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Government of Canada
Federation
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Canada, wearing her Canadian insignia as Sovereign of the Order of Canada and the press releases issued by federal departments, the government has sometimes been referred to as the current Prime Minister's government (e.g. the "Trudeau Government"). This terminology has been commonly employed in the media.[14] In late 2010, an informal instruction from the Office of the Prime Minister urged government departments to consistently use, in all department communications, such phrasing (i.e., "Harper Government," at the time) in place of "Government of Canada."[15] The same cabinet earlier directed its press department to use the phrase "Canada's New Government."[14]

As per the Constitution Acts of 1867 and 1982, Canada is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the role of the reigning sovereign is both legal and practical, but not political.[16] The Crown is regarded as a corporation sole, with the monarch , vested as he or she is with all powers of state,[17] at the centre of a construct in which the power of the whole is shared by multiple institutions of government acting under the sovereign's authority.[18][19][20][21] The executive is thus formally referred to as Queen-in-Council; the legislature as the Queen-in-Parliament; and the courts as the Queen-on-the-Bench.[9]

Royal assent is required to enact laws. As part of the royal prerogative, the royal sign-manual gives authority to letters patent and orders in council, though the authority for these acts stems from the Canadian populace and,[22][23] within the conventional stipulations of a constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited.[24][25] The royal prerogative also includes summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament in order to call an election, and extends to foreign affairs, which include: the negotiation and ratification of treaties, alliances, international agreements, and declarations of war;[26] the accreditation of Canadian diplomats and rec

Royal assent is required to enact laws. As part of the royal prerogative, the royal sign-manual gives authority to letters patent and orders in council, though the authority for these acts stems from the Canadian populace and,[22][23] within the conventional stipulations of a constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited.[24][25] The royal prerogative also includes summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament in order to call an election, and extends to foreign affairs, which include: the negotiation and ratification of treaties, alliances, international agreements, and declarations of war;[26] the accreditation of Canadian diplomats and receipt of foreign diplomats; and the issuance of passports.[27]

Though the person who is monarch of Canada (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is also the monarch of 15 other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, he or she nevertheless reigns separately as King or Queen of Canada, an office that is "truly Canadian" and "totally independent from that of the queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms."[28][29] On the advice of the Canadian prime minister, the sovereign appoints a federal viceregal representative—i.e. the Governor General of Canada (currently Julie Payette)—who, since 1947, is permitted to exercise almost all of the monarch's royal prerogative, though there are some duties which must be specifically performed by the monarch themselves (such as assent of certain bills).

The Government is defined by the constitution as the queen acting on the advice of her privy council.[3][30][31][32] However, the Privy Council—consisting mostly of former Members of Parliament, Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, and other elder statesmen—rarely meets in full. As the stipulations of responsible government require that those who directly advise the monarch and governor general on how to exercise the royal prerogative be accountable to the elected House of Commons (HOC), the day-to-day operation of government is guided only by a sub-group of the Privy Council made up of individuals who hold seats in parliament.[32] This body of senior ministers of the Crown is referred to as the Cabinet.

One of the main duties of the Crown is to ensure that a democratic government is always in place,[33] which includes the appointment of a prime minister to thereafter head the Cabinet.[34] Thus, the governor general must appoint as prime minister the person who holds the confidence of the House of Commons; who, in practice, is typically the leader of the political party that holds more seats than any other party in that chamber (currently the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau). Should no particular party hold a majority in the HOC, the leader of one party—either the party with the most seats or one supported by other parties—will be called by the governor general to form a minority government. Once sworn in by the viceroy, the prime minister holds office until he or she resigns or is removed by the governor general, after either a motion of no confidence or his or her party's defeat in a general election.

