Cabinet of Canada facts for kids

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KingCabinetMeeting1930
A meeting of the Cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1930

The Cabinet of Canada (French: Cabinet du Canada) is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada.

For practical reasons, the Cabinet is informally referred to either in relation to the prime minister in charge of it or the number of ministries since Confederation. The current cabinet is the Trudeau Cabinet, which is part of the 29th Ministry. The interchangeable use of the terms cabinet and ministry is a subtle inaccuracy that can cause confusion.

Queen-in-Council

The government of Canada, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is defined by the constitution as the Queen acting on the advice of her Privy Council; what is technically known as the Queen-in-Council, or sometimes the Governor-in-Council, referring to the governor general as the Queen's stand-in.

One of the main duties of the Crown is to appoint as prime minister the individual most likely to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons; this is usually the leader of the political party with a majority in that house, but when no party or coalition holds a majority (referred to as a hung parliament), or similar scenario, the governor general's judgement about the most suitable candidate for prime minister must be brought into play. The prime minister thereafter heads the Cabinet. The Queen remains fully briefed through regular communications from her Canadian ministers and holds audience with them whenever possible.

Responsibilities

16th Canadian Ministry
The 16th Canadian Ministry, headed by William Lyon Mackenzie King, on the grounds of Rideau Hall, 19 June 1945

In the context of constitutional monarchy and responsible government, the ministerial advice tendered is typically binding, though it is important to note that, despite appearances to the contrary, the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown, not to any of the ministers, and the royal and vice-royal figures may unilaterally use these powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations.

Current Cabinet

The Liberal Party of Canada won the federal election of October 19, 2015 with a majority of seats in the House of Commons. The Cabinet was sworn-in on November 4, with Justin Trudeau appointed as prime minister.

Ministers are listed according to the Canadian order of precedence:

Ministry Date of Creation Incumbent Province Minister Since Precedence Date
Prime Minister of Canada
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth
July 1, 1867
November 14, 1993
Justin Trudeau QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness December 12, 2003 Ralph Goodale SK November 4, 2015 November 4, 1993
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food January 12, 1995 Lawrence MacAulay PE November 4, 2015 November 4, 1993
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs May 18, 2011 Carolyn Bennett ON November 4, 2015 December 12, 2003
President of the Treasury Board October 1, 1966 Scott Brison NS November 4, 2015 December 12, 2003
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard April 2, 1979 Dominic LeBlanc NB May 31, 2016 July 20, 2004
Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development March 29, 1995 Navdeep Bains ON November 4, 2015 October 7, 2005
Minister of Finance July 1, 1867 Bill Morneau ON November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada July 1, 1867 Jody Wilson-Raybould BC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Public Services and Procurement July 12, 1996 Carla Qualtrough BC August 28, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Foreign Affairs November 4, 1993 Chrystia Freeland ON January 10, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development December 12, 2003 Jean-Yves Duclos QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Transport November 2, 1936 Marc Garneau QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of International Development
Minister of La Francophonie
January 25, 1996 Marie-Claude Bibeau QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Natural Resources January 12, 1995 Jim Carr MB November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Canadian Heritage July 12, 1996 Mélanie Joly QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of National Revenue March 21, 1927 Diane Lebouthillier QC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Environment and Climate Change June 11, 1971 Catherine McKenna ON November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of National Defence January 1, 1923 Harjit Sajjan BC November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Employment, Workforce, and Labour June 2, 1909 Patty Hajdu ON January 10, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities November 4, 2015 Amarjeet Sohi AB November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities September 29, 1961 Kent Hehr AB August 28, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Science February 23, 1990 Kirsty Duncan ON November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015
Minister of Status of Women June 11, 1971 Maryam Monsef ON January 10, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
September 30, 1976
October 14, 1944
Bardish Chagger ON November 4, 2015
August 19, 2016
November 4, 2015
Minister of International Trade December 8, 1983 François-Philippe Champagne QC January 10, 2017 January 10, 2017
Minister of Democratic Institutions
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
December 12, 2003
July 1, 1867
Karina Gould ON January 10, 2017 January 10, 2017
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 30, 1994 Ahmed Hussen ON January 10, 2017 January 10, 2017
Minister of Indigenous Services August 28, 2017 Jane Philpott ON August 28, 2017 November 4, 2015
Minister of Health July 12, 1996 Ginette Petitpas Taylor NB August 28, 2017 August 28, 2017
Minister of Veterans Affairs
Associate Minister of National Defence
October 18, 1944 Seamus O'Regan NL August 28, 2017 August 28, 2017

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