Government in Canada
Canada was founded in 1867 when the Queen of England signed the British North America Act.
Canada is a large country with 10 provinces, 3 territories and a population of more than 36 million people.
Canada’s provinces are: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Canada’s territories are: Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
Canada has a federal form of government. That means that each province or territory has its own government structure, which works with the federal government in Canada’s capital: Ottawa, Ontario.
Canada is as well a Constitutional Monarchy. Our head of State is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen lives in the United Kingdom and is represented in Canada by the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors of each province, who perform royal duties on her behalf.
The head of government is an elected Prime Minister. Government in Canada follows the principles of parliamentary democracy, which include giving citizens the right to vote in elections by secret ballot.
The Canadian government is mandated to answer to its citizens and can be changed by the people. Every citizen has the freedom to participate in political and social activities to build their communities and shape their nation.
There are three levels of government in Canada, each level providing different services.
1. The Federal Government looks after the country of Canada. It is constituted by elected representatives from every province across Canada. The Prime Minister is the head of the federal government. The Federal Government is responsible for issues that affect Canada as a whole, such as national defence, citizenship and immigration, criminal law and banking.
2. Provincial and Territorial Governments look after each Canadian provinces and each of Canada’s three territories. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for issues such as social security, health care, education, and provincial highways. Nova Scotia’s Provincial Government is constituted by 52 elected representatives from across the province. The Premier is the head of the provincial government.
3. The Municipal Government in Halifax is constituted by elected representatives for the 16 districts across HRM. There are 16 Councillors, one for each district, and they are all led by one Mayor. Municipal governments are responsible for services to residents such as police, fire, roads, public transit, garbage collection, snow removal, and parks and recreation.
Halifax Regional Council meets on Tuesdays at Halifax City Hall, 3rd floor, Council Chambers (1841 Argyle Street, Halifax). All meetings are open to the public and are broadcasted live on Eastlink Channel 10, or online at Haligonia.ca.
You can also find your District and Councillor on our website.