Opening of the Lieutenant Governors and Commissioners Conference
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I am delighted to welcome you to Rideau Hall, the symbolic home of the people of Canada.
This is also the home of Her Majesty The Queen of Canada when she visits Ottawa. How wonderful it is for us to meet here in this Diamond Jubilee year!
I know of the deep honour we all feel in serving as representatives of Her Majesty.
Like her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, for six decades, she has exemplified an ideal of service and dignity that we all recognize as rare and precious.
The Queen has always dedicated herself to uniting Canadians in the exercise of her duties. In doing so, she appeals to the best in us.
Each of us has been given a great responsibility. We represent the Crown—and together, we are vital to maintaining the balance of our Confederation.
This fact is perhaps underappreciated in Canada today.
As former Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Lynda Haverstock and Dr. Michael Jackson have written:
“The genius of the Crown is that it balances the roles of Sovereign, governor general and lieutenant governor to incarnate Canada’s federal and parliamentary polity.”
At the heart of this balanced system is what has been termed a “compound monarchy”. I think it is quintessentially Canadian, this idea of a shared Crown. What a wonderful symbol of unity and diversity to guide us!
Let us keep this image in mind during our discussions today on our evolving Crown and country.
Together, as representatives of the Queen, we can strengthen Canada by strengthening our provinces and territories—and vice versa.