University of Waterloo president, and legal academic, David Johnston has been named to succeed Michaelle Jean as Governor General. The Queen has given her blessing, and a formal announcement is expected Thursday. Johnston will officially accede to the position when Jean’s tenure ends in September.
Johnston, 69, was born in Sudbury, Ont., and is currently the president of the University of Waterloo. He also served for 15 years as the principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University.
He is a highly educated legal expert, and has studied at Harvard, Cambridge, and Queen’s University in Ontario.
To find the best choice for governor general, Prime Minister Stephen Harper set up a special committee led by Kevin MacLeod, the Canadian Secretary to the Queen and Usher of the Black Rod for the Senate — the most senior protocol position in Parliament.
The committee ruled out sports, entertainment and arts figures, deciding that the next governor general should be well-versed in constitutional matters and parliamentary procedure, in case Canada finds itself in an extended period of minority governments.
“They felt that he would be a good referee because of his legal expertise, but also because of his integrity, backbone and common sense,” Fife told CTV News.
Upate: Johnston’s appointment has been confirmed.