Michaelle Jean is the third and last female governor general of Canada who just ended her term in October 2010. She is a journalist and stateswoman and former refugee from Haiti.
Michaelle and the women in her family suffered abuse at the hands of her father. Michaelle Jean had conducted a study on spousal abuse while she was still in university. She also worked in a women’s shelter after she finished her studies.
Michaelle Jean started her career in radio and television.
Other acting jobs
Michaelle Jean acted in some of her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond films. Haïti dans tous nos rêves (“Haiti in All Our Dreams”), is an award winning film that she acted in. In this film she meets her uncle René Depestre who is an essayist and poet. Like her father, her uncle fled the horrendous dictatorship of François Duvalier; only her uncle fled to France, and not to Canada. René Depestre wrote about his dream of returning to Haiti and having his country embrace him.
Film host and producer
Michealle was talented in this area in her own right. She produced and hosted several documentary films for both English and French divisions of the CBC.
In 2005, Michaelle Jean was appointed to the position of Governor General by Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister Paul Martin advised the Queen to make this appointment. Jean replaced Adrienne Clarkson. She held this position of vicereine until October 2010 when David Johnson, former principal and vice chair of Montreal’s McGill University replaced her.
Michaelle Jean is the third woman to become Governor General of Canada, she is the second Montreal woman, and the only Governor General of Canada of Caribbean (West Indian) origin. She also is the fourth youngest governor general of Canada. The Marquess of Lorne was the youngest Governor General at 33 years old. He served in1878. Michaëlle Jean, like Adrienne Clarkson before her, was a part of a visible minority group in Canada and in an interracial marriage. These demographics made these two ladies different from past governor generals in Canada. Jean, like Clarkson, did not possess a military background whereas the tradition had always been that governor generals of Canada served in the military. Jean also brought a child to Rideau Hall, the home of the governor general, for the first time in 25 years.