Secretary of State, Department of

Established in 1867 as the official channel of communication between the Dominion of Canada and the imperial government, the department evolved into the most eclectic ministry in Cabinet. Its diverse responsibilities have at times included Indian affairs, crown lands, the RCMP, the civil service and government printing and stationery. It had always been responsible for state and ceremonial occasions. As the government began to deal with new issues outside of the scope of existing jurisdictions, they often became the responsibility of the Secretary of State until a new department was created or the issue became irrelevant.

A departmental reorganization of the government in 1993 eliminated the department but not the necessity for the function. Secretaries of State are ministers without portfolio with responsibility for specific areas within departments. These responsibilities include Training and Youth, Multiculturalism, the Status of Women, Veterans and Science Research and Development.