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Anita Neville named new lieutenant-governor of Manitoba


Former Liberal member of Parliament Anita Neville has been named Manitoba's next lieutenant-governor.

In announcing the appointment, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Neville has long been a champion for the people of her community, province and country.

"As lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, I know she will continue to make a difference for Manitobans and Canadians. I wish her all the best in her new role," Trudeau said in a news release Monday.

Neville held the Winnipeg South Centre seat from 2000 to 2011, when she lost to Conservative Joyce Bateman.

Neville will be sworn in as Manitoba's 26th lieutenant-governor. She will be the first Jewish lieutenant-governor of Manitoba and the third woman to hold the role.

"The Hon. Neville is active in her community and I am confident she will serve as a formidable lieutenant-governor," said Premier Heather Stefanson in a statement.

Manitoba NDP Opposition Leader Wab Kinew also congratulated Neville on the appointment.

"Her commitment to public service has positioned her well to be an important part of our democracy in Manitoba," Kinew said in a statement.

Neville was born and raised in Winnipeg. She was a longtime member of the Winnipeg School Division Board of Trustees and served five years as its chair. She has also been involved in local organizations and other boards, including the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada and the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council.

Neville sat on various committees during her time in the House of Commons and served as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Canadian Heritage and the minister responsible for Status of Women.

Neville replaces current Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon, who has held the position since 2015. Filmon had suggested she would be stepping away during the speech from the throne last November.

Stefanson thanked Filmon and her husband, former premier Gary Filmon, for more than seven years of service as the Queen's representative in Manitoba.

"Her Honour believes in the power of giving back to the community and took great pride in celebrating the achievements and service of inspiring Manitobans," Stefanson said.

"On behalf of all Manitobans, I thank her for her service, kindness and unique ability to bring people together to learn and inspire the next generation."

Lieutenant-governors are appointed by the Governor General of Canada on the recommendation of the prime minister. A shortlist is provided by a non-partisan committee.

Neville tells CTV News the decision was not made overnight.

She says vague talks began months ago with discussions ramping up in June. It was made official last week when the Prime Minister phoned her and she accepted the position. Neville says this is an opportunity for her to continue to serve the public.

“(I’m) very proud, very overwhelmed, like many others when moved into a position you wonder why me?”

Neville says she would like to take an active role beyond the ceremonial duties that come with the job, focusing on education and advancing reconciliation. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 15, 2022.

With files from CTV's Jeff Keele Top Stories

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