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The Canadian Government

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1 The Canadian Government
Canadian History 11 The Canadian Government

2 Political Regions

3 Federal, Provincial & Territorial Flags
Left to right, top row: National Flag of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick,  Middle row: Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario Bottom Row:  Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Flag of Canada*

4 What is a Government? The word government means to exercise power in a group. Every group needs people to make and enforce decisions that control the conduct of the group. A government’s basic task is to make a set of laws to allow people in a society to live together in peace and security. There are 3 functions of government: Legislative function is the making of laws or the passing of legislation. Executive function is putting the laws into effect on a daily basis. Judicial function is to decide if an individual has broken society’s laws and to punish the guilty.

5 Video Clip: _FSE

6 Canada’s government has been described as the following:
Democracy = is a system of government in which the people rule or have the power. In Canada, we elect others to represent us in governing the country.

7 Canada’s government has been described as the following:
Monarchy = The monarch is the source of all authority. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada. She is represented by the Governor General Governor General.


9 Canada’s government has been described as the following:
Parliamentary system = Canada’s parliament consists of the Queen represented by the Governor General, the Senate, whose members are appointed and by the House of Commons, made up of representatives elected by the Canadian voters.

10 Canada’s government has been described as the following:
Cabinet = The cabinet minsters carry out the executive functions of the government. Cabinet ministers must be elected to the House of Commons or have seats in the Senate. In order to stay in office they must have the support of the majority of the members of the House of Commons.

11 Canada’s government has been described as the following:
Federal Government = The government has a system in which the power to make laws is shared between two levels of government: a national or central government and provincial governments. Canada is a federation of provinces and territories or has a federal government because both levels of government have the power to make laws

12 The Federal System

13 The Executive The Sovereign The Governor General Parliament The Prime Minister The Legislature The Cabinet Judiciary The Senate House of Commons Supreme Court of Canada Agriculture Fisheries Revenue Canada Communications Native Affairs & Public Works Consumer & Corporate Northern Development Regional Industrial Affairs Justice Expansion Employment & Immigration Labour Secretary of State Energy, Mines &Resources National Defence Solicitor General Environment National Health & Supply & Service External Affairs Welfare Transport Finance Veterans Affairs


15 Governor General Appointed Official
Represents the Queen, but follows the advice of the cabinet 5 years Entertains important foreign visitors Honours distinguished Canadians Cuts ribbons at ceremonies Lends support to causes & events Serves as a reminder of the past Resides at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Gives Royal Assent to Bills

16 Current Governor General
David Johnston is the 28th Governor General of Canada.


18 Prime Minister Acts as the voice of the nation Directs foreign policy
Leader of the majority party in the House of Commons Elected by the people Office has no fixed term Follows the wishes of the majority of the House of Commons Leads the party caucus in parliament. Caucus = a private meeting of the elected members of a political party Acts as the voice of the nation Directs foreign policy Serves as the leader of the governing party and with the aid of a House leader guides debates/discussions in the House

19 Prime Minister Chooses the Ministers for his/her Cabinet
Can ask anyone to resign from the Cabinet Cabinet decisions do not necessarily go by the majority vote. A strong PM, after having listened to everyone’s opinions & advice, simply announces that his or her view is the policy of the government The PM lives at 24 Sussex Drive, a house maintained by the government


21 Current Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada is the Conservative Party's Stephen Harper

22 The Cabinet PM Cabinet is made up of app. 30 ministers
Chosen by the PM from the majority party in the House of Commons The Cabinet & PM decide on policies the Government will follow. It is responsible for all legislation & has the power to make new laws It decides whether : to raise or lower taxes The country will be at peace or war To improve airports To increase old-age pensions

23 The Cabinet Each province must be represented by at least one Minister. Each minister is responsible for a Government Department Each minister also has a Deputy Minister who is a permanent head of the department. These officers are civil servants who are employed by the Government. Each Minister is responsible, answerable & accountable for his/her department to the House of Commons.

24 The Cabinet The Cabinet works as a team.
Every Cabinet Minister must agree and defend all policies decided whether they totally agree with them or not. If they cannot agree & will not support the Cabinet, they may resign or be asked to resign by the PM This team playing is referred to as “the collective responsibility of the Cabinet”

25 Cabinet Ministers The Leader of the Government in the Senate
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food The Minister of Canadian Heritage The Minister of Citizenship & Immigration The Minister of Environment The Minister of Finance & Minister for the Federal Office of Regional Development Quebec The Minister of Fisheries & Oceans The Minister of Foreign Affairs The Minister of Health The Minister of National Revenue The Minister of Transport The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs & Ministers responsible for Public Service Renewal The Minister of Human Resource Development & Western Economic Diversification The Minister of native Affairs & Northern Development The Minister of Industry The Minister of International Trade The Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada The Minister of National Defence & Veterans’ Affairs The Minister of Public Works & Government Services & of the Atlantic Opportunities The President of the Treasury Board & Minister for Infrastructure The Solicitor General & Leader of the Government in the House of Commons


27 Parliament The Queen is the formal head of Canada.
The Governor General represent her at the Federal level The Lieutenant- Governors represent her at the Provincial level They govern through a Cabinet, headed by the PM (federal level) & a Premier (Provincial Level) Parliament consists of : The Queen The Senate (Upper House) House of Commons (Lower House)

28 The Senate The Upper House Made up of 105 men & women
Its presiding officer, the Speaker of the Senate, and the Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the PM Usually given as a reward for service to the country Senators must retire at 75 yrs old or if they miss 2 consecutive sessions of Parliament They must be at least 30 yrs old & have real estate worth $ They must reside in the province/territory for which they are appointed

29 The Senate The Senate is made up of members who have specialized knowledge and long years of legal, business or administrative experience. They are often ex-Ministers, ex- Premiers, ex-mayors, important lawyers & experienced farmers The can initiate bills, except bills providing for the spending of public money or imposing taxes. It has the right to amend or reject any bill No bill can become law unless passed by the Senate

30 The Senate 2010

31 The House of Commons Lower House 308 Seats Elected by the people
Parliament sits about 27 weeks of the year. A regular sitting day always includes routine business, committee reports are presented, documents are recorded, Ministers make statements, petitions are presented & bills are introduced The Question Period is when Ministers must defend the activities of their departments & the policies of the Government Lower House 308 Seats Elected by the people 5 year term Each Member represents a constituency (district) of a province or territory. They do not have to live in the constituency

32 The House of Commons 2010

33 The House of Commons

34 1. Speaker 2. Pages 3. Government Members 4. Opposition Members. 5
1. Speaker 2. Pages 3. Government Members 4. Opposition Members* 5. Prime Minister 6. Leader of the Official Opposition 7. Leader of the Second Largest Party in Opposition 8. Clerk and Table Officers 9. Mace 10. Hansard Reporters 11. Sergeant-at-Arms 12. The Bar 13. Interpreters 14. Press Gallery 15. Public Gallery 16. Official Gallery 17. Leader of the Opposition’s Gallery 18. Members’ Gallery 19. Members’ Gallery 20. Members’ Gallery 21. Speaker’s Gallery 22. Senate Gallery 23. T.V. Cameras

35 National Political Parties
Stephen Harper Michael Ignatieff Jack Layton Gilles Duceppe (Rick Mercer on Elections)


37 Political Spectrum Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Larger role for government, smaller role for individuals More spending on social welfare programs Less spending on the military Government Ownership of key industries & resources Emphasis on individual rights More lenient justice system, with emphasis on rehabilitating offenders Shared role for government and individuals Maintain existing spending on social welfare programs Maintain existing spending on military Economy a mix of public and private enterprise Mix between individual rights and social order Balance between protecting society’s rights and rehabilitating offenders Larger role for individuals, smaller role for government Less spending on social welfare programs More spending on the military Economy left to the private sector, with little government interference Strict adherence to social order Stricter justice system, with harsher punishment for offenders

38 Opposition Party Political parties sitting in the OPPOSITION serve as watchdogs of government. It is their job to criticize and challenge governmental policies, laws and decisions, in order to have the best possible outcomes throughout the political process. Current Opposition Party is the Liberal Party Leader of the Opposition Party is Michael Ignatieff

39 Speaker of the House There are 2 Speakers in the Houses of Parliament:
Speaker of the Senate is appointed Speaker of the House of Commons is elected by the Members of Parliament in a secret ballot in the Commons Chambers after a new election. Must be a member of the House of Commons. If the speaker is English then the Deputy Speaker must be French and vice-versa

40 Speaker of the House Each sitting of the House of Commons is preceded by a Speaker’s Parade Each day begins in the House of Commons with the Speaker saying a prayer before being seated in an ornately carved armchair. Members must bow to the Speaker when they enter, leave or cross the Chamber. They make sure everyone is following parliamentary procedure. If there is a tie vote in the House, the Speaker may cast the deciding vote.

