In our parliamentary system derived from the British model, the executive powers of the government are exercised through two offices, the first being political and held by the Premier, the other being administrative and ceremonial. This second office is held by the Lieutenant Governor.
From a constitutional standpoint, the members of the Executive Council (Cabinet) are ministers of the Lieutenant Governor and, by extension, the Lieutenant Governor’s main advisers.
Bureau du Lieutenant-gouverneur
The Honourable Pierre Duchesne ratifying a decree of the Government of Québec on October 17th, 2007.
The Lieutenant Governor is the highest ranking chief administrative official and is the authorized representative of authority in Québec. The Lieutenant Governor is therefore, in terms of protocol, the highest ranking dignitary.
As the custodian of legitimacy and a symbol of the continuity of the State, the Lieutenant Governor must maintain complete impartiality and adopt a strict "duty of reserve." Another duty is to keep abreast of the concerns of the citizens of Québec as well as those of the Government of Québec.
The constitutional powers of Lieutenant Governors and the nature of their duties are such that they and their spouses must be apolitical and non-partisan. They must refrain from making public comments likely to be seen as endorsing a particular political party, activity or organization.
Although the office of the Lieutenant Governor is one of prestige, its holder nonetheless exercises powers essential to the functioning of the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary government that form our democratic system.