Manitoba

Janice Filmon, Manitoba's lieutenant governor, recovering from breast cancer surgery

Janice Filmon, the wife of former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon, went through the procedure earlier in the day on Monday, her office said, which added that Filmon is resting comfortably post-surgery.

Administrator of the government of Manitoba will act as Queen's representative in Filmon's absence

Manitoba lieutenant governor Janice Filmon underwent surgery for breast cancer on Monday, her office confirmed. (John Einarson/CBC)

Manitoba lieutenant governor Janice Filmon is fighting breast cancer for a second time, her office confirmed.

Filmon, the wife of former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon, is stepping away from her duties as lieutenant governor for a period of time as she recovers from surgery, a late Monday news release said.

She went through the procedure earlier in the day on Monday, her office reported, which said that Filmon is "resting comfortably" post-surgery.

Her family is asking for privacy and further information will be provided at a later date, the news release said.

Filmon has spoken publicly many times of her breast cancer diagnosis 30 years ago, and how cancer has affected her family. She lost her mother to breast cancer and her daughter Allison to melanoma.

Janice became a long-time chairperson with CancerCare Manitoba.

In Filmon's absence as the Queen's representative in Manitoba, the administrator of the provincial government will possess the full constitutional powers to execute the office and functions of the lieutenant governor.

Absent from throne speech

The chief justice will be entrusted with the role, followed by other judges of the courts of Manitoba, in order of seniority, the lieutenant governor's office said.

Filmon was notably missing from the Manitoba Legislature on Monday during one of her customary duties, the reading of the speech from the throne. Chief Justice Richard Chartier read the address instead.

Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon, seen here 2018, was notably absent Monday from one of her customary duties as the Queen's representative in Manitoba, which is reading the government's speech from the throne. (CBC )

Premier Brian Pallister said this is a time for all Manitobans to pray for Filmon and her family. 

"Janice Filmon, who was instrumental in my family's decision to enter public life many years ago, is a saint and I know that she's going to recover and I wish her the very, very best," Pallister said.

"I say on behalf of all Manitobans, 'Janice get well, we want you back at work as soon as possible.'"

Filmon was appointed as lieutenant governor in 2015.

She has been a social worker, volunteer and motivational speaker known for her community and charitable work. She also served as a board member with the Winnipeg Airport Authority.

Filmon is the founding chair of Manitoba A.L.I.V.E. (A Leadership Initiative in Voluntary Efforts), which teaches selected high school students the skills needed in the voluntary sector.

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