Mary Simon's appointment as Canada's next governor general sparks applause, criticism

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OTTAWA — Federal politicians, Indigenous groups and others were quick to weigh in following Mary Simon's appointment as Canada's next governor general on Tuesday.

Here is some of what they said:

"This is an important day for both our country as a whole and particularly Indigenous Peoples. The role of Governor General is important in unifying our country and bringing Canadians together. I wish her well in this role.”

— Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole


“I hope that this appointment will facilitate an admission by the Crown and Canada of the abuse suffered by Indigenous people."

— Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet


"Ms. Simon brings expertise and years of experience as an advocate to her new role. We also hope that today marks a new era for the hard-working staff who support the governor general. They deserve assurances that they can do their work safety and respect."

— Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh


"I offer my full and enthusiastic congratulations to Mary Simon on her appointment as governor general of Canada. It is the highest honour and the greatest responsibility our nation can bestow and I am confident that Ms. Simon will fulfil its many obligations with dignity and distinction."

— Former governor general Julie Payette


“Canada has appointed a skilled diplomat to a position that can contribute to the reconciliation process Canada is engaged in. Her international contributions to the support and enhancement of Indigenous human rights are significant."

— Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada president Monica Ell-Kanayuk


"As Indigenous women, we are pleased with today’s announcement and proud that an (Inuk) woman is finally serving in this prestigious position. We must point out, however, that Ms. Simon is being asked to serve the senior role in what is still a colonial system of governance."

— Native Women's Association of Canada


“How can the prime minister of an officially bilingual country … consider that it is appropriate to appoint a governor general who will not be able to speak to more than 8 million French-speaking citizens of Canada?”

— Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan


“Given how important it is for the governor general to be independent of the prime minister and impartial, especially in a minority government situation, Prime Minister Trudeau should have involved opposition parties in choosing the Governor General."

— Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher


“This is a new chapter in Canada’s relationship with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis. Having an Indigenous person as the Crown’s representative in Canada sends a strong message to the nation, and to the international community. This comes at an important time in our history as we collectively work towards reconciliation.”

— Pita Aatami, president of Makivik Corporation

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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