Editorial — New lieutenant governor has deep Interior roots
The choice of Judith Guichon as B.C.’s new lieutenant governor is a significant nod to both the B.C. Interior and the cattle industry, which goes back to B.C.’s earliest days as an organized colony, and later as a province.
Very few of this province’s 28 previous lieutenant governors have had significant connections to the Interior, despite the fact that it makes up much of B.C.’s geography, and has been the source of much wealth for all B.C. residents.
While Iona Campagnolo, the only other woman to hold the position, lived for some time in Prince Rupert and represented Skeena in Parliament, she was the last lieutenant governor with strong Interior connections since Robert Randolph Bruce, who established a mine near Windermere Lake in the East Kootenay in 1887 and served as L-G from 1926 to 1931.
Most of B.C.’s lieutenant governors have been involved in the business community in either Vancouver, Victoria or both. One was a former premier of Quebec who had never lived in B.C. until his appointment.
While the Vancouver-Victoria axis has been a dominant force in much of B.C.’s political and economic history, it is important that lieutenant governors represent the whole province, and all its varied peoples.
Current L-G Steven Point is a shining example of this, as the first person from B.C.’s culturally rich and diverse First Nations to serve in the position. He has been a very good representative of the Queen.
It was most fitting that he was lieutenant governor when B.C. turned 150 in 2008 in Fort Langley, where his ancestors were among the Sto:lo people who welcomed Europeans to share their riches and their world. This welcome was met with a less-than-cordial response from some of the would-be colonizers, who wanted to dispense with or at least assimilate native people.
Another example of a valued Queen’s representative was David Lam, who served from 1988 to 1995 and was the first Asian-Canadian in the position.
Judith Guichon, who has introduced holistic management to the cattle ranching business, is a longtime resident of the Nicola Valley and the Guichon family have a deep connection to that part of the province.
She should be a significant addition to the L-G roster.