REGINA — Saskatchewan's lieutenant-governor has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 78.
William Thomas Molloy, who became the province's 22nd vice-regal representative in March 2018, died on Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe said in a statement.
The chief justice of Saskatchewan, along with members of the province's Appeal Court, assumed the lieutenant-governor's duties in May while he was undergoing treatment.
Molloy was originally from Saskatoon and had a legal career in which he negotiated numerous treaty settlements and land-claim agreements.
"His Honour had a lasting impact on our province and nation in his five decades of dedicated service," Moe said in a statement.
"His many contributions to the betterment of our country leaves a tremendous legacy that I hope provides his family with some comfort in this time of grief."
Molloy was the lead federal negotiator for the largest land-claim settlement in Canadian history, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which led to the establishment of Nunavut in 1999.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Molloy's work as a negotiator, lawyer and author, as well as his work to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, left an indelible mark on Saskatchewan and Canada.
"Mr. Molloy’s life was defined by his dedicated service to others," Trudeau said in a statement.
"His work and legacy will live on."
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said Molloy used every speech as a chance to enlighten and bring people together.
"He did this throughout his career, right across the country," Clark said. "I thank him for always working to bring out the best in us."
Lieutenant-governors represent the Queen. Their constitutional and ceremonial duties include presiding over the swearing-in of premiers, cabinet members and chief justices.
Moe said flags on all provincial government buildings would fly at half-mast until sunset on the day of Molloy's funeral — a date for which had not yet been set.
Books of condolence will also be available on Wednesday for the public to sign at Government House, in the main lobby of the legislative building in Regina and at Saskatoon city hall.
The Canadian Press