New Sovereign and Changes to Governor in Council submissions

As you may already be aware, the Governor General recently proclaimed, with the assistance of members of the Privy Council, the accession of His Majesty King Charles III — King of Canada. With this accession, there are a number of corresponding changes that need to occur related to Governor in Council submissions.

Effective September 20, 2022, documents that had previously indicated that they were ‘Confidence of the Queen's Privy Council’ should be changed to refer to the King's Privy Council in the top right hand corner of the page (header), as follows:

Protected B
Confidence of the
King’s Privy Council


1. How do we change the "Confidence of the Queen's Privy Council" declaration now that Canada’s new monarch is King Charles III?

This declaration should now read as follows:
" Confidence of the King's Privy Council ".

2. Will Governor in Council (GIC) submissions still referring to the Queen's Privy Council be accepted?

GIC submissions that still refer to the Queen's Privy Council and that have already been signed by the responsible Minister prior to September 20, 2022, will be accepted.

3. How long will federal organizations have to update their templates to refer to the King's Privy Council?

All documents referring to the Queen's Privy Council should now be updated to refer to the King's Privy Council. As of September 20, 2022, any document signed or stamped after that date must refer to the King’s Privy Council if it is to be accepted.

4. What happens to Department of Justice approved regulations (Blue-stamps) that still refer to the Queen’s Privy Council?

Blue-stamped instruments that were issued by the Department of Justice for which submissions have not been signed by the responsible Minister by the deadline of September 20, 2022 need to be re-issued. Please contact the Legislative Counsel responsible for the file to request that the file be re-stamped with the new wording.

5. Will documents that were once protected under the ‘Queen’s Privy Council’ now be subject to release?

Section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act, section 69 of the Access to Information Act, and s. 70 of the Privacy Act constitute the statutory means for safeguarding Cabinet confidences.  The regimes in those statutes allow for the protection of information or documents that consist of confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada – or, as of September 8th, the King’s Privy Council for Canada.

A change in sovereign does not constitute a change in the legislative framework that safeguard Cabinet confidentiality on behalf of the Crown.  The definitions in s. 35 of the Interpretation Act allow for references to the Queen to now be interpreted as references to the King in federal laws.

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