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PROFILE: Ugandan-born scholar Salma Lakhani appointed Alberta’s new Lieutenant-Governor

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named Ugandan born businesswoman and philanthropist Salma Lakhani as Alberta’s new Lieutenant-Governor.

When she formally takes over the role, Ms. Salma Lakhani will become Canada’s first Muslim Lieutenant-Governor.

The Ugandan born businesswoman Salma Lakhani replaces Lois Mitchell as the Queen’s representative in the province.

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.

Ms. Lakhani has been long recognized for her work and philanthropy in a range of fields, including health care and human rights.

She has mentored young students with English as a second language and helped steer a committee dedicated to helping vulnerable women gain access to education.

Ms. Lakhani was born in Uganda and has an honors degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Manchester.

She has been in Edmonton for more than 40 years, owning and operating an early childhood education center.

In 2005, she was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal for outstanding achievements in the province. And in 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal honoring service to Canada.

Lieutenant-governors, the highest-ranking officers in each province, carry out a variety of official duties including swearing in the premier and cabinet, opening each session of the legislative assembly, and signing bills into laws.

“Ms. Lakhani is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people to women and families,” Mr. Trudeau said in a news release Tuesday.

“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.”

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