Julie Payette Governor General of Canada, the 29th officeholder since Canadian Confederation. On July 13, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Payette as the next Governor General of Canada. She was sworn in on October 2, 2017. She is the fourth woman and the sixth francophone to hold the post.(born October 20, 1963) is the
|29th Governor General of Canada|
|Assumed office |
October 2, 2017
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||David Johnston|
|Born||October 20, 1963|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Spouse(s)||François Brissette (div. 1999)|
William Flynn (div. 2015)
|Education||McGill University (BEng)|
University of Toronto (MASc)
Time in space
|25 days 11 h 57 min|
|Selection||1992 CSA Group|
Payette is an engineer, businessperson, and a former member of the Canadian Astronaut Corps. Payette has completed two spaceflights, STS-96 and STS-127, and has logged more than 25 days in space. She served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and has served as capsule communicator at NASA Mission Control Center in Houston.
Education and early career
Payette was born on October 20, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec, and lived in the Ahuntsic neighbourhood, attending Collège Mont-Saint-Louis and Collège Regina Assumpta. In 1982 she completed an International Baccalaureate diploma at the United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales, United Kingdom.
For her undergraduate studies, Payette enrolled in McGill University where she completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering in 1986, after which she completed a Master of Applied Science degree in computer engineering at the University of Toronto in 1990. Her thesis focused on computational linguistics, a field of artificial intelligence. She is a retired member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.
During her schooling, between 1986 and 1988, Payette also worked as a systems engineer for IBM Canada's Science Engineering division. From 1988 to 1990, as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she was involved in a high-performance computer architecture project and worked as a teaching assistant. At the beginning of 1991, Payette joined the Communications and science department of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland, for a one-year visiting scientist appointment. When she returned to Canada, in January 1992, she joined the Speech Research Group of Bell-Northern Research in Montreal where she was responsible for a project in telephone speech comprehension using computer voice recognition.
Payette was married twice, first to François Brissette in the 1990s, and secondly to William Flynn, with whom she had a son in 2003, and from whom she divorced in 2015. She is fluent in French (her mother tongue) and English, and can converse in Spanish, German, Italian and Russian. She plays the piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and several others. She practices running, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving.
Canadian Space Agency
Payette was selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as one of four astronauts from a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. After undergoing basic training in Canada, she worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System, an advanced robotics system and Canada's contribution to the International Space Station. In 1993, Payette established the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the Canadian Astronaut Program and served as a technical specialist on the NATO International Research Study Group on speech processing.
In preparation for a space assignment, Payette obtained her commercial pilot licence and logged 120 hours as a research operator on reduced gravity aircraft. In April 1996, Payette was certified as a one-atmosphere deep sea diving suit operator. Payette obtained her captaincy on the CT-114 Tutor military jet at CFB Moose Jaw in February 1996 and her military instrument rating in 1997. Payette has logged more than 1,300 hours of flight time, including 600 hours on high-performance jet aircraft.
Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin mission specialist training. After completing one year of training, she was assigned to work on the Mobile Servicing System. Payette completed the initial astronaut training in April 1998.
Payette served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007. She also worked as capsule communicator at the Mission Control Center in Houston for several years, including the return to flight mission STS-114. She was lead capsule communicator during STS-121.
Payette flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999, as part of the crew of STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the shuttle to the International Space Station, and delivered four tons of logistics and supplies to the station. On Discovery, Payette served as a mission specialist. Her main responsibility was to operate the Canadarm robotic arm from the space station. The STS-96 mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of the Earth, traveling over six million kilometres (3,700,000 mi) in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes. Payette became the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the Space Station.
Payette visited the space station again in 2009 as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour during mission STS-127 from July 15 to 31, 2009, and was the flight engineer and lead robotic operator during the mission. At that time, Robert Thirsk was a member of Expedition 20 on the space station. Endeavour's docking at the space station marked the first time two Canadians met in space.
During her second mission, Payette brought a signed sweater of the famed Montreal Canadiens player Maurice Richard, stating she had brought Richard, who was known as "The Rocket", into the rocket to celebrate the hockey team's 100th anniversary.
During 2010–2011, she worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and was also a scientific delegate to the United States for the Quebec Government. For the next three years, Payette was CEO of the Montreal Science Centre of the Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal. During that time, she was also a Vice President of the Canada Lands Company.
