“residual powers” of the Canadian federal government and the Governor General

Explain in your own words the “residual powers” of the federal government and the Governor General. -Please see both attached files (Chapter 4 on a book) and teacher notes and any other pertinent reference (Canadian Government and Politics – Seventh Edition)
-Please review relevant sections of the Constitution itself (for example Secs. 91, 92) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/
Other suggested references : Introduction to Federalism
Federalism by Ron Watts
Federalism by John Kincaid
Multi-level Governance by Michael Stein
Decentralization by Arthur Benz

Key Concepts & Acronyms

M.P. = Member of Parliament – federal

MNA = Member of the National Assembly — Quebec

MPP = member of the provincial parliament—Ontario

MLA = member of the legislative assembly – all other provinces 

  • The parliament of the federal government of Canada consists of two sections, known as ‘Houses’: the Senate and the House of Commons
  • The parliaments of the provinces consist of only one ‘House’, which would be equivalent to the ‘House of Commons’; except the provinces call the Houses:

                  Ontario – “Provincial Parliament”

                  Quebec – “National Assembly

                  Other provinces – “Legislative Assembly” or “legislature”

If any of this is not clear, or if you have related questions you would like clarified, you can ask through ‘Discussion Board’

An Overview of Government System of Canada

Canada’s government system consists of three “levels” of government:

  • Federal level
  • Provincial  and Territorial level
  • Local – e.g. ‘municipal’ (city), ‘township’, ‘village’, ‘county’, ‘regional’, etc . . .

All levels are broken into three functions (referred to as branches):

            ‘Executive branch’, ‘Legislative branch’ + Judicial branch

FEDERAL

-The Legislative Branch:  it consists of two parts (referred to as

                                                   “Houses”)

•           a) The House of Commons (elected by the people) consists of

                 “members of Parliament” (M.P’s.) — to qualify, one must                             be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age +

•           b) The Senate (appointed by the prime minister)

–           senators: are chosen by prime minister(s)— to qualify, one must be 30 years of age or over; appointment is permanent till age 75.

-The Executive Branch

                        The members of the Executive are selected from the Legislative branch, mainly from the H.C., which makes these executives (called “Ministers” responsible and answerable to the legislative branch (mainly the House of Commons, which consists of the representatives of the people, namely the elected M.P’s.  This make the ‘Executive’ indirectly “responsible” to the people, thus we call our type of governing executive, “responsible government”.  The Governor General is the head of the Executive Branch, and the Prime Minister and the Ministers are collectively called the “Cabinet”

Each Minister is usually given a Department/ ministry for which he/she is held responsible. The employees working for these departments we call Civil/Public Servants. So the “Civil Service” consists of  all the people working for the Executive [ in common everyday language and in the media, the executive is normally referred to as the “Government” , (as they are actually considered to be in charge/control of the running of the country). For example, today, members from Conservative Party, headed by Stephen Harper form the “Executive”. This is why we say that our “Government of the day” is Conservative. 

Provincial

            The provincial governments are Organized the same as the federal except that  its Legislative branch does not have a Senate, and the titles used to describe the elected representatives differ to some degree: e.g. MPP. MLA, “Premier” is used instead of prime minister, “Lieutenant Governor” instead of Governor General, etc… (see terms given at the end).

Also,according to Constitutional convention (practice), provincial governments are not subordinate to the federal government … .

Territories

            Are actually under the supervision of the federal government           (traditionally designated to the Department/Ministry of Indian and    Northern Affairs)

            Their Legislative Assembly (branch) is elected by the residents of the          Territory), and in turn, it elects its “Executive” branch (just as in the    case of a province), however, a Territory is constitutionally not yet       recognmised as being self-governing, thus their laws and policies are           subject to review by the federal government and they are financially still dependent on the federal government.

Local Government

            In most cases, the people vote to elect the members of their municipal Council and vote separately to choose their Mayor. Thus, we should be aware that although the Mayor heads/chairs Council meetings, the mayor is not as responsible to the Concil as the prime minister is to the House of Commons. The Prime minister is an MP first, thereafter given the status of prime minister (because his/her party holds most of the seats in the H of C), whereas a mayor is elected directly by the people as “mayor”*. [Titles change with the type of Local government, e.g. Reeve, for some townships  Warden, for some  regions etc…] 

According to the Constitution Local governments are created and supervised (administratively) by their Provincial government

How many services can you think of that are provided by “Local Government”?

