The Next Governor General

Despite the calls from the Canadian public to have William Shatner as the next governor general of Canada, this guy has been appointed (article from the globe and mail).

David Johnston, an academic of lengthy credentials who is president of the University of Waterloo, will succeed Michaëlle Jean as governor-general.

Mr. Johnston will speak to reporters Thursday morning, the first time he has made a public statement since he became the odds-on favourite for the vice-regal position several weeks ago.

His appointment Thursday came at the end of a lengthy search process, officials said.

Mr. Johnston’s installation, which will take place on Oct. 1, marks a change in direction for the post of governor-general which has, through the term of Ms. Jean and her predecessor Adrienne Clarkson, been served by captivating female former journalists, both of whom were immigrants.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is said to have wanted a man in the role this time, but insisted the candidate be fluent in both official languages, which ruled out several prominent aboriginal contenders.

Mr. Johnston has been a law professor for a number of Canadian universities. He is the author of two-dozen books, holds honourary doctorates from over a dozen universities and has been awarded the Order of Canada.

While at Harvard, he was twice elected to the All-American Hockey Team and is a member of Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 69-year-old was chosen by a special committee appointed by Mr. Harper and led by Kevin MacLeod, the Canadian Secretary to the Queen and Usher of the Black Rod for the Senate – considered to be Parliament’s top protocol posting.

Mr. Johnston was likely chosen for his constitutional knowledge and level-headedness, observers say. The committee reportedly nixed candidates from the sports, entertainment and art worlds, preferring someone who is well versed in the inner workings of federal government.

The Sudbury, Ont., native became a highly respected legal expert after studying at Harvard, Cambridge and Queen’s University. He captained the hockey team at Harvard, nabbing a spot as a minor character in a novel his dorm mate was writing at the time. Erich Segal’s Love Storybecame a pop-culture icon in the early 1970s.

Before becoming president of the University of Waterloo, Mr. Johnston spent 15 years as the principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University.

His legal work dipped into the political realms, and he was lauded for being non-partisan, having worked for both Liberal and Conservative governments.

He has worked with the Conservative government most recently, when Mr. Harper asked to help write the terms of reference for the Oliphant inquiry, which probed the business transactions between former prime minister Brian Mulroney and German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber.

Mr. Johnston is married to Sharon Johnston who has a PhD from McGill University in rehabilitation science. She is currently enrolled in a creative writing program at Humber College in Toronto and is writing a historical fiction novel. They have five daughters.

Yet again someone that not many people have heard of becomes governor general. Would it hurt to listen to the public? And people wonder why the public isn’t too fond of the governor general.

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