Politics This Morning: Ottawa to roll out the red carpet for the new GG

Former Canadian astronaut Julie Payette, pictured in Centre Block last summer, will be sworn-in as the new governor general on Monday. The Hill Times file photo

PUBLISHED :Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 11:50 PM

Good Monday morning,

Acclaimed astronaut Julie Payette is being sworn as the country’s 29th viceregal during a ceremony in the Senate at 10:55 a.m. Ms. Payette replaces David Johnston, who steps down after spending the past seven years in Rideau Hall.

The House is suspending work in the Lower Chamber for the installation ceremony, and will resume sitting later in the afternoon.

Ms. Payette will be accompanied by Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly when she arrives on Parliament Hill for the ceremony, where she will then be greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Senate Speaker George Furey, House Speaker Geoff Regan, and Indigenous elders.

  

Ms. Payette and the dignitaries will then be led by the Usher of the Black Rod Greg Peters through the Hall of Honour and into the Senate Chamber.

After the ceremony, at 12:15 p.m., Ms. Payette will step outside Centre Block to receive military honours, including a Royal Salute and a 21-gun salute. She will inspect the guard of honour for the first time as commander-in-chief of Canada.

Then at 1:45 p.m., the new governor general will walk from Parliament Hill to the National War Memorial to lay flowers to honour Canada’s veterans, before going to Rideau Hall for 1:55 p.m., where she will inspect a 100-person guard of honour composed of men and women from the Canadian Grenadier Guards and the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

Finally, at 7 p.m., there will be a government reception honouring Ms. Payette’s installation at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.

  

Moving to Hill business, the House Heritage Committee is hearing from Senator and former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Murray Sinclair for its study on systemic racism and discrimination this afternoon, while the House International Trade Committee will hear from Quebec’s chief NAFTA negotiator Raymond Bachand and former Quebec premier Pierre-Marc Johnson, as it continues to study stakeholder priorities in ongoing NAFTA renegotiations.

The Heritage Committee meets from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Wellington Building, in room 315. The House International Trade Committee meets from 3:30-6:30 p.m. also in the Wellington Building, but in room 330.

Mr. Johnson, currently senior counsel with Montreal’s Lavery, de Billy law firm, was Quebec’s short-serving premier, holding office for just over two months in 1985.

Elected leader of the sovereigntist Parti Québécois in September that year, Mr. Johnson promptly succeeded legendary premier René Lévesque in early October. However, his government fell two months later after the PQ was defeated by the resurgent Quebec Liberal Party in the general election held in early December.  

  

Mr. Johnson also served as Quebec’s chief negotiator for CETA, the recently enacted trade deal between Canada and the European Union.

Keeping with the nation’s capital, Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef is commemorating the start of Women’s History Month by making what her office is calling an “important” announcement on advancing gender equity at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa at 4 p.m.

The celebratory event, hosted by Status of Women Canada, will also feature a panel discussion with young women and girls.

Have a great day!