Browse "Government"

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Editorial

Editorial: Baldwin, LaFontaine and Responsible Government

The BaldwinLaFontaine government of 1848 has been called the “great ministry.” In addition to establishing responsible government, it had an incomparable record of legislation. It established a public school system and finalized the founding of the University of Toronto. It set up municipal governments and pacified French-Canadian nationalism after a period of unrest. Responsible government did not transform Canada overnight into a fully developed democracy. But it was an important milestone along the road to political autonomy. Most importantly, it provided an opportunity for French Canadians to find a means for their survival through the British Constitution. The partnership and friendship between Baldwin and LaFontaine were brilliant examples of collaboration that have been all too rare in Canadian history.

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Family Compact

The term Family Compact is an epithet, or insulting nickname, used to describe the network of people who dominated the legislative, bureaucratic, business, religious and judicial centres of power in Upper Canada (Ontario) from the early- to mid-1800s. Members of the Family Compact held largely conservative and loyalist views and were notably against democratic reform and responsible government. By the mid-19th century, immigration, the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and the pressure of various democratic reformers had diminished the Family Compact’s power. The equivalent to the Family Compact in Lower Canada was the Château Clique.

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Federal Government

The federal government is the national government of Canada, centred in Ottawa. The term can refer narrowly to the Canadian Cabinet, or more broadly to the Cabinet and the public service.

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Federal-Provincial Relations

Many of the concerns of modern government cut across the loose jurisdictional boundaries found in the constitution. National purposes can often only be achieved with provincial co-operation; provincial goals often require federal assistance.

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Government

Canada’s federal and provincial governments are divided into three branches — the legislative, executive and judicial.

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Government Building

Government has always been the most important patron of ARCHITECTURE in Canada, and this role has increased rapidly over the past few decades. As its duties and responsibilities expand, so do its building needs. Today all levels of government contribute to all aspects of our built environment.

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Governor General

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. As such, the governor general acts as the Crown’s representative, carrying out the tasks of the monarch — currently Elizabeth II — on Canadian soil. The governor general has extensive ceremonial duties, but also fulfills an important role in upholding the traditions of Parliament and other democratic institutions.

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Great Seal of Canada

Great Seal of Canada With the creation of the new state of Canada in 1867 a seal was needed for purposes of government. Accordingly, a temporary seal was readied. The intricate work of engraving a permanent seal was completed in England in 1869 and delivered to the governor general.

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Green Paper

Green Paper, a statement by the government, not of policy already determined, but of propositions put before the whole nation for discussion. Like a WHITE PAPER it is an official document sponsored by the Crown.

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Hansard

Hansard is the unofficial name of the record of parliamentary and legislative debates. The name comes from the Hansard family, which printed the British debates from 1812 to 1892.

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Heraldry

During the Crusades (11th-13th centuries), the European nations felt the need to identify themselves with crosses of various colours, and at the same time to reduce casualties with improved armour.

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House of Commons

The House of Commons is the centre of political power in Canada. The prime minister and his Cabinet receive their authority through the confidence of the House. It is an institution steeped in tradition and history.

Macleans

House of Lords Reform

By the Queen's Robing Room inside the Palace of Westminster, there is a small, sedate chamber they call the Norman Porch. It is populated entirely with busts of past luminaries of the House of Lords, each of whom has served as British prime minister.

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Imperialism

Support for the British Empire and imperialism was strong in much of Canada in the decades after Confederation. But gradually, imperialist loyalties declined and Canadians demanded and won full autonomy within the empire.