Canada History

Canada History   timelines 
AskAHistorian    blog 



A history of tradition


Canada's Best


Elections | Governor General | Supreme Courts | Parliament | Political Parties | Prime Ministers | Provinces  | Symbols

The Viscount Monck | The Lord Lisgar | The Earl of Dufferin | The Marquess of Lorne | The Marquess of Lansdowne | The Lord Stanley of Preston | The Earl of Aberdeen  | The Earl of Minto | The Earl Grey | The Duke of Connaught and Stratheam | The Duke of Devonshire | Lord Byng of Vimy | The Viscount Willingdon | The Earl Bessborough | The Lord Tweedsmuir | The Earl of Athlone | The Viscount Alexander of Tunis | Vincent Massey | Georges P Vanier | Roland Michener | Jules Leger  | Edward Schreyer | Jeanne Sauvé | Ray Hnatyshyn | Romeo LeBlanc | Adrienne Clarkson | Michelle Jean | David Lloyd Johnston

The role of Governor General as the official head of state in Canada has a long and evolving history. During colonial times a Governor, appointed to the colonies in Canada, held enormous power and responsibility. They were charged with carrying out the objectives and policies of the monarch or responsible government of the mother country and only considering the opinion or the local colonists as a secondary infllunce. They might manufacture systems or solutions to meet the situation of the local challenges or initiate programs to stimulate growth and deveopment in the colony.

As colonial developemt intersected with raising demands for local responsible government some colonies such as Upper and Lower Canada erupted in confromtation and than rebellion. Reforms and a more restricted role for the Governor was required to satisfy the germinating birth of democratic traditions.

With the achievement of confederation the ultimate arbritor of party politics and electoral deadlock were assigned to the Govenor General to resolve in the name of the Queen or King. This has been the mainstay of the Governor Generals role since 1867 and has been the key to political events at certian junctures of Canada's history.

These are the men and women who have mainly regulated but sometimes directed the political landscape   

Article/Document/Material Source: