The Great Seal of Canada is a seal used for official purposes of state
in Canada such as the certification of Acts of Parliament.
The first Great Seal of Canada was carved in England in 1869 and sent to
Canada to replace a temporary seal which had been used since Canadian
confederation in 1867. It depicted Queen Victoria seated behind a canopy. New
seals are prepared whenever a new monarch takes the throne. The current Great
Seal was made at the Royal Canadian Mint when Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her
father and went into use in 1955. The seal is made of specially tempered steel,
weighs 3.75 kilograms and is 12.7 centimetres in diameter. The image represents
the Queen enthroned and robed, holding the orb and sceptre and shows her sitting
on the coronation chair with the Royal Arms of Canada in front, and is incribed
"Reine du Canada - Elizabeth II - Queen of Canada". The inscriptions on it are
in French and English. Previous Great Seals of Canada were inscribed in Latin.
While the Governor General is the keeper of the Great Seal, the Queen's
representative places the Great Seal in the protection of the Office of the
Registrar General of Canada (the current Registrar General is the Hon. Maxime
Bernier, who came into the position by virtue of also being the Minister of
Industry. Each of the provinces also have their own seals, for similar purposes,
kept by the lieutenant governors of those provinces.