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Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

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The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta (icon) is the viceregal
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative in Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province
Monarchy in Alberta
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in Alberta as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Alberta's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of Alberta, Her Majesty in Right of Alberta, or The...

 but is also shared equally with the nine other jurisdictions of Canada
Canadian federalism
Canada is a federation with two distinct jurisdictions of political authority: the country-wide federal government and the ten regionally-based provincial governments. It also has three territorial governments in the far north, though these are subject to the federal government...

 and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is appointed in the same manner as the other provincial viceroys in Canada
Lieutenant Governor (Canada)
In Canada, a lieutenant governor is the viceregal representative in a provincial jurisdiction of the Canadian monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, who resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom...

 and is similarly tasked with carrying out most of the monarch's constitutional and ceremonial duties. The present, and 17th, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is Donald Ethell
Donald Ethell
Donald Stewart Ethell is a retired Canadian soldier, the 17th and current Lieutenant Governor of Alberta since April 2010.-Career:...

, who has served in the role since 11 May 2010.

Role and presence

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is vested with a number of governmental duties and is also expected to undertake various ceremonial roles. The lieutenant governor, him or herself a member and Chancellor of the order, will induct deserving individuals into the Alberta Order of Excellence
Alberta Order of Excellence
The Alberta Order of Excellence is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of Alberta. Instituted in 1979 when Lieutenant Governor Frank C...

 and, upon installation, automatically becomes a Knight or Dame of Justice and the Vice-Prior in Alberta of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
Venerable Order of Saint John
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem , is a royal order of chivalry established in 1831 and found today throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United States of America, with the world-wide mission "to prevent and relieve sickness and...

. The viceroy further presents other provincial honours and decorations, as well as various awards that are named for and presented by the lieutenant governor; these are generally created in partnership with another government or charitable organization and linked specifically to their cause. These honours are presented at official ceremonies, which count amongst hundreds of other engagements the lieutenant governor partakes in each year, either as host or guest of honour; in 2006, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta undertook 328 engagements and 280 in 2007.

At these events, the lieutenant governor's presence is marked by the lieutenant governor's standard
Flags of the Lieutenant Governors of Canada
As the viceregal representative of the monarch of Canada, the lieutenant governors of the Canadian provinces have since Confederation been entitled to and have used a personal standard. Within a lieutenant governor's province, this standard has precedence over any other flag, including the national...

, consisting of a blue field bearing the shield of the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Alberta
Coat of arms of Alberta
The original coat of arms of Alberta was granted to Alberta by a Royal Warrant of King Edward VII on 30 May 1907. The shield is also featured on the flag of Alberta.-History:...

 surmounted by a crown and surrounded by ten gold maple leaves, symbolizing the ten provinces of Canada
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

. Within Alberta, the lieutenant governor also follows only the sovereign in the province's order of precedence
Order of precedence in Alberta
The Alberta order of precedence is a nominal and symbolic hierarchy of important positions within the province of Alberta. It has no legal standing but is used to dictate ceremonial protocol at events of a provincial nature....

, preceding even other members of the Canadian Royal Family and the Queen's federal representative
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...



The office of Lieutenant Governor of Alberta came into being in 1905, upon Alberta's entry into Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

, and evolved from the earlier position of Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories. Since that date, 17 lieutenant governors have served the province, amongst whom were notable firsts, such as Norman Kwong
Norman Kwong
Norman Lim "Normie" Kwong, CM, AOE is a former professional athlete, sports executive, and was the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta...

the first Asian-Canadian Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and Helen Hunley
Helen Hunley
The Honourable Wilma Helen Hunley, OC, AOE was a former Canadian politician and the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the first woman to serve in that post.-Early life:...

the first female lieutenant governor of the province. The shortest mandate by a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta was Philip Primrose
Philip Primrose
Philip Carteret Hill Primrose was a Canadian police officer and the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Alberta....

, from 1 October 1936 to his death on 17 March 1937, while the longest was John C. Bowen
John C. Bowen
John Campbell Bowen was a clergy man, insurance broker and long serving politician. He served as an Alderman in the City of Edmonton on the municipal level and then went on to serve as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1921 to 1926 sitting with the Liberal caucus in opposition...

, from 23 March 1937 to 1 February 1950. In 1956, following his appointment, Lieutenant Governor John J. Bowlen
John J. Bowlen
John James Bowlen was a Canadian rancher, farmer, provincial politician and the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.-External links:*...

 became the first provincial viceroy in Canada to be granted an audience with the Canadian monarch, starting a tradition that continues today for all of Canada's lieutenant governors.

One of the few examples in Canada of a viceroy exercising the Royal Prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

 against or without ministerial advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 came in 1937, when John Bowen denied Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 to three bills passed through the Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta is one of two components of the Legislature of Alberta, the other being the Queen, represented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. The Alberta legislature meets in the Alberta Legislature Building in the provincial capital, Edmonton...

; two of the bills would have put the province's banks under the control of the provincial government, while a third, the Accurate News and Information Act
Accurate News and Information Act
The Accurate News and Information Act was a statute passed by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Canada, in 1937, at the instigation of William Aberhart's Social Credit government...

, would have forced newspapers to print Cabinet
Executive Council of Alberta
The Executive Council of Alberta is the cabinet of that Canadian province.Almost always made up of members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the Cabinet is similar in structure and role to the Cabinet of Canada while being smaller in size...

 rebuttals to stories the ministers objected to. All three bills were later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

 and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

, though, in retaliation for this move by Bowen, his premier
Premier of Alberta
The Premier of Alberta is the first minister for the Canadian province of Alberta. He or she is the province's head of government and de facto chief executive. The current Premier of Alberta is Alison Redford. She became Premier by winning the Progressive Conservative leadership elections on...

, William Aberhart
William Aberhart
William Aberhart , also known as Bible Bill for his outspoken Baptist views, was a Canadian politician and the seventh Premier of Alberta between 1935 and 1943. The Social Credit party believed the reason for the depression was that people did not have enough money to spend, so the government...

, closed the viceregal residence
Government House (Alberta)
Government House is the former official residence of the lieutenant governors of Alberta, currently retained for ceremonial events and entertaining.The property for the house was purchased by the Province of Alberta in 1910, as well as the surrounding area...

, removed the Lieutenant Governor's secretary and support offices, and took away his official car. Nearly seven decades later, Lois Hole
Lois Hole
Lois Elsa Hole, CM, AOE was a Canadian politician, businesswoman, academician and best-selling author. She was the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from February 10, 2000 until her death...

, who served as lieutenant governor from 2000 until her death in 2005, publicly stated that she wished to discuss with her premier, Ralph Klein, the proposed Bill 11, which was meant to allow private health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 to compete with the public health care
Universal health care
Universal health care is a term referring to organized health care systems built around the principle of universal coverage for all members of society, combining mechanisms for health financing and service provision.-History:...

system. From this it was suspected that Hole might reserve Royal Assent to the bill; however, Hole eventually did allow the bill to pass.

External links