2Government in CanadaCanada is a federal state and parliamentary democracy.A federal state brings together a number of different political communities with a general government (federal) for general purposes and separate local governments (provincial) for the local purposes.In Canada’s parliamentary democracy, the people elect members to the federal parliament and to the provincial/territorial legislatures.Canada has three levels of government: federal, provincial and municipal2
3FederalThe elected representative at the federal level is called a Member of Parliament (MP)The federal legislative body has 308 elected MPsMPs debate and pass laws in the House of Commons in Ottawa (Parliament Hill)The leader of the government is called the Prime Minister
4ProvincialThe elected representative at the provincial level is called a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)The legislative body in Saskatchewan has 58 elected MLAsIn Alberta, MLAs debate and pass laws in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in ReginaThe leader of the government is called the Premier
5MunicipalThe elected representative at the municipal level is called a councillor or aldermanThe size of the council differs from city to townCouncillors debate and pass legislation in the council chambers (city hall/municipal office)The leader of the government is called a mayor or reeve
6Section 91-95, Constitution In choosing a federal form of government, the Fathers of Confederation assigned particular responsibilities to the different levels of government (Sections 91–95, Constitution Act).The division of powers is based on the principle of subsidiarity (the government closest to the issue governs it).
7Division of Responsibilities Federal: Defence, trade, foreign policy, money, health and safety, immigration and citizenshipProvincial: Health care/hospitals, education, welfare, transportation within the province, justice and the cities within its borders, energy and the environmentMunicipal: Waste management, water and sewer, policing and protection, cultural facilities and libraries
8Government Ministries High schools have departments and each in charge of one specific subject area (e.g., Science Department, Math Department, History Department)Similarly, in the Saskatchewan government, there are departments called ministries (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education) and each is in charge of one or more of the government’s responsibilitiesThe premier appoints an MLA to head each Ministry of the Executive Council (Cabinet).Each minister is in charge of one of the provincial responsibilities and acts as an advisor to the premier and the Legislature in their area of expertise.
9Saskatchewan Government Ministries Advanced Education, Agriculture, Central Services, Economy, Education, Environment, Finance, Government Relations, Health, Highways and Infrastructure, Justice and Attorney General, Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Parks, Culture and Sport, Social Services
10The Electoral ProcessAn electoral division is a geographical area represented by an elected representative. Also known as an electoral district, riding or constituency.An electoral system is the way citizens’ choices, expressed as votes, are translated into legislative seats. Or the way candidates are selected to become elected representatives.Alberta uses a system called Single-Member Plurality or First-Past-The-Post. The candidate with the most votes wins.10
11The Role of an MLAWhen the Legislature is sitting, MLAs are responsible for proposing, studying, debating, and voting on bills (potential laws) and raising issues that concern their constituents.When the Legislature is not sitting, MLAs spend their time meeting with those constituents to discuss their concerns and to provide guidance and advice relating to government services.11