Categorized | CANADA

Former astronaut Julie Payette sworn in as Canada’s 29th Governor General

Posted on 02 October 2017 by admin

Julie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor General Monday, October 2, 2017.

The 53-year-old former astronaut will become one of the youngest Canadians to take on the title of Governor General.

OTTAWA — Former astronaut Julie Payette took the formal oaths of office Monday as she became the country's 29th Governor General in a traditional ceremony on Parliament Hill.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin administered the oaths to the 53-year-old in the Senate chamber under the watchful eyes of hundreds of high-powered Canadian audience members, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his cabinet, Indigenous leaders and other dignitaries.

Payette swore the oaths of allegiance of the Governor General and commander-in-chief of Canada, and of the Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada.

After the oaths, cannons outside the Parliament Building crashed out a 21-gun salute, which could be heard inside.

The audience included justices of the Supreme Court, former governors general, several provincial premiers and Payette's friends and family.

Payette was also formally presented with the ceremonial collars marking her as chancellor of the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit and the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, as well as head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

While much of the ceremony is dictated by protocol, Payette herself chose the music, which included a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" sung by Joannie Benoit and Melissa Bedard.

The Juno Award-winning Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Choir, of which Payette was a member, performed also performed.

Trudeau spoke of Payette's flights into space as inspiring moments, calling her a two-time extraterrestrial Canadian.

He praised her as a mother, an athlete, a pilot, a scientist and someone who "went where very few others had dared to go."

"Your journey through space and through life may be unique, but the qualities which underpin every one of your successes are not," he said.

The prime minister also took time to thank Payette's predecessor, David Johnston.

"You have made Canada a stronger and a better country."

One of the first things Payette plans to do as the Queen's representative in Canada is to open an Instagram account. Johnston Her predecessor, never had one, but officials from Heritage Canada say Payette will add to the Governor General's social media arsenal.

She will also take over her predecessor's official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Payette's embrace of social media appears to be in step with Buckingham Palace, which posted a job advertisement for a social media manager earlier this year as the number of people following the Queen on Twitter was heading toward the three million mark. It has since surpassed that.

Payette, a Montreal-born astronaut, engineer and businesswoman, was accompanied by her 14-year-old son, Laurier Payette Flynn. Her parents and sister and brother were among the invited guests who felt the rumble of a 21-gun salute after Payette signed the oath book and took her seat on the Senate throne.

Following the ceremony, Payette, her son and other dignitaries were scheduled to visit the National War Memorial where the new Governor General would lay flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Payette had her first audience with the Queen less than two weeks ago, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she received several honours, including the Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada.

In his parting statement, issued Friday, Johnston thanked Canadians for the privilege of serving them.

"It has been a great honour to serve as Canada's 28th Governor General, to represent Her Majesty The Queen in this important role within our constitutional monarchy and to give back to this country I love so much," the former academic said.

Courtesy: The Canadian Press.

Biography of Julie Payette

Julie Payette

Personal Profile: Born October 20, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec, Ms. Payette enjoys running, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving. She has a commercial pilot license with float rating. Ms. Payette is fluent in French and English, and can converse in Spanish, Italian, Russian and German. She plays the piano and has sung with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Piacere Vocale in Basel, Switzerland, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto.

Education: Attended primary and secondary school in Montreal, Quebec. International Baccalaureate (1982) from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, UK. Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical (1986) cum laude from McGill University, Montreal. Master of Applied Science – Computer Engineering (1990) from the University of Toronto.

Organizations: Member of l'Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec and the International Academy of Astronautics. Member of the Board of Canada's "Own The Podium" Olympic High Performance Program. Former Governor-in-Council for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and member of the board of Queen's University. Les Amies d'affaires du Ritz.

Special Honours: Received one of six Canadian scholarships to attend the Atlantic College in Wales, UK (1980). Greville-Smith Scholarship (1982-1986), highest undergraduate award at McGill University. McGill University Faculty Scholar (1983-1986). NSERC post-graduate Scholarship (1988-1990). Massey College Fellowship (1988-1990). Canadian Council of Professional Engineers; distinction for exceptional achievement by a young engineer (1994). NASA Space Flight Medal (1999). Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pléiade de la francophonie (2001). Knight of l'Ordre National du Québec (2002). NASA Space Flight Medal (2009). University of Ottawa Distinguish Canadian Leadership Award (2009). Carried the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. Engineers Canada Gold Medal (2010), highest recognition of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. Inducted in the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame (2010). NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2010). Officer of the Order of Canada (2010).