41 Speaker of the House The current Speaker of the House of Commons is the Honourable Peter Milliken.

42 Sergeant-at-Arms Guardian of the Mace
Usually a former senior of the Canadian Forces In the old days, they served as a body guard for the Speaker of the House. They work for the Speaker of the House and carries out 2 duties: To perform whenever there are ceremonial activities They are responsible for the security of the House of Commons & the Parliament Buildings. Guardian of the Mace

43 Sergeant-at-Arms The current Sergeant- at-Arms is Ms. Jill Pay.

44 The Mace The Mace is a symbol of authority held by the Speaker of the House and plays an important role in the Opening of Parliament. It represents ancient authority of the Crown It is carried by the Sergeant-at- Arms during the Speaker’s Parade. Without the Mace the House of Commons cannot hold its proceedings. The Mace was originally a weapon of the Middle Ages. It was used by the Sergeant-at-Arms, who was the king’s body guard. It was first used in Canada in During the War of 1812, American soldiers invaded and captured York (Toronto) and stole the mace. It was not returned until 1934, by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

45 The Usher of the Black Rod
Created in England during the reign of Henry VIII. In Canadian Parliament, they call the House of Commons to the Senate for the Speech from the Throne or Royal Assent to Legislation. The Usher knocks of the doors of the House of Commons 3 times and when he is admitted he requests on behalf of the sovereign “the immediate attendance of the Honourable Members in the Chamber of the Honourable Senate The tradition of the knock came from the reign of Charles I, who stormed the House of Commons during the British Civil War. This was the last time a monarch had entered the House of Commons in the British Commonwealth. Other duties include: Leader of the Speaker’s Parade Responsible for Senate security.

46 A Parliamentary Page Each year 40 students are selected from various high schools across Canada to work as Pages in the House of Commons. They work as messengers part-time You can apply to be a Page as long as you: Are a Canadian citizen and can prove it. Are graduating from a secondary school and will be attending university full-time in September. Have an overall academic average of 80% Speak both languages at a superior level Have been accepted to one of the universities in Ottawa or Hull.

47 Members of Parliament An MP is a federal representative who represents people that live in a voting area called a constituency. The people that live in a constituency are called constituents. MPs are from all over Canada and form a group called the House of Commons. They meet at Parliament to discuss the country’s business and things that affect the people. They report to their constituents through meetings, phone calls, letters, newsletters and websites.

48 How is Law Made? Laws are made by Parliament.
1st reading = introduces the bill 2nd reading = members debate the general principles of the bill, the ideas and convictions on which it is based. They then examine the details of the bill, which is done in the Committee of the Whole House. The bill might then go to a smaller committee, Standing Committee, where experts are called in to give their views. Amendments may also be made. 3rd reading = After this, it goes to the Senate and once the Senate approves it, it goes to the Governor General for assent. Once it is signed, it becomes law is called an Act. Laws are made by Parliament. A law or statute begins as a bill. MPs can introduce a bill in the House of Commons or the Senate. Each bill must have three readings.

49 Ceremony Video Clip C04YU&NR=1

50 Elections
Held every 5 years People vote for the leader they want Elections are held at the national level, provincial level and local level The PM calls for the election or if there is a vote of non-confidence, which means that the government is defeated in the House of Commons because the members no longer feel the government is working well. Election Canada is an agency run by Parliament that organizes all federal elections Enumerators make a list of all the people in Canada that can vote. You must be 18 years of age. The voters elect representatives to the House of Commons. Canada is organized into app.300 electoral districts, also called ridings, seats or constituencies. In each riding, the different political parties choose candidates to run for election. The candidate that wins takes a seat in the House of Commons. The party that wins the most seats forms the government. The leader of the winning party becomes the Prime Minister.

51 Parliament Buildings Queen Victoria declared Ottawa to be the Capital of Canada in 1858 and Barracks Hill was chosen for the government buildings.

52 Parliament Hill 1866

53 Parliament or Center Block

54 House of Commons

55 Senate

56 Confederation Hall

57 The Great Hall of Honour

58 Peace Tower: 53 Bells & honours Canadian soldiers who died during WWI

59 Memorial Chamber

60 Library of Parliament

61 Changing of the Guards

62 Rick Mercer Video

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