Alex Trebek in Ottawa to open Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s new HQ

Trebek announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer

Canadian “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek recently completed what he hopes will be his last chemotherapy treatment, he told the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Monday afternoon as he helped open the group’s new headquarters in Ottawa.

“That stuff really kicks the slats out of you,” he told his audience.

Trebek is the society’s honorary president. He announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer.

In a TV interview with CBS Sunday Morning that aired on the weekend, Trebek says he’s continued taping Jeopardy! despite dealing with excruciating stomach cramps that have, at times, left him writhing and crying in pain.

From the podium, Trebek talked about how busy he’s been lately, including how he won his seventh Emmy award.

Trebek added that he was disappointed all the Canadian NHL teams had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs — before noting the country’s pro-sports championship hopes are still very much alive.

“Thank God for the Raptors,” he said.

READ MORE: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek announces he has pancreatic cancer

The Sudbury, Ont., native has a long connection with Canada’s capital city, where he studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa and got his start in broadcasting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also participated in the event, in a building by the Ottawa River that was first built as a museum but never attracted very many visitors.

The former Canada and the World Pavilion opened 20 years ago. Next to the Rideau Falls and with an address on Sussex Drive near the prime minister’s and governor general’s residences, it was supposed to display artifacts of Canadians’ global accomplishments in sports, culture, science and international peacekeeping.

Built at a cost of more than $5 million, the pavilion was projected to draw 120,000 visitors a year but didn’t, even with free admission. It closed in 2005 and the federal government spent a decade trying to figure out what to do with it. For a while, there were plans to move in some of the national honours organization overseen by the governor general but an engineer discovered water seepage and potentially dangerous mould.

In fall 2016, with Trebek also in attendance then, the government announced plans to turn it over to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for exhibitions, events and office uses. The building hosted exhibitions beginning in summer 2017 but is only now being fully opened, a year later than planned.

READ MORE: “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s Emmy Award comes with ovation

On Monday, Trebek said when he invited Trudeau to attend the opening, he told the prime minister it was going to be an “easy gig” despite his busy schedule.

He said he reminded Trudeau that the prime minister’s residence is “two doors away” from the building and that he would still be able to make it home for dinner with his family — and then they could watch Jeopardy! together.

(In fact, Trudeau had a state dinner at Rideau Hall on his schedule, for the visiting president of Croatia.)

Trebek praised the geographical society for its work as a “cheerleader” for Canada.

The group’s mission is “to make us know about our country and to make us love our country even more,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP seek public’s help in identifying suspects responsible for keying cars in Castlegar

At least three cars have been keyed in north Castlegar in the last 24 hours

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

Castlegar residents can now report minor crimes to RCMP online

New reporting tool available for Castlegar, Robson, Ootischenia, Thrums, Deer Park, Glade, Tarrys

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read