Prime Minister of Canada

The Prime Minister of Canada (French: Premier ministre du Canada) is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and Canada's head of government. The current, and 23rd, Prime Minister of Canada is the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau, following the 2015 Canadian federal election. Canadian prime ministers are styled as The Right Honourable (French: Le Très Honorable), a privilege maintained for life.

The Prime Minister of Canada is in charge of the Prime Minister's Office. The Prime Minister also chooses the ministers that make up the Cabinet. The two groups, with the authority of the Parliament of Canada, manage the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister also appoint members of the Senate of Canada, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts, and the leaders and boards, as required under law, of various Crown Corporations, and selects the Governor General of Canada. Under the Canadian constitution, all of the power to exercise these activities is actually vested in the Monarchy of Canada, but in practice the Canadian monarch (who is the head of state) or their representative, the Governor General of Canada approves them routinely, and their role is largely ceremonial, and their powers are only exercised under the advice of the Prime Minister.[2]

Not outlined in any constitutional document, the office exists only as per long-established convention (originating in Canada's former colonial power, the United Kingdom) that stipulates the monarch's representative, the governor general, must select as prime minister the person most likely to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons; this individual is typically the leader of the political party that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber.[note 1][3]

Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister text and logo
Justin Trudeau June 13 2017
Justin Trudeau

since November 4, 2015
Executive Branch of the Government of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
StyleThe Right Honourable (formal)
Prime Minister (informal)
Member ofQueen's Privy Council
Reports toMonarch
Governor General
Residence24 Sussex Drive (under renovation)
Harrington Lake (seasonal)
Rideau Cottage (temporary)
Seat80 Wellington St,
Ottawa, ON K1P 5K9
AppointerGovernor General
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Constituting instrumentNone (constitutional convention)
Inaugural holderSir John A. Macdonald
FormationJuly 1, 1867
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister of Canada (vacant)
Salary$347,400 CAD (2018)[1]

Origin of the office

The position of prime minister is not outlined in any Canadian constitutional document and is mentioned only in passing in the Constitution Act, 1982,[4][5] and the Letters Patent, 1947 issued by King George VI.[6] The office and its functions are instead governed by constitutional conventions and modelled on the same office in the United Kingdom.

Qualifications and selection

The prime minister, along with the other ministers in cabinet, is appointed by the governor general on behalf of the monarch.[7] However, by the conventions of responsible government, designed to maintain administrative stability, the governor general will call to form a government the individual most likely to receive the support, or confidence, of a majority of the directly elected members of the House of Commons;[8] as a practical matter, this is often the leader of a party whose members form a majority, or a very large plurality, of Members of Parliament (MPs).[9]

While there is no legal requirement for the prime minister to be a member of parliament, for practical and political reasons the prime minister is expected to win a seat very promptly.[10] However, in rare circumstances individuals who are not sitting members of the House of Commons have been appointed to the position of prime minister. Two former prime ministers—Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott and Sir Mackenzie Bowell—served in the 1890s while members of the Senate.[11] Both, in their roles as Government Leader in the Senate, succeeded prime ministers who had died in office—John A. Macdonald in 1891 and John Sparrow David Thompson in 1894. That convention has since evolved toward the appointment of an interim leader from the commons in such a scenario.

Prime ministers who are not Members of Parliament upon their appointment (or who lose their seats while in office) have since been expected to seek election to the commons as soon as possible. For example, William Lyon Mackenzie King, after losing his seat in the 1925 federal election (that his party won), briefly "governed from the hallway" before winning a by-election a few weeks later. Similarly, John Turner replaced Pierre Trudeau as leader of the Liberal Party in 1984 and subsequently was appointed prime minister while not holding a seat in the House of Commons; Turner won a riding in the next election but the Liberal Party was swept from power. Turner was the last serving prime minister to not hold a commons seat.

