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B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon visits Osoyoos during six-day tour of Okanagan in goal to cover province
When Judith Guichon was sworn in as B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor in November 2012, she set a goal of visiting every valley in the province during her term.
Last week Guichon was in Osoyoos and Oliver for two days as part of a six-day tour of the Okanagan, her first visit here since receiving the post.
After a meeting with Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band Wednesday, Guichon visited Branch 173 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Osoyoos Seniors Centre before taking a tour of the Sonora Community Centre.
Then on Thursday, she addressed an assembly at Osoyoos Secondary School before heading up to Oliver for similar visits.
Acting on the advice of the federal cabinet, Lieutenant Governors are appointed by the Governor General and they represent the role of the Queen at the provincial level.
They are appointed to terms of at least five years.
Several people at stops where she visited commented that Osoyoos isn’t used to receiving such high-level visitors.
Nonetheless, Guichon went from table to table at the legion and seniors centre chatting informally with those who came out to meet her.
Born in Montreal and raised at Hawkesbury in the Ottawa Valley, Guichon came to B.C. in 1972 and settled in the Nicola Valley where her late husband’s family had ranched since 1878.
Guichon said she tries to meet people from a range of community organizations when she tours the province, but an important part of her tours is visits to schools.
Although her role is non-political, she urges students to get involved in the system at an early age.
“I tell them democracy is not an armchair sport,” she said.
Lieutenant governors all pursue several priority programs based on their interests and backgrounds, and hers include stewardship, where she talks about healthy people and healthy communities on healthy land.
“We have a responsibility to leave our place, our community, our land in as good or better condition for the next generation,” she said.
Her other priorities are leadership, music and the arts and literacy.
At the Osoyoos branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, Guichon presented a plaque to long-time Legion member Dr. Robert Ritchie in honour of his longstanding service to the legion, to veterans and their widows and to the community.
Guichon observed that Ritchie has long been a mainstay of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Osoyoos.