Minister of Labour (Canada)

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Minister of Labour
Incumbent
Kellie Leitch

since 15 July 2013
Department of Labour
Style The Honourable
Member of
Appointer Governor General of Canada
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder William Lyon Mackenzie King
Formation 2 June 1909
Website www.hrsdc.gc.ca
Coat of arms of Canada rendition.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Canada

The Minister of Labour (French: Ministre du Travail) is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for setting national labour standards and federal labour dispute mechanisms. Most of the responsibility for labour belongs with the provinces, however the federal government is responsible for labour issues in industries under its jurisdiction.

From 2004 to 2006 the position was styled the Minister of Labour and Housing (French: Ministre du Travail et du Logement), a name change corresponding with responsibility for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation being transferred to the portfolio at that time. "Minister of Labour" remains the title for legal purposes.

The Department of Labour was created in 1900. Previously, the responsibility for labour affairs was handled by the Postmaster General.

From 1993 to 1996 the Department of Labour was amalgamated with the Department of Employment and Immigration to create Human Resources Development Canada. Although the intent was to replace two cabinet posts with a single Minister of Human Resources Development, the desire to appoint "star candidate" Lucienne Robillard's to cabinet in 1995 gave the position received a reprieve from amalgamation—Robillard was given the title and positioned as a second minister inside HRDC, responsible for the "Labour Program."

A Dec. 2003 reorganization had seen HRDC dismantled and labour responsibilities passing to a successor department, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, again with two ministers, a Minister of Labour and a Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. The name change to "Labour and Housing" occurred seven months later. The Ministry of HRDC was reconstituted in February 2006 as Human Resources and Social Development Canada, but still with two ministers.

The Minister of Labour and Housing is responsible for HRSDC's "Labour Program" and thus is responsible for the Canada Labour Code, the Employment Equity Act, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as well as the implementation of health and safety legislation. Other Acts the Minister retains responsibility for include the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, Government Employees Compensation Act and Merchant Seamen Compensation Act. The Minister is also responsible for the Strategic Policy and International Labour Affairs (SPILA) Directorate which focuses on workplace trends and changes, including work-life balanceand the reformation of employment relationships and the Workplace Information Directorate (WID) which provides information on workplace conditions, trends and innovative practices through direct personal services, electronic means, and various publications, including the Workplace Gazette and the Wage Settlements Bulletin.

The Department of Labour was created in 1900 through the efforts of Postmaster General William Mulock and William Lyon Mackenzie King, becoming, respectively, the first Minister and Deputy Minister.[1][2] Until June 1909, the Postmaster General acted as Minister of Labour.[3] In 1996 the Department of Labour was abolished, but the ministerial position continued within Human Resources Development Canada from 1996 to 2003, and Human Resources and Social Development Canada from 2003 to date.

In 2004 the portfolio was renamed from “Labour” to “Labour and Housing”.

List of Ministers[edit]

