Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes - Gouvernement du Québec.
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Approval and Authorization Process

What is a Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement Within the Meaning of An Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (Act M-30)?

A Canadian intergovernmental agreement is an agreement between the Government of Québec or one of its departments or government agencies and another government in Canada, one of its departments or government agencies, or a federal public agency (section 3.6.2).

What is the Difference Between Government Approval and Prior Authorization?

Approval of a Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement

The Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs oversees the negotiation of Canadian intergovernmental agreements and their implementation (section 3.7).

To be valid, all Canadian intergovernmental agreements must be approved by the Government and signed by the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs (section 3.8).

To this end, the draft agreement must be submitted to the Cabinet, on recommendation of the sector minister and the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, and his approval must be confirmed by an Order in Council.

Prior Authorization

Under section 3.11 of Act M-30, no municipal or school body may, without the prior authorization of the Government, enter into any agreement with another government in Canada or one of its departments or government agencies, or with a federal public agency. Therefore, this municipal or school body must, in order to enter into such an agreement, obtain the authorization of the Government by way of an Order in Council.

Moreover, under section 3.12 of this statute, no Québec public agency may, without the prior written authorization of the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, enter into any agreement with another government in Canada or one of its departments or government agencies, or with a federal public agency.

This authorization takes the form of a ministerial order signed by the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and is issued once a request has been made to this effect by the sector minister responsible for the file, accompanied by an opinion on the relevance of the draft agreement  (section 3.12).

As well, the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs may attach conditions as he determines to its authorization (section 3.12).

Nullity of the Agreement

In all cases, failure to obtain the approval or authorization stipulated in Act M-30 (Order in Council or Ministerial Order) will render the agreement in question invalid or null and void.

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Which Agencies are Covered by Act M-30?

According to section 3.6.2:

A government agency means a legal person or agency that, under its constituting Act, is empowered to make inquiries, issue permits or licences or make regulations for purposes other than its internal management, and if it is a legal person, is the mandatory or agent of the State or of another government in Canada or enjoys the rights and privileges of a mandatory or such an agent.

A Québec public agency means:

  • a legal person or agency that, although not a government agency, a municipal body or a school body, has one of the following characteristics:
    • a majority of its members come from the Québec public sector, that is, are appointed by the Government, a minister, a government agency, a municipal body, a school body or another public agency;
    • its personnel is appointed in accordance with the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1);
    • more than half of its financing is derived from Québec public funds, i.e. from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, a government agency, a municipal body, a school body or another public agency;
  • a group of public agencies.

A municipal body means:

  • a municipality; or
  • a metropolitan community; or
  • a legal person or body that has one of the following characteristics:
    • a majority of its members are appointed by one or more municipal bodies;
    • more than half of its financing is provided by one or more municipal bodies; or
  • a group of municipal bodies.

A school body means:

  • a school board; or
  • the Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montréal; or
  • a legal person or body that has one of the following characteristics:
    • a majority of its members are appointed by one or more school bodies;
    • more than half of its financing is provided by one or more school bodies; or
  • a group of school bodies.

What is a Federal Public Agency?

A federal public agency means:

  • a legal person or an agency that, although not a federal government agency, has one of the following characteristics:
    • a majority of its members come from the federal public sector, that is appointed by the federal government, a federal minister, a federal government agency or another federal public agency;
    • its personnel is appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act (federal statute);
    • more than half of its financing is derived from federal public funds, that is from the federal Consolidated Revenue Fund, a federal government agency or another federal public agency;
    • a periodic financial or other report concerning its activities is required by law to be tabled in the Federal Parliament;
  • a group of federal public agencies.

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