VIU honours Governor General at convocation

NANAIMO – Governor General David Johnston and wife, Sharon, were presented with honorary degrees.

Vancouver Island University honoured royal representatives and installed its new chancellor at its winter convocations last week.

David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and his wife, Sharon, were each presented with an honorary doctorate of laws at the Port Theatre Thursday.

The Governor General was in Nanaimo as part of a visit to B.C. for a number of engagements that included Thursday’s convocation, an address to the Vancouver Board of Trade and a tour of the Harmac Pacific pulp mill.

Johnston addressed students about to graduate from VIU’s arts and humanities, social sciences and management programs, on the benefits of Canada’s education system and of living in a democracy, which provides freedom to learn and seek knowledge.

Citing what he characterized as abysmally low voter turnout for elections over the past decade, said Canadians should take a vested interest in their country and its people by participating fully in their democracy, especially when facing the challenges of First Nations issues, aging population, globalization, the economy, alternative energy sources and responsible development of natural resources the graduates will grapple with.

“Of course there is cynicism; we recognize that,” Johnston said. “There are those who distrust those in charge at every level and there are those who even doubt our democratic institutions can create positive change. Yet, there are many more, who know more and more, that they have the potential to and the power to make their voices heard to create a smarter, more caring nation of keener minds and brighter hearts.”

Johnston also congratulated Louise Mandell, one of Canada’s foremost aboriginal rights lawyers, who was installed as VIU’s second chancellor during the convocation ceremony, replacing Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Johnston said, in an interview prior to the convocation, he and his wife considered it an honour to be recognized by VIU.

“It’s a great honour to be recognized by this university, which has been so special in its community, gone through very interesting stages of evolution and has, perhaps, the largest indigenous population of any university in the country, so it’s very advanced in that respect,” Johnston said. “It has a very large international education component. It’s a non-convention place in the sense that it’s very innovative and we’re pretty excited that, in about an hour’s time, we’ll be members of this community.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

B.C. Ferries is in the midst of gathering support from local governments for a plan that would fully electrify Island-class ferries. A pair of hybrid ferries are slated for the Gabriola-downtown Nanaimo ferry route for 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Hybrid vessels just a start as B.C. Ferries works toward fully electric sailings on Gabriola route

Ferry corporation seeking support from local governments for electrification plan

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo’s Mt. Benson with flares during icy rope rescue

Search and rescue team gets injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance

Sofia Low, left, Delilah Maisonneuve, Madi Hickey, Alayna Black, and Maya Wilch, Departure Bay Eco-School students, will turn down the temperature and wear sweaters on Feb. 4, National Sweater Day. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo students will don sweaters next week as part of energy-saving challenge

Departure Bay Eco-School’s green energy team challenges other classes on National Sweater Day

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo’s NRGH

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Island man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Most Read