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Chapter 6: What is Government?

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6: What is Government?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6: What is Government?

2 Why Does Canada Have Different Levels of Government?
- At Confederation 2 levels of government are created: Federal and Provincial Aboriginal Self Government Aboriginals have an inherent right to self-determination (government) Depending on the demographics of an area, an aboriginal self-government could cover a local community or an entire territory (like in Nunavut) Responsibilities of Different Levels of Government Each level of government is responsible for certain duties and services

3 The Federal Government
The Federal Government is responsible for... Foreign Trade Aboriginal Peoples Defense Postal Service Immigration Criminal Law Currency

4 How is it all paid for? The Government pays for all of these services with federal revenue– i.e. Taxes Taxes are generated through the GST sales tax Income Tax And are used in a variety of ways Like Pensions Equalization payments Development efforts (infrastructure)

5 Overlap of Responsibilities
Sometimes the responsibilities of the Provinces and the Federal Government overlap Development (highways, parks, police) Legal issues like marriage

6 Provincial Responsibilities
Property and Civil rights Marriage Licences Alcohol Natural Resources Hospitals Health and welfare Education Motor vehicle registration

7 Local Government Responsibilties
Police and Fire departments Streets and roads Water and sewage Transit Garbage All of these services are paid for with grants from the provincial government and with property taxes

8 Branches of Government in Canada
The idea of having different branches comes all the way from a French Philosopher named Montesquieu ( ) He thought that by separating powers between different branches it would create a system of Checks and Balances to make government work Canada has a 3 branch system Executive: carry out the business of government Legislative: makes laws Judicial: interpret and enforce law

9 The Executive Branch The Head of State for Canada is the Queen of England– she is represented in Canada by the Governor General The G.G. Is responsible for signing bills into law (Royal Assent) Officially welcomes foreign dignitaries Details the government plans for a new session of parliament Promotes pride and awareness of Canada But has no real power... Just a figurehead for tradition’s sake A Lieutenant Governor also represents the crown in each of Canada’s Provinces

10 Prime Minister and Cabinet
The Prime Minister is the most powerful political leader in Canada Is always the leader of the party that has the most M.P.s After an election, the PM chooses some advisors who are MPs who form the Cabinet The Cabinet usually has about members and has different jobs Minister of Finance to deal with the budget Minister of Justice for law Minister of health Minister of Defense

11 The Legislative Branch
Canada’s Federal Legislative body is the House of Commons in Parliament It is composed of 308 MPs who are elected from 308 ridings across Canada Each Riding has about 100,000 people in it The party with the most MPs is the majority party and the one that gets to choose the P.M. To Pass a bill you need at least half +1 of the MPs. So, that makes 155

12 A Minority Government occurs when the biggest party does not have at least half of the MPs in the Commons So the current Conservative Government is a “Minority Government” because it only has 135 Seats. New Bills are usually proposed by members of the Cabinet If an Important bill fails, however, the ruling party loses the confidence of Parliament and an election is called. Either way, a new election must occur at least 1 time per 5 years

13 The Senate The Senate is the “Upper House” in Parliament
The senate is traditionally made up of Upper Class Gentlemen They had the power to Veto irresponsible bills They were meant to oversee the commoners in the House of Commons and keep them under control In modern times the senate rarely vetoes a bill It has 105 seats Senators are appointed either for public service or for political patronage

14 The Legislative Assembly
The provincial Legislatures are similar in how they run to the Federal Parliament Members are called MLA (Members of the Legislative Assembly) Manitoba has 57 electoral divisions (ridings) Like in Parliament, there is a speaker, an Official Opposition, an executive (Premier instead of PM)

15 The Judicial Branch: Federal and Provincial Levels
The Judicial Branch has to interpret the Nation’s laws and make sure they are enforced The Supreme Court of Canada Highest Court in Canada Has a chief Justice and 8 other Judges (appointed by the PM) Can review the decisions of a lower court Can also interpret the consititution Provincial and Territorial Courts These courts interpret the laws of their areas Each area also has a court of appeals

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