Government of Canada

The Government of Canada (French: Gouvernement du Canada), officially Her Majesty's Government[3][4][5] (French: Gouvernement de Sa Majesté), is the federal administration of Canada. In Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council. In both senses, the current construct was established at Confederation through the Constitution Act, 1867—as a federal constitutional monarchy, wherein the Canadian Crown acts as the core, or "the most basic building block",[6] of its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.[7] The Crown is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Canadian government.[8][9][10] Further elements of governance are outlined in the rest of the Canadian Constitution, which includes written statutes, court rulings, and unwritten conventions developed over centuries.[11]

The monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is personally represented by the Governor General of Canada (currently Julie Payette). The Queen's Privy Council for Canada is the body that advises the sovereign or viceroy on the exercise of executive power. However, in practice, that task is performed only by the Cabinet, a committee within the Privy Council composed of ministers of the Crown, who are drawn from and responsible to the elected House of Commons in parliament. The Cabinet is headed by the prime minister (currently Justin Trudeau), who is appointed by the governor general after securing the confidence of the House of Commons.

Her Majesty's Government
Gouvernement de Sa Majesté
Federal
Government of Canada signature
The bilingual Government of Canada wordmark
FormationJuly 1, 1867
CountryCanada
Websitecanada.ca
Crown
SovereignQueen Elizabeth II
Viceregal representativeGovernor General Julie Payette
SeatRideau Hall
Legislative (Queen-in-Parliament)
LegislatureParliament
Meeting place
Executive (Queen-in-Council)
Main bodyQueen's Privy Council for Canada
LeaderPresident of the Privy Council
Main organCabinet
Head of governmentPrime Minister Justin Trudeau
Meeting placeOffice of the Prime Minister and Privy Council
Judicial (Queen on the Bench)
CourtSupreme court

Usage

Canada wordmark
The wordmark of the Government of Canada

In Canadian English, the word government is used to refer both to the whole set of institutions that govern the country (as in American usage, but where Britons would use state), and to the current political leadership (as in British usage, but where Americans would use administration).

In federal department press releases, the government has sometimes been referred to by the phrase [last name of prime minister] Government; this terminology has been commonly employed in the media. [12] In late 2010, an informal instruction from the Office of the Prime Minister urged government departments to consistently use in all department communications the term (at that time Harper Government) in place of Government of Canada.[13] The same cabinet earlier directed its press department to use the phrase Canada's New Government.[12]

Government structure

Monarchy

Official Diamond Jubilee Portrait of the Queen of Canada
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Canada, wearing her Canadian insignia as Sovereign of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit

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.[14] The Crown is regarded as a corporation sole, with the monarch, vested as she is with all powers of state,[15] 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.[16][17][18] The executive is thus formally called the Queen-in-Council, the legislature the Queen-in-Parliament, and the courts as the Queen on the Bench.[9]

Royal Assent is required to enact laws and, 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,[19][20] within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited.[21][22] The Royal Prerogative also includes summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament in order to call an election, and extends to foreign affairs: the negotiation and ratification of treaties, alliances, international agreements, and declarations of war;[23] the accreditation of Canadian, and receipt of foreign, diplomats; and the issuance of passports.[24]

The person who is monarch of Canada (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is also the monarch of 15 other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, though, he or she 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".[25][26] On the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister, the sovereign appoints a federal viceregal representative—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, or bills that require assent by, the king or queen.

Executive power

The government is defined by the constitution as the Queen acting on the advice of her privy council.[3][27][28][29] 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, 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.[29] This body of senior ministers of the Crown is the Cabinet.

