Secretary of State for Canada

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This article is about the position in the Cabinet of Canada in existence from 1867 to 1996. For the generic usage of the title "Secretary of State" used during the Canadian Government's 26th Ministry (1993–2003), see Secretary of State (Canada).
Secretary of State for Canada
Member of Cabinet of Canada
Formation July 1, 1867
First holder Hector-Louis Langevin
Final holder Lucienne Robillard
Abolished July 12, 1996

The Secretary of State for Canada was a Canadian Cabinet position with a corresponding department. It was established in 1867 as the official channel of communication between the Dominion of Canada and the Imperial government in London. As Canada became increasingly independent after World War I and particularly with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 this role fell into disuse.

The department was maintained, however, and was used to administer various aspects of government which did not have their own ministry. As well, the Secretary of State for Canada was Registrar-General responsible for the Great Seal of Canada and various functions of state associated with it.

At various times the Secretary of State for Canada was responsible for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the civil service, the Queen's Printer for Canada, administration of Crown lands, governance of Canadian Indians (as they were called) as well as various ceremonial and state duties. Generally, any government role and responsibility which was not specifically assigned to a cabinet minister would be the de facto responsibility of the Secretary of State.

The department was eliminated in 1993 when the government was reorganized. The position of Secretary of State for Canada was not legally eliminated until 1996 when its remaining responsibilities were assigned to other cabinet positions and departments, particularly the newly created position of Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The position of Secretary of State for Canada had no relation to that of Secretary of State for External Affairs except for the period from 1909 until 1912 when the Secretary of State for Canada (Charles Murphy under Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William James Roche under Sir Robert Borden) was responsible for the newly created Department of External Affairs.

Secretaries of State for Canada[edit]

