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President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
In the Canadian cabinet the President of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada is nominally in charge of the Privy Council Office. The President of the Privy Council also has the largely ceremonial duty of presiding over meetings of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, a body which only convenes for affairs of state such as the accession of a new Sovereign or the marriage of the Prince of Wales or heir presumptive to the Throne (see Monarchy in Canada). Accordingly the last time the President of the Privy Council had to preside over a meeting of the Privy Council was in 1981 on the occasion of HRH The Prince of Wales' engagement to The Lady Diana Spencer. It is the equivalent of the office of Lord President of the Council in the United Kingdom.
Under Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Joe Clark the position was synonymous with that of Government House Leader. In 1989 the Government House Leader became a separate position and the President of the Privy Council became a largely honourary title (not unlike that of Deputy Prime Minister of Canada) given to a senior minister in addition to other portfolios. The current President, Lucienne Robillard, is also Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In the past decade the position has generally been seen to be the closest thing to a sinecure posting within the Cabinet.
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