One of the main duties of the Crown is to ensure that a democratic government is always in place,[30] which means appointing a prime minister (at present Justin Trudeau) to thereafter head the Cabinet.[31] Thus, the governor general must appoint as prime minister the person who holds the confidence of the House of Commons; in practice, this is typically the leader of the political party that holds more seats than any other party in that chamber, currently the Liberal Party. Should no party hold a majority in the commons, the leader of one party—either the one 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. It is important to note, however, that the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown and not to any of the ministers,[18][32] who rule "in trust" for the monarch and,[33] upon losing the confidence of the commons, must relinquish the Crown's power back to it,[34] 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, and the public's general unfamiliarity with it.[n 2]

Legislative power

Parliament-Ottawa
The Centre Block of the Canadian parliament buildings on Parliament Hill

The Parliament of Canada, the bicameral national legislature located on Parliament Hill in the national capital of Ottawa, consists of the Queen (represented by the governor general), the appointed Senate (upper house), and the elected House of Commons (lower house).[35] The governor general summons and appoints each of the 105 senators on the advice of the prime minister,[36] while the 338 members of the House of Commons (Members of Parliament) are directly elected by eligible voters in the Canadian populace, with each member representing a single electoral district for a period mandated by law of not more than four years;[37] the constitution mandates a maximum of five years. Per democratic tradition, the House of Commons is the dominant branch of parliament; the Senate and Crown rarely oppose its will. The Senate, thus, reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint.

The Constitution Act, 1867, outlines that 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. After a number of such sessions, each parliament comes to an end via dissolution. As a general election typically follows, the timing of a dissolution is usually politically motivated, with the prime minister selecting a moment most advantageous to his or her political party. The end of a parliament may also be necessary, however, if the majority of Members of Parliament revoke their confidence in the Prime Minister's ability to govern, or the legally mandated (as per the Canada Elections Act) four-year maximum is reached; no parliament has been allowed to expire in such a fashion.

Judicial power

Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa
Supreme Court Building in Ottawa

The sovereign is responsible for rendering justice for all her subjects, and is thus traditionally deemed the fount of justice.[38] 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.[39] It works in conjunction with the Tax Court of Canada.[40]

Federalism

The powers of the parliaments in Canada are limited by the constitution, which divides legislative abilities between the federal and provincial governments; in general, the legislatures of the provinces may only pass laws relating to topics explicitly reserved for them by the constitution, such as education, provincial officers, municipal government, charitable institutions, and "matters of a merely local or private nature",[41] while any matter not under the exclusive authority of the provincial legislatures is within the scope of the federal parliament's power. Thus, the parliament at Ottawa alone can pass laws relating to, amongst other things, the postal service, the census, the military, criminal law, navigation and shipping, fishing, currency, banking, weights and measures, bankruptcy, copyrights, patents, First Nations, and naturalization.[42] In some cases, however, the jurisdictions of the federal and provincial parliaments may be more vague. For instance, the federal parliament regulates marriage and divorce in general, but the solemnization of marriage is regulated only by the provincial legislatures. Other examples include the powers of both the federal and provincial parliaments to impose taxes, borrow money, punish crimes, and regulate agriculture.

Political culture

Canadiancharterofrightsandfreedoms
A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

An emphasis on liberalism[43] and social justice has been a distinguishing element of Canada's political culture.[44] Individual rights, equality and inclusiveness (a just society) have risen to the forefront of political and legal importance for most Canadians, as demonstrated through support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,[45] a relatively free economy, and social liberal attitudes toward women's rights, homosexuality, pregnancy termination, euthanasia, cannabis use and other egalitarian movements.[46][47][48][49] There is also a sense of collective responsibility in Canadian political culture, as is demonstrated in general support for universal health care, multiculturalism, gun control, foreign aid, and other social programs.[50][51][52][53] Peace, order, and good government, alongside an implied bill of rights are founding principles of the Canadian government.[54][55]

Canadian governments at the federal level have historically governed from a moderate, centrist political ideology.[56][57] Canada has been dominated by two parties,[58] the centre-left Liberal Party of Canada and the centre-right Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessors).[59] The historically predominant Liberals position themselves at the center of the political scale with the Conservatives sitting on the right and the New Democratic Party occupying the Left.[60][61][60][58] Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their influence over the political process by representation at the federal level. Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society.[62][63]

