C’est quoi?

C’est quoi?

Who is the Governor General anyway?

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau installed Canada’s 29th governor general, Julie Payette. Payette replaced David Johnston, who served in this position since 2010.

Credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG

As a new governor general takes her place in Canada’s history, many may be wondering just what the role of a governor general entails.

The governor general is the representative to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is the head of state and the Queen of Canada.

The governor general is selected by Canada’s prime minister, although the formal appointment is made by the Queen. The governor general acts on the advice of the prime minister and the government.

The governor general has various responsibilities, including:

  • Ensuring that confidence is maintained in the House of Commons
  • Giving royal assent to bills passed in the House and Senate
  • Appointing superior court judges on the advice of the cabinet

The governor general also promotes national identity and national unity through various ceremonial functions, including hosting and welcoming foreign nationals and leaders to Canada.

The governor general also has other constitutional powers, including the ability to dissolve government, and acts as the commander in chief for Canada.

Image by Alora Griffiths/The Ontarion