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Governor General of Canada / Gouverneur général du Canadaa
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Governor General

 

A Modern Governor General - Active and Engaged

Governor General’s Authority

  • The office of the Governor General is the highest and the oldest public office in Canada.
  • The role of the Governor General is the expression of the Crown in Canada and guarantor of responsible government. For example, the Governor General ensures continuity of government and that there is always a prime minister in place.
  • In 1947, “Letters Patent Constituting the Office of the Governor General of Canada” (under King George VI), transferred virtually all the roles and responsibilities of the Crown from the Sovereign to the Governor General to carry out, without having to refer matters to the Sovereign.

At Home

Rideau Hall is the official home and workplace of the Governor General of Canada.

Rideau Hall:

  • is the largest official residence in Canada’s Capital Region and the only one open to all Canadians and foreign visitors;
  • welcomes close to 200,000 visitors each year;
  • houses rooms for State functions, offices and other work spaces, including kitchens and a greenhouse run by the National Capital Commission where plants are grown for all six official residences in Canada’s Capital Region.

Heads of State and royalty stay at Rideau Hall during State visits and Royal Visits.

Her Majesty The Queen also stays at Rideau Hall when she visits Ottawa (most recently in 2002, in honour of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee commemorating the 50th anniversary of Her Accession to the Throne).

As a working residence, Rideau Hall serves many official functions. For example, it is where:

It is important to note, however, that a high per cent of official events and ceremonies are held in Canadian cities other than Ottawa.

Meeting Canadians Where They Live

The Governor General travels extensively meeting people in every corner of the country and taking part in a variety of community events. Connecting to people in their own environments and communicating about issues of local concern is an important role. School gymnasiums, community centres and legion halls across the country have hosted vice-regal visits over the past years.

Promoting Canada

State dinners and other official occasions at Rideau Hall offer many opportunities to showcase our nation’s culinary excellence with the finest of Canadian ingredients and wines. Rideau Hall also houses the best of Canadian furniture and art continuing a tradition started by Pauline Vanier, the spouse of former Governor General Georges Vanier (1959-1967), who began “Canadianizing” a room of Rideau Hall known as the “Canadiana Room”. Now this room has been renamed the “Pauline Vanier Room”.

Abroad

The Governor General represents Canada on StateVisits abroad at the request of the Prime Minister.

Commander-in-Chief of Canada

As Commander-in-Chief of Canada, the Governor General honours, recognizes and encourages Canadian troops.


  1. first prime minister of Canada
  2. sample recipients, 2003 GGLA: Élise Turcotte, Vern Thiessen
  3. sample recipients, 2003 GGPAA: Pierrette Alarie, Dave Broadfoot
  4. sample recipient, 2003 GGVMA: Garry Neil Kennedy
Updated: 2018-03-26
Important Notices
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