John A. Macdonald - Brady-Handy
Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada (1867–1873, 1878–1891)

Should a serving prime minister today lose his or her seat in the legislature, or should a new prime minister be appointed without holding a seat, the typical process that follows is that a junior member in the governing political party will resign to allow the prime minister to run in the resulting by-election.[11] A safe seat is usually chosen; while the Liberal and Conservative parties traditionally observed a convention of not running a candidate against another party's new leader in the by-election, the New Democrats and smaller political parties typically do not follow the same convention. However, if the governing party selects a new leader shortly before an election is due, and that new leader is not a member of the legislature, he or she will normally await the upcoming election before running for a seat in parliament.

In a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid following the first prorogation of the 40th parliament on December 4, 2008, it was found that 51% of the sample group thought the prime minister was directly elected by Canadians.[12][13]

Term of office

The Canadian prime minister serves at Her Majesty's pleasure, meaning the post does not have a fixed term. Once appointed and sworn in by the governor general, the prime minister remains in office until he or she resigns, is dismissed, or dies.[14] The lifespan of parliament was limited by the constitution to five years, though the governor general may still, on the advice of the prime minister, dissolve parliament and issue the writs of election prior to the date mandated by the Canada Elections Act; the King–Byng Affair was the only time since Confederation that the governor general deemed it necessary to refuse his prime minister's request for a general vote. As of 2007, with an amendment to the Elections Act, Section 56.1(2) was changed to limit the term of a majority government to four years, with election day being set as the third Monday in October of the fourth calendar year after the previous polling date.[15]

Following parliamentary dissolution, the prime minister must run in the resulting general election if he or she wishes to maintain a seat in the House of Commons. Should the prime minister's party subsequently win a majority of seats in the House of Commons, it is unnecessary to re-appoint the prime minister or again swear him or her into office.[14] If, however, an opposition party wins a majority of seats, the prime minister may resign or be dismissed by the governor general. Should the prime minister's party achieve a minority while an opposition party wins a plurality (i.e., more seats than any other party but less than a majority), the prime minister can attempt to maintain the confidence of the House by forming a coalition with other minority parties. This option was last entertained in 1925.

Role and authority

Prime Ministers of Canada to 1963
Canada's Prime Ministers during its first century.

Because the prime minister is, in practice, the most politically powerful member of the Canadian government, he or she is sometimes erroneously referred to as Canada's head of state,[note 2] when, in fact, that post is held by the Canadian monarch, represented by the governor general.[16] The prime minister is, instead, the head of government and is responsible for advising the Crown on how to exercise the Royal Prerogative and its executive powers,[3] which are governed by the constitution and its conventions. However, the function of the prime minister has evolved with increasing power. Today, as per the doctrines of constitutional monarchy, the advice given by the prime minister is ordinarily binding, meaning the prime minister effectively carries out those duties ascribed to the sovereign or governor general, leaving the latter to act in predominantly ceremonial fashions.[17] As such, the prime minister, supported by the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO), controls the appointments of many key figures in Canada's system of governance, including the governor general, the Cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court, senators, heads of crown corporations, ambassadors to foreign countries, the provincial lieutenant governors, and approximately 3,100 other positions. Further, the prime minister plays a prominent role in the legislative process—with the majority of bills put before parliament originating in the Cabinet—and the leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces.

William Lyon Mackenzie King, the 10th Prime Minister of Canada (1921–1926; 1926–1930; 1935–1948)

Pierre Trudeau is credited with, throughout his tenure as prime minister between 1968 and 1984, consolidating power in the PMO,[18] which is itself filled by political and administrative staff selected at the prime minister's discretion and unaccountable to parliament. At the end of the 20th century and into the 21st, analysts—such as Jeffrey Simpson,[19] Donald Savoie, Andrew Coyne,[20] and John Gomery—argued that both parliament and the Cabinet had become eclipsed by prime ministerial power;[note 3][21] Savoie wrote: "The Canadian prime minister has little in the way of institutional check, at least inside government, to inhibit his ability to have his way."[22] Indeed, the position has been described as undergoing a "presidentialisation",[18][23] to the point that its incumbents publicly outshine the actual head of state (and prime minister's spouses are sometimes called the "First Lady of Canada"[24][25]).[26][27] Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson alluded to what she saw as "an unspoken rivalry" that had developed between the prime minister and the Crown.[28] It has been theorized that such is the case in Canada as its parliament is less influential on the executive than in other countries with Westminster parliamentary systems; particularly, Canada has fewer MPs, a higher turnover rate of MPs after each election, and an Americanised system for selecting political party leaders, leaving them accountable to the party membership rather than caucus, as is the case in the United Kingdom.[29]

