Registrar General of Canada

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The Registrar General of Canada (French: Le registraire général du Canada) is responsible for registering all letters patent, commissions, instruments, proclamations, and any other documents that may, from time to time, be issued under the Great Seal of Canada or the Privy Seal of Canada. The current Registrar General is Navdeep Bains.


A person is not appointed as a Registrar General, in particular — rather, a person becomes the Registrar General by virtue of being appointed as the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, a Cabinet office. Therefore, by proxy, the Registrar General is appointed by the Governor General, on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Registrar General serves until such time as he or she is replaced.

The current Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Registrar General, Navdeep Bains, was sworn in on November 4, 2015.

Role and responsibilities[edit]

Registering documents[edit]

The Office of the Registrar General is responsible for registering documents that have been issued under the Great Seal and the Privy Seal. Such documents can include the appointments of senators, puisne justices, and governors general. The Registrar General maintains a registry of the documents so issued, with the assistance of Corporations Canada.

Keeping the Great Seal[edit]

While the Governor General is the keeper of the Great Seal, he or she normally entrusts the Registrar General with the seal's safekeeping. The Great Seal is used to certify official state documents. The current Seal went into use in 1955, after the accession of Elizabeth II to the Canadian Throne.


Before Confederation there were two registrars general, appointed as the provincial secretaries of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. After Confederation, the Secretary of State became the Registrar General, until 1966, when the responsibility was delegated to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. When this ministerial position was discontinued in 1995, the role of Registrar General was again redelegated, this time to the Minister of Industry.

Provincial or Territorial of Registrar General[edit]

Each province and territory has a registrar general responsible for vital statistics, namely birth, marriage and death certificates.

See also[edit]