Orders in Council Glossary

These definitions are not to be considered official in any regard. They are provided solely for the purpose of facilitating users' understanding of site contents.

  • Act - A law made by Parliament or a provincial legislature. The process of making an Act of Parliament begins with the introduction of a proposed act, or bill, in one of the two houses of Parliament (the Senate or the House of Commons). A bill becomes an act if it is passed (approved) by both Houses and receives royal assent. (Loi)
  • Bill - A proposed law submitted to Parliament for its approval. It may originate either with the Government, with a private Member or from a committee, and may relate either to public or private interests. Bills may be first introduced in either the Senate or the House of Commons, but money bills must be introduced in the House of Commons by a Minister. (Projet de loi)
  • Blue-stamp - The name given to the stamp placed on draft regulations by the Regulations Section of the Department of Justice. The stamp signifies that the draft regulations have been examined by Justice as required by the Statutory Instrument Act. (Estampille)
  • Cabinet - The executive arm of government. Cabinet Ministers are chosen by the Prime Minister. (Cabinet)
  • Central Agencies - The Department of Finance, the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. These three organizations work together to support Cabinet decision making and coordinate government initiatives. (Organismes centraux)
  • Executive arm of government - see Cabinet. (Organe exécutif du gouvernement)
  • Governor (General) in Council (GIC) - The Governor General of Canada acting by and with the advice and consent of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (i.e., Cabinet). (Gouverneur (général) en conseil)
  • Instrument of Advice - A letter from the Prime Minister to the Governor General recommending certain actions (e.g., cabinet shuffles, prorogation of Parliament). (Instrument d'avis)
  • Legislation - Written laws (Acts) made by Parliament or a provincial legislature or by a person or body that has law-making authority, usually delegated by Parliament or a legislature and exercised by making regulations or other delegated legislation. (Législation)
  • Minute of Council - A minute is a written instrument which notes a decision made by the Committee of the Privy Council and is transmitted to the Governor General for information and approval. A Minute sets out the authority for something to be done, such as the transmittal of a report of a Commission of Inquiry to the Governor General for information puroses, or the recommendation of the appointment of a person by commission under the Great Seal of Canada. (Compte rendu de décision du Conseil)
  • Order in council (OIC) - A legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, the royal prerogative. All orders in council are made on the recommendation of the responsible Minister of the Crown and take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General. (Décret du Conseil)
  • Parliament - The legislative branch of government composed of the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General), the Senate and the House of Commons. The period under which the Parliament of Canada exercises its powers. The Constitution says that a Parliament cannot exist for more than five years. (Parlement)
  • Regulation - A law made by a person or body that has been granted (delegated) law-making authority. Used both to indicate a specific type of delegated legislation as well as to refer generically to all forms of delegated legislation. For the purposes of the Regulatory Policy, we rely on the Department of Justice's determination that an item will receive an Statutory Orders and Regulations (SOR) number to indicate that it is a regulation. More broadly, a regulation may refer to any government intervention in the lives of citizens. (Règlement)
  • Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) - A statement to the public, and to Cabinet, that justifies regulatory action by demonstrating that the requirements of the Regulatory Policy have been met. (Résumé de l'étude d'impact de la réglementation)
  • Royal Assent - The approval, by a representative of the Crown, of a bill passed by the House and the Senate, making it an Act of Parliament. Royal assent is accorded in the Senate Chamber, usually by a deputy of the Governor General in the presence of members of the House and Senate. (Sanction royale)
  • Statute - Another word for an Act of Parliament or some other legislature.
  • Statutory instrument - A regulation, order, commission or other instrument authorized by an Act of Parliament. (Texte réglementaire)
  • Treasury Board (TB) - Cabinet Committee that manages the government's financial, personnel and administrative responsibilities, as well as approving regulations and most orders in council requiring Governor in Council approval. (Conseil du Trésor)