Decorated peacekeeper to become Alberta's 17th Lieutenant Governor

May 3, 2010

Edmonton... Colonel (Retired) Donald S. Ethell will be installed as the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on Tuesday, May 11, 2010. The ceremony will take place in Edmonton in the Legislative Chamber of the Alberta Legislature Building.

Lieutenant Governor Designate Ethell is a retired member of the Canadian Army and a veteran of 14 international peacekeeping missions. He is one of Canada’s most decorated peacekeepers and the recipient of numerous honours for his humanitarian service. 

The installation will be followed by opening ceremonies which will include a 100-person military honour guard, a 15-gun salute and ceremonial music. The proceedings will be attended by government officials, family and invited guests of the Lieutenant Governor Designate, as well as groups of Alberta school children.

The proceedings in the Chamber are not open to the public. However the installation and opening ceremonies will be broadcast live across Alberta on ACCESS TV beginning at 11 am. Albertans wishing to witness the event are encouraged to check local television listings for broadcast information for their area. The installation will also be webcast at www.assembly.ab.ca.

Attachment: Installation ceremony details and Office of the Lieutenant Governor overview
Attachment: Biographical details - Col (Ret’d) Donald S. Ethell


Media inquiries, contact:
Janet Resta
Communications Officer
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
780-427-9222


May 3, 2010
Ceremony Details - Installation of Lieutenant Governor Designate Donald S. Ethell

The installation will take place in the Chamber of the Alberta Legislature Building. The installation and opening ceremonies are approximately 45 minutes in length. Elements include:

  • Fanfare and procession of the Lieutenant Governor Designate into the Legislative Chamber
  • The Honourable Ken Kowalski, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta delivers the invocation
  • Singing of the National Anthem, O Canada [led by Paul Lorieau]
  • Brian Manning, Clerk of Executive Council declares and reads the commission to appoint the Lieutenant Governor
  • The Lieutenant Governor Designate takes the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office [administered by the Honourable Catherine A. Fraser, Chief Justice of Alberta]
  • His Honour, the Honourable Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Chief Justice and the Honourable Premier sign the official document
  • The Honourable Allison Redford, Provincial Secretary and Minister of Justice presents the Great Seal of Alberta to the Lieutenant Governor [which the Lieutenant Governor commits back to the safe custody of the Provincial Secretary]
  • Mr. Jurica ?apkun, Assistant Clerk to the Privy Council presents the Lieutenant Governor with the Bible used in the ceremony
  • Representative of the Government of Canada delivers greetings
  • The Honourable Premier delivers greetings
  • His Honour the Honourable Lieutenant Governor responds
  • Singing of the Royal Anthem God Save the Queen [led by Paul Lorieau]
  • The Lieutenant Governor leaves the Chamber to take part in the opening ceremonies [includes a Royal salute, 15-gun salute inspection of a 100-person guard of honour and ceremonial music]

Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta - Overview

Role of the Lieutenant Governor
The Lieutenant Governor serves as Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Alberta. The duties of the office include three main roles: constitutional, ceremonial and social.

Constitutional role
The constitutional duties of the office play an important role in our democratic system. The Lieutenant Governor is responsible for: making sure the Premier’s office is filled in the case of death or resignation; opening and ending each legislative session; signing Orders in Council, proclamations and other government documents; and granting Royal Assent to bills passed by the Legislative Assembly to give them the force of law. The Lieutenant Governor may withhold Royal Assent if a bill violates constitutional rights or is deemed to infringe on federal jurisdiction.

Ceremonial role
The Lieutenant Governor presides over awards ceremonies that recognize the bravery, achievement and outstanding public service of Albertans. These include the Alberta Order of Excellence Investiture, the Order of St. John Investiture, citizenship ceremonies, Remembrance Day ceremonies, service award presentations for members of the military and police, and a variety of community and volunteer service award programs. 

Social role
Social duties of the office include hosting members of the Royal Family, heads of state and other foreign dignitaries such as high commissioners and ambassadors. The Lieutenant Governor maintains a busy schedule and takes part in hundreds of public/social events annually, from visits with school children, to community celebrations, to special events in support of social service organizations, to the annual New Year’s Day Levee.

Appointment and length of term
The Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada. Appointees are chosen for their distinguished service to their province and the country. By Federal legislation, Lieutenant Governors must serve a term of no less than five years. While some Lieutenant Governors have served for extended periods in the past, the current practice across Canada is for Lieutenant Governor and Governor General terms in office to last five to six years. 

Visit www.lieutenantgovernor.ab.ca for more information on the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Visit www.pch.gc.ca and follow the links to “The Monarchy in Canada” for more information on the role of the Crown in Canada’s system of government.
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Media inquiries, contact:
Janet Resta
Communications Officer
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
780-427-9222


Biographical details - Colonel (Retired) Donald S. Ethell

Donald Ethell was born in Vancouver in 1937 and raised in Victoria, BC. In 1955 he joined the Canadian Army (Regular) as a rifleman in the Queen’s Own Rifles and then moved to the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry in 1970. He was commissioned as an officer in 1972. 

He is a veteran of 14 peacekeeping tours. His military service included NATO duties in Germany as well as extensive service in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Central America and the Balkans. During the first Persian Gulf War he served for 16 months as the Chief of  Staff/Deputy Force Commander with the Middle East-based Multinational Force & Observers. From 1987 to 1990, he served in National Defence Headquarters as the Director of Peacekeeping Operations. His last tour of duty was as the Canadian Head of Mission to the European Community's Military Mission to the former Yugoslavia during the wars of 1992 in both Croatia and Bosnia. He retired from the Army in July 1993 as one of Canada’s most decorated peacekeepers.

Following his retirement, Colonel Ethell travelled extensively as a military advisor and began to deepen his focus on humanitarian causes. He became involved with CARE Canada, working with staff responsible for five refugee camps in Eastern Kenya and Somalia. He also served as Alberta’s director of the International Committee for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering (ICROSS), which delivers aide to the countless African children and adults facing starvation and AIDs-related illnesses.

He has been a member of the Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadian Forces Advisory Council and has chaired various projects focused on strengthening mental health supports for members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP. He also has been an active member of numerous service organizations including the Canadian Association of Veterans of United Nations Peacekeepers, the Gulf War Veterans Association of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion and the ANAVETS.

He is a member of the Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Order of Military Merit and the Order of St. John. In 1987 he received the Meritorious Service Cross for his peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East. His many honours also include the Special Service Medal, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and the Alberta Centennial Medal. Colonel Ethell moved to Calgary in 1956 and has made that city his home base every since. For the past 50 years he has been married to Calgary native Linda May Ethell (nee Endro). Their family includes two sons and daughters-in-law, Darrell/Ruth and Doug/Iryna, and two beautiful grandchildren, Natalie and Alec.

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Media inquiries, contact:
Janet Resta
Communications Officer
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
780-427-9222