There do exist checks on the prime minister's power: the commons may revoke its confidence in an incumbent prime minister and Cabinet or caucus revolts can quickly bring down a serving premier and even mere threats of such action can persuade or compel a prime minister to resign his post, as happened with Jean Chrétien. The Reform Act, 2014,[30] codifies the process by which a caucus may trigger a party leadership review and, if necessary, chose an interim leader, thereby making a prime minister more accountable to the MPs in his or her party. Caucuses may choose to follow these rules, though the decision would be made by recorded vote, thereby subjecting the party's choice to public scrutiny.[31]

The Senate may delay or impede legislation put forward by the Cabinet, such as when Brian Mulroney's bill creating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came before the upper chamber and, given Canada's federal nature, the jurisdiction of the federal government is limited to areas prescribed by the constitution. Further, as executive power is constitutionally vested in the monarch, meaning the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown and not to any of its ministers,[32][33][34] the sovereign's supremacy over the prime minister in the constitutional order is thus seen as a "rebuff to the pretensions of the elected: As it has been said, when the Prime Minister bows before the Queen, he bows before us [the Canadian people]."[35][36] Either the sovereign or his or her governor general may therefore oppose the prime minister's will in extreme, crisis situations.[note 4] Near the end of her time as governor general, Adrienne Clarkson stated: "My constitutional role has lain in what are called 'reserve powers': making sure that there is a prime minister and a government in place, and exercising the right 'to encourage, to advise, and to warn'[...] Without really revealing any secrets, I can tell you that I have done all three."[37]


Residence of the Prime Minister of Canada
24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada

Two official residences are provided to the prime minister—24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa and Harrington Lake, a country retreat in Gatineau Park—as well an office in the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council (formerly known as Langevin Block), across from Parliament Hill.[38] For transportation, the prime minister is granted an armoured car and shared use of two official aircraft—a CC-150 Polaris for international flights and a Challenger 601 for domestic trips. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also furnish constant personal security for the prime minister and his or her family. All of the aforementioned is supplied by the Queen-in-Council through budgets approved by parliament, as is the prime minister's total annual compensation of CAD$347,400.[1] The Prime Minister's total compensation consists of the Member of the House of Commons Basic Sessional Indemnity of CAD$172,400, the Prime Minister Salary of CAD$172,400, and the Prime Minister Car Allowance of CAD$2000.[1]

Should a serving or former prime minister die, he or she is accorded a state funeral, wherein their casket lies in state in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill.[39] Only Bowell and the Viscount Bennett were given private funerals, Bennett also being the only former Prime Minister of Canada to die and be buried outside the country and Bowell the only whose funeral was not attended by politicians. John Thompson also died outside Canada, at Windsor Castle, where Queen Victoria permitted his lying-in-state before his body was returned to Canada for a state funeral in Halifax.[40]

Heraldic mark of the Prime Minister of Canada
The mark of the Prime Ministership of Canada, applied to the arms of prime ministers who pursue them

In earlier years, it was traditional for the monarch to bestow a knighthood on newly appointed Canadian prime ministers. Accordingly, several carried the prefix Sir before their name; of the first eight premiers of Canada, only Alexander Mackenzie refused the honour of a knighthood from Queen Victoria. Following the 1919 Nickle Resolution, however, it was against non-binding policy for the sovereign to grant such honorific titles to Canadians; the last prime minister to be knighted was Sir Robert Borden, who was premier at the time the Nickle Resolution was debated in the House of Commons. Still, Bennett was in 1941, six years after he stepped down as prime minister, elevated to the peerage by King George VI as Viscount Bennett, of Mickleham in the County of Surrey and of Calgary and Hopewell in the Dominion of Canada.[41][42]

The Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA) has granted former prime ministers an augmentation of honour on the personal coat of arms of those who pursued them. The heraldic badge, referred to by the CHA as the mark of the Prime Ministership of Canada,[43] consists of four red maple leaves joined at the stem on a white field ("Argent four maple leaves conjoined in cross at the stem Gules"); the augmentation has, so far, been granted either as a canton sinister or centred in the chief.[43][44][45][46][47] To date, former prime ministers Joe Clark,[43] Pierre Trudeau,[44] John Turner,[45] Brian Mulroney,[46] Kim Campbell[47] and Jean Chrétien[48] were granted arms with the augmentation.

Style of address

Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell, the 19th Prime Minister of Canada (1993) and only female and British Columbia-born individual to hold the office

Canada continues the Westminster tradition of using the title Prime Minister when one is speaking to the federal head of government directly; this is in contrast to the United States protocol of addressing the federal head of government as mister (as in, Mister President); the Department of Canadian Heritage advises that it is incorrect to use the term Mr Prime Minister.[49] The written form of address for the prime minister should use his or her full parliamentary title: The Right Honourable [name], [post-nominal letters], Prime Minister of Canada. However, while in the House of Commons during Question Period, other members of parliament may address the prime minister as The Right Honourable, Member for [prime minister's riding] or simply The Right Honourable Prime Minister.[50] Former prime ministers retain the prefix The Right Honourable for the remainder of their lives; should they remain sitting MPs, they may be referred as The Right Honourable Member for [member's riding] or by their portfolio title (if appointed to one), as in The Right Honourable Minister of National Defence.

In the decades following Confederation, it was common practice to refer to the prime minister as Premier of Canada,[51][52][53] a custom that continued until the First World War, around the time of Robert Borden's premiership.[54][55][56] While contemporary sources will still speak of early prime ministers of Canada as premier,[57][58][59] the modern practice is such that the federal head of government is known almost exclusively as the prime minister, while the provincial and territorial heads of government are termed premiers (save for within Quebec and New Brunswick, where the premiers are addressed in French as Premier ministre du [province], literally translated as Prime Minister of [province]).

Prime Minister-designate of Canada

The Prime Minister–designate of Canada refers to the person who has been designated as the future prime minister by the Governor General, after either winning a general election, forming a confidence and supply government, or forming a coalition government. The term does not apply to incumbent prime ministers.

Activities post-commission

After exiting office, former prime ministers of Canada have engaged in various pursuits. Some remained in politics: Bowell continued to serve as a senator, Stephen Harper returned to the House of Commons as a backbench Member of Parliament, and Bennett moved to the United Kingdom after being elevated to the House of Lords.[60] A number led Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the Canadian parliament: John A. Macdonald, Arthur Meighen, Mackenzie King,[61] and Pierre Trudeau, all before being re-appointed as prime minister (Mackenzie King twice); Alexander Mackenzie and John Diefenbaker, both prior to sitting as regular Members of Parliament until their deaths;[62] Wilfrid Laurier dying while still in the post;[63] and Charles Tupper,[64] Louis St. Laurent,[65] and John Turner, each before they returned to private business. Meighen was also appointed to the Senate following his second period as prime minister, but resigned his seat to seek re-election and moved to private enterprise after failing to win a riding.[66] Following Meighen into civilian life were: Robert Borden, who served as Chancellor of Queen's and McGill Universities, as well as working in the financial sector; Lester B. Pearson, who acted as Chancellor of Carleton University;[67] Joe Clark and Kim Campbell, who became university professors, Clark also consultant and Campbell working in international diplomacy and as the director of private companies and chairperson of interest groups; while Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien returned to legal practice.[68] Former prime ministers also commonly penned autobiographies—Tupper,[64] for example—or published their memoirs—such as Diefenbaker and Paul Martin.[62]

See also


  1. ^ See majority and plurality.
  2. ^ A 2008 Ipsos-Reid poll found 42% of respondents thought the prime minister was head of state.[12]
  3. ^ See Note 2 at Cabinet of Canada.
  4. ^ See 'Responsibilities' and Note 1 at Cabinet of Canada.


