Canada’s birth and growth as a Nation • Canada created on July 1, 1867 by the Constitution Act, 1867. (Formerly known as the British North American Act, 1867) • Current Canadian population 33,549,780 • Canada's population is growing by one unit every minute and 21 seconds.
Canada’ Population Growth This growth is broken down into: • One birth every 1 minute and 27 seconds • One death every 2 minutes and 13 seconds • A net migration gain of one person every 2 minutes and 1 second • At this rate, the population of Canada will reach 33,698,817 by July 1st, 2009. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/edu/clock-horloge/edu06f_0001-eng.htm
Canada’s Government Democratic Constitutional Monarchy with a Federal System of Government
What is Government? Organization that makes laws for people The wishes of the “majority” of the people form the law. The majority = elected political candidates by the majority of the people.
Purposes of Government Two Basic Goals for Canadian Government • Ensure democratic freedoms and principles are maintained which is accomplished through the enactment of laws. • Economic systems grow and run smoothly to satisfy basic needs and wants of all Canadians.
The Federal Government Established through the Constitution Act, 1867: • Central or federal government • (including territorial governments) • Provincial governments • (including municipal governments)
Federal Government Power to make laws in the areas of: • National defence • Monetary policies • Banking controls • Social welfare programs – Canada Pension Plan, and Unemployment Insurance • Trade agreements • Energy and national resources • Postal communications • Consumer and corporate affairs
Provincial Government Power to make laws in the areas of: • Education • Provincial highways • Hospital insurance plans (OHIP) • Natural resources such as timber and minerals • Labour regulations • Provincial courts and prisons
Municipal Governments Power to make laws called by-laws in the areas of: • Street maintenance and Parking • Police and fire protection • Garbage collection • Libraries • Parks and Playgrounds
People in Government Patterned after Great Britain’s government, people working in government are either: • Elected politicians (MP’s, MPP’s, Municipal Councillors); • Appointed individuals (i.e. Judges and Senators); or • Hired (Bureaucrats/civil servants)
Elected Representatives Federal Level • Members of Parliament (MP’s) Provincial Level • Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP’s) or • Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) Municipal Level • City Counsellors, or Wardens • Town Aldermen and Alderwomen
Elections • Elected representatives are usually members of a political party. • Elected representatives of non-parties are known as “Independents.” • Each political party has a leader who speaks on its behalf. • The party that has the greatest number of members elected in total electoral districts forms the government.
Electoral Districts • Canada is divided into 308 Federal Districts/Ridings http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/partystandings/standings-e.htm Changes to numbers of districts after 2011 census • Ontario gains 21 more seats • 11 or 12 seats for Alberta and BC The number of seats should reflect the provinces population proportion of Canada’s total population with certain exceptions for smaller and low-growth provinces such as PEI.
Animal Alliance EnvironmentVoters Party of Canada Bloc Quebecois Canadian Action Party Christian Heritage Party ofCanada Communist Party of Canada First Peoples National Party ofCanada Green Party of Canada Liberal Party of Canada Libertarian Party of Canada Marijuana Party Marxist-Leninist Party ofCanada Neorhino.ca New Democratic Party Newfoundland and LabradorFirst party People’s Political Power Party of Canada Progressive Canadian Party Western Block Party Work Less Party Registered Federal Political Parties
Deregistered Political Party • Natural Law Party of Canada (voluntary) Political Parties that Lost their Eligibility • National Alternative Party of Canada • The Ontario Party of Canada • Absolutely Absurd Party
Canada’s Electoral System First Past the Post – FPTP • The party that has the greatest number of members elected in total electoral districts forms the government. • Currently of 308 seats at the Federal Level: CPC – 143 Seats N.D.P – 36 Seats Lib - 77 Seats Ind – 2 Seats B.Q. – 47 Vacant – 3 (10-12-13) Conservatives = 143 Seats = Minority Government Total Opposition Parties = 165 308 http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/partystandings/standings-e.htm
Minority vs. Majority Government Majority Government • The political party whose member candidates were elected in 155+ electoral districts (represents 50%+ of 308 seats) Discuss Pros and Cons of a: • Majority Government • Minority Government
Elections If a party forms the government, the leader of the party at the: Federal Level • Prime Minister Provincial Level • Premier Municipal • Mayor
FPTP vs. Proportional Vote Assume Canada only has: • 3 electoral districts/ridings • Population of 60,000 with 20,000 in each district, where • Every citizen votes • Only 4 federal parties (CPC, Lib, NDP, BQ) FPTP - Assume Election Results are as follows: District 1 District 2 District 3 CPC - 7500 CPC – 7800 CPC - 2000 Lib – 7000 Lib - 7700 Lib - 12000 NDP – 5000 NDP - 3500 NDP – 3000 BQ - 500 BQ - 1000 BQ - 3000 CPC wins seat CPC wins seat Lib wins seat ELECTION RESULTS = CPC forms the government as it won 2 out of the 3 seats. Proportional Vote: CPC = (7500 + 7800 + 2000)/60,000 x 100 = 17 300/60,000 = .29 = 29 % Lib = (7000 + 7700+ 12 000)/60,000 x 100 = 26 700/60,000 = .445 = 44.5 % NDP = (5000 + 3500 + 3000)/60,000 x 100 = 11 500/60,000 = .19 = 19 % BQ = (500 + 1000 + 3000)/60,000 x 100 = 4500/60,000 = .07 = 7 % NOTE: CPC’s only obtained 29% of the popular vote, but won 2 seats so the party forms the government. Lib obtained 44.5% of the popular vote, but will only sit as the Opposition party.
