- Parliamentary Secretary
A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a
Parliamentin the Westminster systemwho assists a more senior minister with their duties.
In the parliamentary systems of several Commonwealth countries, such as the
United Kingdom, Canadaand Australia, it is customary for the prime ministerto appoint parliamentary secretaries (in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, "parliamentary assistants") from their political partyin parliamentto assist cabinetministers with their work. The role of parliamentary secretaries has varied under different prime ministers. Originally, the post was used as a training ground for future ministers.
United Kingdom, Parliamentary Secretary (in full, usually Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Statein those departments headed by a Secretary of State) is the third level of government minister, below Minister of Stateand Secretary of State(or another minister of Secretary of State rank, such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer). Not all departments have all three levels of minister.
Parliamentary Private Secretary(PPS), on the other hand, is a Member of Parliament who acts as an unpaid assistant to an individual minister, but has no ministerial role, although they are expected to support the government at all times.
Jean Chrétien's term as Prime Minister of Canada, parliamentary secretaries were set to two-year terms and the post was used as a reward for weary backbenchers. Their duty was to answer questions and table reports on behalf of ministers when they were unable to be present in the house.
Chrétien's successor as Canadian Prime Minister,
Paul Martin, when sworn-in 2003, promised a new role for parliamentary secretaries. They would now be sworn into the privy council giving them access to some secret documents, be allowed to attend Canadian Cabinetmeetings and be assigned specific files by ministers. This replaced the positions of Secretaries of State which had been in practice under Chrétien.
List of Parliamentary Secretaries of Canada
List of current Parliamentary Secretaries of Canada
Republic of Ireland
Irish Free State, the Ministers and Secretaries Actof 1924 created the post of Parliamentary Secretary, originally limited to seven holders. In 1978, the office was superseded in the Republic of Irelandby the office of Minister of State.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.