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Governor General of Canada

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Governor-General of Canada
Badge of the Governor-General of Canada.svg
Flag of the Governor-General of Canada.svg
Julie Payette 2017 (cropped).jpg
Julie Payette

since 2 October 2017
StyleHer Excellency The Right Honourable
ResidenceRideau Hall, Ottawa;
La Citadelle, Quebec City
AppointerMonarch of Canada at the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation1 July 1867
First holderThe Viscount Monck
Salary$288,900 (CAD)

The Governor General of Canada is the person who represents Canada's Queen (or King). The Queen of Canada does not spend much time in Canada because she is also the Queen of several other countries.

The Governor General is technically chosen by the Queen and is allowed to use almost all of the Queen's powers. But most of the time neither the Queen nor the Governor General use their powers without advice from the Prime Minister of Canada.

  • The Queen would normally always choose whoever the Prime Minister wants them to choose to become Governor General.
  • The Governor General usually uses his/her powers for what the Prime Minister advices him/her to do.

Once in a while the Prime Minister may want something done that the Governor General is not allowed to do on her own. The Prime Minister must then go straight to the Queen, for example for the appointment of 4 or 8 extra Senators to Parliament.

Julie Payette is the current Governor General of Canada since October 2, 2017.

Official Title

As Canada has two official federal languages, the Governor General's title is in both English and French.

The Governor General's style and title in full is, in English: Her Excellency The Right Honourable Julie Payette, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada, and in French: Son Excellence la très honorable Julie Payette, chancelière et compagne principale de l'ordre du Canada, chancelière et commandeuse de l'ordre du mérite militaire, chancelière et commandeuse de l'ordre du mérite des forces de police, gouverneure générale et commandant en chef du Canada

Living former governors-general of Canada

As of July 2019, there are four living former governors-general of Canada. The most recently deceased governor-general, Roméo LeBlanc (1995–1999), died on 24 June 2009.

Name Term of office Date of birth
Edward Schreyer 1979–1984 (1935-12-21) 21 December 1935 (age 85)
Adrienne Clarkson 1999–2005 (1939-02-10) 10 February 1939 (age 82)
Michaëlle Jean 2005–2010 (1957-09-06) 6 September 1957 (age 63)
David Johnston 2010–2017 (1941-06-28) 28 June 1941 (age 79)