Minister responsible for the Status of Women (Canada)

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Minister Responsible for the Status of Women of Canada
Government of Canada signature.svg
Kellie Leitch

since 15 July 2013
Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
Style The Honourable
Member of
Appointer Governor General of Canada
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder Robert Andras
Formation June 11, 1971

The position of Minister responsible for the Status of Women in the Canadian cabinet was created in 1971 as a product of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (created in 1967, report handed down in 1970). Most provincial cabinets have a similar position. Initially, the purpose of the position was to help implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

The minister has responsibility for Status of Women Canada, an agency currently under Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. When the minister legally responsible for Status of Women Canada has been responsible for the file, traditionally, that minister has carried the additional honorary title "Minister responsible for the Status of Women" to emphasize this role while when another minister has been charged with the agency, it was necessary to delegate the responsibilities to a minister of state.

The current federal minister is Kellie Leitch.



No. Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1. Robert Andras June 11, 1971 August 7, 1974 Liberal 20 (Trudeau)
2. Marc Lalonde August 8, 1974 June 3, 1979 Liberal
3. David MacDonald June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
4. Lloyd Axworthy March 3, 1980 September 21, 1981 Liberal 22 (Trudeau)
5. Judy Erola September 22, 1981 September 16, 1984 Liberal
6. Barbara McDougall September 17, 1986 February 22, 1990 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
7. Mary Collins February 23, 1990 November 3, 1993 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
25 (Campbell)
8. Sheila Finestone November 4, 1993 January 24, 1996 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
9. Hedy Fry January 25, 1996 January 14, 2002 Liberal
10. Claudette Bradshaw January 15, 2002 May 25, 2002 Liberal
11. Jean Augustine May 26, 2002 December 12, 2003 Liberal
12. Liza Frulla July 20, 2004 February 6, 2006 Liberal 27 (Martin)
13. Bev Oda * February 6, 2006 August 14, 2007 Conservative 28 (Harper)
14. Josée Verner * August 14, 2007 October 30, 2008 Conservative
15. Helena Guergis October 30, 2008 April 9, 2010 Conservative
16. Rona Ambrose April 9, 2010 July 15, 2013 Conservative
17. Kellie Leitch July 15, 2013 Incumbent Conservative

* Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

In Jean Chrétien's ministry (1993 - 2003) the position was secretary of state (status of women), a position that did not carry full cabinet rank. The position was known as minister of state (status of women) in the first cabinet of Paul Martin, due to its responsibilities being delegated from the Minister of Canadian Heritage but reverted to its old title of minister responsible for the status of women with the swearing in of Liza Frulla in July 2004 as Frulla doubled as Heritage Minister who was ultimately responsible for Status of Women Canada.

Defamation suit[edit]

In 2003, Status of Women Canada was sued for defamation in BC Supreme Court. The court found that a Status of Women Canada research publication was defamatory, although the plaintiff's claim was dismissed. The defence granted by the judge was "fair comment", which is a defence granted to non-factual statements of opinion. The judge further determined that despite the lack of truth, there was no malice involved in the defamation because the defendants truly believed what they wrote. (See the full judgment [1] or [2])

Status of Women Canada activities[edit]

Status of Women Canada administers the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

Organizations Funded by the Status of Women Canada[edit]

External links[edit]