Ontario universities celebrate selection of university president David Johnston as Governor General of Canada

TORONTO, July 8, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario universities are celebrating the choice of an illustrious university leader to the important role of Governor General of Canada, according to the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

"David is an excellent choice for this role because of his constitutional expertise, his strong capacity for leadership and his ambassadorial skills," says Alastair Summerlee, Vice-Chair of COU and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph. "He has advanced higher education and research in this province and across the country, built university-industry partnerships that are now world-renowned, and adjudicated complex issues of national importance."

A native of Sudbury, Johnston became a highly respected legal expert after studying at Harvard and Queen's University and advanced higher education through his leadership as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University before becoming president of the University of Waterloo.

"We congratulate the Prime Minister on his choice of a strong leader who has fostered relationships across many sectors and communities in Ontario and Canada," says Bonnie M. Patterson, President of COU. "We are so pleased to see an academic leader named to this important national role."

"Energetic and diligent, David will provide the government with level-headed counsel and gracious outreach to foreign leaders and Canadian citizens in his ceremonial role," says Patterson. "He will certainly be missed as a colleague at our table, but we are immensely proud of his direct engagement and contributions to the sector and wish him well as he takes on this prestigious post."