  1. ^ a b c "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Library of Parliament. April 11, 2018. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  2. ^ Brooks, Stephen (2007). Canadian Democracy: An Introduction (5 ed.). Don Mills: Oxford University Press. pp. 233–234. ISBN 978-0-19-543103-2.
  3. ^ a b Brooks 2007, p. 235
  4. ^ Privy Council Office. "Intergovernmental Affairs > About Canada > The Canadian Constitution". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  5. ^ Her Majesty the Queen (March 29, 1867), "SchedB.37.1", Constitution Act, 1982, Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, retrieved June 7, 2010
  6. ^ His Majesty the King (1947). "I". Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada. Ottawa: King's Printer for Canada (published October 1, 1947). Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Media > Fact Sheets > The Swearing-In of a New Ministry". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on June 16, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  8. ^ Pothen, Phil (2009), Disinformation as a Back Door to 'Constitutional Revolution' in Canada, Toronto: Ontario Bar Association, retrieved September 13, 2010
  9. ^ Forsey, Eugene (2005), How Canadians Govern Themselves (PDF) (6 ed.), Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, pp. 3–4, ISBN 0-662-39689-8, archived from the original (PDF) on January 15, 2011, retrieved December 9, 2009
  10. ^ Forsey, Eugene (March 2012). "How Canadians Govern Themselves > The Prime Minister". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Forsey 2005, p. 38
  12. ^ a b In the Wake of Constitutional Crisis: New Survey Demonstrates that Canadians Lack Basic Understanding of Our Country's Parliamentary System (PDF), Toronto: Ipsos Reid, December 15, 2008, p. 1, retrieved May 18, 2010
  13. ^ Smith, David E (June 10, 2010). "The Crown and the Constitution: Sustaining Democracy?" (PDF). The Crown in Canada: Present Realities and Future Options. Queen's University. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
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  15. ^ Branch, Legislative Services. "Consolidated federal laws of Canada, Canada Elections Act". Retrieved November 17, 2017.
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  18. ^ a b Geddes, John (January 25, 2009). "Will the prorogation of Parliament set off a populist revolt?". Maclean's. Toronto: Kenneth Whyte. ISSN 0024-9262. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
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  22. ^ Savoie, Donald (1999). Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 362. ISBN 978-0-8020-8252-7.
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  24. ^ Zamon, Rebecca (November 4, 2015). "The Prime Minister's Wife: What Is Her Title, Exactly?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
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  27. ^ Blair, Louisa (2001). Venne, Michel, ed. Vive Quebec!: new thinking and new approaches to the Quebec nation. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-55028-734-9.
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  31. ^ Selley, Chris (May 28, 2015). "Thanks to the Senate, I've finally come around to liking the Reform Act". National Post. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
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  33. ^ Cox, Noel (September 2002). "Black v Chrétien: Suing a Minister of the Crown for Abuse of Power, Misfeasance in Public Office and Negligence". Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law. Perth: Murdoch University. 9 (3): 12. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
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  38. ^ Privy Council Office. "Did You Know > The Langevin Block from Yesterday to Today". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
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  42. ^ [1] The London Gazette, July 22, 1941.
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  48. ^ Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien Coat of Arms
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External links

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Julie Payette
as Governor General of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
Canadian order of precedence (ceremonial)
Succeeded by
Richard Wagner
as Chief Justice of Canada
24 Sussex Drive

24 Sussex Drive, originally called Gorffwysfa and usually referred to simply as 24 Sussex, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, located in the New Edinburgh neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario. Built between 1866 and 1868 by Joseph Merrill Currier, it has been the official home of the Prime Minister of Canada since 1951. It is one of two official residences made available to the prime minister, the Harrington Lake estate in nearby Gatineau Park being the other.

