This is the full text of the Liberal, NDP, Bloc Québécois coalition agreement.
December 1, 2008
An Accord on a Cooperative Government to Address the Present
This document outlines the key understandings between the Liberal Party of
Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada regarding a new cooperative
1. Role of caucuses
The Liberal and NDP caucuses will continue to meet as distinct caucuses. They
will receive briefings and be consulted as appropriate. Both are entitled to offer
advice to the government. The two caucuses may meet jointly as agreed from
time to time to jointly address issues. The caucuses will sit next to each other on
the government benches.
Nothing in this Accord is intended to diminish or alter the power and prerogatives
of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister will be the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
The Minister of Finance will be appointed from the Liberal caucus.
The cabinet will be composed of 24 ministers plus the Prime Minister.
Eighteen of these ministers will be appointed from within the Liberal caucus.
Six of these ministers will be appointed from within the NDP caucus, plus six
Parliamentary Secretaries, sworn in as Privy Councillors, will also be named from
the NDP caucus. In the event the Prime Minister chooses to appoint a larger
cabinet, the NDP proportion will be maintained.
The specifics of these cabinet appointments will be made by the Prime Minister
in appropriate consultation with the Leader of the NDP.
The rules and practices of cabinet confidentiality and solidarity will be strictly
maintained. Normal processes of cabinet appointments and governance in the
Canadian federal government will be respected. The cabinet is jointly and
collectively accountable to Parliament for its work, including in daily question
3. A “no surprises” approach
Within the limits of common sense and the needs of cabinet government, the two
parties agree they will work together on a “no surprises” basis.
Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent
consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois.
Both parties are committed to restoring the integrity, transparency and efficiency
of the appointments process in the Public Service and in federal bodies like the
Supreme Court, the Senate and Commissions like the CRTC.
The Prime Minister will consult the Leader of the NDP as appropriate on
5. A standing managing committee of the Accord
A standing managing committee of the Accord, chaired by the Prime Minister, will
It will be composed of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the NDP, and such other
persons as the leaders deem appropriate from time to time.
The committee will meet regularly to ensure the good order of the Accord; to deal
with key issues that have arisen; to consult on key appointments; and to resolve
any disputes which might arise from the Accord (for example, by referring issues
relating to the Accord to a trusted committee of experienced, distinguished
6. Term of this Accord
This Accord will expire on June 30, 2011 unless renewed.
Agreed on December 1, 2008.
Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
Hon. Jack Layton
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada