PARLIAMENT of CANADA
House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
2000 EditionMore information …
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Governors General of Canada Since 1867

Appointed by the Sovereign under the advice of the Prime Minister, the Governor General usually holds office for five years.  However, the term can continue beyond five years and is brought to an end by the installation or the swearing-in of a successor.  The Constitution Act, 1867, confers upon the Governor General certain basic powers of government: a recommendation from the Governor General must accompany all spending measures introduced in the House; it is the Governor General who gives royal assent to legislation; and it is the Governor General who summons, prorogues and dissolves Parliament.However, in administering the executive authority of the Government, the Governor General acts solely upon the advice of the ministry. In addition to these basic powers of government, the Governor General also has a number of ceremonial responsibilities.  The list of Governors General of Canada since Confederation and the information on their appointment and term of office was kindly provided by Rideau Hall.

  Governor General Appointment Date [2] Term of Office [1]
Installation Date [3] Last Day in Office [4]
Charles Stanley Monck, Viscount Monck
1.
Charles Stanley Monck,
Viscount Monck
June 1, 1867 July 1, 1867 November 14, 1868
Sir John Young, Lord Lisgar
2.
Sir John Young,
Lord Lisgar
December 29, 1868 February 2, 1869 June 21, 1872
Sir Frederick Temple Blackwood, The Earl of Dufferin
3.
Sir Frederick Temple Blackwood,
The Earl of Dufferin
May 22, 1872 June 25, 1872 November 14, 1878
Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, The Marquess of Lorne
4.
Sir John Douglas Sutherland Campbell,
Marquess of Lorne
October 7, 1878 November 25, 1878 October 22, 1883
Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, The Marquess of Lansdowne
5.
Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice,
The Marquess of Lansdowne
August 18, 1883 October 23, 1883 May 30, 1888
Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston
6.
Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley,
Lord Stanley of Preston
May 1, 1888 June 11, 1888 September 6, 1893
Sir John Campbell Hamilton Gordon, The Earl of Aberdeen
7.
Sir John Campbell Hamilton Gordon,
The Earl of Aberdeen
May 22, 1893 September 18, 1893 November 12, 1898
Gilbert John Murray Kynynmound Elliot, The Earl of Minto
8.
Gilbert John Murray Kynynmound,
The Earl of Minto
July 30, 1898 November 12, 1898 November 18, 1904
Sir Albert Henry George Grey, Earl Grey
9.
Sir Albert Henry George Grey,
Earl Grey
September 26, 1904 December 10, 1904 October 12, 1911
H.R.H. Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Field Marshall H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
10.
H. R. H. Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert,
Field Marshall H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
March 6, 1911 October 13, 1911 October 11, 1916
Sir Victor Christian William Cavendish, The Duke of Devonshire
11.
Sir Victor Christian William Cavendish,
The Duke of Devonshire
August 8, 1916 November 11, 1916 July 19, 1921
Sir Julian Hedworth George Byng, General Lord Byng of Vimy
12.
Sir Julian Hedworth George Byng,
General Lord Byng of Vimy
August 2, 1921 August 11, 1921 September 29, 1926
Sir Freeman Freeman-Thomas, The Viscount Willingdon of Ratton
13.
Sir Freeman Freeman-Thomas,
The Viscount Willingdon of Ratton
August 5, 1926 October 2, 1926 January 16, 1931
Sir Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, The Earl of Bessborough
14.
Sir Vere Brabazon Ponsonby,
The Earl of Bessborough
March 20, 1931 April 4, 1931 September 29, 1935
Sir John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield
15.
Sir John Buchan,
Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield
August 10, 1935 November 2, 1935 February 11, 1940 *
Sir Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, Major General The Earl of Athlone
16.
Sir Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge,
Major General The Earl of Athlone
June 2, 1940 June 21, 1940 March 16, 1946
Sir Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, Field Marshal The Viscount Alexander of Tunis
17.
Sir Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander,
Field Marshal The Viscount Alexander of Tunis
March 21, 1946 March 21, 1946 January 28, 1952
The Rt. Hon. Vincent Charles Massey
18.
The Rt. Hon. Vincent Charles Massey
February 1, 1952 February 28, 1952 September 15, 1959
Major General The Rt. Hon. Georges Philias Vanier
19.
Major General The Rt. Hon. Georges Philias Vanier
August 1, 1959 September 15, 1959 March 5, 1967 *
The Rt. Hon. Daniel Roland Michener
20.
The Rt. Hon. Daniel Roland Michener
March 29, 1967 April 17, 1967 January 14, 1974
The Rt. Hon. Jules Léger
21.
The Rt. Hon. Jules Léger
October 5, 1973 January 14, 1974 January 22, 1979
The Rt. Hon. Edward Richard Schreyer
22.
The Rt. Hon. Edward Richard Schreyer
December 28, 1978 January 22, 1979 May 14, 1984
The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé
23.
The Rt. Hon. Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé
January 28, 1984 May 14, 1984 January 29, 1990
The Rt. Hon. Ramon John Hnatyshyn
24.
The Rt. Hon. Ramon John Hnatyshyn
December 14, 1989 January 29, 1990 February 8, 1995
The Rt. Hon. Roméo Adrien LeBlanc
25.
The Rt. Hon. Roméo Adrien LeBlanc
January 16, 1995 February 8, 1995 October 7, 1999
The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson
26.
The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson
September 8, 1999 October 7, 1999 September 27, 2005
 
27.
The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean
August 4, 2005 September 27, 2005  
* Died in office.
[1]
Term of Office: The appointment of a Governor General is without a specific term and persists legally until brought to an end by the installation or the swearing-in of a successor.  By convention, the term has come to be regarded as five years but its actual length is determined by the Prime Minister’s recommendation to the Sovereign on the appointment of a successor.
[2]
Appointment Date: The appointment is made by the Sovereign on the basis of formal advice submitted by the Prime Minister who recommends the appointment in the form of a commission of appointment and the date of the commission becomes the appointment date.  The appointment is then announced simultaneously in London and in Ottawa in the form of a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
[3]
Installation Date: The swearing-in or installation formalizes the appointment of the Governor General and is the first official day of his/her term of office.
[4]
Last Day in Office: The last day of the Governor General’s term of office is usually the day of the installation or swearing-in of his/her successor.However, in some cases, an Administrator was appointed from the last day in office of the Governor General until the installation of the successor.


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