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
01867-07-01July 1, 1867
01993-11-14November 14, 1993
Justin Trudeau QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness 02003-12-12December 12, 2003 Ralph Goodale SK 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 01993-11-04November 4, 1993
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 01995-01-12January 12, 1995 Lawrence MacAulay PE 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 01993-11-04November 4, 1993
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs 02011-05-18May 18, 2011 Carolyn Bennett ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02003-12-12December 12, 2003
President of the Treasury Board 01966-10-01October 1, 1966 Scott Brison NS 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02003-12-12December 12, 2003
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 01979-04-02April 2, 1979 Dominic LeBlanc NB 02016-05-31May 31, 2016 02004-07-20July 20, 2004
Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development 01995-03-29March 29, 1995 Navdeep Bains ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02005-10-07October 7, 2005
Minister of Finance 01867-07-01July 1, 1867 Bill Morneau ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada 01867-07-01July 1, 1867 Jody Wilson-Raybould BC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 01996-07-12July 12, 1996 Carla Qualtrough BC 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Foreign Affairs 01993-11-04November 4, 1993 Chrystia Freeland ON 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development 02003-12-12December 12, 2003 Jean-Yves Duclos QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Transport 01936-11-02November 2, 1936 Marc Garneau QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of International Development
Minister of La Francophonie
01996-01-25January 25, 1996 Marie-Claude Bibeau QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Natural Resources 01995-01-12January 12, 1995 Jim Carr MB 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Canadian Heritage 01996-07-12July 12, 1996 Mélanie Joly QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of National Revenue 01927-03-21March 21, 1927 Diane Lebouthillier QC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Environment and Climate Change 01971-06-11June 11, 1971 Catherine McKenna ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of National Defence 01923-01-01January 1, 1923 Harjit Sajjan BC 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Employment, Workforce, and Labour 01909-06-02June 2, 1909 Patty Hajdu ON 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 Amarjeet Sohi AB 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities 01961-09-29September 29, 1961 Kent Hehr AB 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Science 01990-02-23February 23, 1990 Kirsty Duncan ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Status of Women 01971-06-11June 11, 1971 Maryam Monsef ON 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
01976-09-30September 30, 1976
01944-10-14October 14, 1944
Bardish Chagger ON 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
02016-08-19August 19, 2016
02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of International Trade 01983-12-08December 8, 1983 François-Philippe Champagne QC 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02017-01-10January 10, 2017
Minister of Democratic Institutions
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
02003-12-12December 12, 2003
01867-07-01July 1, 1867
Karina Gould ON 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02017-01-10January 10, 2017
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 01994-06-30June 30, 1994 Ahmed Hussen ON 02017-01-10January 10, 2017 02017-01-10January 10, 2017
Minister of Indigenous Services 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 Jane Philpott ON 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 02015-11-04November 4, 2015
Minister of Health 01996-07-12July 12, 1996 Ginette Petitpas Taylor NB 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 02017-08-28August 28, 2017
Minister of Veterans Affairs
Associate Minister of National Defence
01944-10-18October 18, 1944 Seamus O'Regan NL 02017-08-28August 28, 2017 02017-08-28August 28, 2017

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