Home News by Region BC & National Governor General in Victoria ahead of May long weekend

Governor General in Victoria ahead of May long weekend

Itinerary includes Institute of Ocean Sciences and UVic.

Friday May 20, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The weather was grand today for the visit of Governor General Mary Simon at the BC Legislature in downtown Victoria. Bright blue sunny skies and comfortable warm temperatures with a slight breeze. Perfect for the low-key but dignified event to mark the Queen’s 70th Jubilee Year.

Just after 1 pm, outdoors on the east sidewalk in front of the BC Parliament buildings, Premier John Horgan welcomed Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Whit Fraser, on their first official visit to British Columbia.

“It is an honour to welcome Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General to our province on behalf of all British Columbians,” said Premier Horgan. “Her Excellency is a true inspiration to Canadians, especially as we walk the path of meaningful reconciliation.”

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Governor General Mary Simon inspected the Guard of Honour, made up of members from Maritime Forces Pacific and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, before being escorted into the Parliament Buildings to sign the distinguished visitors’ book. [Hansard livestream]

Premier Horgan joined the Honourable Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., Chief Robert Thomas of Esquimalt Nation and Chief Ronald Sam of Songhees Nation to greet the Governor General outside the Parliament Buildings.

There was a small number of members of the public and government staffers on hand around the event.

21-gun salute:

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Premier John Horgan with Governor General Mary Simon meeting Indigenous Leaders in Victoria, May 20, 2022. [Hansard]

The Governor General was welcomed with a performance by the Lekwungen traditional dancers of the Songhees Nation and received a 21-gun salute fired by the 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment of the the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. The Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific played the Vice Regal Salute in tribute to her visit.

The Governor General inspected the Guard of Honour, made up of members from Maritime Forces Pacific and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, before being escorted into the Parliament Buildings to sign the distinguished visitors’ book and to meet with Premier Horgan.

First Nations leaders meeting:

The official visit also included a meeting with First Nations leaders and a tour of the Orange Shirt display that commemorates those affected by residential school experience and loss.

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Itinerary includes Ocean Sciences, local elementary school, and UVic:

  • The Governor General will participate in several events during her visit to B.C. Tomorrow morning, Saturday May 21, she will visit the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney — an important link in Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s nationwide network of major scientific facilities which contributes to maritime safety, our understanding of the ocean and marine ecosystems, and the sustainability of Canada’s marine resources.
  • Their Excellencies will meet with students at Oaklands Elementary School (SD61) in Victoria.They will find out more about the Legacy Totem Project and take part in a question-and-answer session. The Governor General will also read Fishing with Grandma, a children’s book written by Inuit authors, to a group of younger students.
  • On Tuesday May 24 their Excellencies will speak with students from the University of Victoria who are enrolled in both the Indigenous Language Revitalization Program and the Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID).
    The Indigenous Language Revitalization Program provides practical strategies to support communities in their efforts to retain and revitalize their languages. The JD/JID combines classroom learning with field studies in collaboration with communities to develop the skills needed to work within and at the interface of Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law.

Part of a larger tour:

This visit is part of a larger objective of visiting each province and territory to engage with Canadians from across the country.

While in BC she will also visit the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc leadership in Kamloops and then back in Victoria Ceremony commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Rangers

arctic council

Honorary degree from UVic for forming the Arctic Council:

In 2016, Mary Simon received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria for her outstanding achievements throughout her career, notably her leadership in forming the eight-nation Arctic Council.

Member countries of the Arctic Council are listed as Canada, The Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, The Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States. Though given the Russian invasion of Ukraine the Arctic Council is pausing all official meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies until further notice.

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