Minister of National Defence (Canada)

The Minister of National Defence (French: Ministre de la Défense nationale) is a Minister of the Crown and is the politician within the Cabinet of Canada responsible for the management and direction of all matters relating to the national defence of Canada.[2] The Department of National Defence is headed by the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the department's senior civil servant, while the Canadian Armed Forces are headed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Canada's senior serving military officer.[3] Both are responsible to the Minister. The Queen of Canada (represented by the Governor General of Canada) is the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces and has final authority on all orders and laws for the "defence of the realm" (see Queen-in-Council).[4][5] The minister is responsible, through the tenets of responsible government, to Parliament for "the management and direction of the Canadian Forces". Any orders and instructions for the Canadian Armed Forces are issued by or through the Chief of the Defence Staff.[6] The Department of National Defence exists to aid the minister in carrying out his responsibilities, and acts as the civilian support system for the Canadian Forces.[7][8]

Minister of National Defence of Canada
Incumbent
Harjit Sajjan

since 4 November 2015
The Defence Portfolio
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
AppointerGovernor General of Canada on behalf of the Queen of Canada
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Precursor
Inaugural holderGeorge Perry Graham
Formation1 January 1923
Salary$255,300 (2017)[1]
Websiteforces.gc.ca
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The current Minister of National Defence is Harjit Sajjan.

History

ON 1 January 1923, the National Defence Act, 1922 came into effect, merging the Department of Militia and Defence, the Department of the Naval Service, and the Air Board to form the Department of National Defence. The ministerial heads of the former departments, the Minister of Militia and Defence, the Minister of the Naval Service, and the Minister of Aviation was merged to form a new position, the Minister of National Defence.

During World War II, the Minister of National Defence was assisted by two subordinate ministers. The Minister of National Defence for Air was an additional minister in the Department of National Defence responsible for the Royal Canadian Air Force; while the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services was another minister in the Department of National Defence responsible for the Royal Canadian Navy. The air and naval post was reincorporated into the portfolio of the Minister of National Defence following World War II.

The Defence Portfolio

The Defence portfolio for the Minister of National Defence includes:[9]

The Minister of National Defence is also the designated Lead Minister for Search and Rescue (LMSAR) within the federal government.

Ministers

Key:

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 George Perry Graham January 1, 1923April 27, 1923 Liberal 12 (King)
2 Edward Mortimer Macdonald April 28, 1923
(Acting until Aug.17)
June 28, 1926 Liberal
3 Hugh Guthrie June 29, 1926
(Acting until Jul.13)
September 25, 1926 Conservative (historical) 13 (Meighen)
VACANT September 25, 1926September 30, 1926 14 (King)
James Robb
(Acting)
October 1, 1926October 7, 1926 Liberal
4 James Ralston
(1st time)
October 8, 1926August 7, 1930 Liberal
5 Donald Matheson Sutherland August 7, 1930November 16, 1934 Conservative (historical) 15 (Bennett)
6 Grote Stirling November 17, 1934October 23, 1935 Conservative (historical)
7 Ian Alistair Mackenzie October 24, 1935September 18, 1939 Liberal 16 (King)
8 Norman McLeod Rogers September 19, 1939June 10, 1940 Liberal
Charles Power
(Acting)
June 11, 1940July 4, 1940 Liberal
(4) James Ralston
(2nd time)
July 5, 1940November 1, 1944 Liberal
9 Andrew McNaughton November 2, 1944August 20, 1945 Military
10 Douglas Abbott August 21, 1945December 9, 1946 Liberal
11 Brooke Claxton December 10, 1946November 15, 1948 Liberal
November 15, 1948June 30, 1954 17 (St. Laurent)
12 Ralph Campney July 1, 1954June 20, 1957 Liberal
13 George Pearkes June 21, 1957October 10, 1960 Progressive Conservative 18 (Diefenbaker)
14 Douglas Harkness October 11, 1960February 3, 1963 Progressive Conservative
VACANT February 4, 1963February 11, 1963
15 Gordon Churchill February 12, 1963April 21, 1963 Progressive Conservative
16 Paul Hellyer April 22, 1963September 18, 1967 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
17 Léo Cadieux September 18, 1967April 19, 1968 Liberal
April 20, 1968September 16, 1970 20 (P. E. Trudeau)
Charles Drury
(1st time; Acting)
September 17, 1970September 23, 1970 Liberal
18 Donald Macdonald September 24, 1970January 27, 1972 Liberal
19 Edgar Benson January 28, 1972August 31, 1972 Liberal
Jean-Eudes Dubé
(Acting)
September 1, 1972September 6, 1972 Liberal
Charles Drury
(2nd time; Acting)
September 7, 1972November 26, 1972 Liberal
20 James Richardson November 27, 1972October 12, 1976 Liberal
21 Barney Danson October 13, 1976
(Acting until Nov.3)
June 3, 1979 Liberal
22 Allan McKinnon June 4, 1979March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
23 Gilles Lamontagne March 3, 1980August 11, 1983 Liberal 22 (P. E. Trudeau)
24 Jean–Jacques Blais August 12, 1983June 29, 1984 Liberal
June 30, 1984September 16, 1984 23 (Turner)
25 Robert Coates September 17, 1984February 11, 1985 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
26 Erik Nielsen February 12, 1985
(Acting until Feb.26)
June 29, 1986 Progressive Conservative
27 Perrin Beatty June 30, 1986January 29, 1989 Progressive Conservative
28 Bill McKnight January 30, 1989April 20, 1991 Progressive Conservative
29 Marcel Masse April 21, 1991January 3, 1993 Progressive Conservative
30 Kim Campbell January 4, 1993June 24, 1993 Progressive Conservative
31 Tom Siddon June 25, 1993November 3, 1993 Progressive Conservative 25 (Campbell)
32 David Collenette November 4, 1993October 4, 1996 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
33 Doug Young October 5, 1996June 10, 1997 Liberal
34 Art Eggleton June 11, 1997June 25, 2002 Liberal
35 John McCallum June 26, 2002December 11, 2003 Liberal
36 David Pratt December 12, 2003July 19, 2004 Liberal 27 (Martin)
37 Bill Graham July 20, 2004February 5, 2006 Liberal
38 Gordon O'Connor February 6, 2006August 14, 2007 Conservative 28 (Harper)
39 Peter MacKay August 14, 2007July 15, 2013 Conservative
40 Rob Nicholson July 15, 2013February 9, 2015 Conservative
41 Jason Kenney February 9, 2015November 4, 2015 Conservative
42 Harjit Sajjan November 4, 2015Incumbent Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau)

Ministers with military experience

See also

References

  1. "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Parliament of Canada.
  2. "Laws Defining Responsibilities and Authorities of National Defence". Department of National Defence. March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  3. "About DND - What is the relationship between DND and the Canadian Forces?". Department of National Defence. February 1, 2012. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  4. Lagassé, Philippe (December 2013). "The Crown's Powers of Command-in Chief: Interpreting Section 15 of Canada's Constitution Act, 1867" (PDF). Review of Constitutional Studies. 18 (2): 189–220.
  5. Federal Court of Canada (21 January 2008), In the Matter of Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh v. the Attorney-General of Canada (PDF), T-1809-06; 38, Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 5, 2008 FC 69, retrieved 7 February 2008
  6. National Defence Act. Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen as represented by the Minister of Justice. 2011. pp. 8, 12.
  7. "FAQ - What is the relationship between DND and the CF?". Department of National Defence. February 13, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  8. "Civilians Supporting the Army". Department of National Defence. August 5, 2011. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  9. "The Defence Portfolio". Department of National Defence. August 5, 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
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