Learning Centre Governance In Canada
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Learning Centre Governance In Canada Learning Centre Governance In Canada Presentation Transcript

  • Governance in Canada Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Aboriginal & You © 2009 Welcome! (Press to Enter) Social Studies 11 Learning Centre
  • Introduction Why is government important? “ We cannot work or eat or drink; we cannot buy or sell or own anything; we cannot go to a ball game or a hockey game or watch TV without feeling the effects of government. We cannot marry or educate our children; cannot be sick, born or buried without the hand of government somewhere intervening.” - Senator Eugene Forsey To begin, brainstorm your ideas on the purpose and function of government in Canada. Consider the following… What does government mean to you? What should it do? What are its responsibilities? Do we need government? What does it do? Home
  • Introduction What will I learn? This Learning Centre will provide you with a general overview of government in Canada, with individual learning modules for each of the four main areas of governance: federal, provincial, municipal, and Aboriginal. Along with lessons for each section, you will find a variety of activities that will help you improve your understanding of each level of government. In addition, there is a section on the importance of citizen involvement in government, with activities to guide you in taking action and influencing change. You will also find a Glossary of important terms and a References & Resources section of references for further information and exploration. Home
  • Introduction How will I learn? The purpose of this Learning Centre is to provide you with an introduction to Canadian government in a self-directed manner. You can read the various sections in any order you chose, and you can complete the activities at your own pace. Let’s get started! Home
  • Federal Gov’t Federal Activities Introduction Provincial Gov’t Provincial Activities Municipal Gov’t Municipal Activities Aboriginal Gov’t Aboriginal Activities Learning Modules References & Resources Influencing Government Government Glossary “ Take Action” Activities Home
  • Federal Provincial Municipal Aboriginal Activities Index Take Action Activity #1 - The Political Spectrum Activity #2 - Federal Government Diagram Activity #3 - Mock Parliament Activity #1 - Your Local Municipality Activity #2 - City Council Meetings Activity #3 - Create a Political Cartoon Activity #1 - Crossword Puzzle Activity #2 - Research Essay Activity #1 - Becoming Self-Governing Activity #2 - Caring for Local Resources Activity #1 - How Can Students Influence Gov’t? Activity #2 - A Plan for Action Home
  • Federal Government Key Positions Additional Info Three Branches Key Components The federal government of Canada is the system of governance that oversees Canada as a nation. The Federal Parliament is in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. Our federal government was created by the Constitution Act of 1867 and follows the British parliamentary tradition. Introduction Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Executive Branch The Executive Branch is made up of the people who propose bills or legislation. This includes the Queen, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Legislative Branch The Legislative Branch is made up of the people who debate and vote upon proposed bills, including the House of Commons, the Senate, and the Queen. Judiciary Branch The Judiciary is the court system of Canada. It includes the Supreme Court, which is the highest level of legal authority in the country. It also included is the Federal Court as well as the Provincial Courts. Federal Gov’t Branches of Government What are they and what do they do? Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Key Components Senate Supreme Court Cabinet House of Commons Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Cabinet is made up of Ministers who are appointed by the Prime Minister after a successful election. It usually contains 20-40 members who are responsible for creating and introducing legislation . Members, by custom, are also members of the House of Commons. Whenever possible, there has to be a Minister from every province in the Cabinet. The Cabinet Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The House of Commons contains 308 members, who are called Members of Parliament (MPs). Each member is elected from their respective constituency. Every province contains a different number of constituencies, which translates into a different number of representatives from each province in the House. Click here to see a chart of the breakdown. The House of Commons Legislation must be passed by the House before it can become law. The House contains 20 standing committees, each with its own particular focus (agriculture, transportation, etc.). Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Senate is appointed by the Governor General upon recommendation of the Prime Minister. It contains 105 members, with each province having a set number of seats. Members have to be 30 years old and live in the province that they represent. Members are only allowed to be a Senator until the age of 75. The Senate In addition to needing the approval of the House, no legislation can become law unless it is passed by the Senate. The Senate can initiate any legislation that does not contain public expenditure . Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Supreme Court was established in 1875 by an act of Parliament. It consists of 9 judges, 3 of whom must be from Quebec, and none of whom can serve past the age of 75. Judges are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Cabinet. The Supreme Court has the 'final say' on constitutional issues and on any civil or criminal case that has been brought to them from either a Provincial Court or the Federal Court. The Supreme Court Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Key Positions The Prime Minister Ministers The Sovereign The Governor General Speakers Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Although Canada has a parliamentary government , it is also a Constitutional Monarch. This means that the formal head of state is the reigning monarch of Britain, making Queen Elizabeth II Canada's Sovereign. The Queen's power in Canada is held by the Governor General. The Sovereign Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Prime Minister (PM) literally means the “first minister”. The PM has to be a member of the House of Commons, or must obtain a position upon election. The PM is appointed by the Governor General, which occurs automatically after a successful election. If the opposition wins more than half the seats in an election, then the Governor General calls upon the leader of the opposition to take the position of Prime Minister. The PM is more powerful than any other minister, and has the ability to hire or fire ministers. The current Prime Minister is Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party. See References & Resources for a complete list of past Prime Ministers. The Prime Minister Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Governor General (GG) is the Sovereign's representative in Canada, and exercises all of the Crown's powers. Appointed by the Sovereign at the Prime Minister's recommendation, the GG usually fulfills a 5-year term. However, this can be extended. The Governor General The current Governor General is the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Ministers are members of the Cabinet that have been appointed by the Prime Minister. Each minister has a department which they oversee. For example, there is a Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, and Minister of Transportation. Ministries & Ministers Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • There is a speaker for both the Senate and the House of Commons. The Senate speaker is appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Speakers The House of Commons speaker is elected by secret ballot and must be a member of the House of Commons. The speakers are the presiding officers in their respective institutions. They are in charge of procedure and order during discussions. They are expected to be non-partisan and enforce the rules upon everyone equally. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Additional Information Political Parties Federal Jurisdiction Minority vs. Majority Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Because Canada follows a federal system, both the provincial and national governments have power, but not necessarily over the same things. The Constitution of 1867 states that the federal (or national) government has the power to “make laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada,” but this does not include those “subjects assigned exclusively to the legislature of the provinces.” This basically means that anything not covered by the provinces is automatically under federal jurisdiction. However, there are a few powers that are strictly federal, including: - direct and indirect taxation - regulation of trade and commerce - welfare assistance - hospital insurance and medicare - defense Federal Jurisdiction Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Political Parties New Democratic Party Conservative Party Green Party Bloc Quebecois Liberal Party Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Conservative Party (or Tories) is usually socially and fiscally conservative or prudent. Socially, the party generally does not support gay marriage or abortion rights, and supports harsher and longer penalties for criminals. In fiscal terms, the Tories follow a laissez faire economic policy, and would be against government intervention in the economy. Conservative Party As a result, the Conservative Party is on the right side of the political spectrum. Its current leader is Prime Minister Stephen Harper. See the Resources page for the Conservative Party's website. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Liberal Party (or Whigs) is generally more socially liberal than the Conservative Party. They support tougher gun control laws and, in the past, have focused on keeping a balanced budget. The Whigs gravitate around the centre of the political spectrum, often moving to the right or left side depending on the issue at hand. The current Liberal leader is Michael Ignatief. Liberal Party See the Resources page for the Liberal Party's website. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The goals of the NDP include the desire to abolish the Senate, expand health care, legalize recreational drugs, and create equal rights and opportunities for all citizens. These views place the New Democratic Party (NDP) on the left side of the political spectrum. The current NDP leader is Jack Layton. New Democratic Party See the Resources page for the NDP's website. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The Bloc is concerned with protecting Quebec's interests and promoting its sovereignty . It only campaigns inside Quebec during an election. The Bloc is on the left side of the political spectrum, and current leader is Gilles Duceppe. Bloc Quebecois See the Resources page for the Bloc Quebecois’ website. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • The focus of the Green Party is primarily on “green”, or environmental, issues and concerns. Socially, the Green Party aims to end homelessness by creating subsidized housing; guarantees a minimum livable income; and opposes private sector involvement in health care, education and prison services. Green Party The Green Party is located on the left end of the political spectrum, and is currently led by Elizabeth May, the only female federal party leader. See the Resources page for the Bloc Quebecois’ website. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • A political party does not have to receive more than fifty percent of the popular vote or seats in order to win an election. When a party wins fifty percent or more of the available seats, it is called a majority government, because it will have a majority of the seats in the House of Commons. When a wining party has less than fifty percent of the available seats, it is called a minority government. It has more seats than any other individual party, but if enough of the opposing parties decide to ally, they have the potential to out-vote the party in power on legislative issues. Majority vs. Minority Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Federal Gov’t
  • Federal Activities Activity #2: The Political Spectrum Activity #1: Federal Government Diagram Activity #3: Mock Parliament Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Provincial Government Introduction & History The BC provincial government was formed after Confederation with Eastern Canada in 1871. This was a result of several negotiations between the old colonial government and the Government of Canada. Canada became a coast to coast nation like its neighbors to the south, which prevented US influence from drawing BC into the union. To persuade BC to join Confederation , Canada granted the province many concessions, such as the intercontinental railway. One measure the Canadian government would not compromise on, however, was changing the existing responsible government system in place in Ottawa. This system, known as the Westminster Parliamentary Tradition , was maintained in the new union. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Branches and Duties The BC government is composed of 3 branches, much like the federal government: The provincial governments’ jurisdiction, or control, is defined by the Constitution Act of 1867 . These areas include direct taxation, education, control of private land, natural resource use (and unlimited taxation rights on natural resources), regulation of labor relations, and education. Judiciary Executive Legislative Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Executive Branch The Executive Branch of the government is mainly responsible for forming official policy on issues facing BC; authoring the annual budget for approval by the legislative branch; and planning and implementing the laws passed. The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of the Queen, though mostly a figurehead at this point, who is appointed by the Premier. