Government and Politics

Canada is a federation, composed of ten provinces and three territories. Government in Canada has three levels: municipal, provincial, and federal, with each level having its own power and responsibilities. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of Canada, represented by the Governor General. 

Canada's federal government is responsible for foreign affairs, national defence, income and other taxation, as well as many other obligations. The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of the Government of Canada, it is a bicameral body with the Senate and the House of Commons. Elections for the 338 seats in the House of Commons occur every four years, with the party winning the most (not necessarily the majority) seats being declared the government, lead by the prime minister.

Currently, the Government of Canada is lead by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with the Liberal Party holding the minority of seats in the House of Commons.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Provinces and territories are responsible for the provision of healthcare, education, the maintenance of parks, lands and roadways outside of cities, and the management of certain natural resources. All provinces and territories in Canada are governed by a legislative assembly (which may have a different name depending on the province or territory), which are elected generally every 4 years; the party winning the most seats in the assembly is declared the government, lead by the premier. 

Currently, the Government of Alberta is lead by Premier Jason Kenney, with the United Conservative Party holding the majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Jason Kenney, Alberta Premier

The Hon. Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta

Municpal, or local governments are responsible for most services you will use in a city - such as public transit, roadway maintenance, policing, and the maintenance of parks and other public property. Cities in Canada are governed by a city council and mayor. A new mayor and city council are elected every four years in Edmonton.

The current mayor of Edmonton is Don Iveson.

His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton

Elections in Canada

All elections in Canada are held under the first-past-the-post system. On an election day every Canadian citizen over 18 years old is allowed to vote, once, for a candidate of their choosing, in their local electoral district (an area containing a number of voters). The candidate with the most votes (not necessarily a majority of votes) is declared the winner. Canadian elections at all levels are renowned for their transparency and process; Canada is a democratic model for much of the world.