As the guardian of responsible government in Manitoba, the Lieutenant Governor facilitates the smooth functioning of the Constitution and ensures that the democratic will of Manitobans and their elected representatives is respected.
The Lieutenant Governor’s primary responsibility is to ensure that a duly constituted government is always in place in Manitoba.
After an election, the Lieutenant Governor determines which political party enjoys the confidence of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, appoints its leader as Premier and officiates at the swearing-in of Ministers invited to form the government. The Lieutenant Governor also accepts the resignation of an outgoing Premier, and ensures that the unwritten constitutional conventions of responsible government are respected where a government loses the support of the Assembly or is defeated in an election.
Other responsibilities include summoning the Assembly to meet, reading the Speech from the Throne outlining the government’s legislative agenda, giving assent to bills passed by the Assembly so they can become law, dissolving the Assembly, issuing writs for an election, and signing decisions of Cabinet (Orders in Council) for them to take effect.
All government actions are taken in the name of the Crown, and the Lieutenant Governor formally holds the executive powers on behalf of the Crown. The Lieutenant Governor invariably acts on the advice of Ministers but retains the right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn. The Ministers are responsible to the Assembly and, through it, to the people. That’s why we call it responsible government.
His Honour at the swearing in of the new Premier.