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Executive Branch The Premier and Cabinet is made up of the Party Leader and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the governing party, which is determined in provincial elections every 4 years. The public service is the impartial bureaucratic arm that enacts and implements orders and services approved by the government. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Legislative Branch The government MLAs present the government’s argument, while opposition MLAs are there to critique, monitor and hold accountable government policy and practice. The Legislative Branch, or Legislature, is made up of elected members (MLAs). MLAs are elected by the constituents in their local riding (or territory). The Legislature is a forum for social, political and economic issues facing the province. Its approval is required for the executive branch to enact new laws, policy or budget spending. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Judicial Branch The Judicial Branch of the government is represented by the Provincial Court, the BC Supreme Court, and the BC Court of Appeals. The role of the Judicial Branch is to interpret and enforce laws passed by the government and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Judges in the Provincial Court are appoint by the Lieutenant Governor, while Supreme Court and Appeal Court judges are appointed by the Federal Governor General. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Premier Gordon Campbell Cabinet & Ministries What are ministries & what are their responsibilities? The cabinet is composed of ministers who lead various ministries in the provincial government. Here is a list of current provincial ministries and a summation of a few of their duties. One way to think of cabinet ministers would be to imagine them as department managers in a department store. Here is list of current provincial cabinet ministers under Premier Gordon Campbell (as of October 2009). In the previous analogy, Gordon Campbell would be the department store manager. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Click here for a full list of all registered political parties in BC. BC Legislature The two parties currently represented in the BC Legislature are the BC Liberal Party, who form the government with 49 seats, and the New Democratic Party, who sit as the opposition with 35 seats. There is also one seat filled by an Independent . The BC Liberal Party is not affiliated with the Federal Liberal Party. The Conservative Party and the Green Party are additional provincial parties that currently hold no seats. Party Distribution Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Major Differences Comparing Federal & Provincial Governments The provincial legislative branch does not include a senate. This is known as a unicameral body, as opposed to the federal bicameral . In BC, unlike some other provinces, election cycles are set at a firm date of every 4 years. However, minority governments can still be defeated at any time by a confidence motion. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Major Differences Comparing Federal & Provincial Governments Though jurisdiction in certain areas is defined as a provincial right, there are cases where the federal government has overruled or set policy for all provinces. An example of this is health care service expectations. Provincial governments must adhere to defined boundaries such as this one. Despite both federal and provincial governments having taxation legislation in place, provincial governments do not have their own revenue services. All taxation is collected by the federal government and then returned to the province. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Provincial Gov’t
  • Provincial Activities Activity #2: Research Essay Activity #1: Crossword Instructions Crossword Puzzle Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Answer Key
  • Municipal Government In many ways, local governments represent the most relevant and familiar form of governance to Canadians, because of their direct involvement in the regulation, structure, and development of our communities. Since local governments play a significant role in the daily lives of citizens, it is particularly important for Canadians to understand the organization and operation of their own local governing body. Introduction Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipalities The most common form of local government is the municipality . This local entity falls below the federal and provincial (or territorial) governments in terms of voice and power. What are they? Municipal Gov’t In 1849, Canada ’ s Legislative Assembly approved the Municipal Corporations Act, which granted municipal governments the authority to raise taxes and enact by-laws. The Act also established a hierarchy of municipal levels, from cities through to townships. Federal Provincial Municipal Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipalities Today, each province or territory in Canada is given the right to delegate some of its responsibilities to municipal governing bodies. While the federal and provincial governments are independent entities with their own powers and policy jurisdictions, local governments derive their powers from provincial law. This means that provinces and territories have the ability to create, modify, amalgamate, or eliminate municipal governments as necessary. As well, they assign the powers that each municipality is entitled to carry out. What do they do? Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Local & Regional Each province and territory contains hundreds of municipal governments, which vary in name and size. Like federal and provincial governments, municipalities also have their own political figures and institutions. There are two main levels of municipal government, each with different roles and responsibilities. Levels of Municipal Government Municipal Gov’t Local Regional Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Local Municipalities Local municipalities govern geographic areas that are relatively small and contained, including cities, towns, townships, villages, and parishes. Local municipalities are also referred to as lower tier municipalities, wherever there is a higher level of local government providing services and regulation for citizens. Single tier municipalities are located in areas where there are no other levels of municipal government. What is a local municipality? Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Local Municipalities
    • All municipalities have a local council , usually made up of elected councillors or aldermen and headed by an elected mayor or reeve .
