A list of Canada's modern day governors general

A list of Canadian-born governors general.

Five things about Julie Payette, Canada's next governor general

Canadian astronaut and future governor general, Julie Payette, left, smiles after being awarded the rank of Officer in the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall September 16, 2011. (Christopher Pike/Reuters)

Here is a list of Canadian-born governors general:

2010-2017: David Johnston. Academic and university president from Ontario. Term extended ahead of the 2015 federal election in the event there was a minority government. Launched effort to modernize Order of Canada program by expanding scope.

2005-2010: Michaelle Jean. Journalist. Born in Haiti, immigrated to Canada in 1968. Prevented a no-confidence vote in the government in 2008 by agreeing to prorogue Parliament.

1999-2005: Adrienne Clarkson. Journalist, born in Hong Kong and arrived in Canada in 1942. Took several trips to visit Canadian soldiers overseas in her capacity as commander-in-chief of the military, and also travelled widely to promote the North.

1995-1999: Romeo LeBlanc. Teacher, journalist and politician from New Brunswick. Issued a royal proclamation inaugurating National Aboriginal Day as an annual observance. Son Dominic is a current Liberal cabinet minister.

1990-1995: Ramon John Hnatyshyn. Politician from Saskatchewan. Re-opened the governor general's residence, Rideau Hall, to the public. Established the Governor General's performing arts award.

1984-1990: Jeanne Sauve. Journalist and politician from Quebec. First woman to hold the post, focused on issues around youth and world peace. Among the honours in her name is the Jeanne Sauve trophy for the World Cup Championship in women's field hockey. Closed Rideau Hall's grounds to the public.

1979-1984: Edward Schreyer. Politician and professor from Manitoba. Established an award to commemorate the Persons case, which saw women constitutionally recognized as persons.

1974-1979: Jules Leger. Lawyer, diplomat and professor from Quebec. Suffered a stroke while in office and was aided in his official duties by his wife Gabrielle Carmel. Among their priorities was fostering excellence in cultural affairs, several awards bear their names.

1967-1974: Roland Michener. Lawyer and diplomat from Alberta. Presided over the first presentations of the Order of Canada, and also introduced the Order of Military Merit and Decorations for Bravery, as well as the Michener Awards for journalism.

1959-1967: Gen. Georges Philias Vanier. Founding member of the French-Canadian 22nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, precursor to the Van Doos and went on to become a diplomat. Establied the Vanier Cup for intercollegiate football, and the Vanier medal to recongize public service. Laid the foundation for the Order of Canada. He died in office.

1952-1959: Vincent Massey. Businessman, philanthropist and diplomat from Ontario, first Canadian citizen to hold the post.

Five things about Julie Payette, Canada's governor general designate

1. Payette — the second Canadian woman to fly into space after Roberta Bondar — was aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1999 and Endeavour in 2009. She was the first Canadian astronaut to board the International Space Station.

2. Born Oct. 20, 1963 in Montreal, Payette is fluent in French and English and can converse in Spanish, Italian, Russian and German.

3. Payette enjoys running, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving and is a member of the board of Canada's "Own The Podium" Olympic program.

4. Carried the Olympic flag in the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada that same year.

5. Payette plays the piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Piacere Vocale in Basel, Switzerland, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?