Pearl McGonigal

Pearl Kathryne McGonigal, CM OM (born June 10, 1929) is a retired Manitoba politician and office-holder. She was a prominent Winnipeg-area municipal politician from 1969 to 1981, and served as the province's 19th Lieutenant Governor from October 23, 1981 to December 11, 1986. She was the first woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and only the second woman to serve as a viceroy in Canadian history, after Pauline McGibbon of Ontario.[1]

Pearl Kathryne McGonigal

19th Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
In office
October 23, 1981  December 11, 1986
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralEdward Schreyer
Jeanne Sauvé
PremierSterling Lyon
Howard Pawley
Preceded byFrancis Lawrence Jobin
Succeeded byGeorge Johnson
Personal details
Born (1929-06-10) June 10, 1929
Melville, Saskatchewan
Alma materUniversity of Manitoba
Occupationbanker, merchandising representative

McGonigal was born in Melville, Saskatchewan. Before entering politics, she spent nine years in the banking sector and seven as a merchandising representative.

McGonigal was elected to the city council of St. James-Assiniboia in 1969, two years before its amalgamation with Winnipeg. Following amalgamation, she served on the Greater City Council from 1971 to 1981, and was the city's Deputy Mayor from 1979 to 1981.[2] Throughout her time on council, she was a member of the Independent Citizens' Election Committee, an unofficial alliance of right-wing and pro-development interest groups in the city (McGonigal's husband was a prominent Winnipeg-area developer).

McGonigal was appointed Lt. Governor of Manitoba by Governor General Edward Schreyer, on the advice of Pierre Trudeau, in 1981. The office was essentially a ceremonial post by this time, and McGonigal had little if any practical influence over the government of Howard Pawley during her time in office. She was notable, however, as the first woman in Manitoba (and only the second in Canada) to hold such a position.

McGonigal has also worked as the Manitoba chair of the Council for Canadian Unity. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1994[3] and the Order of Manitoba in 2000. In 2003, she received the President's Award from the Winnipeg Press Club. She is a gourmet cook that has written regular columns on the subject in Winnipeg's daily and community newspapers.[4][5]

Also during the early 2000s, McGonigal served as Chairman of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council in Manitoba, which regularly lobbies public bodies and private businesses to grant time off to military reservists for training purposes.


  1. "Pearl McGonigal named Manitoba lieutenant-governor". Montreal Gazette. September 18, 1981. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  2. "The Hon. Pearl McGonigal". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  3. "Order of Canada". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  5. Chan, Cindy (2013-11-12). "McGonigal fondly remembers Metro One days". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
Succeeded by
George Johnson
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Richard Scott
as Chief Justice of Manitoba
Order of precedence in Manitoba
as a former Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Succeeded by
Yvon Dumont
as a former Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
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