Day 75 – Government House   7 comments

Government House was built between 1911 and 1913 to serve as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. It was in use for less than 20 years before the government debated closing it due to high operating costs. It was finally closed in 1938 following legislative disagreements between the Lieutenant Governor John C. Bowen and Premier William Aberhart (aka Bible Bill).

As Lieutenant Governor, John C. Bowen provided final approval (as do today’s LGs) or Royal Assent for any legislation passed by the provincial government. In 1937, he denied Royal Assent for legislation that would have given Alberta its own currency. He also indicated he wouldn’t approve two other bills – one to put the banks under provincial control and another to give the province the ability to force newspapers to print government rebuttals to news stories they didn’t like.

While today it sounds perfectly reasonable (at least it does to me) that Bowen denied these bills, Premier Aberhart and his very loyal citizens strenuously objected and in 1938 the government closed Government House. At first, Bowen wouldn’t move out, but disruptions to his water and electricity and an angry mob eventually got him out the door. All contents of the house were sold at auction and Bowen moved into the Hotel MacDonald for the rest of his term.

Today Government House contains meeting rooms for exclusive use by the provincial government.

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7 responses to “Day 75 – Government House

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  1. I like how the flags are flying proudly in the breeze.

  2. The history tidbits are almost as fascinating as the photographs.

  3. Agreed! I love the bits of history you find.

  4. The problem with all these darn bits of history is that I’m spending more time doing historical research than I am taking pictures!

  5. Ahhh, but Mike, your historical bits are awesome! I have really enjoyed reading them (oh yea, I have also enjoyed the photos 😛 )!

  6. Pingback: Day 99 – So long Spring! Welcome back Winter! « Blog Archive « In Search of Style

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