Alexander Mackenzie

Alexander Mackenzie commonly refers to:

Alexander Mackenzie (politician) (1822–1892), second Prime Minister of Canada

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (explorer) (1764–1820), explorer and commercial partner of the North West CompanyAlexander Mackenzie or MacKenzie may also refer to:

Alexander Mackenzie of Kintail (died after 1471), Scottish clan chief

Alexander Muir Mackenzie (1764–1835), Scottish advocate and landowner

Alexander Slidell Mackenzie (1803–1848), American naval officer involved in the "Somers Affair", and biographer

Alexander Mackenzie (historian) (1838–1898), Scottish historian

Alexander Slidell MacKenzie (1842–1867), officer in the US Navy during the American Civil War

Alexander Mackenzie (civil servant) (1842–1902), British colonial official in Burma

Alexander Mackenzie (engineer) (1844–1921), US Army Chief of Engineers

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (composer) (1847–1935), Scottish violinist, conductor, composer and head of the Royal Academy of Music in London

Alexander Marshall Mackenzie (1848–1933), Scottish architect

Alick Mackenzie (Alexander Cecil Knox Mackenzie, 1870–1947), Australian cricketer

Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie (1879–1963), Scottish architect; son of Alexander Marshall Mackenzie

Alex Mackenzie (1885–1965), Scottish character actor

Lex MacKenzie (Addison Alexander "A.A." MacKenzie, 1885–1970), Canadian politician

Alexander Mackenzie (artist) (1923–2002), St Ives school artist

Sandy Mackenzie (Alexander Mackenzie, born 1941), Australian politician

Gregor MacKenzie (Alexander David Gregor MacKenzie, born 1956), Scottish rugby player

Alexander MacKenzie (priest) (1876–1969), Provost of St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness

Charles-Émile Trudeau

Joseph Charles-Émile "Charley" Trudeau (July 5, 1887 – April 10, 1935) was a French Canadian entrepreneur, father of Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada, and grandfather of Justin Trudeau, 23rd and current Prime Minister of Canada.

Confederation Park, Saskatoon

The Confederation Park subdivision of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, is located west of the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon's west side.

Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

The Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (French: Vice-premier ministre du Canada) is an honorary position in the Cabinet, conferred at the discretion of the prime minister. Since 2006, there has been no deputy prime minister.

The deputy prime minister should not be confused with the position of the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is effectively deputy minister to the prime minister. Like other deputy minister positions, the Clerk is a public servant and not a minister of the Crown.

Deputy prime minister

A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different even though both positions are "number two" offices. The position of deputy prime minister should not be confused with the Canadian Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister of Canada, a nonpolitical civil servant position. Also, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada does not act as a "number two".

The states of Australia and provinces of Canada each have the analogous office of deputy premier. In the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, an analogous position is that of the deputy first minister but the position in Northern Ireland has the same powers as the First Minister.

A deputy prime minister traditionally serves as acting prime minister when the real prime minister is temporarily absent or incapable of exercising his/her power. The deputy prime minister is often asked to succeed to the prime minister's office following the prime minister's sudden death or unexpected resignation, but that is not necessarily mandated by the constitution. This government position is often a job that is held simultaneously with another ministry, and is usually given to one of the most senior or fairly experienced ministers of the cabinet. The holder of this office may also be deputy leader of the governing party, or perhaps even as leader of the junior party of a coalition government.

Little scholarly attention has focused on deputy prime ministers due to their nature as being less involved in the political power plays of government and more focus on the work at hand. A 2009 study in Political Science identified nine 'qualities' of deputy prime ministership: temperament; relationships with their Cabinet and caucus; relationships with their party; popularity with the public; media skills; achievements as deputy prime minister; relationship with the prime minister; leadership ambition; and method of succession.By contrast, the structure of the Government of Russia and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine foresees the positions of several deputy prime ministers or vice prime ministers. In the case of the Russian government, the Prime Minister is responsible for defining the scope of the duties for each of his or her deputies, who also may head a specific ministry - e.g. the former Minister of Finance of Russia, Alexey Kudrin also serves as one of the deputies of the prime ministers or vice-premiers. One or two of these deputy prime ministers may hold the title of a First Deputy Prime Minister. The Russian federal law indicates that in accordance with the order established in advance, one of the deputy prime ministers may temporarily substitute for the Prime Minister in his or her absence. Customarily, however, it is to one of the "First" Deputy Prime Ministers that the prime-ministerial duties may be delegated. At the same time, in the case of Prime Minister's resignation, the law allows the President of Russia to choose any of the current vice-premiers to serve as an acting Prime Minister until the confirmation of the new government.

