Lieutenant Governor, the Symbolic Leader

Canada’s government system is unique compared to most other countries. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that Canada’s head of state is a monarch, in our case the monarch is King Charles III of the United Kingdom and of his other realms and territories. But the monarch doesn’t rule over Canada directly; in Canada the King is represented by the Governor General, an honourary position, given to an outstanding Canadian who embodies Canadian values, who is the face of Canada to the rest of world. But in Canada, there are also provincial representatives, known as Lieutenant Governors. These people represent the monarch in the provinces; for Manitoba a new Lieutenant Governor was recently installed, her name is Anita Neville, she was installed on October 24th, 2022. Her predecessor the Right Honourable Janice Filmon served in the position since 2015. Lieutenant Governors are installed by order of the Monarch on the advice of the government and their role is to grant Royal Assent to laws passed by provincial governments. Like the Governor General, the role of the Lieutenant is to act as a safeguard for democracy in Manitoba. While the position of Lieutenant Governor is symbolic and holds no real power, it is important in promoting Manitoba’s interests and positions. Anita Neville served as a politician in the House of Commons and served as a minister focusing on Canadian Heritage and the status of women. Since leaving politics Ms. Neville served as an economic development consultant and the chair of the Winnipeg School Division board. And as of October 2022, Ms. Neville’s service to Canadians is not yet finished; while the role she is about to enter is symbolic, its symbolism serves as a reminder that democracy is a gift, a challenging one to be honest, but one of the best gifts we as citizens have. As citizens we are all called to learn how our government functions because at the end of the day while the Lieutenant Governor is the last line of defense of Manitoba’s democracy, we the people are the first line; and if the Lieutenant Governor represents the interests of Manitobans around the world and throughout Canada, we represent our province to every person we meet. In truth, the Lieutenant Governor serves as the embodiment of our province, and so let us embody those same values in promoting a strong province, a listening province, a fair province for every Manitoban now and in the future! See you at the Legislature for the 101st Session!

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