Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada is responsible for this organization. The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS), established pursuant to an agreement reached at the May 1973 First Ministers’ Conference, is an agency of the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Its mandate is to provide administrative support and planning services for intergovernmental conferences of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

These intergovernmental conferences are a key instrument for consultation and negotiation among the different orders of government and assist in the development of national and/or provincial/territorial policies. They are a critical component of the workings of the Canadian federation and represent a core principle of our democratic society.

By skillfully executing the logistical planning and delivery of these meetings, CICS not only relieves governments of the administrative process burden but also allows them to greatly benefit from significant cost efficiencies and economies of scale.

Mandate and role

The mandate of the Secretariat is to support federal, provincial and territorial governments in the planning and conduct of senior level intergovernmental conferences held across Canada. The primary objective of CICS is to relieve client departments of the numerous technical and administrative tasks associated with the planning and conduct of multilateral conferences, thereby enabling participants to concentrate on substantive intergovernmental policy issues. CICS provides continuous, effective, impartial administrative services to these meetings.

Benefits for Canadians

The planning and conduct of multilateral meetings of First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers is a critical component of the workings of the Canadian federation. By skillfully and professionally planning and delivering services at these meetings, CICS allows governments to discuss important issues without getting distracted by process. The risk of error and omission is significantly mitigated by tapping into the Secretariat’s experience and impartiality.

The interests of all Canadians are represented by their elected governments participating in these intergovernmental conferences.

As an institution dedicated to supporting events that give rise to, and support the spirit of cooperation and negotiation among governments, CICS seeks to execute its role to maximum effect, creating an environment conducive to productive discourse and optimal decision-making, to the benefit of all Canadians.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments greatly benefit from significant cost efficiencies and economies of scale through the use of CICS. This is particularly relevant in the current fiscal environment.