Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II approved the appointment of Mary Simon as the next Governor-General of Canada on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recommendation earlier this month.
Canada’s 30th Governor General
Trudeau offered Simon congratulations, “Ms. Simon has dedicated her life to advancing social, economic, and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit and Indigenous peoples, and I am confident that she will serve Canadians and promote our shared values with dedication and integrity.
Through this appointment, we are ensuring that Canada is represented by someone who exemplifies the very best of our country.”
Trudeau also thanked Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, for serving as the Administrator of the Government of Canada over the past few months.
Simon will be the representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Canada as she fills the role. As stated in a press release on the Prime Minister of Canada website, “She will be Canada’s 30th Governor General since Confederation, and the 13th Governor General appointed by Her Majesty during her 69 years on the throne.”
Commander in Chief
As the Governor General, Simon will carry out constitutional duties, serving as commander-in-chief for the Canadian Armed Forces, representing Canada at home and abroad, encouraging excellence, and bringing people together.
As commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, the governor-general appoints the Chief of the Defence Staff, the royal colonels-in-chief of Canadian regiments, and approves new military badges and insignia, except those bearing St. Edward’s Crown, which the monarch only approves. The governor-general also bestows honours to military personnel and signs commission scrolls.
Advocate for Inuit & Indigenous Rights
Simon has been an advocate for Inuit and Indigenous rights and culture throughout her career. She has filled multiple positions in senior leadership, including President of Makivik Corporation, where she lent a hand in protecting and promoting Inuit rights through the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Simon also served as President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference for two terms, now known as the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and as President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
In the Arctic regions both nationally and internationally, Simon helped reinforce ties between them through the creation of the Arctic Council in her role as the first Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs. The press release noted that she is also the founder of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation and has served as the Ambassador of Canada to Denmark.
Advisory Group on the Selection
The selection was informed through the advice of the Advisory Group on the Selection of the Next Governor General. The group was authorized to go over and submit a shortlist of outstanding Canadians for the Prime Minister’s consideration to fill the office.
“As a constitutional monarchy with a parliament comprised of the Sovereign, the Senate, and the House of Commons, Canada’s form of government is among the most stable and enduring in the world. With an evolving role that predates Confederation, the Governor General acts on behalf of the Sovereign, Canada’s Head of State,” the press release informed.