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Canadian Documents Gallery

Governor General

Photograph of the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada, with William Lyon Mackenzie King, Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Octagon Conference, Québec, September 12, 1944

The Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada, with William Lyon Mackenzie King, Winston Churchill, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Octagon Conference, Québec, September 12, 1944
Source ]

The first colonial governors appointed under the British regime, as representatives of the Crown, exercised power in virtually every sphere of civil administration. Before the principle of responsible government gained acceptance, few decisions were made on important matters until the governor had referred the subject to the Colonial Office for advice and instructions. At Confederation in 1867, the British North America Act consolidated the powers of the Crown in Canada and specified that these powers should be exercised by the Governor General of the new Dominion of Canada.

From 1867 to the present, events and legislation have tended towards an increasing "Canadianization" of the Office of the Governor General. In 1947, new Letters Patent delegated all the monarch's powers in Canada to the Governor General.

Speech from the Throne, First Session, Twentieth Parliament, September 6, 1945, RG 7, series G-26, volume 40, file part 5 1945/09/06, 16 pages
Source ]

Further Research

ARCHIVED - By Executive Decree. Library and Archives Canada.
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/executive-decree/index-e.html (accessed June 13, 2010).

Governor General of Canada.
www.gg.ca/index.aspx?lan=eng
(accessed June 13, 2010).

Office of the Governor General of Canada fonds. Library and Archives Canada.
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/public_mikan/index.php? fuseaction=genitem.displayItem?=eng&rec_nbr=16&rec_nbr_list=16

"Politics and Government." Library and Archives Canada.
www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/politics-government/Pages/politics-government.aspx
(accessed June 13, 2010).