Canadian History 11
THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
Political Regions
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*
What is a Government?
 The word government means  There are 3 functions of
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.
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.
Video Clip:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGfYOmz
_FSE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Federal System
The Executive
The Sovereign
The Governor General
Parliament
The Prime Minister
The Legislature
The Senate
The Cabinet
House of Commons
Judiciary
Supreme Court of Canada
Agriculture
Fisheries
Revenue Canada
Communications
Native Affairs &
Public Works
Consumer & Corporate
Northern Development
Regional Industrial
Justice
Expansion
Employment & Immigration
Labour
Secretary of State
Energy, Mines &Resources
National Defence
Solicitor General
Environment
National Health &
Supply & Service
External Affairs
Welfare
Transport
Affairs
Finance
Veterans Affairs
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
Current Governor General
 David Johnston is the 28th
Governor General of Canada.
Prime Minister
 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
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
Current Prime Minister
 Prime Minister of
Canada is the
Conservative Party's
Stephen Harper
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
The Cabinet
 Each province must be
 These officers are civil
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.
servants who are
employed by the
Government.
 Each Minister is
responsible,
answerable &
accountable for his/her
department to the
House of Commons.
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”
Cabinet Ministers

The Leader of the Government in the
Senate

The Minister of Human Resource
Development & Western Economic
Diversification

The Minister of native Affairs &
Northern Development

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The Minister of Canadian Heritage

The Minister of Citizenship & Immigration

The Minister of Environment

The Minister of Industry

The Minister of Finance & Minister for the
Federal Office of Regional Development
Quebec

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

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
Parliament
 The Queen is the
 Parliament consists of :
 The Queen
 The Senate (Upper
House)
 House of Commons
(Lower House)
formal head of Canada.
 The Governor General
represent her at the
Federal level
 The LieutenantGovernors represent
her at the Provincial
level
 They govern through a
Cabinet, headed by the
PM (federal level) & a
Premier (Provincial
Level)
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 $4000.00
 They must reside in the
province/territory for which they
are appointed
The Senate
 The Senate is made up of
 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
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 Senate 2010
The House of Commons
 Parliament sits about 27 weeks of
 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
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
The House of Commons 2010
The House of Commons
 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
National Political Parties
 Stephen Harper
 Michael
Ignatieff
 Jack Layton
 Gilles Duceppe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hfGy_b
87gI&feature=related (Rick Mercer on
Elections)
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
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
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
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.
Speaker of the House
 The current Speaker of
the House of Commons
is the Honourable Peter
Milliken.
Sergeant-at-Arms
 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
Sergeant-at-Arms
 The current Sergeant-
at-Arms is Ms. Jill Pay.
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 1792. 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.
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.
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.
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.
How is Law Made?
 1st reading = introduces the bill
 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.
 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.
Ceremony Video Clip
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdSVRY
C04YU&NR=1
Elections
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvcz5M3QVtk
 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.
Parliament Buildings
 Queen Victoria declared Ottawa to be the
Capital of Canada in 1858 and Barracks Hill
was chosen for the government buildings.
Parliament Hill 1866
Parliament or Center Block
House of Commons
Senate
Confederation Hall
The Great Hall of Honour
Peace Tower: 53 Bells &
honours Canadian soldiers
who died during WWI
Memorial Chamber
Library of Parliament
Changing of the Guards
Rick Mercer Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vqyfY7
cZPk
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