L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia
Executive Council, the name applied to the council appointed under the old colonial constitution (such as that appointed under the Constitutional Act of 1791 in Upper and Lower Canada ) to act with the governor or lieutenant-governor or administrator in the executive government. Up to 1841 the members of the Executive Council were sometimes heads of the administrative departments of government, and frequently were not; but in 1841 Lord Sydenham introduced into Canada the principle that the Executive Council should be composed of heads of departments. On the introduction of responsible government, therefore, the Executive Council became virtually synonymous with the cabinet; and in the provinces of Canada since Confederation the Executive Council is the cabinet. In the federal sphere, since 1867, the term executive Council has been discarded; and the cabinet is composed of members of the King's Privy Council for Canada.
Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 305-306.
© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College