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Lieutenant Governor

The Hon. Lois Hole, our Lieutenant GovernorAs the Queen's provincial representative in Canada's constitutional monarchy, the Lieutenant Governor plays an important part in the Legislature.  He or she opens session by reading the Speech from the Throne, closes sessions, and dissolves the Assembly prior to an election.  The Lieutenant Governor officially appoints and swears in the Premier and cabinet, although it is the outcome of an election that determines who will be Premier and the Premier actually selects cabinet ministers.  Bills passed in the Assembly do not become law until the Lieutenant Governor gives them Royal Assent.  Finally, the Lieutenant Governor signs proclamations and other official documents.

Conflict between Lieutenant Governor Bowen and Premier AberhartLieutenant Governors are nonpartisan and traditionally don't interfere with the decisions of the elected Assembly.  However, they have significant power.  In 1937, Lieutenant Governor John C. Bowen refused Royal Assent to three Bills he claimed were unconstitutional.  The Bills would have placed banks under provincial control and restricted freedom of the press.  The Social Credit government appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, and both agreed with Bowen.  Nevertheless, Bowen's actions generated heated political debate.

Click here to read the biographies of past Lieutenant Governors, or visit the official website of the Lieutenant Governor.




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Voices of Politics
The Right Honourable Edward Schreyer discusses the Governor General's responsibilities, similar to the Lieutenant Governor's.
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