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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 18:54 GMT 19:54 UK
Canada governor general sworn in
Michaelle Jean is sworn in as Canada's governor general
Michaelle Jean will hold the post for five years
A Haitian-born journalist has become Canada's first black governor general - the representative of head of state Queen Elizabeth II.

Former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Michaelle Jean, 48, was sworn in at a ceremony in the Senate chamber in Ottawa.

Televised images showed tears running down her cheeks as she listened to singers greeting her arrival.

Ms Jean took over the largely symbolic post from Adrienne Clarkson.

The governor general gives royal assent to government bills, signs state documents and presides over the swearing-in of the prime minister, chief justice and cabinet ministers.

Committed

Ms Jean, a producer, radio host and award-winning documentary filmmaker, fled Haiti with her family in 1968.

They settled in the French-speaking province of Quebec in eastern Canada.

Her appointment has been widely welcomed, but was not without some controversy.

Critics said she had ties to Quebec separatists and questioned her loyalty to a federal Canada.

A documentary made by her husband in 1991 about the struggles for independence in Quebec, Haiti and Martinique, showed the couple joining separatists in a toast to Quebec's independence.

They also alleged that her dual French citizenship - which she has since renounced - made her a poor choice to represent Queen Elizabeth II in Canada.

Ms Jean said she and her husband were "fully committed to Canada".



SEE ALSO:
Canada gets new governor general
04 Aug 05 |  Americas
Q&A: Canada's political crisis
20 May 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Canada
20 May 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Canada
20 May 05 |  Country profiles


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