    • The council oversees the daily operation of the municipality, and is charged with various power and responsibilities, such as:
        •  taxation
        •  budgeting
        •  planning and development
        •  parks
        •  provision of public services
    What do local municipalities do? Municipal Gov’t More on municipal responsibilities… Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Case Study: Local Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the City of Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. City of Victoria Municipal Gov’t Victoria, BC With a population of around 300,000 citizens, Victoria is run by Mayor Dean Fortin and the City Council. Victoria ’ s Council is composed of eight Councillors who carry out a three-year term. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Mayor Dean Fortin
  • Case Study: Local Council meets on the second and forth Thursday of each month, and Councillors sit on various committees, such as the Community Development Standing Committee and the Governance and Priorities Committee. City of Victoria Municipal Gov’t In addition, the City of Victoria runs a number of boards and committees beyond City Council, such as the Athletic Commission and the Greater Victoria Library Board. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Case Study: Local
    • In 2009, City Council identified seven Strategic Priorities that were considered worthy of immediate action. These priorities included:
        • 1. Addressing homelessness
        • 2. Promoting affordable housing
        • 3. Improving governance of Council
        • 4. Enhancing public communication
        • 5. Improving local health and safety
        • 6. Providing quality infrastructure
        • 7. Dealing with late night issues downtown
    Victoria’s Strategic Priorities Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Regional Municipalities Larger local governments, known as regional or upper tier municipalities, manage groups of smaller municipalities within their jurisdiction. Regional governments (also known as districts or counties ) are established to impose a single area-wide administrative and political structure to provide municipal functions more efficiently. They are also used to collect sufficient tax income to fund expensive services or capital projects. What is a regional municipality? Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Regional Municipalities In some cases, regional governments operate independently from their constitutive municipalities. In other cases, municipal leaders will collaborate to run the regional government. How do regional municipalities operate? Municipal Gov’t Regional governments are run by a chair or warden , who heads a council of designated elected members from the lower tier municipalities. A chair or warden may be chosen from the regional council or elected directly, depending on the area. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Regional Council Municipal Council Regional Chair Municipal Council Municipal Council
  • Case Study: Regional In 2007, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) was officially renamed Metro Vancouver. This regional district encompasses 21 member municipalities, one electoral area, and one treaty First Nation in the Lower Mainland of BC. Metro Vancouver Municipal Gov’t Metro Vancouver is a working partnership of its constituent local governments, and is dedicated to maintaining the quality of life for citizens of the Greater Vancouver area. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Case Study: Regional The Metro Vancouver Board consists of 37 Directors that are appointed by their local council members. The number of Directors from each municipality is determined by population, as is the number of votes each municipality has (one vote for every 20,000 people). For example, the large city of Surrey has four Board Members and five votes, while the smaller municipality of Lions Bay has just one Director and one vote. Who is involved in Metro Vancouver? Municipal Gov’t Lois Jackson, Board Chair Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Metro Vancouver Regional Map
  • Case Study: Regional The responsibilities of Metro Vancouver include the following: What does Metro Vancouver do? Municipal Gov’t
        •  Delivering cost-effective utilities, such as drinking water, sewage treatment, recycling, and garbage disposal
        •  Planning and managing regional growth and development
        •  Promoting environmental stewardship and protecting the livability of the region (e.g. supervising projects relating to air quality, parks, and housing)
    Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Roles & Responsibilities While the types of municipal government vary between provinces and territories in Canada, they all perform a similar set of general functions. The main objective of municipal governments is to provide services, facilities, safety, and infrastructure to local communities. This usually involves a series of responsibilities, as outlined in the following section. What jobs are given to municipalities? Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Roles & Responsibilities Protection of Persons and Property – This is carried out by local policing and firefighting stations, which are managed by the municipal government. Transportation – Municipal roadways, as well as bus and train services, are locally maintained and managed. Public Planning and Development – Municipal governments handle residential, commercial, and industrial zoning permits, as well as manage economic growth and concern. Public Utilities – Management of sewage, water, and electrical utilities falls to the municipal government. Municipalities are locally responsible for… Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Roles & Responsibilities Social Welfare Services – Local education, health, and library facilities are the responsibilities of the local government, along with social assistance services. Finance – Most municipalities have the power to collect taxes to fund local projects and services. Other sources of income are also available to local governments. Parks and Recreation – Local parks, green spaces, and public recreational facilities are maintained by the municipal government, as are artistic and cultural events. Special Responsibilities – In Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, local governments also manage electricity, telephone, and gas services. Municipalities are locally responsible for… Municipal Gov’t More on finance… Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Taxation & Revenue How are municipalities funded? Municipal Gov’t Municipal governments collect the majority of their funding from property taxes . Another common form of income comes from charging fees for permits and licenses, such as building permits and business licenses. Local governments also accumulate monies by charging for public services (e.g. city transit) and issuing fines (e.g. parking tickets). Large transfers of funding also come from the provincial government, in the form of General Purpose Transfers and Specific Purpose Transfers . Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Taxation & Revenue How are municipalities funded? Municipal Gov’t Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Elections How are councillors elected? Municipal Gov’t Members of municipal councils are usually elected through one of two types of electoral systems. An at-large electoral system is used in smaller communities, while a ward-based or constituency-based electoral system is common in larger cities. Mayors are generally elected in separate at-large elections, while wardens are elected from the council by councillors, and chairs are elected either by the council or by a general vote. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Elections How often are councillors elected? Municipal Gov’t The terms that councillors serve with municipal governments vary from province to province. Regular election intervals exist for each province and territory: Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Elections Who can run and who can vote? Municipal Gov’t Candidates in municipal elections are generally non-partisan , meaning they are not affiliated with any political party. However, some areas are known to have political party affiliations in their local politics, which is the case in Vancouver, BC. Today, to be eligible to vote in a municipal election, a person is generally only required to be a local resident of legal voting age (i.e. 18 years old). Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home PARTY POLITICAL
  • Municipal Activities Activity #2: City Council Meetings Activity #1: Your Local Municipality Activity #3: Political Cartoons Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Gov’t Your Local Municipality Activity #1: Activity Instructions Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Gov’t City Council Meetings Activity #2: Activity Instructions Resource #1: Moose Jaw City Council Meeting Video Resource #2: Victoria City Council Meeting Minutes Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Municipal Gov’t Create a Political Cartoon Activity #3: Instructions Your task is to create a political cartoon that clearly illustrates a complaint that a citizen might direct toward the municipal government. Your cartoon may be one picture (single pane) or have multiple panels (comic strip). Include some text to help clarify the topic of your cartoon (e.g. in the form of a caption or words spoken by the figure or figures in the cartoon). Make sure your cartoon is easy to read and understand; it should demonstrate your own understanding of the issue. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Why is learning about Aboriginal self-government valid? Why is it important? While it will be useful to briefly consider these questions now, you should have a better understanding of the answers after you have completed this section. Aboriginal self-government is unique to Canada, and the individual communities that pursue it. Do you know why this might be? Aboriginal communities are often overlooked in current political discussions. Can you think of some reasons why? Aboriginal Self-Government Introduction Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Self-government agreements set out arrangements for Aboriginal communities to govern their internal affairs and assume greater responsibility and control over the decision making that affects their communities. However, it is important to note that an Aboriginal community that achieves self-government does not become their own country. Definition What is Aboriginal self-government? Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • In Canada there are 17 completed self-government agreements pertaining to 36 communities. Some 15 self-government agreements have been completed in conjunction with comprehensive land claims in Labrador, Quebec, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Two stand alone self-government agreements have been completed with the Sechelt and Westbank First Nations in British Columbia. A Canadian Context Aboriginal self-governments in Canada Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
    • Self-government agreements set out arrangements for Aboriginal groups to govern their internal affairs and assume greater responsibility and control over the decision making that affects their communities.
