Presentation on theme: "Government. What is Government? The people and institutions put in place to run or govern a country, state, province or community. The role of government."— Presentation transcript:
What is Government? The people and institutions put in place to run or govern a country, state, province or community. The role of government is to make decisions and regulations (laws) for the people for whom it is responsible.
Canada’s Government Canada is a federal state, parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. A federal state brings together a number of different communities with a central government (federal) for general purposes and separate local governments (provincial/territorial) for local purposes. As a parliamentary democracy, we elect members to our parliament and legislatures. The political party with the most representatives gains control of the legislature or parliament. As a constitutional monarchy, Canada’s head of state is a hereditary sovereign (Queen or King), who reigns in accordance with the Constitution.
Three Levels of Government Canada is a very large country with many different needs and interests. In order to support its citizens most effectively, government is structured into three levels: federal, provincial and municipal. Each level has its own arrangement of elected and appointed officials, as well as a unique set of responsibilities.
Federal The elected representative at the federal level is called a Member of Parliament (MP). The federal legislative body has 308 elected MPs. MPs debate and pass laws in the House of Commons in Ottawa (Parliament Hill). The leader of the government is called the prime minister. The Queen is represented by the governor general.
Provincial/Territorial The elected representative at the provincial level is called a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP - Ontario), Member of the House of Assembly (MHA – Newfoundland and Labrador), or Member of the National Assembly (MNA - Quebec), depending on where you live in Canada. Elected representatives debate and pass laws at the legislative assembly. The leader of the government is called the premier. The Queen is represented by the lieutenant governor at the provincial level.
Municipal/Local The elected representative at the municipal level is called a councillor or alderman. The leader of the government is called a mayor, reeve or warden. The size of the council differs from city to town. Councillors debate and pass legislation in the council chambers (city hall/municipal office).
Section 91-95, Constitution In choosing a federal form of government, the Fathers of Confederation assigned responsibilities to the different levels of government (Sections 91–95, Constitution Act). The division of powers is based on the principle of subsidiarity, in which the government closest to the issue governs it. Municipal governments receive their powers from the provinces.
Division of Responsibilities Federal: National defence, trade, foreign policy, finance, health and safety, immigration and citizenship. Provincial/Territorial: Health care, education, welfare, transportation, justice, energy and the environment. Municipal: Waste management, water and sewer, policing and protection, cultural facilities and libraries.
Discussion Questions How does government affect your life? Why is it important to know who is your elected representative?