            N.B. in the case of provincial and federal systems, the prime minister          or premier, as well as their respective ministers (“executive”) can be       “fired” by the Legislative branch (specifically, the H. of C.), if the       House of Commons  declares by voting that it has lost the confidence         in the ability of the executive—this usually triggers a new election.                     [we will study this issue in more detail in chapters 6 and 7.

Key Concepts & Acronyms

M.P. = Member of Parliament – federal

MNA = Member of the National Assembly — Quebec

MPP = member of the provincial parliament—Ontario

MLA = member of the legislative assembly – all other provinces 

  • The parliament of the federal government of Canada consists of two sections, known as ‘Houses’: the Senate and the House of Commons
  • The parliaments of the provinces consist of only one ‘House’, which would be equivalent to the ‘House of Commons’; except the provinces call the Houses:

                  Ontario – “Provincial Parliament”

                  Quebec – “National Assembly

                  Other provinces – “Legislative Assembly” or “legislature”

If any of this is not clear, or if you have related questions you would like clarified, you can ask through ‘Discussion Board’

An Overview of Government System of Canada

Canada’s government system consists of three “levels” of government:

  • Federal level
  • Provincial  and Territorial level
  • Local – e.g. ‘municipal’ (city), ‘township’, ‘village’, ‘county’, ‘regional’, etc . . .

All levels are broken into three functions (referred to as branches):

            ‘Executive branch’, ‘Legislative branch’ + Judicial branch

FEDERAL

-The Legislative Branch:  it consists of two parts (referred to as

                                                   “Houses”)

•           a) The House of Commons (elected by the people) consists of

                 “members of Parliament” (M.P’s.) — to qualify, one must                             be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age +

•           b) The Senate (appointed by the prime minister)

–           senators: are chosen by prime minister(s)— to qualify, one must be 30 years of age or over; appointment is permanent till age 75.

-The Executive Branch

                        The members of the Executive are selected from the Legislative branch, mainly from the H.C., which makes these executives (called “Ministers” responsible and answerable to the legislative branch (mainly the House of Commons, which consists of the representatives of the people, namely the elected M.P’s.  This make the ‘Executive’ indirectly “responsible” to the people, thus we call our type of governing executive, “responsible government”.  The Governor General is the head of the Executive Branch, and the Prime Minister and the Ministers are collectively called the “Cabinet”

Each Minister is usually given a Department/ ministry for which he/she is held responsible. The employees working for these departments we call Civil/Public Servants. So the “Civil Service” consists of  all the people working for the Executive [ in common everyday language and in the media, the executive is normally referred to as the “Government” , (as they are actually considered to be in charge/control of the running of the country). For example, today, members from Conservative Party, headed by Stephen Harper form the “Executive”. This is why we say that our “Government of the day” is Conservative. 

Provincial

            The provincial governments are Organized the same as the federal except that  its Legislative branch does not have a Senate, and the titles used to describe the elected representatives differ to some degree: e.g. MPP. MLA, “Premier” is used instead of prime minister, “Lieutenant Governor” instead of Governor General, etc… (see terms given at the end).

Also,according to Constitutional convention (practice), provincial governments are not subordinate to the federal government … .

Territories

            Are actually under the supervision of the federal government           (traditionally designated to the Department/Ministry of Indian and    Northern Affairs)

            Their Legislative Assembly (branch) is elected by the residents of the          Territory), and in turn, it elects its “Executive” branch (just as in the    case of a province), however, a Territory is constitutionally not yet       recognmised as being self-governing, thus their laws and policies are           subject to review by the federal government and they are financially still dependent on the federal government.

Local Government

            In most cases, the people vote to elect the members of their municipal Council and vote separately to choose their Mayor. Thus, we should be aware that although the Mayor heads/chairs Council meetings, the mayor is not as responsible to the Concil as the prime minister is to the House of Commons. The Prime minister is an MP first, thereafter given the status of prime minister (because his/her party holds most of the seats in the H of C), whereas a mayor is elected directly by the people as “mayor”*. [Titles change with the type of Local government, e.g. Reeve, for some townships  Warden, for some  regions etc…] 

According to the Constitution Local governments are created and supervised (administratively) by their Provincial government

How many services can you think of that are provided by “Local Government”?

            N.B. in the case of provincial and federal systems, the prime minister          or premier, as well as their respective ministers (“executive”) can be       “fired” by the Legislative branch (specifically, the H. of C.), if the       House of Commons  declares by voting that it has lost the confidence         in the ability of the executive—this usually triggers a new election.                     [we will study this issue in more detail in chapters 6 and 7.

You are invited with your comments and questions through “Dicussion Board”

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