Honorary Degrees: Queen's University (1999); University of Ottawa (1999); Simon Fraser University (2000); Université Laval (2000); University of Regina (2001); Royal Roads University (2001); University of Toronto (2001); University of Victoria (2002); Nipissing University (2002); McGill University (2003); Mount Saint Vincent University (2004); McMaster University (2004); University of Lethbridge (2005); Mount Allison University (2005); University of Alberta (2006); York University (2010); University of Waterloo (2010); Concordia University (2010).

Experience: Before joining the space program, Ms. Payette conducted research in computer systems, natural language processing and automatic speech recognition. She worked as a system engineer with IBM Canada (1986-1988); research assistant at the University of Toronto (1988-1990); visiting scientist at the IBM Research Laboratory, in Zurich, Switzerland (1991) and research engineer with BNR/Northern in Montreal (1992).

In June 1992, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) selected Ms. Payette from 5330 applicants to become one of four astronauts. After her basic training in Canada, she worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), an advanced robotics system contributed by Canada to the International Space Station (ISS).

In preparation for a space mission assignment, Ms. Payette obtained her commercial pilot license, studied Russian and logged 120 hours as a research operator on board reduced gravity aircraft. In April 1996, Ms. Payette was certified as a one-atmosphere, deep-sea diving suit operator. Ms. Payette obtained her military pilot captaincy on the Tutor CT-114 ''Snowbird'' jet at the Canadian Air Force Base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in February 1996. She obtained her military instrument rating in 1997. She has logged more than 1300 hours of flight time. Ms. Payette was Chief Astronaut for the CSA from 2000 to 2007.

NASA Experience: Ms. Payette reported to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in August 1996. She completed initial astronaut training in April 1998 and was assigned to work on technical issues in robotics for the Astronaut Office. In 1999 she flew on STS-96 and has logged over 465 hours in space. A veteran of two space flights, STS-96 (1999) and STS-127 (2009), she has logged over 611 hours in space.

From September 1999 to December 2002, Ms. Payette was assigned to represent the Astronaut corps at the European and Russian space agencies where she supervised procedure development, equipment verification and space hardware processing for the International Space Station Program.

Since January 2003, Ms. Payette works as a CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at Mission Control Center in Houston and was Lead CAPCOM for Space Shuttle mission
STS-121 (2006). The CAPCOM is responsible for all communications between ground controllers and the astronauts in flight.

Space Flight Experience: Julie Payette flew on Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999 as a crewmember of STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the Shuttle to the International Space Station, and delivered four tons of supplies to the Station. Ms. Payette served as a mission specialist, was responsible for the Station systems, supervised the space walk and operated the Canadarm robotic arm. The STS-96 mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of the Earth, traveling more than six million kilometres in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes. Ms. Payette was the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the Space Station.

From July 15 to 31, 2009, Julie Payette served as the flight engineer on the crew of STS-127 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on the 29th Shuttle mission to the International Space Station. During this mission, also known as ISS Assembly Mission 2J/A, the crew completed the construction of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module, installed scientific experiments on its Exposed Facility and delivered critical spare parts and replacement batteries to the orbital complex. Robotics technology was used almost every day on this assembly mission and Ms. Payette operated all three robotic arms – the Shuttle's Canadarm, the Station's Canadarm2, and a special-purpose Japanese arm on Kibo. While the Shuttle was docked to the ISS, the mission featured a record 13 astronauts from 5 different nationalities together on board a single joint spacecraft. It also highlighted the first time two Canadians were in space at the same time. The 16-day mission included five spacewalks, travelling 10.5 million kilometers in 248 orbits around the Earth.

In January 2011, Julie Payette undertook a fellowship as a Public Policy Scholar at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. In October 2011, Ms. Payette became the scientific authority for Quebec in Washington on behalf of Quebec's Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. During her assignment, Ms. Payette remained a member of the Canadian Astronaut corps. In July 2013, Ms. Payette retired from the CSA to become Chief Operating Officer of the Montreal Science Centre as well as Vice President of the Canada Lands Company.

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