Her Majesty The Queen is represented by ten lieutenant governors at the provincial level.
The governor general, lieutenant governors and territorial commissioners meet annually to discuss matters of mutual interests and how they can better serve Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
While in office, the lieutenant governors exercise the following responsibilities:
- give Royal Assent to bills passed in the provincial legislatures before they are enacted as laws;
- ensure that there are active provincial governments at all times;
- deliver the Speech from the Throne at the opening of a new session of the Legislative Assembly;
- dissolve the government when necessary;
- welcome Royal Family members, foreign heads of State and dignitaries to their respective province; and
- promote and celebrate excellence through patronage and the presentation of honours.
Evolution of the Role
After the British North America Act was adopted in 1867, lieutenant governors acted as a liaison between federal and provincial governments and advised the provincial government on federal legislation. Now that provinces have acquired jurisdiction over more regional matters, the role is focused primarily on responsibilities as the Sovereign’s representative and as chief executive officer of the province.
Lieutenant governors are appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister of Canada. They act as representatives of the Sovereign and normally serve for five years. Upon taking office, they assume the title “Honourable” for the remainder of their lives. In conversation and correspondence, the lieutenant governor is addressed as “Your Honour,” as is his or her spouse.
Current List of Lieutenant Governors in Canada
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, O.C., O.Ont.
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
The Honourable J. Michel Doyon, Q.C.
Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, O.N.S., Q.C.
Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
The Honourable Janet Austin, O.B.C.
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
The Honourable Antoinette Perry, O.P.E.I.
Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island
The Honourable Lois Mitchell, C.M., A.O.E.
Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
The Honourable Judy Foote, P.C., O.N.L.
Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland & Labrador
Territorial commissioners carry out many of the same duties as lieutenant governors but are not representatives of Her Majesty The Queen.
Commissioners are Governor-in-Council appointments. They are responsible for swearing in members of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council, as well as opening the Legislative Assembly and providing assent for legislation it passes.
Current List of Territorial Commissioners
|Margaret M. Thom
Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Commissioner of Yukon Territory
|Nellie Taptaqut Kusugak
Commissioner of Nunavut