Governor general-designate: Julie Payette wants to engage Canadians in science

News 13 July, 2017
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    Julie Payette during an exit in space, when she was an astronaut.

    Guillaume St-Pierre

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 19:40

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 19:40

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    OTTAWA – The new governor-general of Canada, Julie Payette, wants to engage more Canadians in the sciences by accessing this position is essentially symbolic.

    • READ ALSO: Julie Payette officially named governor general

    “You can imagine that my priorities are likely to be related to science, technology and the advancement of a knowledge-based society,” commented Ms. Payette, Thursday, shortly after prime minister Justin Trudeau was officially appointed as the 29th governor general of Canada.

    “I know and I admire him for a long time”, said Mr. Trudeau, stressing the term “outstanding” the candidate designated.

    Thus, after having served the Canada in space, Julie Payette sees it as a “great privilege” to serve his country, this time “on Earth”. Ms. Payette went to twice in space in 1999 and 2009.

    The Montreal-based 53-year-old is set to become the next autumn, the representative of the Queen in Canada and the commander of the armed forces, after the departure of the current governor general, David e. johnston.

    But in fact, this role gives little real powers.

    By his own admission, the mother of a child does not know what it is that he reserves in his new post as head of the canadian State.

    But after learning how to operate the Canadarm in space, says it is ready to meet this challenge with “humility”.

    “When we commit to the astronauts, this is not a specialist in orbital mechanics or operation of a space vehicle. It is the form in these tasks they will accomplish in the space. Then with a little bit of work and energy, I should be able to manage myself”, she said about these new functions of head of State.

    Speaking six languages, the trained engineer has carried out two missions in space, where she has traveled to some 16.5 million km in orbit around the Earth.

    Which is rare, the appointment of Julie Payette makes the unanimity in the ranks of the opposition.

    The Bloc québécois wonders, however, when the institution “useless” will be abolished to stop this “bad joke”.

    “Who really thinks we need a representative of the queen in 2017”, has questioned the member Rhéal Fortin.

    The leader of the NDP Thomas Mulcair has described the choice of Julie Payette of “awesome”. This is in spite of everything is the voice of those who would have liked to see for the first time a member of the First Nations to occupy this seat.

    “Ms. Payette is well placed to play a leadership role as the next governor general of Canada”, commented the leader of the conservatives Andrew Scheer.

    Made by the governor-general?

    • Awards of honours
    • Participates in commemorative ceremonies
    • Presides over the swearing in of the prime minister and the chief justice of the supreme Court
    • Affix the royal assent to an act enters into force

    Where dwells he?

    • Has two official residences: Rideau Hall in Ottawa and at the Citadelle of Québec

    How much does it cost taxpayers?

    • The operating budget is $45 million
    • The office has 150 employees
    • The salary of the governor-general is 290 000 $ per year
    • Its decisions are rarely, but sometimes with heavy consequences

    The former governor general, Michaëlle Jean, has rescued the minority government of Stephen Harper in 2008 by agreeing to prorogue parliament. The controversial decision has cut the grass under the feet of the coalition of liberals and new democrats, who had agreed to replace the conservatives in power