Public understanding

Polls have suggested Canadians generally do not have a solid understanding of civics,[64] which has been theorised to be a result of less attention being given to the subject in provincial education curricula, beginning in the 1960s.[65] By 2008, a poll showed only 24% of respondents could name the Queen as head of state;[66] Senator Lowell Murray wrote five years earlier: "The Crown has become irrelevant to most Canadian's understanding of our system of Government."[67] John Robson opined in 2015: "intellectually, voters and commentators succumb to the mistaken notion that we elect 'governments' of prime ministers and cabinets with untrammelled authority, that indeed ideal 'democracy' consists precisely in this kind of plebiscitary autocracy."[68]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See 'Responsibilities' and Note 1 at Cabinet of Canada.
  2. ^ It was said by Helen Forsey: "The inherent complexity and subtlety of this type of constitutional situation can make it hard for the general public to fully grasp the implications. That confusion gives an unscrupulous government plenty of opportunity to oversimplify and misrepresent, making much of the alleged conflict between popular democracy—supposedly embodied in the Prime Minister—and the constitutional mechanisms at the heart of responsible government, notably the 'reserve powers' of the Crown, which gets portrayed as illegitimate." As examples, she cited the campaign of William Lyon Mackenzie King following the King–Byng Affair of 1926 and Stephen Harper's comments during the 2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute.[14]

References

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Further reading

External links

38th Canadian Parliament

The 38th Canadian Parliament was in session from October 4, 2004 until November 29, 2005. The membership was set by the 2004 federal election on June 28, 2004, and it changed only somewhat due to resignations and by-elections, but due to the seat distribution, those few changes significantly affected the distribution of power. It was dissolved prior to the 2006 election.

It was controlled by a Liberal Party minority under Prime Minister Paul Martin and the 27th Canadian Ministry. The Official Opposition was the Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper.

The Speaker was Peter Milliken. See also List of Canadian federal electoral districts for a list of the ridings in this parliament.

There was one session of the 38th Parliament:

The parliament was dissolved following a vote of non-confidence passed on 28 November by the opposition Conservatives, supported by the New Democratic Party and Bloc Québécois. Consequently, a federal election was held on 23 January 2006 to choose the next parliament.

Cabinet of Canada

The Cabinet of Canada (French: Cabinet du Canada) is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada. Chaired by the prime minister, the Cabinet is a committee of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and the senior echelon of the Ministry, the membership of the Cabinet and ministry often being co-terminal; as of November 2015 there are no members of the latter who are not also members of the former.

For practical reasons, the Cabinet is informally referred to either in relation to the prime minister in charge of it or the number of ministries since Confederation. The current cabinet is the Trudeau Cabinet, which is part of the 29th Ministry. The interchangeable use of the terms cabinet and ministry is a subtle inaccuracy that can cause confusion.

Cabinet reshuffle

A cabinet reshuffle or shuffle is when a head of government rotates or changes the composition of ministers in their cabinet. They are more common in parliamentary systems, and less so in democracies where cabinet heads must be confirmed by a separate legislative body, and occur at pleasure in autocratic systems without suitable checks-and-balances.

Canada

Canada (Canadian French: [kanadɑ] listen ) is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government. The country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7 (formerly G8), the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Demographics of Ottawa

In 2011, the population of the city of Ottawa was 883,391, an 8.8% increase from 2006. The population of the census metropolitan area was 1,215,735.

First Nations

In Canada, the First Nations (French: Premières Nations) are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit. The Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations primarily between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, and people with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada.North American indigenous peoples have cultures spanning thousands of years. Some of their oral traditions accurately describe historical events, such as the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 and the 18th-century Tseax Cone eruption. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century. European accounts by trappers, traders, explorers, and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition, archeological and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples.

Although not without conflict, Euro-Canadians' early interactions with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations were less combative compared to the often violent battles between colonists and native peoples in the United States.

GeoBase (geospatial data)

GeoBase is a federal, provincial and territorial government initiative that is overseen by the Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG). It is undertaken to ensure the provision of, and access to, a common, up-to-date and maintained base of quality geospatial data for Canada. Through the GeoBase, users with an interest in geomatics have access to quality geospatial information at no cost and with unrestricted use.

Geographical Names Board of Canada

The Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) is a national committee with a secretariat in Natural Resources Canada, part of the Government of Canada, which authorizes the names used on official federal government maps of Canada created since 1897. The board consists of 27 members, one from each of the provinces and territories, and others from departments of the Government of Canada. The board also is involved with names of areas in the Antarctic through the Antarctic Treaty.