Payette has served on boards of directors, at Queen's University, Canada's Own the Podium Olympic program, Montreal Science Centre foundation, Robotique FIRST Québec, Drug Free Kids Canada, the Montreal Bach Festival, the National Bank of Canada, Développement Aéroport Saint-Hubert de Longueuil, and others. She was recently appointed to the International Olympic Committee's Women in Sports Commission. She is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics. As well, Payette is a member of the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board of McGill University.
Payette was announced on July 13, 2017, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recommendation to be the 29th Governor General of Canada. Her term was scheduled to begin October 2, 2017, after the completion of briefings from the incumbent, David Johnston. Her salary was set at $290,660 per annum and an official residence at Rideau Hall. After the announcement was made, Johnston issued a statement congratulating Payette and welcoming "a Canadian of extraordinary achievement, admired by all".
As the designate, Payette had her first official meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on September 20, 2017, at Balmoral Castle when she was also invested as an Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada (CC), an Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM) and a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (COM) by Her Majesty.
Payette was installed as Canada's 29th Governor General on October 2, 2017. Afterwards, she urged Canadians to work together on issues such as climate change, migration and poverty. "Anyone can accomplish anything and rise to the challenge as long as they are willing to work with others, to let go of the personal agenda, to reach a higher goal and to do what is right for the common good. This is exactly what I hope my mandate as the Governor General will reflect", Payette said. At the Canadian Science Policy Conference the next month, she argued strongly for greater public acceptance of science, saying that too many people believe in astrology, deny climate change, and believe that "maybe taking a sugar pill will cure cancer". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry concerning climate change, commented that her remarks were "refreshing". George Dvorsky from Gizmodo.org stated "Her words were a breath of fresh air".
Re-evaluating the role of Governor General
As she was completing her first year as the viceregal representative in September 2018, Payette faced some criticism about controversial comments she had made against those who believe in creationism and those who did not believe in climate change. Maintaining her position on the issues, Payette emphasized the importance of debate and critical thinking but admitted that she was still growing into her role and needed more time to adapt to the position. "I learned that you have to be careful about how you say things, but not what you say", she added. Some time later, she offered an additional explanation to CPAC. "I made a speech as I had as an astronaut and I'm not an astronaut any longer, I'm governor general. I represent all Canadians. I've learned those lessons."
Weeks later, she faced criticism about her work ethic, with some suggesting that she had not devoted enough time and dedication to the role of Governor General and had not visited several of the provinces in her nearly 12-month tenure. The Toronto Star published specifics confirming the more numerous appearances her two predecessors had made per year. Rideau Hall spokesperson Marie-Ève Létourneau said that "The first year of every mandate is a period of learning, adjustment and adaptation from both the Governor General and Rideau Hall staff." The Globe and Mail opinion piece offered this conclusion on Payette's tenure to date. "Canadians need to know that the Governor-General is fulfilling her duties. Her biggest challenge right now is to convince us that she is worthy of our trust".
On September 27, Payette acknowledged the articles that had painted an "unfavourable image of our work" in an e-mail to staff, expressed regret about the effect of the criticisms on morale, and assured them that she was "very proud of all we have achieved together to date".
Titles, styles, honours, and arms
|Viceregal styles of|
|Reference style||Her Excellency the Right Honourable|
Son Excellence la très honorable
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Ribbon bars of Julie Payette|
- 2000 – Knight of the National Order of Quebec
- 2001 – Knight of Ordre de la Pléiade de l'Association des parlementaires de langue française
- June 10, 2010 – Member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame
- May 6, 2010 – September 20, 2017: Officer of the Order of Canada (OC)
- 2013 – Academy of Great Montrealers (Scientific category)
- 2016 – Commander of the Order of Montreal
- September 20, 2017 – October 2, 2017: Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM)
- October 2, 2017 – Chancellor and extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM)
- September 20, 2017 – October 2, 2017: Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (COM)
- October 2, 2017 – Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (COM)
- October 2, 2017 – Dame of Justice, Prior, and Chief Officer in Canada of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (DStJ)
- October 2, 2017 – Patron Scout of Canada
- October 2, 2017 – Honorary Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard
- June 25, 2010 – NASA Exceptional Service Medal
Honorary military appointments
- 1999 – Queen's University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 1999 – University of Ottawa, Doctor of the University (DUniv)
- March 10, 2000 – Simon Fraser University, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- 2000 – Université Laval, Doctorate
- 2001 – University of Regina, Doctorate
- 2001 – Royal Roads University, Doctorate
- June 13, 2001 – University of Toronto, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- June 2002 – University of Victoria, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2002 – Nipissing University, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
- June 3, 2003 – McGill University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2004 – Mount Saint Vincent University, Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL)
- June 2004: McMaster University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2005 – University of Lethbridge, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2005 – Mount Allison University
- 2006 – University of Alberta, Doctorate
- November 25, 2010: University of British Columbia, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2010 – York University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- June 2010: Concordia University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2010 – University of Waterloo, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- 2011 – Niagara University, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- 2011 – Ryerson University, Doctor of Engineering (DEng)
- 2012 – Carleton University, Doctor of Engineering (DEng)
- June 4, 2012: Vancouver Island University, Doctor of Technology (DTech)
- 2013 – University of Moncton
- May 30, 2013 – University of Manitoba, Doctor of Science (DSc)
- June 10, 2013 – University of Calgary, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- June 23, 2016 – British Columbia Institute of Technology, Doctor of Technology (DTech)
- June 1, 2018 – Université de Montréal
- Julie Payette Public School, Whitby
Payette assisted in the carrying of the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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- "Prime Minister Trudeau announces The Queen's approval of Canada's next Governor General". pm.gc.ca. Government of Canada. July 13, 2017.
