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Municipal Election Lesson 2 - Levels of Government in Canada
 

Municipal Election Lesson 2 - Levels of Government in Canada

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This is lesson two of seven about municipal elections that I developed and proposed for Student Vote. ...

This is lesson two of seven about municipal elections that I developed and proposed for Student Vote.

This lesson familiarizes students with the different structure and responsibilities of the three levels of government in Canada.

Please refer to Municipal Election Lessons Additional Resources for references and supporting information.

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    Municipal Election Lesson 2 - Levels of Government in Canada Municipal Election Lesson 2 - Levels of Government in Canada Document Transcript

    • Big Idea:Informed participation in local government both stimulates and upholds the principles ofdemocracy.Essential Question:What are the characteristics of an informed Canadian citizen participating in a municipal election orschool board election?Government Across Canada: Providing Guidance, Boundaries & Structureto CanadiansCanadian federalism provides “a general government and legislature for general purposes withlocal governments and legislatures for local purposes” that is constitutionally responsible toCanadians.Hook 5-10 min.Examine the list of recent elections in Canada. (Handout 2.1) Using this information, hypothesizewhy there are different levels of government and why there are so many elections. Do you thinkthat this is an ideal arrangement for Canadians?Essential Learning 40-50 min.1. Three levels of government have been established to order Canadian society: federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal. Using Handout 2.2, identify the leaders of each level of government for your community as well as the location where each government is located. Consider conducting a webquest or using an encyclopedia to find the required information.2. Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, stated that federalism provided “a general government and legislature for general purposes with local governments and legislatures for local purposes.” Using Handouts 2.3 to 12, determine the level of government and department associated with the listed responsibilities.3. Illustrate how government regulation impacts nearly every aspect of Canadians’ lives by tracking your activities over the course of one day and relating these activities to a federal, provincial, or municipal government responsibility. Share your findings. ex. 7:00 am Eat breakfast Agriculture (Federal) 7:30 am Shower & brush teeth Water & Sewer (Municipal) 8:00 am Go to School Education (Provincial/Territorial)4. From this set of activities, review what you have discussed and learned about the reasons for and functions of different levels of government in Canada.Extended Learning 10-20 min.Option A:Imagine that you are the leader of a local citizens’ organization desiring to erect a monument inyour community that commemorates either a) farming in Canada; b) fishing in Canada; c)environmentalism in Canada; or d) Canadians growing up in the 1950s. The support of all threelevels of government will be required to build the monument your organization has in mind. Afterchoosing what you are hoping to commemorate with your monument, identify the governmentdepartments that you would need to contact and a) write brief letters to each departmentexplaining what you are trying to accomplish and why the department in question should putmoney towards your project; or b) write brief letters of recognition that thank the governmentdepartments for their support and involvement. Consider presenting your correspondence aloud.
    • Option B:Collect news articles that demonstrate interaction between different levels of government. Foreach article, briefly summarize why more than one government is involved in providing a service tothe public.Option C:Select an area of responsibility that interests you from each of the three levels of government. Useinformation from the corresponding government website to discover each department’s mandate aswell as the principal activities of each government department. Share your findings with the rest ofthe class. Consider using Handout 2.15 to organize your findings.Option D:Imagine that you are considering running for public office. Consider and compare the advantagesthat each level of government offers (power to shape society or community, ability to make peoplehappy, personal interest in responsibilities, celebrity status, etc) in order to justify the level ofgovernment to which you would prefer to be elected.Key TermsCabinet; Cabinet Minister; councillor; department; effective; federalism; government; House ofCommons; Leader of the Opposition; Legislative Assembly; Member of Legislative Assembly;Member of National Assembly; Member of Parliament; Member of Provincial Parliament; Minister ofthe Crown; ministry; municipal council; municipality; National Assembly; Premier; Prime Minister;Provincial Parliament; reeve; relevant; representative; Senate; SenatorEssential QuestionsHow do the purposes of separate levels of government differ?How is the Canadian citizen connected to each of the separate levels of government?How is the Canadian citizen represented by each of the separate levels of government?Teacher PreparationSelect teaching strategies for essential learning activitiesMake class copies of required handoutsBook computer lab, if desiredPreview websites to be used for class activities, if desired (see chapter on Additional Resources)Select extended learning activity and teaching strategies, if desiredHave selection of newspapers available to students, if desiredAssessmentStudents should provide evidence that they have the ability to differentiate between the differentlevels of government in Canada and that that they are able to apply their knowledge of theseparation of government powers.
