At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and her husband, His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond, will conduct State visits to Ukraine, from April 23 to 26, and to the Kingdom of Norway, from April 28 to 30, 2009.
Recent State Visits
Recent Official Visits
For most of the past century and increasingly over the past decades, governors general have played an important role in the regular conduct of Canada’s relations with other countries by travelling abroad on State visits. As the representative of the Crown in Canada, the governor general performs all the functions of the head of State. In this capacity, the governor general hosts numerous foreign heads of State on State visits to Canada every year. As a regular practice of international relations, the governor general receives reciprocal invitations to make State visits to many countries on behalf of all Canadians. By accepting such invitations, the governor general builds on existing international relationships and strengthens ties across a broad range of sectors of Canadian life. A multi-faceted delegation from across the country accompanies the governor general on State visits to convey a sense of Canada to the host countries.
Governors general began to travel internationally and be received as heads of State in 1927 when Lord Willingdon was invited to visit the United States by President Calvin Coolidge. The first full State visit occurred 10 years later in 1937 when John Buchan, the Lord Tweedsmuir, was received at the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, where he addressed the United States Senate. In 1948, Viscount Alexander made the first Canadian State visit to Latin America when he visited Brazil. After visiting a number of Caribbean countries in 1969, Roland Michener further expanded the range of State visits by Canadian governors general by travelling outside the Americas. He was the first to be received on State visits in Europe, visiting the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in 1971. State visits to European countries followed in 1978 with Jules Léger travelling to Spain. Between 1981 and 1983, Edward Schreyer visited Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Romania, Greece and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Governors general have conducted State visits to the following countries over the past two decades:
State VisitsHer Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, in her capacity as Head of State, has also made visits to the following countries.