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Comparison of Federal and Provincial Government

The federal and provincial governments have parallel structures although some of the names vary slightly.

Because we are a constitutional monarchy: a monarchy in which the ruler has only the powers given to him or her by the constitution and laws of the nation.constitutional monarchy, the formal head of state is the monarch of England which we call the Crown. Both levels of government have a representative of the Crown in their Executive branch. At the federal level that person is called the Governor General. At the provincial level the office is Lieutenant-Governor.


The active part of the Executive is actually the Prime Minister, or provincial Premier, and the Cabinet. These are drawn from the governing party, that is, the party which has the most seats in the Legislature after an election.

At the federal level, the Legislature, or lawmaking branch of government is called Parliament and it consists of two parts - the elected House of Commons and the appointed Senate. In the provinces the Legislature has only one body, an elected Legislative Assembly. Your representative federally is called a Member of Parliament or MP and provincially you have a Member of the Legislative Assembly or MLA. In Quebec, your representative is called a Member of the National Assembly or MNA.

Both the provinces and the federal government have Judicial branches fulfilled by their separate court systems.

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