    • Handout 2.1: List of General Elections in Canada Since 2004 Year of Election Location of Election Level of Government 2010 Alberta Municipal 2010 Manitoba Municipal 2010 Ontario Municipal 2010 Prince Edward Island Municipal (cities only) 2010 Saskatchewan Municipal (some rural areas only) 2009 British Columbia Provincial 2009 Newfoundland Municipal 2009 Northwest Territories Municipal (taxed communities) 2009 Nova Scotia Provincial 2009 Nunavut Municipal 2009 Prince Edward Island Municipal (towns and rural only) 2009 Quebec Municipal 2009 Saskatchewan Municipal (urban municipalities only) 2009 Saskatchewan Municipal (some rural areas only) 2009 Yukon Municipal 2008 Canada Federal 2008 Alberta Provincial 2008 British Columbia Municipal 2008 New Brunswick Municipal 2008 Northwest Territories Municipal (hamlets) 2008 Nova Scotia Municipal 2008 Nunavut Territory 2008 Quebec Provincial 2008 Saskatchewan Municipal (some rural areas only) 2007 Alberta Municipal 2007 Manitoba Provincial 2007 Newfoundland Provincial 2007 Northwest Territories Territory 2007 Ontario Provincial 2007 Prince Edward Island Provincial 2007 Quebec Provincial 2007 Saskatchewan Provincial 2007 Saskatchewan Municipal (some rural areas only) 2006 Canada Federal 2006 New Brunswick Provincial 2006 Manitoba Municipal 2006 Northwest Territories Municipal (taxed communities) 2006 Nova Scotia Provincial 2006 Ontario Municipal 2006 Prince Edward Island Municipal (cities only) 2006 Prince Edward Island Municipal (towns and rural only) 2006 Saskatchewan Municipal (urban municipalities only) 2006 Saskatchewan Municipal (some rural areas only) 2006 Yukon Territory 2006 Yukon Municipal 2005 British Columbia Provincial 2005 British Columbia Municipal 2005 Newfoundland Municipal 2005 Quebec Municipal 2004 Canada Federal 2004 Alberta Provincial 2004 Alberta Municipal 2004 New Brunswick Municipal 2004 Northwest Territories Municipal (hamlets) 2004 Nunavut Territory
    • Handout 2.2: Investigating GovernmentComplete this table using the resources provided by your teacher. Municipal Provincial/Territory Federal Government Government GovernmentWhere does this levelof government meet?What is the name ofthe building and inwhat city is it located?What is the official titleof the leader of thislevel of government?What is the name ofthe politician whocurrently holds thisoffice?What is the officialname of the electedmembers at this levelof government?What is the name ofthe politician whocurrently representsthe area where youlive?What is the name ofthe geographical areathat each electedmember represents?What is the name ofthe electoral areawhere live?What are tworesponsibilities of thislevel of government?
