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The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan ( ) is the viceregal representative in Saskatchewanmarker of, as she operates in the provincial jurisdiction, the Canadian monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, who resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdommarker. The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan is appointed in the same manner as the other provincial viceroys in Canada, and is similarly tasked with carrying out most of the monarch's constitutional and ceremonial duties. The present, and 20th, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan is Gordon Barnhart, who has served in the role since 1 August 2006.

Role and presence

The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan is vested with a number of governmental duties, and is also expected to undertake various ceremonial roles. Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governors are actively involved in the arts community as patrons to many organisations and initiatives; the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, the Saskatchewan Craft Council, and the provincial poet laureate programme, for example. Further, Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governors act, by law, as visitors to both the University of Saskatchewanmarker and the University of Reginamarker, and under special circumstances may be called upon in this role, as happened in the University Crisis of 1919 at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Lieutenant Governor, him or herself a member and Chancellor of the order, will induct deserving individuals into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and upon installation automatically becomes a Knight or Dame of Justice and the Vice-Prior in Saskatchewan of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. The viceroy further presents other provincial honours and decorations, as well as various awards that are named for and presented by the Lieutenant Governor; these are generally created in partnership with another government or charitable organization and linked specifically to their cause. These honours are presented at official ceremonies, which count amongst hundreds of other engagements the Lieutenant Governor partakes in each year, either as host or guest of honour; in 2006, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta undertook 250 engagements, and 450 in 2007.

Flag of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.
At these events, the Lieutenant Governor's presence is marked by the post's official flag, consisting of a blue field bearing the shield of the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Saskatchewan surmounted by a crown and surrounded by ten gold maple leaves, symbolizing the ten provinces of Canada. Within Saskatchewan, the Lieutenant Governor also follows only the sovereign in the province's order of precedence, preceding even other members of the Canadian Royal Family and the Queen's federal representative. The former Lieutenant Governors of Saskatchewan are also honoured in official portraits collected together in the dedicated Qu'Appelle Gallery in the Saskatchewan Legislative Buildingmarker.

History

The office of Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan came into being in 1905, upon Saskatchewan's entry into Canadian Confederation, and evolved from the earlier position of Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories. Since that date, 20 Lieutenant Governors have served the province, amongst whom were notable firsts, such as Sylvia O. Fedoruk the first female Lieutenant Governor of the province. The shortest mandate by a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta was Thomas Miller, from 27 February 1945 to 20 June 1945, while the longest was Henry William Newlands, from 18 February 1921 to 30 March 1931.

It was in 1929 that the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan's personal discretion was required in the exercise of the Royal Prerogative, when Henry Newlands had to select a new Premier after James Garfield Gardiner lost the confidence of the Legislative Assembly and the opposing Progressive Conservative Party had managed to form a coalition with the Progressive Party and independent members of the assembly. With the election in 1944 of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Party to a majority in the Legislative Assembly, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in Saskatchewan was targeted for spending cutbacks. Government Housemarker was closed and the viceroy given only a small office at the Hotel Saskatchewanmarker as a replacement, and guards of honour and playing of the Viceregal Salute were dispensed with. This trend continued due to lack of initiative rather than hostility towards the Crown, until the 1980s when the viceroy's honours were restored and Government House was saved from demolition.

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