Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (French: Ministre des Affaires étrangères) is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations and heads the Department of Global Affairs, though the Minister of International Trade leads on international trade issues. In addition to the Department, the Minister is also the lead in overseeing the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development and the International Development Research Centre.

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
François-Philippe Champagne

since 20 November 2019
Department of Global Affairs
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
AppointerGovernor General of Canada
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holderAndré Ouellet
Formation4 November 1993
Salary$255,300 (2017)[1]
Websitewww.international.gc.ca
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From 1909 to 1993, the office was called Secretary of State for External Affairs. The first two Secretaries of State for External Affairs, from 1909 until 1912, (Charles Murphy under Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William James Roche under Sir Robert Borden) concurrently served as Secretary of State for Canada. The two portfolios were permanently separated in 1912, and the External Affairs portfolio was then held by the Prime Minister of Canada until 1946.

History

Ministers holding the External Affairs and Foreign Affairs portfolios have sometimes played prominent international roles:

As in Pearson's case (and that of Louis St. Laurent, his predecessor), the portfolio can be a final stepping stone to the Prime Minister's Office. Until 1946, it was customary for the office to be held by the sitting Prime Minister. John Diefenbaker would hold the portfolio on two subsequent occasions.

List of Ministers

Key:

  Historical conservative parties: Liberal-Conservative, Conservative (historical), Unionist, National Liberal and Conservative, Progressive Conservative

Secretaries of State for External Affairs (1909–1993)

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 Charles Murphy May 19, 1909October 6, 1911 Liberal 8 (Laurier)
2 William James Roche October 10, 1911April 1, 1912 Conservative (historical) 9 (Borden)
3 Robert Borden April 1, 1912October 11, 1917 Conservative (historical)
October 12, 1917July 9, 1920 Unionist 10 (Borden)
4 Arthur Meighen
1st time
July 10, 1920December 29, 1921 National Liberal and Conservative 11 (Meighen)
5 William Lyon Mackenzie King
1st time
December 29, 1921June 28, 1926 Liberal 12 (King)
(4) Arthur Meighen
2nd time
June 29, 1926September 25, 1926 Conservative (historical) 13 (Meighen)
(5) William Lyon Mackenzie King
2nd time
September 25, 1926August 7, 1930 Liberal 14 (King)
6 Richard Bedford Bennett August 7, 1930October 23, 1935 Conservative (historical) 15 (Bennett)
(5) William Lyon Mackenzie King
3rd time
October 23, 1935September 3, 1946 Liberal 16 (King)
7 Louis St. Laurent September 4, 1946September 9, 1948 Liberal
8 Lester B. Pearson September 10, 1948November 15, 1948 Liberal
November 15, 1948June 20, 1957 17 (St. Laurent)
9 John Diefenbaker June 21, 1957September 12, 1957 Progressive Conservative 18 (Diefenbaker)
10 Sidney Earle Smith September 13, 1957March 17, 1959 Progressive Conservative
John Diefenbaker
2nd time; Acting Minister
March 19, 1959June 3, 1959 Progressive Conservative
11 Howard Charles Green June 4, 1959April 21, 1963 Progressive Conservative
12 Paul Martin Sr. April 22, 1963April 20, 1968 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
13 Mitchell Sharp April 20, 1968August 7, 1974 Liberal 20 (P. E. Trudeau)
14 Allan MacEachen
1st time
August 8, 1974September 13, 1976 Liberal
15 Don Jamieson September 14, 1976June 3, 1979 Liberal
16 Flora MacDonald June 4, 1979March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
17 Mark MacGuigan March 3, 1980September 9, 1982 Liberal 22 (P. E. Trudeau)
(14) Allan MacEachen
2nd time
September 10, 1982June 29, 1984 Liberal
18 Jean Chrétien June 30, 1984September 16, 1984 Liberal 23 (Turner)
19 Joe Clark September 17, 1984April 20, 1991 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
20 Barbara McDougall April 21, 1991June 24, 1993 Progressive Conservative
21 Perrin Beatty June 25, 1993November 3, 1993 Progressive Conservative 25 (Campbell)

Ministers of Foreign Affairs (1993–present)

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 André Ouellet November 4, 1993January 24, 1996 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
2 Lloyd Axworthy January 25, 1996October 16, 2000 Liberal
3 John Manley October 17, 2000January 15, 2002 Liberal
4 Bill Graham January 15, 2002December 11, 2003 Liberal
December 12, 2003July 19, 2004 27 (Martin)
5 Pierre Pettigrew July 20, 2004February 5, 2006 Liberal
6 Peter MacKay February 6, 2006August 14, 2007 Conservative 28 (Harper)
7 Maxime Bernier August 14, 2007May 26, 2008 Conservative
8 David Emerson
Acting Minister until
June 25, 2008
May 26, 2008October 20, 2008 Conservative
9 Lawrence Cannon October 30, 2008May 18, 2011 Conservative
10 John Baird May 18, 2011February 3, 2015 Conservative
11 Rob Nicholson February 9, 2015November 4, 2015 Conservative
12 Stéphane Dion November 4, 2015January 10, 2017 Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau)
13 Chrystia Freeland January 10, 2017November 20, 2019 Liberal
14 François-Philippe Champagne November 20, 2019Incumbent Liberal

Prior and subsequent diplomatic services

Lester Pearson is the only minister to have been a diplomat prior to their appointment. Pearson entered the Canadian foreign service in 1927 and rose to become Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 1944 to 1946.

Paul Martin, Sr. served as Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom after his retirement from active politics. Following his defeat in the 2011 election, Lawrence Cannon has served as Canadian Ambassador to France since 2012, while Stéphane Dion was named Canadian Ambassador to the European Union and Germany immediately after leaving cabinet in 2017. Unlike Pearson, none were career diplomats.

References

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