Canada: Government

Canada Flag
Coat of Arms of Canada

Key Figures

Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor General David L. Johnston

Head of Government: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Overview

Government Name: Canada

Constitution: Adopted: 1986; The constitution is not written in one single document, but instead in a number of constitutional acts. These acts outline the system of government and civil rights of citizens and those in Canada.

Government Type: Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The queen is the ceremonial figure for the Canadian government. The governor-general performs the monarch's federal constitutional duties, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance. The prime minister advises the Canadian monarch or viceroy. It exists only as per long-established convention. The QPC (Privy Council) act as personal consultants to the Monarch depending on their specific title names.

The queen is hereditary. The governor-general is appointed by the queen. The prime minister is appointed by the queen. The QPC (Privy Council) is appointed by the governor-general.

Governor-General: at Her Majesty's pleasure (normally 5 years); Prime Minister: at Her Majesty's pleasure; QPC: Life

Judicial

The judiciary protects the freedom and rights of the citizens.

The chief justice and judges are appointed by the prime minister in council.

Mandatory retirement age of 75

Legislative

The senate tends to be less dominant than the house of commons. The approval of both houses is needed for legislation, but the senate rarely rejects bills passed by the directly elected commons.

The senate has 105 members who are appointed by the governor-general. The house of commons has 308 members who are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

Senate: no terms are set and senators may serve until the age of 75; House of Commons: 5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Canada's most important foreign relationship is with the United States of America, seeing as their trade relations are the largest in the world. Canada also maintains active relations with other nations by an active member in multilateral international organizations, such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Canada also stands as one of the world's leading participants in peace-keeping operations under U.N. authority, and has made an effort to present itself as a "middle power" to work alongside both large and small nations in pursuing developmental yet environmentally sustainable goals in the international system.

Regional Trade Blocs: APEC, NAFTA

Treaties: NATO


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB AfDB APEC Arctic Council ARF ASEAN
Australia Group BIS C CD CDB CE
EAPC EBRD EITI FAO FATF G-10
G-20 G-7 G-8 IADB IAEA IBRD
ICAO ICC ICRM IDA IEA IFAD
IFC IFRCS IGAD IHO ILO IMF
IMO IMSO Interpol IOC IOM IPU
ISO ITSO ITU ITUC MIGA MINUSTAH
MONUSCO NAFTA NATO NEA NSG OAS
OECD OIF OPCW OSCE Pacific Alliance Paris Club
PCA PIF UN UNAMID UNCTAD UNESCO
UNFICYP UNHCR UNMISS UNRWA UNTSO UPU
WCO WFTU WHO WIPO WMO WTO
ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Air Pollution-Sulfur 85 Air Pollution-Sulfur 94 Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Antarctic Seals Antarctic Treaty Antarctic-Environmental Protocol Antarctic-Marine Living Resources Biodiversity Climate Change
Desertification Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea Marine Dumping
Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Canada Revenue Agency

Tax Name: GST


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary