Posted by: Khepera | Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada


Canada has someone who clearly is not getting enough exposure:  Governor General Michaëlle Jean.  It’s amazing sometimes what does not get the *fanfare* in the news…  So, now, the chief leader of both nations in North America are of African descent….at the same time.  Yes, the Governor General is an appointed position, and does not wield the same power as Prime Minister in the governing of affairs, but it is significant nonetheless.  She was appointed 4 August 2005, so let’s make sure there is no more slippage — pass the word…

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The Governor General of Canada is the vice-regal or viceroy representative in Canada of the Queen, who is the head of state… A viceroy is a royal official who governs a country in the name of and as representative of the monarch.

Canada is one of sixteen British Commonwealth realms, all of which share the British monarch as their royal leader. The monarch appoints the Governor General on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister, who is the Canadian Head of Government, after which the Governor General maintains direct contact with the British monarch. There is no specific term.

canadian-governor-general-michaelle-jean-pres-obama-11canadian-governor-general-michaelle-jean-pres-obama-4canadian-governor-general-michaelle-jean-pres-obama-21

President Barack Obama and Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean walk across the tarmac following his arrival in Ottawa , Canada , Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009. Michelle Jean has been Governor General of Canada since September 27, 2005.

Jean is Canada’s first black Governor General.

President Barack Obama and Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean chat during a meeting following his arrival in Ottawa , Canada, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009.

Executive power of Canada

Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, is the sovereign and Head of State of Canada, and gives repository of executive power, judicial and legislative power; as expressed in Constitution of Canada:

The Prime Minister of Canada is currently Stephen Harper. The prime minister is appointed by the Governor General, who is now Michaelle Jean, but to ensure the continuity of a stable government, this person must have the confidence of the House of Commons to lead the government.

Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean & Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean & Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary Minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government of Canada . The office is not outlined in any of the documents that constitute the written portion of the constitution of Canada and executive authority is formally vested in the Canadian sovereign and exercised on his or her behalf by the Governor General.

Michaëlle Jean (born September 6, 1957, in Port-au-Prince , Haiti ) is the current Governor General of Canada. Jean was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to succeed Adrienne Clarkson and become the 27th Governor General of Canada since Confederation in 1867. Prior to this, Jean was a journalist and broadcaster on Radio-Canada and the CBC.

As the current Governor General of Canada, she is entitled to be referred to as Her Excellency while in office, and The Right Honourable for life; given current practice, she will be sworn in to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada after her term as the Queen’s representative has ended.

Governor General Michaelle Jean inspecting troops in Ottawa

Governor General Michaelle Jean inspecting troops in Ottawa

Jean fled Haiti with her family from dictator François Duvalier’s regime in 1968. Her father, from whom she was estranged for many years, was a philosopher who was tortured under Duvalier’s regime and separated from the family for 30 years. The Jean family settled at Thetford Mines, Quebec.

As a student at the University of Montreal, Jean received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian and Hispanic languages and literature and, from 1984 until 1986, taught Italian studies while completing a Master of Arts degree in comparative literature. Jean attended the University of Florence , the University of Perugia  and the Catholic University of Milan to continue her studies in language and literature. Besides French and English, Jean is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Haitian Creole and can read Portuguese.

Biography

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Responses

  1. This is a remarkable history that I was totally unaware of until today. Thank you very much for documenting it all in one place.

    I have to believe that this article is bringing much traffic to you. I’ve added link in my ‘Village Heroine’ sidebar feature…

    peace, Villager


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