Favorite son

A favorite son (or a favorite daughter) is a political term.

At the quadrennial American national political party conventions, a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate. The technique allows state leaders to negotiate with leading candidates in exchange for the delegation's support. The technique was widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since nationwide campaigns by candidates and binding primary elections have replaced brokered conventions, the technique has fallen out of use, as party rule changes in the early 1970s required candidates to have nominations from more than one state.

A politician whose electoral appeal derives from her or his native state, rather than her or his political views is called a "favorite son". For example, in the United States, a presidential candidate will usually win the support of her or his home state(s).

Especially in parliamentary systems, a "favorite son" is a party member to whom the party leadership is likely to assign a prominent role, for example, Paul Martin while Jean Chrétien was the Prime Minister of Canada, or Gordon Brown while Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Kim Campbell

Avril Phaedra Douglas "Kim" Campbell (born March 10, 1947) is a Canadian politician, diplomat, lawyer and writer who served as the 19th prime minister of Canada from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993. Campbell was the first and, to date, only female prime minister of Canada.

Campbell was also the first baby boomer to hold that office, and the only Prime Minister born in British Columbia. She is Canada's third-shortest serving Prime Minister at 132 days in office. She currently is the chairperson for Canada's Supreme Court Advisory Board.

Margaret Trudeau

Margaret Joan Trudeau (née Sinclair, formerly Kemper; born September 10, 1948) is a Canadian author, actress, photographer, former television talk show hostess, and social advocate for people with bipolar disorder, which she is diagnosed with. She is the former wife of Pierre Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada; they divorced in 1984, during his final months in office. She is the mother of Justin Trudeau, who has been the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada since 2015; the journalist and author Alexandre "Sacha" Trudeau; and the deceased Michel Trudeau. In 2013, Trudeau was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario in recognition of her work to combat mental illness.

Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier is the highest peak of the Cariboo Mountains in the east-central interior of British Columbia, Canada. The mountain is part of the Premier Range, which is located just west of Valemount.

The name honours the seventh Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who died in 1919. Originally named "Mount Titan" by American mountaineer Allen Carpe, it was officially renamed in 1929 to honour Canada's Liberal prime minister.

Office of the Prime Minister (Canada)

In Canada, the Office of the Prime Minister (more commonly referred to as the Prime Minister's Office and abbreviated as PMO), located in the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council building, facing Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, is one of the most powerful parts of the government. It is made up of the prime minister and his or her top political staff, who are charged with advising the prime minister on decisions, making the office a wholly partisan body. It should not be confused with the Privy Council Office (PCO), which is the top office that controls the civil service and is expressly non-partisan. The PMO is concerned with making policy, whereas the PCO is concerned with executing the policy decisions made by the government.

Premier (Canada)

In Canada, a premier is the head of government of a province or territory. Though the word is merely a synonym for prime minister, it is employed for provincial prime ministers to differentiate them from the Prime Minister of Canada. There are currently 10 provincial premiers and three territorial premiers. These persons are styled The Honourable only while in office, unless they are admitted to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, in which case they retain the title even after leaving the premiership.

The prime minister – premier distinction does not exist in French, with both federal and provincial first ministers being styled premier/première ministre.

Premier of New Brunswick

The Premier of New Brunswick (French (masculine): Premier ministre du Nouveau-Brunswick, or feminine: Première ministre du Nouveau-Brunswick) is the first minister for the Canadian province of New Brunswick. They are the province's head of government and de facto chief executive.

The premier of a Canadian province is much like the Prime Minister of Canada. He or she is normally the leader of the party or coalition with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. The premier is styled Honourable but is not a member of the privy council so this title is only for the duration of his or her term of office. Prior the establishment of the office, the Government leaders prior to responsible government was the chief political position in New Brunswick.

