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.”

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP say busts and arrests will have an impact on organized crime

Over $350,000 worth of drugs seized by police after busts in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Richmond

Nanaimo byelection candidates outline their priorities

Candidates provide their reasons for running and their priorities, in their own words

Investigation ongoing after hit-and-run in downtown Nanaimo leaves woman injured

Police say a Toyota Camry found abandoned on Cliff Street in Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Respect ferry etiquette

Letter writer suggests that we consider the ferry terminal and the ferry itself as a ‘village’

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens participated in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate Monday

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

New Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores how languages change and disappear

‘Athut/Words Bounce’ features work by artists Patrick Cruz, Joi T. Arcand and Susan Hiller

Most Read