    • Self-government agreements address:
    • - the structure and accountability of Aboriginal governments
    • - their law-making powers
    • financial arrangements
    • responsibilities for providing programs and services to their members.
    A Canadian Context What are self-government agreements? Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • Unlike the other government structures of Canada –– municipal, provincial and federal –– which have many similarities in structure and function, there is no “one size fits all” system for Aboriginal self-government. Each negotiation produces a different kind of self-government, so every one is unique. However, each negotiation does follow the same process, giving some structure to an otherwise dynamic and challenging process. One Size Fits All? Creating systems of self-government Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • The process for completing self-government agreements follows these six steps: 1. Submission of Proposal 2. Acceptance 3. Framework Agreement 4. Agreement in Principle (AIP) 5. Final Agreement and Ratification 6. Implementation One Size Fits All? Creating systems of self-government Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • The Nisga’a people live in the Nass River Valley in British Columbia. In 2000, the Nisga’a Final Agreement went into effect, establishing self-government for that community. The government is a representative democracy, chosen of the people, by the people, and for the people. As in the establishment of every self-government, the Nisga’a created a unique structure of governance in their community. Case Study: Overview The Nisga’a Lisims Government Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • President Chairperson Secretary-Treasurer Chairperson of the Council of Elders The Nisga’a People Critical Thinking: What similarities and differences can you see here in comparison to other types of government in Canada? What might this mean? Elected to General Government Case Study: Structure Elected to Village Governments The Nisga’a Lisims Government Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • Programs and Services - Nisga’a Valley Health Authority - Nisga’a Child and Family Services - Social Development Services - Education - Access to Justice  Lands and Resources  - Forest Resources - Land Title Office - Lands Department - Water and Mineral Resources  Critical Thinking: How might these health and education services differ from those delivered by other tiers of government? Case Study: Specifics Statutes and Regulations Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • Fisheries and Wildlife - Nisga’a Fisheries Limited - Lisims Fisheries Conservation Trust - Environmental Certification - Wildlife Management  Culture and Heritage - Ayuukhl Nisga’a Department - Nisga’a Museum   Additional Info For more information on these functions of the Nisga’a Lisims Government, go to www.nisgaalisims.ca Case Study: Specifics Statutes and Regulations Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • Why do you think Aboriginal self-government is often left out of classroom teaching and learning when it comes to governance in Canada? If you want to learn more about this topic, write an email or call one of the following resources… your municipal government, the Native Friendship Center, or a local tribal council … and ask if they can tell you about local self-government initiatives. Ideas & Questions Consider this… Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home Aboriginal Gov’t
  • Aboriginal Activities Activity #2: Caring for Local Resources Activity #1: Becoming Self-Governing Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Introduction Influencing Government For many young people, the concept of responsible government is difficult to grasp. After all, legal voting ages in federal, provincial, and municipal elections prevent most students from casting their vote on democratic issues. However, young people can and should still voice their opinions. As Canadian citizens, we all have a responsibility to speak up and express our personal views. We also have a responsibility to think and act with empathy and open-mindedness towards our fellow Canadians. Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Rights & Freedoms Influencing Government
    • The following outlines some of the rights and freedoms relevant to young people:
      • mobility rights
      • freedom of thought
      • freedom of speech
      • freedom of religion
      • right to vote in elections (at age of majority)
      • right to peaceful assembly
      • right to education
    • Click to view the complete Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Responsibilities Influencing Government
    • Along with our rights of citizenship come responsibilities that we must take very seriously. In order for our democracy to function properly, citizens must keep themselves informed about relevant issues. They must also respectfully share their beliefs with others, while remaining tolerant of new ideas and opinions.
    • Some of our responsibilities as Canadians are to:
      • understand and obey Canada’s laws
      • respect the rights and freedoms of others
      • care for and protect our environment
      • eliminate discrimination and injustice
      • vote in elections (at the age of majority)
    Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • “ Take Action” Activities Activity #2: A Plan for Action Activity #1: How Can Students Influence Government? Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • Below you’ll find a document with various terms and concepts that have been introduced and discussed in this Learning Centre. Any terms in bold within the Learning Modules are defined in the Glossary. Government Glossary Glossary Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home
  • References & Resources In this section, you’ll find a printable list of reference materials that you can refer to if you would like to learn more about a particular issue or topic in this Learning Centre. References Federal Gov’t Take Action Introduction Provincial Gov’t Influencing Gov’t Municipal Gov’t Glossary Aboriginal Gov’t Resources Activities Index Home