Canada, despite its independence from the UK, retains Queen Elizabeth as its sovereign. But while the Queen can’t be in Canada personally, she has a representative in the Canadian capital to carry out her business. That person is Governor-General David Johnston, who happens to be in Guangzhou. He gave a speech on innovation in life science while attending a forum with academics from China and Canada at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-Sen University, Nanfang Daily reports.
A plaque was also unveiled to commemorate a new joint life sciences lab between University of Alberta and Sun Yat-sen University.
Here is a taste of what he said:
I have spent all of my career deeply immersed in university life—first as a student, then as a professor, dean and, finally, president. Universities were my professional home right up until the day I became Canada’s Governor General. So as a university man at heart, I’m thrilled to be standing here among so many colleagues at one of the world’s great centres of learning.
We are all academics. We are students, teachers, researchers, administrators and executives who share a citizenship that transcends boundaries of culture, ethnicity and nation. Ours is a citizenship based on a collective understanding that we hold firmly and cherish deeply.
You can read a full transcript here.
The governor general is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The office has its roots in the 16th and 17th century colonial governors of New France and British North America, and thus is the oldest continuous institution in Canada.