(Queen’s Park) – At the end of seven years of service, Governor General David Johnston has bid farewell to Rideau Hall. On October 2nd, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott delivered the following tribute to the retiring Governor General for his exceptional service to Canada.
The following is the text of Mr. Arnott’s remarks in the Ontario Legislature:
“Aren’t we fortunate to have the opportunity to serve?”
That was how the Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, replied to me after I wrote to thank him for his outstanding contribution to our country and acknowledge with gratitude the extension of his term as the Queen’s representative in Canada.
Today, David and Sharon Johnston officially depart from Rideau Hall after seven years of “the opportunity to serve.”
I came to know David Johnston well when I represented the Riding of Waterloo-Wellington from 1999-2007, and he was the President of the University of Waterloo. I came to look forward to our every interaction and meeting.
He was brilliant, positive, focused and caring. His leadership and creativity helped vault U. of W. to the forefront of Canadian universities, which also served to strengthen our local economy in immeasurable ways, including helping Waterloo Region become a high-tech powerhouse.
It turned out to be superb preparation his next challenge: “Contemplare Meliora,” or “To Envisage a Better World,” which he adopted as a motto.
He would choose to make as his priorities strengthening learning and innovation, encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism, and supporting families and children. And through his events, speeches and writing he challenged all of us to reach higher and achieve more, each to our fullest potential.
Is Canada a better place for his efforts? Without question, it most certainly is, and through his energy and personality the reach and scope of the role of Governor General was animated, strengthened and enlarged.
Yes, we are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to serve. And David and Sharon Johnston’s service will be long remembered as exemplary.
On behalf of the Ontario PC Caucus, we offer our thanks, and wish them good health and much happiness in the years to come.
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Ted Arnott, MPP