The levels of government in canada s federal system
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The Levels of Government in Canada’s Federal System. The Levels of Government. Key Terms The Three Levels of Government Why do we have a Federal System? The Responsibility of the Federal Level of Government The Responsibilities of the Provincial level of Governments

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The Levels of Government in Canada’s Federal System

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The levels of government in canada s federal system

The Levels of Government in Canada’s Federal System


The levels of government

The Levels of Government

  • Key Terms

  • The Three Levels of Government

  • Why do we have a Federal System?

  • The Responsibility of the Federal Level of Government

  • The Responsibilities of the Provincial level of Governments

  • Areas of Shared Responsibility

  • The Role of the Municipal level of Government


Key terms

Key Terms

  • Self-Government: A group, or nation’s power to administer its own government

  • Executive: The Branch of a government or organization that makes decisions and enforces rules

  • Legislative: The branch of government that makes laws

  • Judicial: The branch of government that deals with the administration of justice and the interpretation of laws

  • Governor General: The appointed representative of Canada’s monarch as the official head of state in the Canadian federal system of government.

  • Cabinet: advisors selected by the prime minister to head ministries or departments and run the executive branch of government

  • Members of Parliament: The elected representatives of the people, who sit in the federal House of Commons.


Key terms1

Key Terms

  • House of Commons: The structure in Ottawa where the elected members of Canada’s federal government meet to discuss and pass laws; sometimes called the lower house

  • Question Period: the 45 minute period put aside during daily sessions of the legislature when the opposition parties can question the government; also known as “oral questions”

  • Senate: In Canada, the legislative branch of the federal government that is composed of senators who are not elected by appointed by prime ministers; sometimes called the “upper house”

  • Mayor: The head of a municipal government in a town or city

  • Councillors: elected representatives in the municipal government; a councillor may be elected citywide or may represent specific geographical areas, known as wards.


The federal system

The Federal System

  • What is federalism?

    Federalism is the system in which the power to govern is shared between the national & provincial governments.

    Why Does Canada have a federal system of Government?

Map of the Canadian Federation


Why federalism

Why Federalism?

  • Historical Reasons: When the British North America (BNA) Act was signed by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, the provinces insisted on a federal structure because they didn’t want to give up their control over:

  • Education:

  • Health Care:

  • Natural Resources:

    By Having a federal structure, they could enjoy the benefits of being in Canada without giving up the power of the individual provinces.

    Question: Why did the provinces insist on controlling these areas of jurisdicton?

The Fathers of Confederation


Why federalism1

Why Federalism?

  • Language and Culture: Quebec has a distinctive language and culture (French). A federal system provides the provinces with the constitutional power needed to protect and promote their distinctiveness while still enjoying the economic advantages that come with a larger federal union.

St Jean Baptiste Day


Why federalism2

Why Federalism?

  • Economic Reasons: A federal structure allows poorer regions to have access to larger markets within their own country. (e.g. Nfld. fisherman can sell their fish to the wider Canadian market)

  • It also allows wealth to be distributed from “have” to “have not” provinces. Poorer regions such as the Maritime provinces can receive equalization payments to improve their standard of living.

Oil Rich Alberta

The Poorer Atlantic region


Why federalism3

Why Federalism?

  • Military Reasons: By binding together to form a federal union, you are stronger than you would be as a smaller state. Increasing the size of your country provides increasing opportunities for advancement and protection


Why federalism4

Why Federalism?

  • We are more likely to see federal states where we have a multi-ethnic, or multi-lingual society. Examples include:

  • Canada: French Quebec/English Canada/ Aboriginal North, a multicultural society

  • Switzerland: French, German and Italian districts (cantons) under a single state

  • Yugoslavia: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo (this state later collapsed when the federal structure could no longer address the needs of the regions


Responsibilities of the federal government

Responsibilities of the Federal Government

  • Foreign Trade and Relations

  • Currency

  • Defence

  • Postal Service

  • Immigration

  • Communications

  • Unemployment

  • Criminal Law

  • Aboriginal Peoples


Responsibilities of the provincial governments

Responsibilities of the Provincial Governments

  • Property and Civil Rights

  • Marriage Licences

  • Health and Welfare

  • Education

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Natural Resources

  • Hospitals

  • Driver education and Licensing

  • Provincial and Territorial Highways


Responsibilities of the municipal level of government

Responsibilities of the Municipal Level of Government

  • Police and Fire Departments

  • Streets and Roads

  • Water and Sewage

  • Transit

  • Garbage and Recycling

  • Libraries

  • Recreation

  • Local Programs


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