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Former governor general of Canada joins Habitat board

Ed Schreyer, former governor general of Canada, joins Habitat for Humanity’s international board

AMERICUS, Ga. (March 23, 2005) – The Right Honorable Ed Schreyer, former governor general and commander-in-chief of Canada, 1979-1984, is the newest member of Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors. Schreyer was elected during the board’s recent meeting in South Africa. He was nominated as a representative board member by Habitat Canada.

“It’s a joy and an honor to represent an organization such as Habitat for Humanity, which brings the ideal – a world where everyone has a simple, decent place to live – and the practical – building houses with families in need – together,” said Schreyer. “My goal is to help find new ways for Habitat to expand its work around the world.”

Schreyer, who has been working with Habitat since 1989, has been a volunteer, honorary patron of Canada Habitat for Humanity and the namesake of Habitat Canada’s Ed Schreyer Work Projects between 1993 and 2003.

He was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1958 at the age of 22, its youngest member, and re-elected twice. He was elected to Parliament in 1965 and re-elected in 1968, becoming party leader in 1969 and premier of Manitoba in 1969 through 1977. His government was foremost in Canada regarding legislation in sustainable energy, environment, home, medical and pharmaceutical care.

He served as governor general of Canada and commander-in-chief from 1979-84. The Office of the Governor General is Canada’s oldest continuing institution, beginning in 1608, and is the representative of the queen in Canada. Schreyer also served as Canadian high commissioner to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and ambassador to Vanuatu from 1984-88.

In addition to his work with Habitat for Humanity, he serves in a number of organizations; such as the Canadian Shield Foundation, Sierra Legal Defense Fund, hospital and nursing home care organizations, Canada-based oil and gas exploration companies and a forest products company. He is a guest lecturer at universities in Canada and Europe.

He also serves on the boards of the Port of Vancouver Port Authority, International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), and Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board, among others.

He is a frequent speaker at fund-raising and other public events relating to multiculturalism, energy, conservation and heritage preservation. He and his wife, Lily, have four children.

“We are delighted to have Ed join the international board for Habitat for Humanity,” says Rey Ramsey, board chair. “His experiences with Habitat, along with his experiences in government and elsewhere are invaluable as we move toward and beyond our 30th anniversary in 2006. His expertise will be helpful as we work to help even more families … he will be a key part of keeping Habitat a force for good everywhere.”

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.