One of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team’s own received a distinguished award from Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Canada in late May. Canadian Governor General David Johnston presented OKGIT member and dual American-Canadian citizen Ian Ogilve with the Governor General’s Medallion during a visit to the Sooner State on May 28, 2016.
Ogilve was honored for his service in fostering closer ties between Oklahoma and Canada, in recent years helping spearhead the first visit of Canadian Consul General Sara Wilshaw to Oklahoma. Of interesting note, Governor General Johnston’s 2016 trip to Oklahoma was the first by an individual in that office. The governor general is, on the advice of the prime minister of Canada, appointed by the reigning British monarch to carry out the crown’s constitutional and ceremonial duties in the commonwealth realm. The office is non-partisan and also serves as the Canadian Armed Forces commander in chief.
On May 28, Governor General Johnston visited the Oklahoma capitol hosted by Chris Benge, Oklahoma Secretary of State and Native American Affairs in the Capitol Blue Room.
The same day, the governor general wrote an op-ed for The Oklahoman, which can be read here on fostering closer American-Canadian cultural and economic ties.
The ties between Oklahoma and Canada emblematic of the U.S.-Canadian relationship, with Canada’s role as the U.S.’s largest export market, more than 50,000 jobs in Oklahoma depend on the $6 billion trading relationship. As the governor general noted in his op-ed, a significant portion of that trade involves the oil and gas industry.
“Energy is an important component,” he wrote. “Canada contributes to North American energy security, with Canadian oil joining crude from Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas and other states at North America’s oil supply hub at Cushing. Meanwhile, more than half of Oklahoma’s exports to Canada consist of equipment and machinery. We’re also partners in aerospace, agriculture and a growing number of science, innovation and education initiatives.”
(Top photo: Consul General Sara Wilshaw (left) and His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston (right) present Ian Ogilve (center) with the Governor General’s Medallion.)