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All the functions of head of state for the Province of British Columbia are performed by the lieutenant governor of British Columbia in the name of the Crown . The lieutenant governor is appointed (and can be removed) by the governor general of Canada (see The Constitution Act, 1867 (Canada) section 59). The appointment (or removal) is made on the advice of the prime minister of Canada.
The formal powers of the lieutenant governor are very extensive and include the power to commission governments, to appoint all important executive and judicial officers in the province, to initiate legislation , to endorse all laws passed by the provincial legislature , and to summon and dissolve parliaments (note the Constitution Act (British Columbia), sections 7, 9, 13, 21, 23, 46, 48). These powers are, on almost all occasions, exercised on the advice of the premier or the executive council (a formal meeting of the premier and one or more ministers ). The current role of the lieutenant governor is to perform official governmental duties as the representative of the Crown, and to represent the Province at a wide range of community functions throughout British Columbia.
The relationships between the lieutenant governor, the premier, the executive council, ministers and parliament are not well specified in provincial constitutional documents and rely heavily on customary practices (often called constitutional conventions ) rather than constitutional law (see constitution ; Constitution Act (British Columbia) ).
In relation to the electoral process, the lieutenant governor has a formal role in setting in process the procedures for holding legislative assembly elections, but is not otherwise involved. If, after an election, no party gains a majority of seats in the legislative assembly , the lieutenant governor may play an important role in the selection of the premier and the formation of a government . The lieutenant governor may also play in role in the choice of premier if a premier resigns in mid-term.