Oct 02, 2017
By Michael Kramer
Canada has a new Governor General.
Former astronaut Julie Payette has taken the formal oath of office – in a traditional ceremony on Parliament Hill – to become the country’s 29th Governor General.
The 53-year-old took the oaths as the Queen’s representative – and the Governor General and commander-in-chief of Canada – as well as the Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada.
With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looking on – the audience included justices of the Supreme Court, political and Indigenous leaders and other dignitaries including former governors general, several provincial premiers – and Payette’s friends and family.
Much of the ceremony is dictated by protocol but Payette herself chose the music, which includes a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sung by Joannie Benoit and Melissa Bedard.
The Juno Award-winning Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Choir – of which Payette was a member – also performed.