TORONTO – A Uganda immigrant identified as Salma Lakhani has become the first Muslim to be appointed lieutenant governor in Canada.
In a news release, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment saying, ”Salma is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people to women and families.”
“As lieutenant-governor of Alberta, I know she will serve the people of her province and our country well, and continue to be a source of inspiration for all Canadians,” he added.
Salma Lakhani is a long time community advocate, a successful business owner, and has dedicated her life to helping those in need.
According to a statement released by the Trudeau’s office “through her work to advance education, health care, women’s empowerment, human rights, and support for new immigrants, she continues to be a champion of diversity, pluralism, and inclusion.”
According to a biography on the government of Canada website, Lakhani’s family was expelled from Uganda in 1972.
After moving to Edmonton, Lakhani took on a mentorship role with young students who did not speak English as their first language, Muslim World Int’l reports.
In a statement by the government, Lakhani has also done work to advance women’s rights, healthcare, education, and championed new immigrants.
PM Trudeau said: “As Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, I know she will serve the people of her province and our country well, and continue to be a source of inspiration for all Canadians.”
Each of the ten Canadian provinces has a Lieutenant Governor. Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, usually for a period of five years.
Lieutenant Governors are the highest-ranking officers of their province and represent Her Majesty the Queen in their jurisdictions.
The Lieutenant Governor’s constitutional duties include, among others: swearing in the provincial government’s Executive Council (Premier and Cabinet); opening each session of the provincial legislative assembly; and providing Royal Assent to provincial bills.
The Lieutenant Governor’s ceremonial and community functions include, among others: promoting a sense of identity; representing The Queen in the province; acting as the province’s official host; supporting social causes; and recognizing outstanding citizens.