The monarch and governor general typically follow the near-binding advice of their ministers. The royal prerogative, however, belongs to the Crown and not to any of the min

One of the main duties of the Crown is to ensure that a democratic government is always in place,[33] which includes the appointment of a prime minister to thereafter head the Cabinet.[34] Thus, the governor general must appoint as prime minister the person who holds the confidence of the House of Commons; who, in practice, is typically the leader of the political party that holds more seats than any other party in that chamber (currently the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau). Should no particular party hold a majority in the HOC, the leader of one party—either the party with the most seats or one supported by other parties—will be called by the governor general to form a minority government. Once sworn in by the viceroy, the prime minister holds office until he or she resigns or is removed by the governor general, after either a motion of no confidence or his or her party's defeat in a general election.

The monarch and governor general typically follow the near-binding advice of their ministers. The royal prerogative, however, belongs to the Crown and not to any of the ministers,[21][35] who only rule "in trust" for the monarch and who must relinquish the Crown's power back to it upon losing the confidence of the commons,[36][37] whereupon a new government, which can hold the lower chamber's confidence, is installed by the governor general. The royal and viceroyal figures may unilaterally use these powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations.[n 1] Politicians can sometimes try to use to their favour the complexity of the relationship between the monarch, viceroy, ministers, and parliament, as well as the public's general unfamiliarity with such.[n 2]

The Parliament of Canada—the bicameral national legislature located on Parliament Hill in the national capital of Ottawa—consists of the Queen-in-Parliament (normally represented by the governor general), the appointed Senate (i.e. upper house), and the elected House of Commons (i.e. lower house).[38] The governor general summons and appoints each of the 105 senators on the advice of the prime minister,[39] while the 338 members of the House of Commons (aka Members of Parliament, or MPs) are directly elected by Canadian citizens, with each member representing a single electoral district for a period mandated by law of no more than four years;[40] the constitution mandates a maximum of five years. Per democratic tradition, the House of Commons is the dominant branch of parliament and, as such, the Senate and Crown rarely oppose its will. The Senate, thus, reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint.

As outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867, the governor general is responsible for summoning parliament in the Queen's name. A parliamentary session lasts until a prorogation, after which, without ceremony, both chambers of the legislature cease all legislative business until the governor general issues another royal proclamation calling for a new session to begin. A session begins with a "Speech from the throne," whereby the governor general or the monarch delivers the governing party's prepared speech of their intentions for the session. After a number of such sessions, each parliament comes to an end via dissolution. Since a general election will typically follow, the timing of a dissolution is usually politically motivated, with the prime minister selecting a moment most advantageous to his or her political party. However, the end of parliament may also be necessary if the majority of MPs revoke their confidence in the Prime Minister's ability to govern, such as through a vote of no-confidence or if the As outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867, the governor general is responsible for summoning parliament in the Queen's name. A parliamentary session lasts until a prorogation, after which, without ceremony, both chambers of the legislature cease all legislative business until the governor general issues another royal proclamation calling for a new session to begin. A session begins with a "Speech from the throne," whereby the governor general or the monarch delivers the governing party's prepared speech of their intentions for the session. After a number of such sessions, each parliament comes to an end via dissolution. Since a general election will typically follow, the timing of a dissolution is usually politically motivated, with the prime minister selecting a moment most advantageous to his or her political party. However, the end of parliament may also be necessary if the majority of MPs revoke their confidence in the Prime Minister's ability to govern, such as through a vote of no-confidence or if the government's budget is voted down (a loss of supply). While the Canada Elections Act mandates that members of Parliament stand for election a minimum of every four-years, no parliament has ever been allowed to expire in such a fashion.

The sovereign is responsible for rendering justice for all her subjects, and is thus traditionally deemed the fount of justice.[41] However, she does not personally rule in judicial cases; instead the judicial functions of the royal prerogative are performed in trust and in the queen's name by officers of Her Majesty's courts.

The Supreme Court of Canada—the country's court of last resort—has nine justices appointed by the governor general on recommendation by the prime minister and led by the Chief Justice of Canada, and hears appeals from decisions rendered by the various appellate courts (provincial, territorial, and federal).

The Federal Court hears cases arising under certain areas of federal law,[42] and works in conjunction with the Tax Court of Canada.[43]

Federalism