Secretary of State (Canada)

Secretary Of State (Canada)

Secretary of State (Canada)

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Secretary of State was a title given to some Ministers of State in the Government of Canada sitting outside Cabinet from 1993 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2008. Secretaries of State were members of the ministry and the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. Just as Ministers of State, they were assigned to assist Cabinet ministers, but unlike ministers of state are not themselves members of Cabinet. For instance, the Secretary of State (Training and Youth) would assist the Minister for Human Resources and Development. This usage is opposite to that in the United Kingdom, where junior Ministers generally report to more senior Secretaries of State.

These positions were first used by Jean Chrétien as a way to decrease the size of the cabinet without substantially decreasing the size of the ministry. When Paul Martin became Prime Minister in 2003, this usage ended, and he instead appointed Ministers of State and increased the powers of Parliamentary Secretaries to act in junior policy positions.

Martin's successor Stephen Harper resumed the use of secretaries of state in a Cabinet shuffle on January 4, 2007, but went back to Ministers of State in his October 2008 Cabinet.

This generic usage should not be confused with the former cabinet positions of Secretary of State for Canada (1867–1996) and Secretary of State for External Affairs (1909–1995).

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