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canadian-govt-structure

 

 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF CANADA STRUCTURE OVERVIEW

 

 

 

The Sovereign

 

The Queen is above all 3 sections of Federal Government
Each section of government is its own entity and is separate from the other two sections, but is not separate from the Sovereign.

 

 

 

Legislative

 

 

• The head of this section is Parliament (Parliament is under the Sovereign).
• The House of Commons and the Senate are part of Parliament.

 

 

Executive

 

• The head of this section is the Sovereign.
• Directly below the Sovereign is the Governor General.
• Directly Below the Governor General is the Prime Minister.
• Directly Below the Prime Minister is PM’s office, the Cabinet and the Privy Council Office.
• Directly below the Cabinet is the Ministries & Civil Service.

 

 

Judicial
• The head of this section is the Supreme Court (the Supreme Court is below the Sovereign)
• Below the Supreme Court is the Federal Court, Tax court and then the Provincial court. The Provincial Court is under direct authority of the Supreme Court, but is still lower than the Federal and Tax courts.

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE

 

 

 

The Governor General of Canada
The Governor General is chosen by the Queen with advice given by the Prime Minister. The Governor General helps run Canada by performing the royal duties of the Queen on her behalf. The Monarch of Canada (the Sovereign) is shared between many British common wealth nations, so the Governor is chosen by the Queen with no fixed time period to serve her and represent her. The Governor General stays in constant contact with the Queen.

 

 

 

The Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the cabinet and as such is the head of the government of Canada. He advises the Monarch of Canada (the Queen) or the Monarch representative (Governor General) on the use of power given to him by the Constitution.
This office exists only because of a long time convention (unwritten tradition that is agreed upon in principle and can be overruled if there is justification).
This tradition states that the Representative of the crown (Governor General) must choose a person as Prime Minister who will best represent the House of Commons.
Because we elect the Members of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister is usually the head of the Political party that has the most seats.
Prime Ministers are given the privileged title: “The Right Honorable” for life.
For Example: “The Right Honorable Stephen Harper”

 

 

 

Office of the Prime Minister

 


The PM’s Office (Office of the Prime Minister) is one of the most powerful parts of the government. It is consisted of the Prime Minister and his top staff who give him advice on the decisions he makes. This office is a separate entity.

 

 

 

The Cabinet of Canada
The Cabinet of Canada consists of ministers of the Crown and the Canadian Monarch (The Queen). It forms the Government of Canada and follows the principles of the Westminster system, the Prime Minister is the Chairman. The Cabinet is also a committee for the “Queen’s Privy Council for Canada”. The Queen’s Privy Council is a group of personal consultants for the Queen (Canadian Monarch) on state and constitutional matters.

 

 

 

The Privy Office of Canada

 

The Privy Office of Canada provides impartial advice and support to the Prime Minister. It also provides leadership, support and assistance in the duties of Cabinet Ministers. It is headed by the Clerk of the Privy Council. It is located in the Langevin Block of the Parliament Buildings.

 

 

 

 

Ministry and Civil Service
“Ministry and Civil Service” is a name that describes the actions that ministers (members of the cabinet) take and are involved in. This is where many responsibilities of running the country are divided into more detail. The areas these ministers cover are:
• Agriculture and Agri-Food
• Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
• Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
• Canadian Heritage
• Citizenship and Immigration
• Environment
• Finance
• Fisheries and Oceans
• Foreign Affairs and International Trade
• Health
• Human Resources Development
• Industry
• Justice
• National Defense
• National Revenue
• Natural Resources
• Public Works and Government Services
• Solicitor General
• Transport
• Treasury Board
• Veterans Affairs
• Western Economic Diversification

 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE

 

 

 

Parliament
The Canadian Parliament is the Federal legislative (decision-making) section of Canada’s government. It is located in the Capital City (Ottawa, Ontario) on Parliament Hill.
It consists of an upper house called “The Senate” and a lower house called “The House of Commons.” The Monarch of Canada (The Queen) is represented by the Governor General. Each part has its own organization and its own officers.

 

 

 

The Senate
105 Senators are appointed by the Governor General with recommendations of the Prime Minister of Canada.

 

 

 

House of Commons

 

There are 308 members of the House of Commons which are called Members of Parliament. These members are chosen by Canadian voters. Each Member of Parliament represents a “Riding” which is an electoral district.
When the House of Commons wants to make a Bill law, it needs to be approved by the Senate first. Then, the Monarch or her representative (the Governor General) can make it law. This action is called: “Royal Assent”. The Governor General summons Parliament. For example, the Governor General David Johnston summoned the current parliament on June 2nd, 2011. This is the 41st Parliament since 1867.
The Monarch (or Governor General) can end or dissolve Parliament. The second reason would be to call an election.
The House of Commons is the dominant section of Parliament, and is rarely opposed by the Crown or Senate. When a session of Parliament is summoned, The Queen or the Governor General will read the Throne Speech (a speech from the throne indicating the focus for the session).

 

 

 

JUDICIAL

 

 

 

Supreme Court
The highest court of Canada is the Supreme Court. This court can change decisions made by territorial, federal and provincial courts. It is the final court of appeals in the justice system of Canada. All decisions made are final and are the full example of the law. All lower courts of Canada are bound to its decisions. The judges for the Supreme Court are chosen by the Governor General.

 

 

 

Federal Court

 

Before 2003, the federal court was called: “The Federal Court of Canada” and has now been split up into two courts mainly for functional purposes. One is called ‘Federal Court” and the other, “Federal Court of Appeals.”
The “Federal Court” hears cases on trials that are under certain parts of federal law. This Superior court has a nationwide jurisdiction.
The “Federal Court of Appeal” hears appeals from certain federal tribunals, the Federal Court, the Tax Court of Canada and judicial review applications.

 

 

 

The Tax Court of Canada

 

This Superior Court hears cases that involve individuals or companies with tax issues involving the government. The “Federal Court of Appeal” is where appealed decisions would be sent. In very rare cases, the Supreme Court of Canada has overturned some decisions because of Public interest.

 

 

 

Provincial Courts

 

The Provincial or Territorial courts are the local or small claims courts. They hear matters on civil, criminal, by-law and family matters. They do not have the power to hear “any issue” because they are not a Superior Court, they can only hear matters that fall under certain subjects. The Provincial courts must appeal to the Supreme Court of that province or Territory.

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June 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm by admin
Category: Articles