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Politics of Canada
Essential Ideas about politics part 3
Terms in this set (56)
British North America (BNA) Act, 1867
An act of the British Parliament that created Canada and that provided the core of the Constitution. In 1982 it was renamed the Constitution Act 1867.
A convention that federal and provincial Cabinet meetings are not held in public, that all discussions are confidential, and that Cabinet documents are not made public through freedom of information requests.
Canada Heath Transfer
Annual payment from the federal government to the provinces to assist with the expenses of heath care.
Canada Social Transfer
Annual payment from the federal government to the provinces to assist with the expenses of postsecondary education, social assistance, and childcare.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Part of the Constitution Act, 1982, that guarantees basic rights under the following headings: fundamental rights, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights, the Official Languages of Canada, and Minority language education rights.
Chief electoral officer
The official who is responsible for organizing elections.
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
The most senior deputy minister in the public service and manager of the Privy Council Office.
Powers shared by the provincial and federal governments. The Constitution Act 1867 lists the main ones as agriculture and immigration to which old age pensions were later added.
Constitution Act, 1867
The new name for the British North America Act, 1867.
Constitution Act, 1982
A major addition to the Canadian constitution. It added the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, provisions on equalization payments, Aboriginal rights, an amending formula, and changes in the control of natural resources.
A commercial business owned by the government (either federal or provincial) which operates autonomously of the government.
The public servant who manages each government department.
Dissolution of Parliament
The ending of a Parliament by calling an election.
Annual payments by the federal government to less wealthy provinces. In 2013-14, four "have" provinces received none (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and British Columbia) while the other six "have not" provinces (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia) received $16 billion.
A system of government in which there is a division of powers between two levels of authority, federal and provincial.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
An association of municipal governments that acts as a lobby group or advocacy group on behalf of that level of government.
First Ministers Conference
A meeting of the prime minister and provincial premiers.
The right to vote.
A vote in the House of Commons (or provincial legislature) in which MPs do not have to follow the party line.
A MP from each party in the House of Commons (or provincial legislature) designated to deal with their counterparts in other parties to schedule business in the chamber.
The ability of courts to annul legislation or an act of government.
Leader of the Opposition
The leader of the Opposition party, normally the party with the second largest number of seats.
A circumstance in which the government party has more than half of the seats in the House of Commons or a provincial legislature.
A circumstance in which the government party has less than half of the seats in the House of Commons or a provincial legislature.
A motion in the House of Commons or a provincial legislature allowing a sitting government to be replaced. If a majority of members vote for it, the Cabinet resigns or an election is called.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
1994 free trade treaty between Canada, United States, and Mexico.
A provision in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which enables provincial or federal governments to override certain sections of the Charter.
In each session of Parliament, the Opposition has twenty-two days in which it decides the topic for debate.
Parliamentary Budget Office
An office of Parliament who serves MPs by informing them of government spending and revenue.
Parliamentary press gallery
The association of reporters who sit in the press galley observing the House of Commons and who report on politics.
Government MPs who have the responsibility of assisting Cabinet ministers.
The MPs of a party. They usually hold weekly meetings during a session of Parliament.
Peace, Order and Good Government clause (POGG)
This phrase appears in the Constitution Act, 1867 (originally enacted as The British North America Act, 1867), to describe the principles under which the government of Canada should operate.
Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
The partisan office that assists the prime minster.
Privy Council Office (PCO)
The department of the civil service that provides nonpartisan assistance to the Cabinet and the prime minister.
Public-private partnership (P3)
Instead of government building and maintaining major infrastructure (such as highway, water treatment plant), build and maintenance is outsourced to a private company. Opposed by public sector unions.
Daily 45-minute period in the House of Commons ostensibly devoted to MPs questions to the government but primarily involving the opposition party leaders sparring with the prime minister.
A minority strand among Canadian Conservatives who have some left-wing attitudes.
An agency of the government set up to regulate an area of activity. For example the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Televiosion and Telecommmunications Commission) regulates radio, TV, and telecoms.
The Constitution Act 1967 (formerly called the British North America Act) assigns all powers not explicitly given to the provinces to the federal government.
A formal public inquiry set up by the government to investigate an issue of importance or controversy.
A constituency which a party won by large majority and thus expects to win again.
Session of Parliament
The period of time in which Parliament is convened. It ends with prorogation.
Government activities whose costs are shared by both federal and provincial governments.
A proposal by the Parti Quebecois that Quebec become independent but maintain an economic union with Canada.
Speech from the throne
Speech by the governor general at the opening of each session of Parliament outlining the government's proposals for the upcoming session.
The ability of the federal government to spend money on activities within provincial jurisdiction (such as health and education).
Standing Committee on Public Accounts
The House of Commons committee that scrutinizes government expenditure.
The rules of the House of Commons.
Aboriginal Canadians registered with the federal government under the terms of the Indian Act.
Statute of Westminster
A British law of 1931 that removed of the ability of the British parliament to legislate for Canada and other Dominions. Henceforth the British government could no longer make ordinary laws for the Dominions.
Supreme Court Act
A law passed by the Canadian Parliament in 1875 establishing the Supreme Court.
Agreements between the federal government and provinces designed to make collecting federal and provincial income and corporate taxes more efficient.
War Measures Act
A law giving the federal Cabinet emergency powers. It was used during the two world wars and in 1970 during a crisis caused by the FLQ, a Quebec nationalist group that used terrorism, before being repealed.
The feeling by many Canadians in the West that their views are not paid sufficient attention by the Federal Government.
The type of government of Britain, adopted by Canada. So called because of the area of London in which the British Parliament is located.
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