The premier is chosen by the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.

The province of New Brunswick, since being established in 1785, has had a variety of leaders. Since the 1840s responsible government has been in place and the position of Premier has been formalized.

The current Premier of New Brunswick is Blaine Higgs, who was sworn in November 9, 2018.

Premiership of Stephen Harper

The premiership of Stephen Harper began on February 6, 2006 when Stephen Harper and his first cabinet were sworn in by Governor General Michaelle Jean. Harper was invited to form the 28th Canadian Ministry and become Prime Minister of Canada following the 2006 election where Harper's Conservative Party won a plurality of seats in the House of Commons of Canada leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Paul Martin. In the 2011 federal election, Harper won his first and only majority government.

Principal Secretary (Canada)

In Canada, the Principal Secretary is a senior aide, often the most senior political aide, to a head of government. Formerly, the position of Principal Secretary was the most senior one in the Canadian Prime Minister's Office (PMO). However, since 1987, it has been second to the Chief of Staff position.

The Leader of the Official Opposition and most Canadian provincial Premiers also have a principal secretary.

Robert Borden

{{about|the Prime Minister of Canada|the American TV writer and producer|Robert Borden

Sir Robert Laird Borden, (June 26, 1854 – June 10, 1937) was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the eighth prime minister of Canada, in office from 1911 to 1920. He is best known for his leadership of Canada during World War I.

Borden was born in Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia. He worked as a schoolteacher for a period and then served his articles of clerkship at a Halifax law firm. He was called to the bar in 1878, and soon became one of Nova Scotia's most prominent barristers. Borden was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in 1896, representing the Conservative Party. He replaced Charles Tupper as party leader in 1901, and became prime minister after the party's victory at the 1911 federal election.

As prime minister, Borden led Canada through World War I and its immediate aftermath. His government passed the War Measures Act, created the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and eventually introduced compulsory military service, which sparked the 1917 conscription crisis. On the home front, it dealt with the consequences of the Halifax Explosion, introduced women's suffrage for federal elections, and used the North-West Mounted Police to break up the 1919 Winnipeg general strike. For the 1917 federal election (the first in six years), Borden created the Unionist Party, an amalgam of Conservatives and pro-conscription Liberals; his government was re-elected with an overwhelming majority.

Borden retired from politics in 1920, having accepted a knighthood in 1915 – the last Canadian prime minister to be knighted. He was also the last prime minister born before Confederation, and is the most recent Nova Scotian to hold the office. His portrait has appeared on Canadian $100 notes produced since 1976, but in late 2016 the government announced Borden's image would be removed during the next redesign.

Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada

The former Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada (French: Époux du Premier Ministre du Canada) is the wife or husband of the Prime Minister of Canada. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is the wife of the 23rd and current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

To date, 19 women have been the wives of the Prime Minister of Canada; Kim Campbell, the only female prime minister to date, was unmarried during her time in office. As a public figure, spouses participate in various ceremonial, diplomatic or partisan activities alongside the prime minister. Spouses often pursue philanthropic or charitable endeavours on their own, although the spouses to date have varied in how actively they sought or accepted the public spotlight.

Some media outlets have styled prime ministers' wives as the "First Lady of Canada", similar to the style of First Lady used in the neighbouring United States and other republics. This is not a recognized nor accurately applicable title, as both the spouses of Canada's monarch and that of the governor general take precedence over a prime minister's spouse. Rather, use of "First Lady" is based on the influence of American media.

The Right Honourable

The Right Honourable (The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon.) is an honorific style traditionally applied to certain persons and collective bodies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, some other Commonwealth realms, the Anglophone Caribbean, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and occasionally elsewhere. The term is predominantly used today as a style associated with holding certain senior government offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand.

"Right" in this context is an adverb meaning "to a great extent or degree".

Trudeau family

The Trudeau family is a Canadian family originating from the French colonial period in what is now Quebec. The family is also a political dynasty.

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