    • Handout 2.3: Government ResponsibilitiesCorrectly assign government responsibilities to the appropriate level of government by using theresources provided by your teacher. Responsibilities appearing more than once in the list belowindicate that two or more levels of government share the responsibility. Federal Provincial Municipal
    • Handout 2.4: Who’s Responsibility Is It?Correctly assign each description of a government responsibility to the appropriate level ofgovernment and government department by using the resources provided by your teacher.Description Level DepartmentAdministers the health care system and provides healthservices to the publicPromotes clean and safe air, land, and water use toensure healthy communities, sustainable development,and the preservation of nature for future generations ofOntariansWorks towards a more peaceful and secure world, andpromotes out culture and values internationallyAdministers the system of funded elementary andsecondary school educationMaintains public librariesPlants, repairs, prunes, and removes trees in parks andopen spacesDevelops renewable sources of energy and cleaner formsof fuel, fosters a culture of conservation, and protectsour environmentSpecializes in the sustainable use and development ofnatural spaces, minerals, metals, forests, and bodies ofwaterEncourages healthy growth and development of children,supports children with exceptional needs, and protectschildren from abuseAdmits immigrants, visitors, foreign students, andtemporary workers who will enhance the country’s socialand economic growthMeets the government’s constitutional, treaty, political,and legal obligations to First Nations, Inuit, and northerncommunitiesImplements garbage pick-up and recycling programsSets, communicates, and enforces workplace standards,and encourages greater workplace self-reliancePreserves and modernizes Canada’s healthcare system,and communicates health promotion and diseaseprevention information
    • Handout 2.5: Government ResponsibilitiesA list of federal, provincial, and municipal government responsibilities based upon currentlegislation and Cabinet positions for the federal and Ontario governments. Federal Provincial MunicipalAgriculture and Agri-Food Aboriginal Affairs Arts and CommunityAttorney General of Canada Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Building and Health InspectionCanadian Heritage and Official Attorney General By-LawsLanguages Children and Youth Services EnvironmentCitizenship, Immigration, and Citizenship and Immigration Human ResourcesMulticulturalism Community and Social Services LibrariesEnvironment Community Safety and Parks and RecreationFinance Correctional Services Planning and ZoningFisheries and Oceans Consumer Services Policing and Fire ProtectionLa Francophonie Culture Solid Waste ManagementForeign Affairs Economic Development And Trade Transportation and InfrastructureHealth Education Water And SewerHuman Resources and Skills EnergyDevelopment EnvironmentIndian Affairs and NorthernDevelopment FinanceIndustry Francophone AffairsIntergovernmental Affairs Government ServicesInternational Cooperation Health and Long-Term CareInternational Trade Health Promotion and SportJustice InfrastructureLabour Intergovernmental AffairsNational Defence LabourNational Revenue Municipal Affairs and HousingNatural Resources Natural ResourcesPublic Safety Northern Development, Mines, and ForestryPublic Works and GovernmentServices Research and InnovationTransport, Infrastructure, and RevenueCommunities TourismTreasury Board Training, Colleges, and UniversitiesVeterans Affairs Transportation
    • Handout 2.6: Alphabetical List of Federal, Provincial, and Municipal ResponsibilitiesAboriginal Affairs Indian Affairs and Northern DevelopmentAgriculture and Agri-Food IndustryAgriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs InfrastructureArts and Community Intergovernmental AffairsAttorney General Intergovernmental AffairsAttorney General of Canada International CooperationBuilding and Health Inspection International TradeBy-Laws JusticeCanadian Heritage and Official Languages LabourChildren and Youth Services LabourCitizenship and Immigration Libraries Health and Long-Term CareCitizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Municipal Affairs and HousingCommunity and Social Services National DefenceCommunity Safety and Correctional Services National RevenueConsumer Services Natural ResourcesCulture Natural ResourcesEconomic Development And Trade Northern Development, Mines, and ForestryEducation Parks and RecreationEnergy Planning and ZoningEnvironment Policing and Fire ProtectionEnvironment Public SafetyEnvironment Public Works and Government ServicesFinance Research and InnovationFinance RevenueFisheries and Oceans Solid Waste ManagementFrancophone Affairs TourismLa Francophonie Training, Colleges, and UniversitiesForeign Affairs Transport, Infrastructure, and CommunitiesGovernment Services TransportationHealth Transportation and InfrastructureHealth Promotion and Sport Treasury BoardHuman Resources Veterans AffairsHuman Resources and Skills Development Water And Sewer
    • Handout 2.7: Legislative Powers of Parliament of CanadaFrom “The Constitution Acts of Canada, 1867 to 1982, Part VI, Distribution of Legislative Powers.”Powers of the ParliamentLegislative Authority of Parliament of Canada91. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and Houseof Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation toall Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to theLegislatures of the Provinces; and for greater Certainty, but not so as to restrict the Generality ofthe foregoing Terms of this Section, it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in thisAct) the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters comingwithin the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say, — 1. Repealed. 1A. The Public Debt and Property. 2. The Regulation of Trade and Commerce. 2A. Unemployment insurance. 3. The raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation. 4. The borrowing of Money on the Public Credit. 5. Postal Service. 6. The Census and Statistics. 7. Militia, Military and Naval Service, and Defence. 8. The fixing of and providing for the Salaries and Allowances of Civil and other Officers of the Government of Canada. 9. Beacons, Buoys, Lighthouses, and Sable Island. 10. Navigation and Shipping. 11. Quarantine and the Establishment and Maintenance of Marine Hospitals. 12. Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries. 13. Ferries between a Province and any British or Foreign Country or between Two Provinces. 14. Currency and Coinage. 15. Banking, Incorporation of Banks, and the Issue of Paper Money. 16. Savings Banks. 17. Weights and Measures. 18. Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes. 19. Interest. 20. Legal Tender. 21. Bankruptcy and Insolvency. 22. Patents of Invention and Discovery. 23. Copyrights. 24. Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians. 25. Naturalization and Aliens. 26. Marriage and Divorce. 27. The Criminal Law, except the Constitution of Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but including the Procedure in Criminal Matters. 28. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Penitentiaries. 29. Such Classes of Subjects as are expressly excepted in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces. And any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section shall not be deemed to come within the Class of Matters of a local or private Nature comprised in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces.
