Browse "Government"

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Double Shuffle

After the George-Étienne Cartier-John A. MacDonald ministry in the Province of Canada was forced to resign on 29 July 1858, a Reform ministry was formed under George Brown and A.A. Dorion.

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.

Editorial

Editorial: The Canadian Flag, Distinctively Our Own

On 15 February 1965, at hundreds of ceremonies across the country and around the world, the red and white Maple Leaf Flag was raised for the first time. In Ottawa, 10,000 people gathered on a chilly, snow-covered Parliament Hill. At precisely noon, the guns on nearby Nepean Point sounded as the sun broke through the clouds. An RCMP constable, 26-year-old Joseph Secours, hoisted the National Flag of Canada to the top of a specially-erected white staff. A sudden breeze snapped it to attention.

Article

Editorial: The Stanley Flag and the “Distinctive Canadian Symbol”

Prime Minister Lester Pearson and John Matheson, one of his Liberal Members of Parliament, are widely considered the fathers of the Canadian flag. Their names were front and centre in 2015 during the tributes and celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the flag’s creation. But the role played by George Stanley is often lost in the story of how this iconic symbol came to be.

Editorial

Editorial: The Statute of Westminster, Canada's Declaration of Independence

In the fall of 1929, Canada’s Minister of Justice, Ernest Lapointe, travelled to England. He took with him Dr. Oscar Skelton — the “elder statesman” of the Canadian civil service, as William Lyon Mackenzie Kingonce described him. When Lapointe and Skelton were done their negotiations, they had confirmed that Canada would have its independence from the British Empire.

Article

Enfranchisement (Plain-Language Summary)

Throughout much of Canadian history, a First Nations person would lose their Indian status if they were enfranchised. An enfranchised person is someone who has the right to vote in elections. A First Nations person who is deemed a Status Indian has certain rights and benefits granted to them through the Indian Act.

(This article is a plain-language summary of Enfranchisement. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry Enfranchisement).

Article

Family Compact

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

Article

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 of Canada

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. As such, there is a clear division between the head of state and the head of government. The head of government is the prime minister, an elected political leader. The head of state is the Canadian monarch. Their duties are carried out by the governor general, who acts as the representative of the Crown — currently Elizabeth II — in Canada. (Lieutenant-Governors fulfill the same role in provincial governments.) The governor general performs a wide array of ceremonial duties. They also fulfill an important role in upholding the traditions of Parliament and other democratic institutions. Inuk leader Mary Simon was named Governor General Designate on 6 July 2021. When she is formally installed, Simon will become the first Indigenous person to hold Canada’s vice-regal position.

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Governors General of Canada Since Confederation

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The governor general acts as the representative of the Crown in Canada. The governor general has extensive ceremonial duties. They also fulfill an important role in upholding the traditions of Parliament and other democratic institutions. Inuk leader Mary Simon was named Governor General Designate on 6 July 2021. When she is formally installed, Simon will become the first Indigenous person to hold Canada’s vice-regal position.

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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.