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 HectorLangevin23.jpg Sir Hector-Louis Langevin July 1, 1867 December 8, 1867 Liberal-Conservative 1 (Macdonald)
2 James Cox Aikins.jpg James Cox Aikins December 8, 1867 November 5, 1873 Liberal-Conservative
3 DavidChristie23.jpg David Christie November 7, 1873 January 8, 1874 Liberal 2 (Mackenzie)
4 Sir Richard William Scott.jpg Sir Richard William Scott January 9, 1874 October 8, 1878 Liberal
(2) James Cox Aikins.jpg James Cox Aikins
(Second time)
October 19, 1878 November 7, 1880 Conservative 3 (Macdonald)
5 John O'Connor.jpg John O'Connor November 8, 1880 May 19, 1881 Conservative
6 Joseph-Alfred Mousseau.jpg Joseph-Alfred Mousseau May 20, 1881 July 28, 1882 Conservative
7 Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau.jpg Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau July 29, 1882 June 6, 1891 Conservative
June 16, 1891 January 24, 1892 4 (Abbott)
8 James Colebrooke Patterson.jpg James Colebrooke Patterson January 25, 1892 November 24, 1892 Conservative
9 John Costigan.jpg John Costigan December 5, 1892 December 12, 1894 Conservative 5 (Thompson)
10 Arthur Rupert Dickey.jpg Arthur Rupert Dickey December 21, 1894 March 25, 1895 Conservative 6 (Bowell)
11 Walter Humphries Montague.jpg Walter Humphries Montague March 26, 1895 December 20, 1895 Conservative
Joseph-Aldric Ouimet
(Acting)
December 21, 1895 January 5, 1896 Conservative
ThomasMayneDaly23.jpg Thomas Mayne Daly
(Acting)
January 6, 1896 January 14, 1896 Conservative
12 TupperUniform.jpg Sir Charles Tupper January 15, 1896 April 27, 1896 Conservative
May 1, 1896 July 8, 1896 7 (Tupper)
(4) Sir Richard William Scott.jpg Sir Richard William Scott
(Second time)
July 13, 1896 October 8, 1908 Liberal 8 (Laurier)
13 Charles Murphy.jpg Charles Murphy October 9, 1908 October 6, 1911 Liberal
14 William James Roche.jpg William James Roche October 10, 1911 October 28, 1912 Conservative 9 (Borden)
15 Louis Coderre.jpg Louis Coderre October 29, 1912 October 5, 1915 Conservative
16 Pierre Édouard Blondin.jpg Pierre Édouard Blondin October 6, 1915 January 7, 1917 Conservative
17 Esioff-Léon Patenaude.png Esioff-Léon Patenaude January 8, 1917 June 12, 1917 Conservative
Albert Sévigny.jpg Albert Sévigny
(Acting)
June 13, 1917 August 24, 1917 Conservative
18 Former PM Arthur Meighen.jpg Arthur Meighen August 25, 1917 October 12, 1917 Conservative
19 Martin Burrell.jpg Martin Burrell October 12, 1917 December 30, 1919 Unionist 10 (Borden)
20 Arthur Lewis Watkins Sifton.jpg Arthur Sifton December 31, 1919 July 10, 1920 Unionist
July 10, 1920 January 21, 1921 National Liberal and Conservative 11 (Meighen)
21 Henry Lumley Drayton.jpg Sir Henry Lumley Drayton January 24, 1921 September 20, 1921 National Liberal and Conservative
22 Rodolphe Monty September 21, 1921 December 29, 1921 National Liberal and Conservative
23 Arthur Bliss Copp December 29, 1921 September 24, 1921 Liberal 12 (King)
24 Walter Edward Foster.jpg Walter Edward Foster September 26, 1925 November 12, 1925 Liberal
Charles Murphy.jpg Charles Murphy
(Acting)
November 13, 1925 March 23, 1926 Liberal
Ernest Lapointe.jpg Ernest Lapointe
(Acting)
March 24, 1926 June 28, 1926 Liberal
25 Guillaume-André Fauteux August 23, 1926 September 25, 1926 Conservative 13 (Meighen)
26 Fernand Rinfret.png Fernand Rinfret September 25, 1926 August 7, 1930 Liberal 14 (King)
27 Charles Cahan August 7, 1930 October 23, 1935 Conservative 15 (Bennett)
(26) Fernand Rinfret.png Fernand Rinfret
(Second time)
October 23, 1935 July 12, 1939 Liberal 16 (King)
Ernest Lapointe.jpg Ernest Lapointe
(Acting - Second time)
July 26, 1939 May 8, 1940 Liberal
28 Pierre-François Casgrain May 9, 1940 December 14, 1941 Liberal
29 Norman Alexander McLarty.jpg Norman Alexander McLarty December 15, 1941 April 17, 1945 Liberal
30 Paulmartinsr.jpg Paul Joseph James Martin April 18, 1945 December 11, 1946 Liberal
31 Colin W. G. Gibson December 12, 1946 November 15, 1948 Liberal
November 15, 1948 March 31, 1949 17 (St. Laurent)
32 Frederick Gordon Bradley March 31, 1949 June 11, 1953 Liberal
33 Jack Pickersgill June 11, 1953 June 30, 1954 Liberal
34 Roch Pinard July 1, 1954 June 21, 1957 Liberal
35 Ellen Fairclough.jpg Ellen Fairclough June 21, 1957 May 11, 1958 Progressive Conservative 18 (Diefenbaker)
36 Henri Courtemanche May 12, 1958 June 19, 1960 Progressive Conservative
Léon Balcer
(Acting)
June 21, 1960 October 10, 1960 Progressive Conservative
37 Noël Dorion October 11, 1960 July 5, 1962 Progressive Conservative
Léon Balcer
(Acting - Second time)
July 11, 1962 August 8, 1962 Progressive Conservative
38 Ernest Halpenny August 9, 1962 April 22, 1963 Progressive Conservative
(33) Jack Pickersgill
(Second time)
April 22, 1963 February 2, 1964 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
39 Maurice Lamontagne February 2, 1964 December 17, 1965 Liberal
40 Judy LaMarsh December 17, 1965 April 9, 1968 Liberal
John Joseph Connelly.jpg John Joseph Connolly
(Acting)
April 10, 1968 April 20, 1968 Liberal
41 Jean Marchand.jpg Jean Marchand April 20, 1968 July 5, 1968 Liberal 20 (P. E. Trudeau)
42 Gérard Pelletier July 5, 1968 November 26, 1972 Liberal
43 Hugh Faulkner November 27, 1972 September 13, 1976 Liberal
44 John Roberts September 14, 1976 June 3, 1979 Liberal
45 David MacDonald June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
46 Francis Fox March 3, 1980 September 21, 1981 Liberal 22 (P. E. Trudeau)
47 Gerald Regan September 22, 1981 October 5, 1982 Liberal
48 Serge Joyal October 6, 1982 June 29, 1984 Liberal
June 30, 1984 September 16, 1984 23 (Turner)
49 Walter McLean September 17, 1984 April 19, 1985 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
50 Benoît Bouchard April 20, 1985 June 29, 1986 Progressive Conservative
51 Crombie1983.jpg David Crombie June 30, 1986 March 30, 1988 Progressive Conservative
52 Bouchardimg229us-signed.jpg Lucien Bouchard March 31, 1988 January 29, 1989 Progressive Conservative
53 Gerry Weiner January 30, 1989 April 20, 1991 Progressive Conservative
54 Robert de Cotret April 21, 1991 January 3, 1993 Progressive Conservative
55 Monique Landry January 4, 1993 June 24, 1993 Progressive Conservative
June 24, 1993 November 3, 1993 25 (Campbell)
56 Sergio Marchi November 4, 1993 January 24, 1996 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
57 Lucienne Robillard January 25, 1996 July 12, 1996 Liberal

See also[edit]