Canada Mary Simon to be officially installed as governor general today
Commissioner investigating after complaints pour in about next governor general's lack of French
The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages says it has received more than 430 complaints about the nomination of Mary Simon to the post of governor general. Simon is bilingual in English and Inuktitut but does not speak French.The office says it has received more than 430 complaints and that it considers many of them to be admissible.
Mary Simon officially becomes Canada's first Indigenous governor general today in a ceremony at the Senate building in Ottawa.
Simon — an Inuk from Kuujjuaq in northeastern Quebec — was tapped by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fill the role earlier this month.
The swearing-in ceremony will, for the first time, be conducted in both English and Inuktitut and broadcast in eight Indigenous languages on CBC Radio.
CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton will host coverage of Monday's event from Ottawa on CBC News Network beginning at 10 a.m. ET, and starting at 11 a.m. ET on CBC TV and.
Mary Tyler Moore Documentary in the Works From Hillman Grad and Endeavor Content
A new documentary is in the works called "Being Mary" about the life of TV and comedy icon Mary Tyler Moore. The film has the full support of the Estate of Mary Tyler Moore, which will also finance and handle worldwide sales for the documentary film. James Adolphus is set to direct "Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary," and Lena Waithe of Hillman Grad Productions and Endeavor Content are partnering on the film as producers. The documentary expects to release in 2022.
Viewers can also follow the event onand on Facebook. is hosting the English stream, is hosting the Inuktitut stream, and is sharing both.
Following the ceremony, Simon will visit the National War Memorial to inspect a guard of honour and lay flowers in honour of Canada's war dead — her first act as the Queen's representative in Canada.
Simon took her first step into the official role Thursday when she spoke with the Queen.
In a short clip of the online conversation that was posted on The Royal Family's Instagram account, the Queen said it was good to speak with Simon and told her she was "taking over a very important job."
"Yes, I'm very privileged to be able to do this work over the next few years," Simon said. "I think it's vitally important for our country."
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One of television’s most iconic stars will be the focus of a new documentary. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Adolphus will direct “Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary”, which “will follow the personal and professional journey of the star, businesswoman and advocate best known for her portrayal of a single, successful and professional woman of television in 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'." Endeavor Content and Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad Productions will produce.
Indigenous leaders — particularly representatives of the— have .
"To see somebody like Mary Simon, who is an unquestioned Indigenous leader in this country and has been for decades, be recognized for her leadership and her service in taking on this new responsibility as governor general was something that was really powerful," Natan Obed, the president of the national Inuit group Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), told CBC earlier this month.
Video: Indigenous leaders call for change in Manitoba (Global News)
But concerns have been raised about Simon's ability to speak French.
While she is fully fluent in English and Inuktitut, Simon is not fluent in French. Typically, the governor general is expected to have a complete command of both official languages.
Despite Simon's promise to continue taking French lessons while serving as governor general, hundreds of French speaking Canadians have written complaints to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
How to watch, listen and follow the installation of governor general Mary Simon
CBC News is presenting live coverage of the installation of Canada's 30th governor general in both Inuktitut and English on CBC TV, Gem, CBC Radio, the Listen app and here on cbcnews.ca. You can also stream the ceremony live on the CBC Indigenous, CBC North and CBc Nunavut Facebook pages. The CBC News special will be hosted, commercial-free, by chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem and CBCNews.ca.
The complaints prompted Commissioner Raymond Théberge to launch an investigation into the process for nominating the governor general.
Despite growing up in northern Quebec, Simon said she never had an opportunity to learn French at an early age because it was not taught at the federal day school she attended.
Day schools operated separately from residential schools but were run by many of the same groups that ran residential schools. They operated from the 1860s to the 1990s.
The government has maintained that Simon is an exemplary candidate despite her lack of fluency in French.
Simon brings an extensive resume with her to Rideau Hall, following a career that included various positions as an advocate and ambassador.
She helped negotiate the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975, a landmark deal between the Cree and Inuit in Quebec's north, the provincial government and Hydro-Québec.
Widely seen as the country's "first modern treaty," the agreement saw the province acknowledge Cree and Inuit rights in the James Bay region for the first time, such as exclusive hunting, fishing and trapping rights and self-governance in some areas. It also offered financial compensation in exchange for the construction of massive new hydroelectric dams to fuel the growing province's demand for new energy sources.
Mary Simon to be officially installed as governor general today
Courteney Cox has posted a glowing tribute to Johnny McDaid on social media.
Simon was also an Inuit representative during the negotiations that led to the patriation of the Constitution in 1982 — which included an acknowledgement of Indigenous treaty rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In 1986, Simon was tapped to lead the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), a group created in 1977 to represent the Inuit in all the Arctic countries. At the ICC, she championed two priorities for Indigenous Peoples of the north: protecting their way of life from environmental damage and pushing for responsible economic development on their traditional territory.
In 1994, former prime minister Jean Chrétien appointed Simon as Canada's first ambassador for circumpolar affairs.
During her time in that role, she helped negotiate the creation of an eight-country group known today as the Arctic Council. She would later be appointed as Canada's ambassador to Denmark.
Beginning in 2006, Simon served two terms as president of the ITK. In that role, she delivered a response on behalf of Inuit to the formal apology for residential schools presented in the House of Commons in 2008.
Advisory council could strip Julie Payette of her Order of Canada .
As governor general, Julie Payette presented one of the country's most prestigious civilian honours to hundreds of accomplished Canadians. Now, an advisory council is thinking about taking her own Order of Canada away.CBC News has learned the 11-member Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, chaired by Chief Justice Richard Wagner — who took over the governor general's duties for six months after Payette stepped down — is considering whether to terminate Payette's appointment to the Order of Canada.