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Governor General of Canada / Gouverneur général du Canadaa
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Annual Report 2004-2005

Message from the Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor

It is a pleasure for me to invite Canadians to review the second annual report by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG).

The governor general carries out a range of constitutional and State duties and an active program aimed at highlighting the evolving nature of Canadian society and the contributions and achievements of our fellow citizens.

Since 1967, the governor general has also been responsible for the administration of the Canadian Honours System.

The OSGG exists to support the governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada in carrying out his or her constitutional and traditional roles and in administering the Canadian Honours System.

The primary constitutional duty of the governor general is to ensure that Canada always has a prime minister. On July 20, 2004, following the June 28 general election, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson swore in the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, his cabinet and parliamentary secretaries.

As Commander-In-Chief, the Governor General inspired and nurtured the Canadian Forces. She and John Ralston Saul visited Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan over the New Year.

In 2004-05, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson further carried out her program in some of the following ways:

  • She honoured over 10,000 Canadians through the Order of Canada, Bravery Decorations, the Meritorious Service Decoration, the Order of Military Merit and other honours that are part of of our Canadian Honours System.
  • She helped bring Canadians together where they live and work through visits to over 24 communities across Canada.
  • The Governor General officially honoured Canadians through the Governor General's Literary Awards, the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards and the Governor General's Media and Visual Arts Awards. She recognized excellence in the teaching of Canadian history, in public service journalism through the Michener Awards, and in volunteerism through the Caring Canadian Award.
  • At the request of the Prime Minister, and with the assistance of Foreign Affairs Canada, the Governor General represented Canada abroad on several occasions, including at events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day in France and the 60th anniversary of the Italian Campaign in Italy. She also attended the Nairobi Summit for a Mine-Free World in Kenya, the swearing-in of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, and the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.
  • To foster a broader understanding of the role of the governor general in our history and democratic system, the Visitor Services Program continued to develop. Guided tours of both official residences; specialized art, garden and school tours; a lively and accessible website; and educational materials available to teachers across the country served to increase awareness and understanding of the role and responsibilities of the governor general. Through this program, close to 200,000 visitors were welcomed at Rideau Hall. The governor general's website also attracted strong interest from Canadians and others, generating 3,161,249 page views in this fiscal year.

The OSGG's annual report outlines how the governor general serves Canadians every day. It describes key activities and their cost, as well as their value to Canadians. It also details the governor general's salary and the administrative costs of the Office.

The OSGG is grateful to those government departments and agencies that support the governor general through their legislated mandates, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who provide protective services to Their Excellencies; the National Capital Commission, which maintains the residence and grounds of Rideau Hall; Foreign Affairs Canada, which supports the governor general's international activities; and the Department of National Defence, which supports the governor general as commander-in-chief.

I thank the Office's staff for their professionalism, dedication, and commitment to excellence.

Updated: 2018-03-26
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