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- "Payette to carry piece of Ottawa Valley legend into space". CTV News. June 13, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- "Featured Alumni". University of Toronto. November 28, 2013.
- "Former Public Policy Scholar Canada: Julie Payette". Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 2011.
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- Frazier, Kendrick (March–April 2018). "Canadian Governor General's Defense of Science 'A Breath of Fresh Air'". Skeptical Inquirer. pp. 12–13.
- "Canadian Governor General's Defense of Science 'A Breath of Fresh Air'". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 42 (2): 12–13. 2018.
- "Gov. Gen. Julie Payette on what she learned from her controversial comments on science, religion and climate". CBC. August 30, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
- "It's not easy being GG; Payette tries to reassure staff as criticism mounts ceremony". CBC. September 30, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
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- "Julie Payette doesn't plan to preside over 2018 Governor General's History Awards ceremony". National Post. September 26, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
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- "Statement by the Prime Minister to welcome Canada's new Governor General, the Right Honourable Julie Payette". Om.gc.ca. October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- "Four to be Inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame". British Columbia Aviation Association. January 11, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
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- "Canada Wide > About Us > The Order of St. John > The Order of St. John in Canada". St. John Ambulance Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
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- "HDrecipients.pdf" (PDF). Queen's University. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
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- "Honorary Degree Recipients". University of Regina. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
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- "Hon Degree Recipients in Chrono order" (PDF). University of Toronto. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Honorary degree recipients". University of Victoria. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients". Nipissing University. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
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- "Honorary Degree Recipients" (PDF). McMaster University. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- Kenney, Trevor (July 20, 2009). "Sighting schedule for space shuttle". University of Lethbridge. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Biography of Julie Payette". www.asc-csa.gc.ca. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- "UBC Archives – Honorary Degree Citations – 2008–12". University of British Columbia. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
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- "Honorary Degree Citation – Julie Payette". 2010. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015.
- "N – R". University of Waterloo. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
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- "Past Honorary Doctorates". Ryerson University. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
- "Honorary Degrees Awarded Since 1954 - Senate". carleton.ca. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- "Astronaut, pharmacologist and rights advocate to receive honorary doctorates from VIU - Vancouver Island University (VIU)". Viu.ca. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- "University of Manitoba - University Governance - Julie Payette, D.Sc., May 30, 2013". umanitoba.ca. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
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- "Julie Payette passes on passion at BCIT convocation - BCIT News". Commons.bcit.ca. June 23, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- "Governor General to Receive an Honorary Doctorate". Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "Une collation des doctorats de 3e cycle mémorable pour 538 nouveaux docteurs de l'UdeM" (in French). May 1, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "Canadian astronaut Julie Payette on hand to launch Whitby school named for her". Durham District School Board News. 2012. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013.
- Payette, Julie, The Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges of Canada
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Julie Payette.|
- Website of the Governor General of Canada
- CSA profile
- Montreal Science Centre
- Julie Payette installed as Canada's 29th Governor General
- Order of Canada citation
- Spacefacts bio August 2018
| Governor General of Canada
|Order of precedence|
HM Elizabeth II
as Queen of Canada
| Governor General of Canada
Canadian order of precedence (ceremonial)
as Prime Minister of Canada