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Thank you all for being here today.
Last week I had the honour of meeting with Her Majesty The Queen, in Scotland.
It was a particularly poignant visit, taking place as it did during both the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the 65th year of Her Majesty’s service as Canada’s Head of State.
It was a meeting that gave us an opportunity to talk about our shared history and a chance to reflect on what the coming years might look like.
We know that later this year, the steady and trusted leadership of The Queen’s current representative in Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, will come to an end.
After seven years of service marked by hard work, grace, and humility, His Excellency will be retiring this fall.
When his appointment was first announced back in 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the Governor General “represents the best of Canada.”
That was true then, and it is true now.
We will always be grateful for the contributions the Governor General and Mrs. Johnston have made in service to our country, and we wish them all the best in the years ahead.
Which brings us to today’s announcement.
I am very pleased to announce that, on my recommendation, Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the appointment of Ms. Julie Payette as the next Governor General of Canada.
Already well known to Canadians, Ms. Payette has made her mark as an accomplished scientist, jet pilot, athlete, public policy scholar, musician, and science and technology advocate.
She is undoubtedly best known for her ground-breaking work as a leader in Canada’s space program.
Ms. Payette served as an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency for more than a decade.
She was Canada’s Chief Astronaut from 2000 to 2007, and the second Canadian woman to enter space.
And, in 2009, she proudly represented all Canadians during our first visit to the International Space Station.
Many of you probably remember watching as Ms. Payette and seven other prominent Canadians carried the Olympic Flag during the opening ceremonies in Vancouver in 2010.
Ms. Payette’s life has been one dedicated to discovery, to dreaming big, and to always staying focused on the things that matter most.
These truly Canadian traits, along with her years of public service, make her unquestionably qualified for this high office.
I know she will be an excellent Governor General and I am looking forward to her installation ceremony this fall, when she will formally become Canada’s 29th Governor General since Confederation.
It is my privilege to now introduce Canada’s Governor General Designate: Ms. Julie Payette.