B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon was at Cache Creek Elementary School on October 11, as part of her pledge to visit 150 schools throughout the province to honour the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. Her tour ended on October 12 with a visit to David Stoddart School in Clinton.
Roger Porter, Diane Sandy, and Trevor Day of the Bonaparte Indian Band performed a welcome song, and CCES principal Brooke Haller welcomed Guichon to the school.
Cache Creek mayor John Ranta noted that Guichon was the representative of the Queen, and asked “Isn’t that cool?” (“Yeah!” was the enthusiastic response from the students).
Ranta also recalled a previous visit by the Lieutenant-Governor to the Village, where she was taken to a seniors’ fit class. “I took my eye off her for a second, and there she was in the corner, hula-hooping.” When Guichon stood up to speak, she started off with the comment “That’s my claim to fame: hula-hooping.”
She spoke to the students about Canada’s sesquicentennial, and the Fathers of Confederation who met in Charlottetown 152 years ago. “They had a vision of a country from sea to sea. And today we are joined by many things: by our anthem, ‘O, Canada’; by our beautiful red maple leaf; by the railroads that cross the country; by the Terry Fox Run. I see you have a beautiful painting of Terry Fox [on an outside wall of the school]. There are Terry Fox Runs all across the country.
“Canadians are known around the world as peacekeepers. And we’re known for hockey. Does anyone here play or like hockey?” (Many hands went up.) “And of course we’re known for Tim Hortons.”
On a more serious note, Guichon acknowledged that Canada has some black marks. “We made some grave mistakes and committed injustices; but we have grown in understanding, in inclusiveness, and in diversity. We are all working at reconciliation, but I have a new word: reconciliaction. It’s time to take action, not just to talk.”
She spoke of the fact that the Lieutenant-Governor is the official representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in British Columbia, noting that the Queen lives a long way away, so the Lieutenant-Governor acts something like a substitute teacher, filling in for Her Majesty when she cannot be here. She also noted that the Governor-General performs a similar role on the federal stage.
“Do you know who the current Governor-General is?” Guichon asked. “We have a new one as of Monday, and it’s important for the young ladies here to hear this.” Guichon was impressed when a student answered “Julie Payette,” and explained that Payette was an astronaut. “She worked on the International Space Station and orbited our planet. She taught us that space is no limit.”
Guichon spoke about her duties as Lieutenant-Governor, including her role in the Legislature in Victoria. She noted that the previous Lieutenant-Governor, Steven Point, was the first Aboriginal Lieutenant-Governor, and that his predecessor, Iona Campagnolo, was the first female Lieutenant-Governor. “I’m the first cowboy,” Guichon—a rancher from the Nicola Valley—quipped.
During a question-and-answer session, students wanted to know if she had met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (“Yes: he’s very respectful, very nice”), if she had been to the Queen’s house (“Yes; it’s very beautiful”), and if she had met Donald Trump (“No.”).
Guichon concluded by talking about some of the programs she has initiated during her time as Lieutenant-Governor, saying they are all based on the three Rs: respect, relationships, and responsibility. I want to build healthy people in healthy communities on healthy lands.”