My Canada is Opening Up
Panelists: The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., The Honourable Stephen McNeil, The Honourable Sandy Silver
June 29, 2020
As Canadians prepare to celebrate Canada Day this year, their country is opening up in many ways. Socially, three months of lockdown have given many more time to share their time and thoughts with their families, friends and neighbours, in physical and virtual ways. Economically, working and shopping is springing back to life. Within days Canadians can start to travel to other provinces and territories to enjoy at first hand the local delights that their richly diverse country contains. Internationally, they look forward to the time when they can also welcome tourists from abroad, and the immigrants who have chosen to come and contribute to Canada as their new home. Three years after Canada’s 150 birthday celebrations in 2017, it is time to hear first hand from distinguished Canadian leaders across the land from east to west how their new Canada of today is opening up.
The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C.
Governor General of Canada, 2010-2017;
Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation
The Right Honourable David Johnston was Canada’s 28th governor general. During his mandate, he established the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), a registered charity that supports and amplifies the Office of the Governor General in its work to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. Today, he is actively involved as Chair of the RHF Board of Directors; serves as an Executive Advisor at Deloitte; and, Global Advisor to Fairfax. In 2018, he was appointed Colonel to the Royal Canadian Regiment. Prior to his installation as governor general, Mr. Johnston was a professor of law for 45 years, and served as President of the University of Waterloo for two terms, Principal of McGill University for 3 terms. He was president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected chair at Harvard University’s Board of Overseers from which he graduated in 1963 magna cum laude and was twice named all-American in hockey and was named to Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He holds degrees from Harvard, Cambridge and Queen’s and has received more than three dozen honorary degrees or fellowships. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 books. He was named Companion of the Order of Canada in 1997. He has chaired or served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees, and has served on the boards of more than a dozen public companies. He has been married for 54 years to Sharon and they have 5 daughters and 14 grandchildren.
Le très honorable David Johnston, C.C.
Gouverneur général du Canada, 2010-2017
Président du conseil de la Fondation Rideau Hall
Le très honorable David Johnston a été le 28e gouverneur général du Canada. Durant son mandat, il a créé la Fondation Rideau Hall (FRH), un organisme de bienfaisance enregistré qui soutient le Bureau du gouverneur général dans sa volonté de rapprocher les Canadiens, de leur rendre hommage et de les inspirer. Il assume à l’heure actuelle la présidence du conseil d’administration de la FRH, en plus d’agir à titre de conseiller de direction à Deloitte et de conseiller international à Fairfax. En 2018, il a été nommé le colonel du Royal Canadian Regiment. Avant son investiture au poste de gouverneur général, il a enseigné le droit pendant plus de 45 ans ; il a occupé les fonctions de président de la Waterloo University pendant deux mandats et de principal de l’Université McGill pendant trois mandats. Il a aussi présidé l’Association des universités et collèges du Canada et la Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. Diplômé avec mention de Harvard en 1963, il en a été le premier non-Américain élu président du conseil des Overseers. Il a fait partie à deux reprises de l’équipe de hockey All-American et a été intronisé au temple de la renommée du sport de l’université. Il est également diplômé des universités Cambridge et Queen’s, en plus d’avoir reçu plus de trois douzaines de diplômes honorifiques. Il a signé ou cosigné plus de 30 livres. Il a été nommé Compagnon de l’Ordre du Canada en 1997. Il a présidé ou participé à de nombreux groupes de travail et comités provinciaux et fédéraux, en plus de siéger au conseil d’administration de plus d’une douzaine de sociétés publiques. M. Johnston et son épouse Sharon sont mariés depuis 54 ans ; ils ont cinq filles et 14 petits-enfants.
The Honourable Stephen McNeil
Premier of Nova Scotia
Premier Stephen McNeil attributes his core values and strong commitment to public service to his large, close-knit family.
Stephen is the 12th of 17 siblings who were born and raised in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley.
After graduating from the Nova Scotia Community College, he owned and operated a small business in Bridgetown for 18 years.
Stephen’s inspiration to serve his community came from his late mother, Theresa, the first female sheriff in Canada.
He first won the privilege of serving the people of Annapolis in the provincial legislature in 2003 and has been their MLA since.
Stephen became leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party in 2007 and led his team to majority election wins in October 2013 and May 2017.
As premier, he has led the province to stable financial ground, which has allowed government to make new investments in Nova Scotians’ priorities in health care, education, creating opportunities for young people, and more.
Stephen’s vision for Nova Scotia is one of an inclusive, welcoming, innovative, and entrepreneurial province where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Stephen lives with his wife Andrea in the house where he grew up in Upper Granville, Annapolis County. They have two grown children, Colleen and Jeffrey.
The Honourable Sandy Silver
Premier of Yukon
Sandy Silver was first elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly as MLA for Klondike in 2011, and re-elected in 2016. He is proud to serve the constituents of Klondike. To represent the riding effectively, Sandy works closely with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, the City of Dawson, the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, the Klondike Placer Miner’s Association, and other non-profit organizations.
As the leader of the Yukon Liberal Party, Sandy assembled a strong team of outstanding candidates, which saw the Yukon Liberal Caucus grow from a single member in 2011 to a Yukon Liberal majority government with 11 seats in 2016.
Sandy’s vision for the Yukon Liberal Caucus is built upon four key priorities: balancing economic growth with environmental protection, working in partnership with First Nation governments in the spirit of reconciliation, a greater emphasis on the importance of local decision-making by communities, and a government that is open and accountable to Yukoners.
Sandy Silver was sworn in as Premier on December 3, 2016, becoming the first MLA for Klondike to serve as Premier of Yukon. He is also the minister responsible for the Executive Council Office (which includes aboriginal relations and intergovernmental relations), the Minister of Finance, and a member of the Members’ Services Board and Management Board.
A long-time Yukoner, Sandy Silver moved to Dawson in 1998. The incredible community spirit he found there made it abundantly clear Dawson would become his home.
After moving to Dawson, Sandy led the mathematics department at Robert Service School, where he coached, mentored, and tutored youth from all walks of life. He was also actively involved as an educator in the First Nations community in Dawson, supervising practicums for the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program. His commitment to education led him to get involved with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Justice department and the restorative justice process, including Community Group Conferencing, and working with youth alongside the Young Offenders Act.
Sandy has volunteered for many community organizations and continues to be an active member in the Dawson community. He is a dedicated participant in the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Moosehide Gatherings, and continues to volunteer for the Dawson City Music Festival.
Sandy Silver has degrees in Math and Psychology from Saint Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Maine.