    • Handout 2.8: Legislative Powers of Provincial LegislaturesFrom “The Constitution Acts of Canada, 1867 to 1982, Part VI, Distribution of Legislative Powers.”Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures92. In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Matters comingwithin the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say, — 1. Repealed. 2. Direct Taxation within the Province in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial Purposes. 3. The borrowing of Money on the sole Credit of the Province. 4. The Establishment and Tenure of Provincial Offices and the Appointment and Payment of Provincial Officers. 5. The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province and of the Timber and Wood thereon. 6. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province. 7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals. 8. Municipal Institutions in the Province. 9. Shop, Saloon, Tavern, Auctioneer, and other Licences in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial, Local, or Municipal Purposes. 10. Local Works and Undertakings other than such as are of the following Classes: (a) Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, Telegraphs, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province: (b) Lines of Steam Ships between the Province and any British or Foreign Country: (c) Such Works as, although wholly situate within the Province, are before or after their Execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces. 11. The Incorporation of Companies with Provincial Objects. 12. The Solemnization of Marriage in the Province. 13. Property and Civil Rights in the Province. 14. The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts. 15. The Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section. 16. Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province.
    • Handout 2.9: Legislative Powers of Provincial Legislatures (cont.)From “The Constitution Acts of Canada, 1867 to 1982, Part VI, Distribution of Legislative Powers.”Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Forestry Resources and Electrical Energy92A. (1) In each province, the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to (a) exploration for non-renewable natural resources in the province; (b) development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province, including laws in relation to the rate of primary production therefrom; and (c) development, conservation and management of sites and facilities in the province for the generation and production of electrical energy. Export from provinces of resources (2) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the export from the province to another part of Canada of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the production from facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy, but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada. Authority of Parliament (3) Nothing in subsection (2) derogates from the authority of Parliament to enact laws in relation to the matters referred to in that subsection and, where such a law of Parliament and a law of a province conflict, the law of Parliament prevails to the extent of the conflict. Taxation of resources (4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of (a) non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and (b) sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom, whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province. Primary Production (5) The expression "primary production" has the meaning assigned by the Sixth Schedule. Existing powers or rights (6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) derogates from any powers or rights that a legislature or government of a province had immediately before the coming into force of this section.
    • Handout 2.10: Provisions Respecting Particular Legislative DomainsFrom “The Constitution Acts of Canada, 1867 to 1982, Part VI, Distribution of Legislative Powers.”EducationLegislation Respecting Education93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education,subject and according to the following Provisions:— (1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union: (2) All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queens Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queens Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec: (3) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queens Subjects in relation to Education: (4) In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section.Quebec93A. Paragraphs (1) to (4) of section 93 do not apply to Quebec.Uniformity of Laws in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New BrunswickLegislation for Uniformity of Laws in Three Provinces94. Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Parliament of Canada may make Provision for theUniformity of all or any of the Laws relative to Property and Civil Rights in Ontario, Nova Scotia,and New Brunswick, and of the Procedure of all or any of the Courts in those Three Provinces, andfrom and after the passing of any Act in that Behalf the Power of the Parliament of Canada to makeLaws in relation to any Matter comprised in any such Act shall, notwithstanding anything in thisAct, be unrestricted; but any Act of the Parliament of Canada making Provision for such Uniformityshall not have effect in any Province unless and until it is adopted and enacted as Law by theLegislature thereof.Old Age PensionsLegislation respecting old age pensions and supplementary benefits94A. The Parliament of Canada may make laws in relation to old age pensions and supplementarybenefits, including survivors and disability benefits irrespective of age, but no such law shall affectthe operation of any law present or future of a provincial legislature in relation to any such matter.Agriculture and ImmigrationConcurrent Powers of Legislation respecting Agriculture, etc.95. In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to Agriculture in the Province, andto Immigration into the Province; and it is hereby declared that the Parliament of Canada may fromTime to Time make Laws in relation to Agriculture in all or any of the Provinces, and to Immigrationinto all or any of the Provinces; and any Law of the Legislature of a Province relative to Agricultureor to Immigration shall have effect in and for the Province as long and as far only as it is notrepugnant to any Act of the Parliament of Canada.
