The Governor General of Canada, in French: Gouverneur général du Canada (masculine), or Gouverneure générale du Canada (feminine) is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen, on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister, appoints the Governor General to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties. The commission serves "at Her Majesties Pleasure" for and unfixed time, though normally is held for 5 years. Since 1959, the tradition is to rotate between anglophone and francophone incumbents.
The office is the oldest continuous institution in Canada, with 16th and 17th century colonial governors of New France and British North America. The present position emerged with the Canadian Confederation and the British North America Act in 1867. The office still represented the British Kingdom government until passage in 1931 of the Statute of Westminster, at which time the Governor General became the direct, personal representative of the uniquely Canadian soverign, or the monarch in his Canadian council.
The Governor General of Canada was granted permission to use the title of "Commander in Chief of the Canadian Militia" in the name of the sovereign and the actual Commander-in-Chief. An indented lines, were Administrators of the Government, who were acting governors appointed as the result of the death or prolonged absence of the sitting viceroy, or for any other reason. The exact reason will be listed at the end of the line.
Governors of the Province of Quebec, 1760-1786
- SIr Jeffery Amherst, Governor from 1760 to 1763
- James Murray, Governor from 1764 to 1768
- Sir Guy Carleton, Governor from 1768 to 1778
- Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor from 1778 to 1786
Governors-in-Chief/Governors General of The Canadas, 1786-1841
- The Lord Dorchester, Governor from 1786 to 1796
- Robert Prescott, Governor from 1796 to 1799
- Sir Robert Milnes, Governor from 1799 to 1805
- Thomas Dunn, Governor from 1805 to 1807
- Sir James Henry Craig, Governor from 1807 to 1811
- Sir George Prévost, Governor from 1811 to 1815
- Sir Gordon Drummond, Governor from 1815 to 1816
- Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, Governor from 1816 to 1818
- Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Aubigny, Governor from 1818 to 28 August 1819
- General George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie GCB Governor from 1820 to 1828
- Sir James Kempt GCB, Governor from 1828 to 1830
- The Lord Aylmer, Governor from 1830 to 1835
- The Earl of Gosford, GCB, Governor from 1835 to 1837
- Sir John Colborne, GCB, GCMG, GCH, PC, Acting Governor from 1837 to 1838
- The Earl of Durham, Governor from 1838 to 1839
- The Lord Sydenham, PC, Governor from 1839 to 1841
Governors General of the Province of Canada, 1841-1867
- The Lord Sydenham, PC, Governor in 1841
- Sir Charles Bagot, Governor from 1842 to 1843
- Sir Charles Metcalfe, Governor from 1843 to 1845
- The Earl Cathcart, Governor from 1846 to 1847
- The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Governor from 1847 to 1854
- Sir Edmund Walker Head, Governor from 1854 to 1861
- The Viscount Monck, Governor from 1861 to 30 June 1867
Governors General of Canada, 1867-present
- The Viscount Monck, Governor from 1 July 1867 to 14 November 1868
- John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar, Governor from 2 February 1869 to 25 June 1872
- The Earl of Dufferin, Governor from 25 June 1872 to 25 November 1878
- The Marquess of Lorne, Governor from 25 November 1878 to 23 October 1883
- The Marquess of Lansdowne, Governor from 23 October 1883 to 11 June 1888
- The Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor from 11 June 1888 to 18 September 1893
- The Earl of Aberdeen, Governor from 18 September 1893 to 12 November 1898
- Gilbert John-Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto Governor from 12 November 1898 to 10 December 1904
- The Earl Grey, Governor from 10 December 1904 to 13 October 1911
- The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Governor from 13 October 1911 to 11 November 1916
- The Duke of Devonshire, Governor from 11 Novmember 1916 to 11 August 1921
- The Lord Byng of Vimy, Governor from 11 August 1921 to 2 October 1926
- The Viscount Willingdon, Governor from 2 October 1926 to 4 April 1931
- Sir Lyman Poore Duff, Administrator of the Government in 1931 following the departure of The Viscount Willingdon for India and the arrival of The Earl of Bessborough. During this period, Duff was only a Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He served as the Chief Justice was unavailable.
- The Earl of Bessborough, Governor from 4 April 1931 to 2 November 1935
- The Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor from 2 November 1935 to 11 February 1940
- Sir Lyman Poore Duff, Administrator of the Government from 11 February 1940 to 21 June 1940. He served following the deathDuring this period, Duff was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
- The Earl of Athlone, Governor from 21 June 1940 to 12 April 1946
- The Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Governor from 12 April 1946 to 28 February 1952
- Thibaudeau Rinfret, Administrator of the Government in 1952 serving after the appointment of the Earl Alexander of Tunis to the British Cabinet until the appointment of Vincent Massey as his successor.
- Vincent Massey, Governor from 28 February 1952 to 15 September 1959
- Georges Vanier, Governor from 15 September 1959 to 5 March 1967
- Robert Taschereau served as Administrator of the Government following the death of Georges Vanier until the swearing in of Roland Michener.
- Roland Michener, Governor from 17 April 1967 to 14 January 1974
- Jules Léger, Governor from 14 January 1974 to 22 January 1979
- Edward Schreyer, Governor from 22 January 1979 to 14 May 1984
- Jeanne Sauvé, Governor from 14 May 1984 to 29 January 1990
- Ray Hnatyshyn, Governor from 29 January 1990 to 8 February 1995
- Roméo LeBlanc, Governor from 8 February 1995 to 7 October 1999
- Adrienne Clarkson, Governor from 7 October 1999 to 27 September 2005
- Beverley McLachlin, served as Administrator of the Government for several weeks in July, 2005, while Clarkson was hospitalized for heart surgery.
- John C. Major, served on behalf of outgoing Governor General Adrienne Clarkson as Administrator of the Government from the morning of 27 September 2005 until the installation of her replacement later that day. Chief Justice McLachin was unavailable to serve as the administrator, so Justice Major was given the task instead.
- Michaëlle Jean, Governor from 27 September 2005 to 1 October 2010
- David Johnston, Governor from 1 October 2010 to present