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Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean

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Michaelle Jean was the first black Governor General of Canada and the third female to hold the position. She was born in Port-au-Prince in Haiti in 1968. Her family immigrated to Canada seeking a safer, more stable life and she grew up in Montreal.

She studied Italian and Hispanic languages at the University of Montreal, earning her masters degree and began to teach at the University. Her interests also extended to working with shelters for battered women and helping to setup a network throughout Quebec and other parts of Canada.

She then became involved in journalism, radio and television and served as an anchor on CBC newsworld. She was also involved in documentary films her husband produced which were highly acclaimed in Canada and internationally.

She became Paul Martin's choice to replace Governor General Clarkson and was scheduled to be invested on September 27, 2005. In August rumours began to surface of her and her husbands potential support of Quebec separatism. The media began to question her appropriateness as the Governor General of Canada. She responded by refuting the accusations and professed her support for a united Canada. She was then criticized for hold a French passport as well as a Canadian one which led many to question where her loyalties would lie in affairs between the two countries. She resolved the issue by renouncing her French citizenship.

She declared upon taking office, that she would work to bring together the two solitudes of Canada, and work for the environment and young people. She then began to work hard to bring    the two nations of Canada together, help women's organizations and highlighting aboriginal issues. The pro-separatist issue did surface again during remembrance day 2005 when many in the crowd at the ceremonies at the National War Memorial turned their backs on her when she arrived.

She began to travel abroad and visited several African countries when she won over the people and won impressive reviews form foreign leaders. She the requested a visit to Afghanistan where she wanted to visit the Canadian troops and highlight the plight of the women of the region. The Harper government opposed the visit at first but eventually approved it she arrived on international women's day.

She began to be criticized for her statements which were viewed as uninvited intrusions into the realm of Partisan politics. Concern's within the PMO's office over her potential to overstep her role as Governor General and become embroiled in day to day politics surfaced and she was considered a danger to the government.

These concerns faded to the background when in December of 2008 the minority government of Stephen Harper seemed destined to be defeated in a confidence vote and fall. Harper had asked that Parliament be prorogued in order to avoid a non-confidence vote and work towards re-establishing a workable government. The Government, the media and the country awaited her decision and for the first time since the 1920's the Governor General became a crucial part of the Canadian system.

Her decision was that Harper would be granted his prorogued Parliament and that he would have to bring in a budget that would pass a vote of confidence. After being highlight as the central player in a tittering government she returned to the traditional roles of the Governor General and began to travel widely. She gained positive reviews from many Canadian's when she tried some seal heart during a native ceremony in accordance with traditional Inuit practices.

During the Haitian earthquake crisis she stepped into the spotlight once again as she appealed to the world, for the people of her country of birth, and generated an overwhelming response to the Haitian's plight.  By the need of her term there were some suggestions that her role as Governor General be extended but Prime Minister Harper choose to continue with tradition and name a new Governor General. 

On October 1, 2010 she stepped down to be replaced by David Johnston. She has dedicated herself to working for educational causes and helping the people of Haiti.

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