Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Queen's hosts Lieutenant Governor

  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Principal Daniel Woolf introduces Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell to Queen’s University.

Campus played host to Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, on April 1 when she visited the university to deliver a public lecture and take part in a roundtable discussion.  

Her Honour’s lecture, titled “Ideas that Matter: Conversations with Ontarians,” reflected her desire to meet and speak with the province’s citizens about what goals and themes she should prioritize for her tenure.

“I want to learn about what issues concern Ontarians, what they’re interested in, what they’re doing and what stories they want me to tell,” she says. “If we’re going to promote Ontario in the world, I need to know what people are already doing and a university setting is a great place to have that conversation.”

At her lecture she recounted the responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor and spoke about some of the experiences she’s had with the Queen’s community. After telling of her meeting with the Queen’s Model Parliament in Ottawa, she praised the work that Dr. John Smol (Biology) has done to articulate the effects of climate change and shared the story of her investing Professor Emeritus Dr. James Low (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) to the Order of Canada. When Dr. Low was too sick to attend the Order’s official ceremony in Ottawa, Her Honour visited his house in Kingston to present him with his medal, skyping in friends and family for the impromptu event. 

Though she spoke about many of the accomplishments that Ontarians have to be proud of, she also devoted attention to the challenges that are facing the province. She says that among the hurdles facing the province are the task of managing the fragility of the environment, ensuring economic prosperity and fostering a fair, inclusive and cohesive civil society.

“We’re living in an interconnected and interdependent world now and if we don’t know how to live in, work in and trade in that world, we’re going to get left behind,” she says.

To better hear what’s on the minds of Ontario citizens, Her Honour also took part in a roundtable discussion with a group of administrators, academics, students and alumni. The group shared with her the work being done on campus to foster innovation and interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Though Her Honour has only been in her position for six months, she said she’s seeing clear lines between the matter that the people of Ontario care most about and that she wants to use her position to affect positive change.

“As Lieutenant Governor, I have a platform that allows me to shine a light on the big issues that our society has, things that require bringing people together for conversations on issues that transcend politics,” she says. “My position is a totally apolitical one, so I make sure to ask every group I meet with, ‘what do you think I should be working on?’“ 

Her Honour’s lecture was the most recent installment of the Principal’s Forum, a public lecture series sponsored by Principal Daniel Woolf. Previous speakers in the Principal’s Forum have included the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Tricia Marwick and His Excellency the Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston.

“We were honoured to host Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell and to hear her address,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I look forward to working with her during her time in office.”