Appears sad after heckling by protesters



jeff hodson/metro vancouver


Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean arrives at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre yesterday afternoon during a tour of the country’s poorest neighbourhood.


Canada’s Governor General toured the streets of the country’s poorest neighbourhood yesterday afternoon, surrounded by a throng of media and mocked by protesters.

Prior to her meeting with Canada’s big city mayors on matters of housing, mental health and drug treatments, Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean visited the Downtown Eastside to get a taste of life in the neighbourhood.

The tour began with a visit to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre where Jean chatted with marginalized women for over an hour.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan was supposed to accompany Jean on her tour, but cancelled at the last minute.

Coun. Elizabeth Ball took the mayor’s place but was apparently barred from entering the centre by staff.

From the women’s centre, Jean — accompanied by her husband filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond and Ball — walked down Columbia Street from to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

A horde of camera operators, photographers and police ringed the party, blocking much of Jean’s view.

A small group of protesters followed in her wake, shouting "Shame on the NPA," and heckling Jean — asking her how she enjoyed her tour.

Jean appeared sad during the shouting and later cancelled a scheduled media address.