Lawrence MacAulay ranks third on the Canadian Ministry Order of Precedence and appears on the list only after Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Although the order of precedence is largely ceremonial in nature, it technically means that MacAulay ranks high in the traditional succession of power amongst all government officials in Canada.
The order of precedence is unlike the role of a designated survivor in the US. In the United States, a role of designated survivor falls to an individual who remains at home during State of the Union addresses in the event of an attack of the entire leadership of the government. In Canada, very little would occur in terms of the normal workings of government in this instance.
The designated survivor at Donald Trump’s last State of the Union address, Sonny Perdue, bears the same portfolio as MacAulay: Agriculture.
Related: P.E.I. MP Lawrence MacAulay stays on as Canada's Agriculture Minister