- Aunt Lizzie
- July 17, 2013 - 15:08
The Telegram editorial staff are obviously in need of a lesson in how government works. Here's a crash course: Just because there are 39 ministers, that doesn't mean there are 39 ministries. Some ministries have more than one member of Cabinet. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has three: a Minister of Foreign Affairs, a Minister of International Trade, and a Minister of State who handles consular issues. There are also Ministers of State who are responsible for certain policy areas that do not have ministries at all, such as Democratic Reform, ACOA, etc. Ministers of State do NOT have their own cars and drivers, etc., and generally have only a couple of staffers each. Moreover, the entire Cabinet almost never meets, and it does not really have to. Instead, Cabinet is divided into a system of Committees - Social Affairs (which includes Aboriginal Affairs, Health, HRSDC, Labour, etc.); Foreign Affairs and Defence (which includes National Defence, Foreign Affairs, Public Safety, International Trade, etc.), and so on. Each item requiring a Cabinet decision is referred to the appropriate committee. Then the decisions of all committees are ratified by the Priorities and Planning Committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. This system has been used by Canadian governments since the early 20th century, and all the info I have provided here is readily available online. Please, Telegram editors, do some basic research before writing about a subject, and spare yourself the embarrassment of publishing nonsense like this piece.