The Governing Party • The leader of the party selects members of their party who were elected to advise and help run the government. • These individuals are known as cabinet ministers • Cabinet ministers are in charge of a certain government department, also called ministries. • (i.e. Minister of Environment, Minister of National Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Natural Resources etc.) • Ministries employ thousands of civil servants (bureaucrats) The Party with the second highest number of elected seats forms the Official Opposition (or “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”) and the leader selects elected members to mirror many of the cabinet ministers positions.
TWO MAIN BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT Legislative Branch Executive Branch
Executive Branch Federal Level Provincial LevelMunicipal Level Governor-GeneralLieutenant-Governor Mayor Schoolboard Prime Minister Premier & Chair & & & Committees Committees ___Cabinet_____ ____Cabinet_______ ___________________ Civil Servants Civil Servants Civil Servants
Legislative Branch(The Law Making Branch) Federal Level House of CommonsSenate MP’s Governing Opposition Senators Party Parties (Appointed) Royal Assent (Governor General) + +
Legislative Branch(Law Making Branch) Provincial LevelMunicipal Level Legislative AssemblyTown/City CouncilSchoolboard MPP’s/MLA’s Governing Opposition Aldermen Trustees Party Parties or (Legislature) Councillors Royal Assent (Lieutenant Governor) + +
Appointed Officials Three Groups of Appointees: 1. The monarchy 2. The Senate, 3. The Judiciary
The Monarchy His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston Federal Level Queen Elizabeth II appoints the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Provincial Level The Governor General appoints the Lieutenant-Governors on the advice of the Prime Minister (the Province has no say). Constitutional and Traditional Duties • Those impacting laws include: • Providing Royal Assent to bills that have passed through the House of Commons and the Senate • Power to prorogue Parliament • Power to dissolve Parliament, order elections, and summon Parliament • Ensure Canada has a Prime Minister • Constitutional “safety valve” – Reserve Powers to deny Royal Assent or to fire a Prime Minister or Premier – rarely used. The Honourable David C. Onley, O.Ont.
Senators • Appointed by the Prime Minister • 105 Senators • Appointed for life (until the age of 75) • A Senator may be removed if s/he fails to attend two consecutive sessions of Parliament, declares bankruptcy, is convicted for treason or a felony, or ceases to reside or own property in the province s/he represents. Duties • Law revising chamber • Investigative Chamber • Regional Representation – (Maritimes (24), Ontario (24), Quebec (24), Western Canada (24) , Northern Canada (9)
The main function of Parliament:Making Laws 3 Main elements of Every Law Authority • Constitution outlines the authority the various levels of government have over making laws Promulgation • A law must be published in a form accessible to the pubic • Published in the Canadian Gazette or a provincial gazette, can be obtained in government bookstores and on the internet Enforcement • The police • The courts who interpret, explain, and apply the laws Note: We’ll take a look at the structure of Canada’s courts at a later time.
The Passing of A Bill Note: There is no Senate at the provincial level, thus after a bill goes through the third reading in the Provincial Legislature, it then goes to the Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent.