Represent Canada

The governor general represents Canada in domestic and international ceremonies and events. Here in Canada, the governor general strengthens the country’s ties with other nations by officially welcoming new ambassadors, as well as new high commissioners for which The Queen is not head of State. The governor general also plays host to foreign heads of State and members of the Royal Family during their visits to Canada, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and the Citadelle of Québec. The governor general also signs diplomatic letters for outgoing Canadian ambassadors and high commissioners, who represent the country on the world stage. 

The governor general also plays an important role in international relations by travelling abroad on State and official visits. During State visits, the governor general is often accompanied by a delegation of prominent Canadians representing various areas of expertise. The goal in conducting international visits is to promote Canada, deepen people-to-people ties and strengthen Canada’s relationships with international partners.

Letters of Credence

Upon their arrival in Canada, and before they can carry out their duties as heads of mission, new ambassadors, as well as new high commissioners of countries for which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not Head of State, must be officially welcomed by the governor general of Canada. High commissioners representing countries for which The Queen is the Head of State are formally introduced to the prime minister of Canada.

Credentials are the official documents by which new heads of diplomatic missions are presented by their Head of State as their official representative. Formal presentation ceremonies take place at the official residences of the governor general, either at Rideau Hall in Ottawa or at the Citadelle of Québec. Currently, there are more than 180 heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Canada.