Thank you Prime Minister Harper and all who signed this petition. Michaelle Jean has been invited to officially open CANADA's Olympics!
We the signatories request that the Government of Canada and the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games select a Canadian resident to open the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and invite Her Excellency Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada to represent the land she lives in and open the games for Canada in front of the whole world on February 12, 2010.
We the undersigned request that the Canadian government invite a Canadian in the personage of the Governor General of Canada to open the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Olympic protocol dictates that the head of state (or his or her designate) of the host nation opens the Olympic Games.
Yes, Elizabeth II is Canada's official head of state. And the Governor General is her resident representative in Canada. However, because we are a modern, progressive and proud nation that is trying to assert and "touch the soul" of our nation with these Olympics, it is in our best interest that a resident Canadian (the Governor General) officiate in this matter.
Billions watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony around the world. There is an opportunity here for Canada. Will we rise to it or miss it? On one hand, we could invite the Queen and have people look at Canada as a mere possession of the British Crown, as a stuffy and backward society that doesn't know its place, that doesn't have a direction, that turns to a distant 83 year old woman in London and requests her permission. Or we could present a youthful, vibrant, and elegant personage in Governor General Michaelle Jean. We could show that Canada is a vivid nation of diversity, where someone from a humble background can build a life, succeed, and rise to the highest position in the land, and beautifully deliver an opening of the Olympic Games that would go down in history as a shining moment for all the world to look at Canada and say "wow, what a country!".
Yes, the Queen has the right to do the job. And she should refuse it or not be invited. This would not be the first time. In 1956, she sent her husband to open the Melbourne Games in Australia. In 1988, Jeanne Sauve opened the Calgary Olympics. And again in 2000, Australians preferred their own son over the monarch and invited the Governor-General to open the Sydney Olympics. The Queen is healthy. London 2012 is not far away. The Queen also opened the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She's been there, done that, and will get to do it again.
But in Vancouver in 2010, this is Canada's moment to shine. And a Canadian citizen who resides in a Canadian home and has a Canadian family should stand up and open Canada's Games.
It is time we showed the world who we are.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and hear our concerns. Let the Games begin. And let it be a Canadian who begins them.