April 1, 2011

Foreign Service Directives


The Executive Committee dealt with a grievance regarding a provincially registered civil union and its application under the Foreign Service Directives.  The Committee agreed that clarification needed to be communicated to employees on this issue.

The Government of Canada does not recognize provincially registered partnerships such as a civil union in Québec, a registered common-law relationship in Manitoba, an adult interdependent relationship in Alberta, or a registered domestic partnership in Nova Scotia as these relationships are construed by provincial statute for the purposes of provincial law only and have no application nor recognition outside their jurisdictional boundaries.  These relationships can only be recognized for the purposes of federal law if they meet the definition of "common-law partner".

Definition – Common-law Partner:

"Common-law partner", in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year.


Requests for more information or clarification should be addressed to your designated departmental coordinators.

Designated departmental coordinators may contact:

Diane Eyre
Senior Policy Analyst
Compensation and Labour Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone (613) 946-3714
Fax (613) 952-3002