GG talks about new book with Peter Mansbridge

Gov. Gen. David Johnston begins each day by writing letters — to the living and the dead, to the famous and the unknown. He sat down recently with CBC News' Peter Mansbridge to talk about his letters, which have been collected for the first time in his book The Idea of Canada: Letters to a Nation.

David Johnston reflects on letters he's written over the years — to the living and the dead

Governor General David Johnston pens new book of letters

The National

5 years ago
Governor General David Johnston has a new book, a collection of letters he's written to Canadians about what makes Canada unique. He sat down to chat about it with Peter Mansbridge. 14:53

Gov. Gen. David Johnston begins each day by writing letters — but many of them are not meant to be sent. 

He writes to people living and dead, famous and unknown. 

He's now ready for some of his letters to be read and has compiled a collection in his new book, The Idea of Canada: Letters to a Nation.

"You reveal a little more about yourself than sometimes you're comfortable doing," Johnston said of the letters, during an interview with CBC News Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge.

"So that was a difficult part of this book for me."

In The Idea of Canada, Johnston uses his letters to explore what makes the country so unique. He writes to former governor general John Buchan, who served in the 1930s, about inclusiveness, to a 10-year-old Inuit boy about identity, and even to his old hockey coach about Canada's favourite pastime. 

"You learn in everything," he said, "and one learns especially in this job because you see so much of the country."

Johnston's term as Governor General will be up in a year and a half and he says he will leave with a great sense of love and pride in Canada. 

Watch Peter Mansbridge's interview with Gov. Gen. David Johnston by clicking the video. 


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