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The Provincial Government Overview


We are going to look at the structure of the Provincial government and its differences from the Federal government. The structure is similar, however the main difference is, the provincial government looks after the needs of just the province. Because of this, each province or territory has its own government.
You could look at it like this way:
Federal Government looks after the nation (Prime Minister) > Provincial or Territorial Government looks after the Province/Territory (Premier) >Municipal Governments look after Cities and Towns (Mayor).
We are going to use the Government of Ontario in our diagram as an example because that is where the nation’s capital is. Keep in mind, each province or territory could have some slight differences, but this will show you the basic structure that they all run by.








The Sovereign is over all areas of government and is Supreme. The current Monarch for Canada is Queen Elizabeth II. She is known in Ontario as the “Queen in Right of Ontario.” Her duties are carried out on her behalf by the Lieutenant Governor.



Lieutenant Governor


The Lieutenant Governor is similar to the Governor General, in the fact that he acts on behalf of the Sovereign (the Monarch). He is however, over only the province or territory. The Lieutenant Governor is chosen by the Governor General with advice given by the Prime Minister of Canada. In The Territories of Canada, the viceroy of the monarch is called the Commissioner instead of Lieutenant Governor.





The Premier is the first minister of the crown for the province or territory. The Premier is appointed the head of the government (for the province or territory) by the Lieutenant Governor/Commissioner. The structure is similar to the Prime Minister who is over the country. He is known as the “Premier and President of the Council”; he presides over the Cabinet (Executive Council).





The Cabinet of Ontario (informally the Executive Council) is a council of ministers of the Crown that is headed by the Premier. Following the Westminster system of government, many of the members are also part of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Members of the Council hold the Title: “Honorable” while part of the council, giving advice to the Lieutenant governor about executive functions.
They are similar to the “Queen’s Privy Council” except on a smaller scale and they do not receive that honor for life. The Lieutenant Governor doesn’t usually attend council meetings, so orders given by the Premier are considered given by “Governor-in-council”.
The Ministry members are often the head of a ministry that they have to organize themselves.



Ministries and Civil Service


These are some of the titles and functions of Ministers of the Crown:

• Minister of Agriculture and Food
• Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
• Deputy Premier of Ontario
• Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
• Minister of the Environment
• Chair of the Cabinet
• Minister of Community and Social Services
• Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
• Minister of Rural Affairs
• Attorney General of Ontario
• Minister Responsible for Francophone affairs
• Minister of Natural Resources
• Minister of Education
• Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
• Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
• Minister for the 2015 Pan and Para Pan American games
• Minister of Research and Innovation
• Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
• Minister of Finance
• Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
• Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
• Minister of Consumer Services
• Minister of Children and Youth Services
• Minister for Women’s Issues
• Minister for Seniors
• Government House leader
• Minister of Government Services
• Minister of Labor
• Minister of Municipal affairs and housing
• Chief Government Whip.






Legislative Assembly


The Legislative Assembly Consists of The Lieutenant Governor and 107 Members. It is similar in function to the Senate and the House of Commons except for the fact that there is only one house, not two. It is located in the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s park in Toronto. The Members are considered: “Members of the Provincial Parliament’. Members are the successful candidates of electoral voting.






Superior Court


The Superior Court can hear cases in any area except for those that are limited to another level of court. These courts hear the most serious criminal and civil cases including divorce cases and cases that involve large amounts of money. (The amount of money the case involves is set by the province). In most territories and provinces these courts have a family division. Although these are provincial courts, the judges are chosen and paid by the Federal Government. Other names for this court may include: Superior Court of Justice, Supreme Court (not the same as the Supreme Court of Canada)



Provincial Court (ie: Court of Ontario)


The Provincial courts deal with the majority of criminal cases, family law (divorce excluded), traffic violations, young offenders (12 to 17 years of age), provincial offenses and claims involving money up to a certain amount (set by the province in question).



Small Claims Court


Small claims courts hear nearly half of all civil matters in the province. They have the ability to hear monetary claims of up to $25,000. It is more cost effective for the public to use this court than to a go a higher court. Deputy Judges are often lawyers that are assigned by a regional superior judge on 3 year terms; these decisions are approved by the attorney general.

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June 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm by admin
Category: Articles