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.
The appointment as Governor General of Canada
Prime Minister Paul Martin was quoted as saying,
“She “is a woman of talent and achievement. Her personal story is nothing short of extraordinary. And extraordinary is precisely what we seek in a governor generalship — who after all must represent all of Canada to all Canadians and to the rest of the world as well.”
There will always be those who will not accept a woman for her achievements and makes excuses for her political appointments. It is no different in the US than it is in Montreal and the rest of Canada. There was some talk that appointing Michaelle Jean to the position of Governor General was just a ploy for the Paul Martin government to score votes in Quebec, but despite that, the Royal Opposition party, the Progressive Conservatives, the Queen, and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson was in favour of this appointment.
Michaelle Jean made the statement that she was interested in working with all Canadians especially the youth of the country and the disadvantaged, hoping to dispel that she had only Quebec at heart.
Question of Supporting the Quebec sovereignty
As the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean could not support the separation of Quebec from Canada. However, questions did arise in her early years about some of the films her filmmaker husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, had produced. Questions of dual loyalties were raised. These questions first surfaced in August of 2005. It was René Boulanger of a sovereign publication called Le Québécois who pointed out Michaelle Jean’s husband’s association with separatist groups. He went on to say that she had connections with Front de libération du Québec(FLQ). Boulanger admitted his article was politically motivated. He wanted English Canada to turn against her.