1. William Mulock Cabinet of Laurier 1900 – May 19, 1905
2. Allen Bristol Aylesworth Cabinet of Laurier October 16, 1905 – June 1906
3. Rodolphe Lemieux Cabinet of Laurier June 4, 1906 – May 18, 1909
4. William Lyon Mackenzie King Cabinet of Laurier June 2, 1909 – October 6, 1911
5. Thomas Wilson Crothers Cabinet of Borden October 10, 1911 – November 6, 1918
6. Gideon Decker Robertson Cabinet of Borden November 8, 1918 – July 10, 1920
Cabinet of Meighen July 10, 1920 – December 29, 1921
7. James Murdock Cabinet of King December 29, 1921 – November 12, 1925
* James Horace King (Acting) Cabinet of King November 13, 1925 – March 7, 1926
8. John Campbell Elliott Cabinet of King March 8, 1926 – June 28, 1926
* Robert James Manion (Acting) Cabinet of Meighen June 29, 1926 – July 12, 1926
9. George Burpee Jones Cabinet of Meighen July 13, 1926 – September 25, 1926
10. Peter Heenan Cabinet of King September 25, 1926 – August 7, 1930
Gideon Decker Robertson (2nd time) Cabinet of Bennett August 7, 1930 – February 2, 1932
11. Wesley Ashton Gordon Cabinet of Bennett February 3, 1932 – October 23, 1935
12. Norman McLeod Rogers Cabinet of King October 24, 1935 – September 18, 1939
13. Norman Alexander McLarty Cabinet of King September 19, 1939 – December 14, 1941
14. Humphrey Mitchell Cabinet of King December 15, 1941 – November 15, 1948
under St-Laurent November 15, 1948 – August 2, 1950
* Paul Joseph James Martin (Acting) Cabinet of St-Laurent August 3, 1950 – August 6, 1950
15. Milton Fowler Gregg Cabinet of St-Laurent August 7, 1950 – June 21, 1957
16. Michael Starr Cabinet of Diefenbaker June 21, 1957 – April 21, 1963
17. Allan MacEachen Cabinet of Pearson April 22, 1963 – December 17, 1965
18. John Robert Nicholson Cabinet of Pearson December 18, 1965 – April 20, 1968
19. Jean-Luc Pépin Cabinet of Trudeau April 20, 1968 – July 5, 1968
20. Bryce Stuart Mackasey Cabinet of Trudeau July 6, 1968 – January 27, 1972
21. Martin Patrick O'Connell Cabinet of Trudeau January 28, 1972 – November 26, 1972
22. John Carr Munro Cabinet of Trudeau November 27, 1972 – September 7, 1978
* André Ouellet (Acting) Cabinet of Trudeau September 8, 1978 – November 23, 1978
Martin Patrick O'Connell (2nd time) Cabinet of Trudeau November 24, 1978 – June 3, 1979
23. Lincoln Alexander Cabinet of Clark June 4, 1979 – March 2, 1980
24. Gerald Regan Cabinet of Trudeau March 3, 1980 – September 21, 1981
25. Charles Caccia Cabinet of Trudeau September 22, 1981 – August 11, 1983
26. André Ouellet Cabinet of Trudeau August 12, 1983 – June 29, 1984
Cabinet of Turner June 30, 1984 – September 16, 1984
27. William Hunter McKnight Cabinet of Mulroney September 17, 1984 – June 29, 1986
28. Pierre H. Cadieux Cabinet of Mulroney June 30, 1986 – January 29, 1989
29. Jean Corbeil Cabinet of Mulroney January 30, 1989 – April 20, 1991
30. Marcel Danis Cabinet of Mulroney April 21, 1991 – June 24, 1993
31. Bernard Valcourt Cabinet of Campbell June 25, 1993 – November 3, 1993
32. Lloyd Axworthy Cabinet of Chrétien November 4, 1993 – February 21, 1995
33. Lucienne Robillard Cabinet of Chrétien February 22, 1995 – January 24, 1996
34. Alfonso Gagliano Cabinet of Chrétien January 25, 1996 – June 10, 1997
35. Lawrence MacAulay Cabinet of Chrétien June 11, 1997 – November 22, 1998
36. Claudette Bradshaw Cabinet of Chrétien November 23, 1998 – December 11, 2003
Cabinet of Martin December 12, 2003 – July 19, 2004
37. Joe Fontana (styled as Minister of Labour and Housing) Cabinet of Martin July 20, 2004 – February 5, 2006
38. Jean-Pierre Blackburn Cabinet of Harper February 6, 2006 -October 29, 2008
39. Rona Ambrose Cabinet of Harper October 30, 2008 - January 19, 2010
40. Lisa Raitt Cabinet of Harper January 19, 2010 - July 15, 2013
41. Kellie Leitch Cabinet of Harper July 15, 2013 – present

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mulock, Sir William". The Canadian Encyclopedia 3. Hurtig Publishers. 1988. p. 1401. 
  2. ^ Loudon, William James (1932). Sir William Mulock: A Short Biography. Toronto: MacMillian. pp. 106–134. 
  3. ^ "Canada. Department of Labour". Trent University Archives. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 

Further reading[edit]