Former astronaut Julie Payette praised as PM names her next Governor General

FILE PHOTO - Canadian astronaut Julie Payette smiles as she is introduced to employees as she arrives at the Canadian Space Agency Friday August 28, 2009 in Longueuil, Que.

OTTAWA - Former astronaut Julie Payette is receiving widespread praise as Canada's next Governor General.

Payette's experience sends an exciting message to other women about the opportunities that exist for them, federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu said Thursday.

"She has had an incredible career," she said.

"I think she is an incredibly diverse person and the fact that she has had such an experience that most of us will never experience in terms of her own astronaut experience ... I'm extremely thrilled with the choice."

Payette is one of the country's "science rock stars," added Science Minister Kirsty Duncan.

"She has been a wonderful ambassador for science, for Canada," she said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer congratulated Payette, adding her accomplishments are known to Canadians including her long career at the Canadian Space Agency.

"Payette will have the full confidence of our Conservative caucus," he said in a statement.

Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a member of the Liberal Indigenous caucus, said Payette is a wonderful, intelligent person who is well qualified to take on the position, noting she speaks both French and English.

"She also has a good understanding politically of what her role will be," he said."I think on that basis it is a very good choice."

Ouellette previously advocated for the prime minister to name an Indigenous person to the job, but now says it could have been very delicate for an Aboriginal person to take on the role.

"There would have been a lot of pressure placed on that person to make changes in the system and unfortunately the role of the Governor General, as we all know, is a symbolic role," he said.

Payette becomes the 29th person to hold the position, and the fourth female to be the monarch's representative in Canada.


In this image released by Disney-Pixar, character Hector, voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal, left, and Miguel, voiced by Anthony Gonzalez, appear in a scene from the animated film, "Coco."
In 'Coco,' Pixar journeys to Mexico and beyond the grave
NEW YORK - Pixar films have never been shy about death. The "Toy Story" films are, in part, about mortality. The poetic highlight of "Up" is a wordless sequence of a spouse's passing. The Earth, itself, was left for dead i

Top News