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Privy Council - Queen's Privy Council


Definition: In Canada, the Privy Council, formally called the Queen's Privy Council, is an honorary body appointed by the Governor General of Canada. It is made up of all current and former federal cabinet ministers, speakers of the House of Commons and speakers of the Senate, premiers of the provinces of Canada, chief justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, and other distinguished persons recommended by the prime minister as a special honour. The group as a whole does nothing, and very rarely is called together.

Members of the Privy Council are given the title "Honourable" for life, and use the initials P.C. after their names. (Prime ministers and chief justices of the Supreme Court receive the title "Right Honourable.") Members of the Privy Council are honoured by half-masting of the flag on the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa when they die.

Historically, the term Privy Council refers to private counsellors to the sovereign or governor general.

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