Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Governor General, Michaëlle Jean

Pondering politics!

Here is one time where pondering was unnecessary and politics was provided with a new compass for a guide. I speak highly of the installation of Canada’s new Governor General, Michaëlle Jean. The critics of this appointment have been numerous and relentless from the beginning. I trust that this country will now afford our new Governor General the same tolerance that Canadians hold out as one of the defining characteristics of Canada.

Over the decades I have worked for a better Canada, but not until today was I so moved by the appointment of a Governor General. The entire ceremony had the stamp of Michaëlle Jean all over it and her installation speech was one of the best I have heard in decades. Her words came from the heart and each word held its own variance of emotion and focus.

All people need to be reminded that there really is hope in this world that seems to be crumbling around us and our new Governor General offered us that vision of hope. Could we ask for more? No, but she offered more as she stressed the importance of ensuring the ethical and ecological integrity of this world for generations to come. She made it clear that it is a moral obligation.

Most defining was the Governor General’s courage to address the barriers that divide us as a nation.

“The time of the “two solitudes” that for too long described the character of this country is past. 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. As well, we must make good use of our prosperity and our influence wherever the hope that we represent offers the world an extra measure of harmony.”

I believe this is a Governor General who will exceed all expectations and one who will reach out to touch the lives of each of us in her own sincere manner. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and seems to have a heart for all with no end of energy. She hopes with all her heart that together, we can call upon the vigour of our shared history to realize our dearest and most ambitious wish: to make a better world. Is there a better wish? Her critics should be silenced, but is that too much to hope for?

I congratulate Canada’s new Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, and wish her every success in fulfilling her role on behalf of all Canadians. Wow, what a day!

Not Pondering,

Larry Birkbeck
Regina, SK