    • Handout 2.11: Ontario Legislation Respecting General Municipal Powers (Single Tier)From “Municipal Act, 2001, Part II, General Municipal Powers.”Scope of powers8. (1) The powers of a municipality under this or any other Act shall be interpreted broadly so as to confer broad authority on the municipality to enable the municipality to govern its affairs as it considers appropriate and to enhance the municipality’s ability to respond to municipal issues. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 8. Ambiguity (2) In the event of ambiguity in whether or not a municipality has the authority under this or any other Act to pass a by-law or to take any other action, the ambiguity shall be resolved so as to include, rather than exclude, powers the municipality had on the day before this Act came into force. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 8. Scope of by-law making power (3) Without limiting the generality of subsections (1) and (2), a by-law under sections 10 and 11 respecting a matter may, (a) regulate or prohibit respecting the matter; (b) require persons to do things respecting the matter; (c) provide for a system of licences respecting the matter. …Broad authority, single-tier municipalities10. (1) A single-tier municipality may provide any service or thing that the municipality considers necessary or desirable for the public. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 8. By-laws (2) A single-tier municipality may pass by-laws respecting the following matters: 1. Governance structure of the municipality and its local boards. 2. Accountability and transparency of the municipality and its operations and of its local boards and their operations. 3. Financial management of the municipality and its local boards. 4. Public assets of the municipality acquired for the purpose of exercising its authority under this or any other Act. 5. Economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality. 6. Health, safety and well-being of persons. 7. Services and things that the municipality is authorized to provide under subsection (1). 8. Protection of persons and property, including consumer protection. 9. Animals. 10. Structures, including fences and signs. 11. Business licensing. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 8.
    • Handout 2.12: Ontario Legislation Respecting General Municipal Powers (Multiple Tiers)From “Municipal Act, 2001, Part II, General Municipal Powers.”Broad authority, lower-tier and upper-tier municipalities11. (1) A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality may provide any service or thing that the municipality considers necessary or desirable for the public, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4). By-laws (2) A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality may pass by-laws, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4), respecting the following matters: 1. Governance structure of the municipality and its local boards. 2. Accountability and transparency of the municipality and its operations and of its local boards and their operations. 3. Financial management of the municipality and its local boards. 4. Public assets of the municipality acquired for the purpose of exercising its authority under this or any other Act. 5. Economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality. 6. Health, safety and well-being of persons. 7. Services and things that the municipality is authorized to provide under subsection (1). 8. Protection of persons and property, including consumer protection. By-laws re: matters within spheres of jurisdiction (3) A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality may pass by-laws, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4), respecting matters within the following spheres of jurisdiction: 1. Highways, including parking and traffic on highways. 2. Transportation systems, other than highways. 3. Waste management. 4. Public utilities. 5. Culture, parks, recreation and heritage. 6. Drainage and flood control, except storm sewers. 7. Structures, including fences and signs. 8. Parking, except on highways. 9. Animals. 10. Economic development services. 11. Business licensing.
