Constitutional Role

Constitutional Role


As Her Majesty The Queen's representative in Alberta, the Lieutenant Governor fulfills a very important constitutional role in safeguarding elements of Canada's democratic system of government. These duties are steeped in history and tradition.  

Ensuring the Province has a Premier

It is the Lieutenant Governor's duty to ensure the province has a Premier.  The position of the Premier can become vacant for a variety of reasons, such as an election, resignation, defeat in the Legislature or death. 

Swearing-in Cabinet

The Lieutenant Governor invites a new Premier to form a government and must then swear-in the new members of the Cabinet.

It should be noted that the Lieutenant Governor maintains a non-partisan and apolitical role.  This means that he or she does not belong to a political party, nor show a preference for one party over another.

Legislature Sessions

The Lieutenant Governor summons and ends (prorogues) the Legislature, reads the Speech from the Throne at the opening of each session, and dissolves the Legislature prior to an election.

At major constitutional events such as the opening of the Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor is traditionally accompanied by the Vice-Regal Escort

Royal Assent

In order for bills passed by the Legislative Assembly to become law, the Lieutenant Governor must give Royal Assent.

The Lieutenant Governor acts on the advice of elected officials, but may excercise the right to deny or "reserve" Royal Assent if the bill violates the consitutional rights of Albertans or infringes upon federal jurisdiction.

The Lieutenant Governor also signs Orders-in-Council, Proclamations, and many other official documents, giving them the force of law.

Learn more about the Crown in Canada and Vice-Regal offices.