The Canadian Liberal government has named Salma Lakhani as the next lieutenant-governor of Alberta, making her the first ever Muslim to hold the position in Canadian history.

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

Ms. Lakhani has lived in Edmonton for more than 40 years and has long served as a community advocate focused on issues including education, health care, immigration, human rights and has “dedicated her life to helping people in need and those who faces obstacles to succeed in our society,” said the Prime Minister’s office in a news release.

Ms. Lakhani obtained an honors degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Manchester. 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. 

“Ms. Lakhani is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people to women and families,” the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said in a written statement. “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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