2The powers of Canada’s government are divided into three branches: Legislative Branchhas the power to make or change lawsExecutive Branchmakes decisions and enforces them through the civil serviceJudicial Branchinterprets and administers the law
3The Legislative Branch This branch of government is made up of three parts:House of CommonsSenateGovernor GeneralThese three parts of the legislative branch make up Canada’s Parliament.
5What is the purpose of Parliament? Parliament meets at least once a year in a session.During each session, Parliamentpasses new lawschanges or removes old lawsdebates issues that are important to CanadiansTo fully understand how parliament works, we need to take a closer look at each of its three components...
6The House of Commons (Lower House) This is the only part of Parliament that is democratically elected.The people who sit in the House of Commons are called Members of Parliament (MPs).
7HOW DO MPS GET THEIR JOBS? MPs are elected (every five years).Each MP comes from a different riding.Canada is divided into 308 ridings, each representing approximately 100,000 people.Ridings are also known as electoral districts or constituencies.
9Ridings by Province Alberta 28 BC 36 Manitoba 14 New Brunswick 10 Newfoundland 7NWT 1Nova Scotia 11Nunavut 1OntarioPEI 4Quebec 75Saskatchewan 14Yukon 1
10WHAT DO MPS DO IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS? MPs usually sit with and vote with their party.Discuss and vote on all the new laws.The governing party (party in power) is the party that has the most seats (MPs) in the House of Commons. Leader = Prime Minister.The Prime Minister is also an MP. The PM chooses the most important MPs from his party to become part of his Cabinet.The PM and the Cabinet come up with most new bills that are proposed in Parliament.The MPs who belong to the other parties make up the opposition.
11WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE OPPOSITION? The second largest party = Official Opposition. Leader is known as the Official Leader of the Opposition.The main job of the opposition is to scrutinize all decisions made by the government.
12DO MPS HAVE TO VOTE WITH THEIR PARTY? Usually YES!Every political party holds meetings of its MPs in which they discuss their opinions freely. These closed door meetings are called a caucus.Once decisions are made in caucus, ALL of the MPs are expected to vote in favour of them in the House of Commons.If MPs do not follow the party line, they risk being kicked out of the party!
13HOWEVER... Sometimes there are free votes in the House of Commons. In such cases, MPs are free to vote as they wish.Situations where free vote may occur involve debates on controversial topics such as gay marriage, abortion, capital punishment...
14The Senate (Upper House) This is the second house of ParliamentThe people who sit in the Senate are called Senators.
15How do Senators get their jobs? Senators are NOT elected. They are appointed by the Governor General after being recommended by the Prime Minister.Senators keep their position until they retire (age 75) or die.Usually, Prime Ministers fill empty seats in the Senate with supporters of their own party. This is called patronage.
18Result of Patronage:People argue that positions in the Senate are given to people the PM likes people the PM likes as opposed to those who are best qualified.This is one of the main reasons why many Canadians support the idea of abolishing the Senate.
19What do Senators do?Senators basically do the same thing in the Senate that the MPs do in the House of Commons.A bill cannot be turned into law unless both the Senate and the House of Commons have passed it.The main difference between the two Houses areSenators cannot propose money billsThe Senate represents regions as opposed to populations
20Population per Senator (2006 census) Province or Territory Number of Senators Population per Senator (2006 census) British Columbia6685,581Alberta548,391Ontario24506,678Quebec314,422Manitoba191,400Saskatchewan161,359Nova Scotia1091,346Newfoundland and Labrador84,244New Brunswick72,999Northwest Territories141,464Prince Edward Island433,962Yukon Territory30,372Nunavut29,474Total/Average105301,075
21So what is the purpose of the Senate? To provide “sober second thought” to any decisions made by the democratically elected House of Commons.To be more representative of regions with smaller populations.
22The Governor GeneralThe Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada.He or she is appointed by the Prime Minister.A Governor General normally serves for 5 years.
23What does the Governor General Do? Gives formal assent (royal assent) to any bill passed by Parliament.After the Governor General gives formal assent, the bill becomes a law.The Governor General also ensures that the government abides by the Constitution and opens each session of Parliament with a speech.
25The Executive BranchThis branch of government is made up of four parts:Governor GeneralPrime MinisterCabinetCivil Service (Public Service / Bureaucracy)
26What is the role of the Executive Branch? To make decisions and make sure that they are carried out through the civil service.Example:The Provincial government decides how many provincial exams you must write.The people who run your school make sure that you actually write them.
27So what does each part of the Executive Branch do? The Governor General has the simplest job:Gives formal assent to bills, making them laws that must be enforced.
28What does the PM do?The Prime Minister has a number of roles to play in Canada’s government:Is the leader of the political party with the most seats in the House of CommonsAfter an election, is asked by the Governor General to become Prime Minister
30The Prime Minister is the Head of Government: As head of government, the PMAsks the Governor General to name new judges and senatorsDecides when to ask the Governor General to call an electionChooses Cabinet MinistersHas final say in creating the policies of the government
31The Prime Minister is the Leader of the Nation: As leader of the nation, the PMExplains the goals of the government to the peopleAddresses Canadians on important issuesRepresents Canada on trips to other nationsWorks with premiers to coordinate federal / provincial responsibilities
32The Prime Minister is the Leader of his Political Party: As leader of his party, the PMActs as spokesperson for his partyGives patronage appointmentsLeads other party members in Parliament
33What is the Cabinet? The cabinet is made up of MPs chosen by the PM. Members of the cabinet are known as Cabinet MinistersEach cabinet minister is responsible for one cabinet departmentExamples:Minister of Foreign AffairsMinister of FinanceMinister of DefenceMinister of Fisheries
35How does a PM select Cabinet Ministers? The PM has to consider a number of factors:The cabinet must make the different regions of Canada feel as though they are fairly represented.The cabinet must make the different ethnic, linguistic and social groups in Canada feel as though they are fairly represented.The cabinet must be made up of people who are capable, trustworthy and loyal to their leader.
36What do Cabinet Ministers do? They help to form government policy for the department they are in charge of.They are free to express their opinions behind closed doors, but in public their job is to show full support for the decisions of the government – this is the principle of Cabinet Solidarity.Solidarity is ensured by one MP of the party who has the role of Party Whip.
37What do Cabinet Ministers do? They help to form government policy for the department they are in charge of.They are free to express their opinions behind closed doors, but in public their job is to show full support for the decisions of the government – this is the principle of Cabinet Solidarity.Solidarity is ensured by one MP of the party who has the role of Party Whip.
38What happens after the Governor General, the PM, and the Cabinet have made their decisions? They get the civil service to put their decisions into practice.
40What is the civil service? Everyone who is employed by the government is part of the civil service. They are the people who perform the ongoing business of government.This includes teachers, fire fighters, police, the military, ambassadors, tax collectors...The civil service is also known as the public service or the bureaucracy.
41Civil Servants do many things: Gather statisticsAdvise cabinet ministers (deputy ministers)Write details for new lawsRepresent Canada in other countriesCollect taxesInspect foodDeliver mail...
42ASSIGNMENTPrepare a job advertisement for one of the following positions: Governor General, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, or Senator.Include:a brief job descriptionpersonal qualities that are necessary for the jobwork experiences that are necessary for the job