Department of Solicitor General | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Department of Solicitor General

Solicitor General, Department of

The Department of the Solicitor General is a body within the Ministry of the Solicitor General which consists of the department and four other agencies: the ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE (RCMP), the CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (CSIS), the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), and the National Parole Board (NPB). There are also four Ministry review bodies which aim at accountability and respect for the rule of law. The entire portfolio has a budget in excess of $2.5 billion and over 34 000 employees.

The department's role within the Ministry is to assist the minister (as of 1998, Lawrence MacAulay) by giving direction to policing, law enforcement, national security, corrections and conditional release. The ministry is responsible for protecting Canadians and helping to maintain Canada as a peaceful society.

Before 1936, the department was either a Cabinet post or a ministerial post outside Cabinet. Between 1936 and 1945, the solicitor general's responsibilities were handled by the attorney general. The Solicitor General Act of 1945 re-established the Cabinet post and in 1966 the Department of the Solicitor General was created in response to a need for stronger support to the Solicitor General.