    • Handout 2.13: Historical Foundations of Government Responsibilities: Lord DurhamFrom Andrew Sancton, “Canadian Municipal History,” localgovernment.ca, Internet:http://www.localgovernment.ca/show_libary.cfm?id=56, accessed 22 August 2010.The thinking behind the Municipal Corporations Act was transmitted to Canada by Lord Durham inhis famous report that followed the rebellions of 1836-37. Although Durham made numerouscomments about the virtues of a comprehensive system of local government, the most apt isprobably this:“The establishment of a good system of municipal institutions throughout the Provinces is a matterof vital importance. A general legislature, which manages the private business of every parish, inaddition to the common business of the country, wields a power which no single body, howeverpopular in its constitution, ought to have; a power which must be destructive of any constitutionalbalance. The true principle of limiting popular power is that apportionment of it in many differentdepositories which has been adopted in all the most free and stable States of the Union. Instead ofconfiding the whole collection and distribution of all the revenues raised in any country for allgeneral and local purposes to a single representative body, the power of local assessment, and theapplication of the funds arising from it, should be entrusted to local management. It is in vain toexpect that this sacrifice of power will be voluntarily made by any representative body. Theestablishment of municipal institutions for the whole country should be made a part of everycolonial constitution; and the prerogative of the Crown should be constantly interposed to checkany encroachment on the functions of the local bodies, until the people should come alive, as mostassuredly they almost immediately would be, to the necessity of protecting their local privileges.”
    • Handout 2.14: Historical Foundations of Government Responsibilities: John. A MacdonaldFrom Canada Parliamentary debates on the subject of the confederation of the British NorthAmerican provinces, 3rd session, 8th Provincial Parliament of Canada, (Quebec: Hunter, Rose &Co., Parliamentary Printers. 1865) pp. 29-45. Accessed from Library and Archives Canada,Internet: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-7148-e.html, 22 August 2010. “...Now, as regards the comparative advantages of a Legislative and a Federal Union, I have neverhesitated to state my own opinions. I have again and again stated in the House, that, if practicable,I thought a Legislative Union would be preferable. (Hear, hear.)“I have always contended that if we could agree to have one government and one parliament,legislating for the whole of these peoples, it would be the best, the cheapest, the most vigorous,and the strongest system of government we could adopt. (Hear, hear.) But, on looking at thesubject in the Conference, and discussing the matter as we did, most unreservedly, and with adesire to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, we found that such a system was impracticable. In thefirst place, it would not meet the assent of the people of Lower Canada, because they felt that intheir peculiar position -- being in a minority, with a different language, nationality and religion fromthe majority, -- in case of a junction with the other provinces, their institutions and their lawsmight be assailed, and their ancestral associations, on which they prided themselves, attacked andprejudiced; it was found that any proposition which involved the absorption of the individuality ofLower Canada -- if I may use the expression-- would not be received with favour by her people. Wefound too, that though their people speak the same language and enjoy the same system of law asthe people of Upper Canada, a system founded on the common law of England, there was as greata disinclination on the part of the various Maritime Provinces to lose their individuality, as separatepolitical organizations, as we observed in the case of Lower Canada herself. (Hear, hear).Therefore, we were forced to the conclusion that we must either abandon the idea of Unionaltogether, or devise a system of union in which the separate provincial organizations would be insome degree preserved…“Ever since the union was formed the difficulty of what is called "State Rights" has existed, and thishad much to do in bringing on the present unhappy war in the United States. They commenced, infact, at the wrong end. They declared by their Constitution that each state was a sovereignty initself, and that all the powers incident to a sovereignty belonged to each state, except thosepowers which, by the Constitution, were conferred upon the General Government and Congress.Here we have adopted a different system. We have strengthened the General Government. Wehave given the General Legislature all the great subjects of legislation. We have conferred on them,not only specifically and in detail, all the powers which are incident to sovereignty, but we haveexpressly declared that all subjects of general interest not distinctly and exclusively conferred uponthe local governments and local legislatures, shall be conferred upon the General Government andLegislature. -- We have thus avoided that great source of weakness which has been the cause ofthe disruption of the United States. We have avoided all conflict of jurisdiction and authority, and ifthis Constitution is carried out,...we will have in fact, as I said before, all the advantages of alegislative union under one administration, with, at the same time, the guarantees for localinstitutions and for local laws, which are insisted upon by so many in the provinces now, I hope, tobe united…”
    • Handout 2.15: Interesting Government ResponsibilitiesSelect an area of responsibility that interests you from each of the three levels of government. Useinformation from the corresponding government website to discover each department’s mandate aswell as the principal activities of each government department.Government Responsibility Name of Ministry or Department Level of GovernmentMandate / MissionPrincipal ActivitiesGovernment Responsibility Name of Ministry or Department Level of GovernmentMandate / MissionPrincipal ActivitiesGovernment Responsibility Name of Ministry or Department Level of GovernmentMandate / MissionPrincipal Activities