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 The Accused in The Legal Process: (As outlined in the legal rights of all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure.
This prevents the police from searching you, your home, or your personal belongings unless they have a good reason to believe that the search will help them discover some information about a criminal activity. The right of Habeus Corpus. This means that you have to be told the reason you are being arrested. You must also be brought to trial without undue delay. The right to a fair trial. This means that you a right to have a lawyer.
If you cannot afford one, the court must appoint one to defend you. You have a right to give your side of the case. The judge must treat you in a fair manner. The right not to be tried twice for the same crime. this means that once you have been tried and sentenced, the government cannot decide to take you to court again for the same crime.
The right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment. This means that if you are found guilty of a crime, the courts cannot decide to torture you. (pity.) Also, your sentance must be the same as the sentance of other people who have been found guilty of a similar crime. Some other rights outlined in the same section of the charter are: The right not to be arbitrarily detained and imprisoned. The right against self-incrimination.
The right to an interpreter. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The right to bail. Governor Sir Guy Carleton was convinced that the Thirteen Colnoies were on the verge of rebellion and he felt that he had to secure the loyalty of the Canadiens (The French-speaking inhabitants of New France) to prevent them from joining with the rebels. To accomplish this goal, he convinced the British government to pass The Quebec act in 1774. The Anglophone Colonists in Quebec felt that the act made Quebec a French Colony instead of a British colony.
Generally, Canadiens were pleased. The act meant that they could keep their land, religion, and language and participate in politics. Basically, here are the Main points of the Quebec Act: – Quebec border is expanded far to the west. The new area included the best fur- trapping lands. – Freedom of religion is granted for Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics are also permitted to hold public office.
– French civil law is retained, but British (fag) criminal law is established. – Roman Catholic churches are permitted to own property and collect tithes. – No land is taken from the French. – No elected assembly is created. Red River resistance The settlement of Red River was occupied by some Metis, (people of mixed European (usually French) and Native Ancestry) and some Anglophone settlers. When the Canadian Government bought the Northwest from the Hudson Bay Company in the 1860s, the Metis were angered that they were not consulted in the sale of the land, nor had their intrests been safeguarded.
A Metis leader, Louis Riel felt that Metis rights had to be safeguarded before Canada took over the settlement. So he organized groups of Metis who forced a surverying team to leave, and prevented the new Governor, Mcdougall, from entering the colony. In November 1869, The Metis organized a provisional government (a temporary government) with Riel as president. They drew up a list of rights which they wanted the government to grant before Red River joined confederation. While these were being negotiated, some Anglophones got mad at the provisional government and one of them, Thomas Scott, was arrested and executed for treason.
This execution stopped the negotiations with the federal government. Macdonald had wanted to bring Red River into confederation peacefully, but he had to forget about that. Citizens of Ontario were outraged that an Anglophone had been killed by Francophones. the longer Macdonald delayed action in the Read River settlement, the more complex the problem became. English speaking Canadians wanted a military force to be sent to Red River to stop Riel’s uprising.
French speaking Canadians wanted the Metis rights to be protected. Finally Macdonald acted. His government passed a bill that made the province of Manitoba, sent over a new governor who the Metis agreed on, gave each Metis 240 acres of land, gave the Metis the right to vote, and gave Red River a representative in Parliment. French was made an official language. Macdonald also sent a military force to Red River to keep order in the colony. The crisis was over, in 1870 the French-English relations looked good. The Northwest Rebellion During the 1880s many Metis moved farther west near to present day Saskatchewan in search of buffalo, and because of loss of land in Red River due to more settlers. By 1885 the buffalo again disappeared and more settlers moved into Saskatchewan.
The federal Government sent out surveryers. The Metis demanded payments of money and land and were getting concearned about their rights again. Anglophones too wanted the land issue resolved. Macdonald’s government, did not respond. Riel came to Saskatchewan on request of the Metis.
He drew up yet another bill of rights for the Metis and sent it to Ottawa. Macdonald still ignored the situation in the Northwest. After waiting about four months, Riel concluded that the government wasn’t going to meet any demands, so Riel decided to use force and he appointed Gabriel Dumont as his military commander and an armed clash between the Metis and the North West Mounted police occured. The Anglophone settlers withdrew their support when Riel decided to use force. Meanwhile, the Cree’s economy was hurt by destruction of the Buffalo and they used the unrest caused by the Metis to launch several attacks on the Blackfoot. The government mistakingly thought that the Metis were encouraging the Cree to rebel.
People in eastarn Canada were in a fenzy after the news of these events reached them, so Macdonald ordered General Middleton, the commander of the Canadian Militia to go to Red River and kick some %&! So, using the new Canadian Pacifac Railway, troops were rushed to the disturbances. Dumont and his allies beat the government in early battles, but the government had superior military equipment and greatly outnumbered the Metis, so eventually their stronghold at Batoche was surrounded and defeated on May 12, 1885. Riel surrendered on May 15 and he was tried and executed for treason, which became a national French-English conflict. Strains on French-English relations worsened with the outbreak of World War I. In the early years of the war, Canadians were eager to help Britain and its allies, and Canadians served in the war on a voluntary basis and it seemed like there would be enough volunteers.
By 1916, however, t …