Canada Government and Society

By | December 14, 2021

Canada is the second largest country in the world and occupies about half the territory of North America. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the east, to the Pacific Ocean to the west, and north to the Arctic Ocean, sharing a border with the United States to the south and northwest. The Canadian federation consists of ten provinces and 3 territories, and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. (Elizabeth II of Canada for Canadians) as head of state. It is a bilingual nation with English and French as official languages at the federal level. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada according to simplyyellowpages.

Form of government

Head of state

Canada is a federation under a parliamentary monarchy system. The sovereign is the monarch Elizabeth II of Great Britain (who is the head of the Canadian state) with the title of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. According to the constitution, the highest representative of the head of state is the governor general who is appointed by decree by the British sovereign. The Governor General whose figure is protocol since he is in charge of endorsing the official documents approved by the legislature, signing state documents on behalf of the regent as well as participating in state activities while the sovereign is not in Canadian territory.

Legislative and executive powers

Parliament is the highest political institution in Canada, it is a legislative body with full powers and acts as a guarantor of the unity of the confederation and the people. It is structured in a similar way to the British Parliament, having two houses, the Commons (lower) and the Senate (upper). Each member of the House of Commons is elected by simple majority in an electoral district or its equivalent. While the members of the Senate, whose seats are distributed according to each region, are elected by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the Governor General and can be in office until the age of 75 years.

The federal structure divides government responsibilities between the federal government and that of the ten provinces. Provincial legislatures are unicameral and operate similarly to the House of Commons. The three territories also have their own legislatures, but with fewer constitutional responsibilities than the provinces and with some structural differences (for example, the legislative assemblies of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not obey political parties and operate under consensus).

The executive power, although formally rests in the hands of the Canadian sovereign and the governor general, is assumed by the head of government, whose position is Prime Minister of Canada. Along with this, the executive cabinet made up of several ministers and directors of federal agencies are in charge of complying with what is ordered by the head of state and his highest representative on Canadian soil.

Power of attorney

The judiciary plays an important role in interpreting laws and has the power to revoke laws that violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and is the final instance for crimes. Its nine members are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice. All appellate and senior level judges are appointed after consultation with non-governmental judicial bodies. The federal government also appoints judges to the higher courts at the provincial and territorial levels. The judiciary at the lower levels in the provinces and territories are the responsibility of their respective governments.

Common law prevails throughout the country, except in Quebec, where civil law predominates. Criminal law is a federal responsibility and is uniform throughout the national territory. Law enforcement and criminal courts are the responsibility of the provincial government, although in rural areas of all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, it is the responsibility of the Canadian Mounted Police.

On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada decided to legalize that doctors can help terminally ill patients (euthanasia) and gave the authorities a period of one year to amend the regulations. [5]

Culture and society

Canadian culture has been strongly influenced by British culture and traditions, as well as French culture, albeit to a lesser extent, as a result of its colonial past. Additionally, Canadian culture has also been influenced by American culture in part due to its geographic proximity but also due to the migration of people, ideas, capital investments, and policies across its border.

The strong presence of American culture in Canada has raised fears of a “cultural conquest or invasion” and has led to the creation of many laws and government institutions for the protection of Canadian culture. Much of Canada’s culture remains defined in contrast to American culture.

In terms of national symbols and emblems, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century and is used on both its current and previous flags, as well as on its coat of arms. Canada is renowned for its vast forests and mountain ranges (including the Rocky Mountains) and the wildlife that inhabits them. Canada is also recognized for the strength of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and products made with the country’s natural resources, such as maple syrup.


The educational system in Canada is divided into provinces and the three territories that make up the country, each of which has its own characteristics, which has better reflected the culture and history of the region. School attendance is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. The school year begins in September and ends in June. Education is public and free for all residents, from preschool to high school, including technical training for work. [7] .


There are two official languages that are the majority and are distributed as follows:

  • English (59.3% as mother tongue; 90% know it)
  • French: (22.7% as mother tongue; 60% know it)
  • Bilingual: (0.4%)

Other languages (allophones) (17.6%)



The region that the city of Ottawa occupies was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans long before the arrival of the first European explorers. These natives called the Ottawa River “Kichesippi” (Great River) and called themselves “Kichesippirini” (People of the Great River). However, the French fur traders called the region “Ottawa” in reference to the Ottawa tribe that inhabited the place for a few years.

It was in 1613, when the Frenchman Samuel de Champlain passed through the region that from then on, hunters and fur traders would use the Ottawa River as a route to the Canadian west.

Already in 1759, in order to reach New France, colonists from the United States began to occupy those lands that had come under British control.

In 1800 Philemon Wright, a Massachusetts farmer who began cultivating an area north of the Ottawa River founded a community devoted to agriculture and the lumber trade, which he called Wright’s Village which later took the name of Hull and today in dia is part of the city of Gatineau. Due to the commercial success achieved, other settlers began to settle the region.

In 1811 Ira Honeywell settled in the area, in fact becoming the first person of European origin to colonize the southern bank of the Ottawa River.

Construction of the canal was led by Lieutenant Colonel John By and took place between 1826 and 1832. Due to his meritorious work, this colonel is considered the first builder and planner of what later became the capital of Canada. At first, these areas were used for the construction of fortifications, but later they became the Parliament Buildings of Canada.

The settlement built to house the workers was completed in 1832 and was named Bytown in honor of Colonel John By and by then had a population of approximately 1,900.

With the canal completed, the following years saw Bytown town grow and prosper, in large part thanks to the burgeoning lumber industry. In 1850 the great and prosperous community was elevated to the status of a city that had more than ten thousand residents by then, but its name stopped being Bytown and it was definitively changed to the City of Ottawa.

In the year 1857 the Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the country among several candidate cities for three reasons. The first was its geographic location relatively far from the United States, which made it safer than other cities. Second, the location exactly between Upper and Lower Canada would reduce cultural tensions between Canadians of French origin and those of English origin and the third reason was the beauty of the region where Ottawa was located, which has an extraordinary charm.

In 1900 a large part of the city was destroyed by fire but by 1912 it was practically rebuilt and had reached 90,000 residents.

From 1945 to date the city has been remodeled several times to become the beautiful and modern city that it is today.



Ottawa is a city with a great technological development, which is why it is called “the national capital of high technology”, where the headquarters of more than 800 companies are located, the vast majority of which are specialized in advanced research, especially in the environmental technology, the creation and development of software, space research and telecommunications, however the public sector is the one that employs the most people in the city, only about 72 thousand work for the national government, and another 12 thousand in the municipal public sector, and according to economic studies, 20% of all Ottawa jobs are directly related to this sector.

The health sector also has a great weight in the city since it employs 18 thousand people. The tourism is the main source of income of Ottawa, followed by the high – tech industry.

Canada Government