said: "Nations achieve character in crises... [and] it is of such moments in history that nations seem ... to say to themselves, 'I live for something. For what? What do I value above all...?'" The Syrian refugee crisis is one such moment for our nation today. It compels us to ask: What is our character? What do we live for? What do we revere above all? The moment has once again come to answer those questions. This is a moment to reaffirm our fundamental values as Canadians.