Government of Canada

Federal government of Canada / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The government of Canada (French: gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the corporation sole, assuming distinct roles: the executive, as the Crown-in-Council; the legislature, as the Crown-in-Parliament; and the courts, as the Crown-on-the-Bench. Three institutions—the Privy Council (conventionally, the Cabinet); the Parliament of Canada; and the judiciary, respectively—exercise the powers of the Crown.

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Government of Canada
Gouvernement du Canada
Constitutional monarchy
Formation1 July 1867; 155 years ago (1867-07-01)
Founding documentConstitution Act, 1867
Head of state (sovereign)Monarch
Vice-regal representativeGovernor General
SeatRideau Hall
Meeting placeHouse of Commons: West Block[1]
Senate: Senate of Canada Building[2]
Head of governmentPrime Minister
Main bodyCabinet
Main organPrivy Council (de jure)
Cabinet (de facto)
CourtSupreme Court of Canada (highest court)
SeatSupreme Court Building, Ottawa

The term "Government of Canada" (French: Gouvernement du Canada) more commonly refers specifically to the executive—ministers of the Crown (the Cabinet) and the federal civil service (whom the Cabinet direct)—which corporately brands itself as the Government of Canada, formally known as His Majesty's Government (French: Gouvernement de Sa Majesté).[3][4][5][6] There are over one hundred ministries, departments and crown corporations and over 300,000 persons employed in the Government of Canada. (See Structure of the Canadian federal government) These institutions carry out the programs and enforce the laws established by the Parliament of Canada.

The federal government's organization and structure was established at Confederation through the Constitution Act, 1867—as a federal constitutional monarchy, wherein the Canadian Crown acts as the core, or "the most basic building block",[7] of its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.[8] The Crown is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Canadian government.[9][10][11] The monarch, King Charles III, is personally represented by a governor general (currently Mary Simon) and is head of state. A prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau) is the head of government who is invited by the Crown to form a government after securing the confidence of the House of Commons, which is typically determined through the election of enough members of a single political party in a federal election to provide a majority of seats in Parliament, forming a governing party. Further elements of governance are outlined in the rest of the Canadian Constitution, which includes written statutes in addition to court rulings, and unwritten conventions developed over centuries.[12]

Constitutionally, the King's Privy Council for Canada is the body that advises the sovereign or their representative on the exercise of executive power. This task is nearly exclusively carried out by a committee within the King's Privy Council known as the Cabinet who collectively set the government's policies and priorities for the country.[13] It is composed of ministers of the Crown and is chaired by the prime minister. The sovereign appoints the members of Cabinet on the advice of the prime minister who, by convention, are selected from the House of Commons or, less often, the Senate. During its term, the government must retain the confidence of the House of Commons, and certain important motions, such as the passing of the government's budget, are considered as confidence motions. Laws are formed by the passage of bills through Parliament, which are either sponsored by the government or individual members of Parliament. Once a bill has been approved by both the House of Commons and the Senate, royal assent is required to make the bill become law. The laws are then the responsibility of the government to oversee and enforce.