The Canadian Government


Part I. GOVERNMENT AND LAW

The Governor General represents the monarch in Canada. He/she is
appointed by the monarch on advice of the Canadian Government. Governors
General open Parliment and read the speech from the throne which outlines
the governments plans. They also give royal assent to bills, appoint
important officials, greet foreign leaders, and give out awards and medals.
The role of the Governor General is formal and symbolic.

The current Govener General is Ray Hnatyshyn. The Last one was Jeanne
Sauve. The Senate is, in essence, an independant House of Commons. It
appoints its own Speaker and runs its own affairs. The Prime Minister
(I\'ll call him the PM) chooses new members for the senate whenever a
vacancy occurs. The Senate acts as a check on the power of the House of
Commons by rejecting bills. The Senate may also introduce bills itself,
pass them, and send \'em to the House of Commons.

Elections for the House of Commons occur every five years, unless the PM
wants one sooner. Elected members of the House of Commons (MPs) each
represent a Constituency. How many members in the commons depends on how
many people in Canada. MPs must be over 18, and not disqualified by law.
The House only has to meet once a year, but usually there\'s so much to do
they have to put in many months of work. Any MP can try to introduce a
bill, but the Cabinet usually controls the number of bills introduced.
Most bills come from the Cabinet, but the ideas can come from things like:
A senator, public servant, the media, party platform etc.

The PM chooses The Cabinet from fellow party members who have been
elected to the House of Commons. When choosing Cabinet members, the PM
must choose representatives of all regions and cultural groups of Canada
who together, represent and understand all of Canada. A Cabinet member is
usually made head of, and responsible for a department of government. For
example, the Minister of Finance prepares the federal budget and assumes a
big role in managing our economy. The Cabinet members meet together under
the leadership the of the PM to discuss the important decisions that the
government must make concearning proposed laws or bills. Each Cabinet
member is expected to accept decisions made by the Cabinet on the whole.
The Cabinet must always appear unified and capable to Parliment and to the
country.

How A Bill Becomes A Law:
-Cabinet Minister has idea for a bill
-Idea explained to Cabinet
-Cabinet approves idea
-Lawyers Draft bill
-Cabinet committee examines bill
-Cabinet and caucus approve bill
-Bill introduced to House of Commons or Senate (first reading)
-Second reading
-House debates and votes on principle of bill
-Parliamentary committee examines bill
-House amends bill
-Third reading, debate and vote
-Bill passes House
-Senate (or House of Commons if introduced in Senate) examines, debates,
amends bill
-Bill passes Senate
-Govener general gives royal assent, Bill is now Law.

Criminal Law deals with the punishment of people who commit crimes
against the public such as murder, arson, and theft. These are considered
to be crimes against society. The rules for this are set down in the
Criminal Code of Canada. The federal government is responsible for
bringing criminal offenders to trial.

Civil Law deals with the protection of private rights. It is concearned
with disputes between individuals or groups. In civil cases, it is up to
the injured party to take the case to court. For an exmaple of a civil
case, let\'s say that a friend of yours pulls out a gun and shoots a hole
through your wall, but doesn\'t want to pay for it. It would be up to you to
sue your friend for the cost of the wall in a civil court.



Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme (or Superior) Court of The Province
Trials Division Appeals Division


District (or County) Courts Provincial (Magistrate\'s) Court


Family Court Youth Court


Indictable Offences Summary Conviction Offences

Classification Hearing

Alleged Offence

Rights Guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of rights and Freedoms

Fundamental freedoms:
Worship as you like, believe what you want, express your opinions,
associate with whomever you like, and gather together peacefully.

Democratic rights:
Vote in elections, run as a candidate in elections, elect a new government
at least every five years. (except, possibly in times of war.)

Mobility rights:
Enter or remain in or leave Canada, live and work wherever you wish within
Canada.

Equality rights:
Live and work and be protected by the law without discrimination based on
race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, arge, or mental or
physical disability.

(There are also Language rights and Enforcement.)

The Rights of