Indigenous peoples in Canada

Indigenous peoples in Canada, also known as Aboriginal Canadians (French: Canadiens Autochtones), are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Although "Indian" is a term still commonly used in legal documents, the descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have somewhat fallen into disuse in Canada and some consider them to be pejorative. Similarly, "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act, 1982, though in some circles that word is also falling into disfavour.Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Canada. The Paleo-Indian Clovis, Plano and Pre-Dorset cultures pre-date current indigenous peoples of the Americas. Projectile point tools, spears, pottery, bangles, chisels and scrapers mark archaeological sites, thus distinguishing cultural periods, traditions and lithic reduction styles.

The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal culture included permanent settlements, agriculture, civic and ceremonial architecture, complex societal hierarchies and trading networks. The Métis culture of mixed blood originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and Inuit people married Europeans. The Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during that early period. Various laws, treaties, and legislation have been enacted between European immigrants and First Nations across Canada. Aboriginal Right to Self-Government provides opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health care and economic control aspects within first people's communities.

As of the 2016 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totalled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population, with 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis and 65,025 Inuit. 7.7% of the population under the age of 14 are of Aboriginal descent. There are over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands with distinctive cultures, languages, art, and music. National Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the history of Canada. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of all backgrounds have become prominent figures and have served as role models in the Aboriginal community and help to shape the Canadian cultural identity.

Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada)

The Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (French: chef de la loyale opposition de Sa Majesté) is the leader of Canada's Official Opposition, the party possessing the most seats in the House of Commons that is not the governing party or part of the governing coalition. The current Leader of the Opposition is Andrew Scheer, M.P., who was elected Leader of the Conservative Party on May 27, 2017.

Though the Leader of the Opposition must be a member of the House of Commons, the office should not be confused with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, which is the formal title of the opposition house leader. There is also a Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, who is usually of the same party as the Leader of the Opposition in the house.

The Leader of the Opposition is entitled to the same levels of pay and protection as a Cabinet minister. He or she is entitled to reside at the official residence of Stornoway and ranks fourteenth on the Order of Precedence, after Cabinet ministers and before lieutenant governors of the provinces. In the House of Commons seating plan, the Leader of the Opposition sits directly across from the Prime Minister.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC; French: Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada) is the largest funder of scientific research in Canada. NSERC promotes scientific discovery by funding university professors and students and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research and training. With funding from the Government of Canada, NSERC supports the world-class research of over 41,000 talented students and professors at universities and colleges across the country with an annual budget of $1.1 billion.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada (French: Parcs Canada), officially called the Parks Canada Agency (French: Agence Parcs Canada), is an agency of the Government of Canada run by a chief executive who answers to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Parks Canada is mandated to "protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations". Parks Canada manages 38 National Parks, three National Marine Conservation Areas, 171 National Historic Sites, one National Urban Park, and one National Landmark. The agency also administers lands and waters set aside as potential national parklands, including eight National Park Reserves and one National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. More than 450,000 km2 (170,000 sq mi) of lands and waters in national parks and national marine conservation areas has been set aside for such purposes. The Canadian Register of Historic Places is supported and managed by Parks Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and other federal bodies. The agency is also the working arm of the national Historic Sites and Monuments Board, which recommends National Historic Sites, Events, and Persons.

Prime Minister of Canada

The Prime Minister of Canada (French: Premier ministre du Canada) is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and Canada's head of government. The current, and 23rd, Prime Minister of Canada is the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau, following the 2015 Canadian federal election. Canadian prime ministers are styled as The Right Honourable (French: Le Très Honorable), a privilege maintained for life.

The Prime Minister of Canada is in charge of the Prime Minister's Office. The Prime Minister also chooses the ministers that make up the Cabinet. The two groups, with the authority of the Parliament of Canada, manage the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister also appoint members of the Senate of Canada, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts, and the leaders and boards, as required under law, of various Crown Corporations, and selects the Governor General of Canada. Under the Canadian constitution, all of the power to exercise these activities is actually vested in the Monarchy of Canada, but in practice the Canadian monarch (who is the head of state) or their representative, the Governor General of Canada approves them routinely, and their role is largely ceremonial, and their powers are only exercised under the advice of the Prime Minister.Not outlined in any constitutional document, the office exists only as per long-established convention (originating in Canada's former colonial power, the United Kingdom) that stipulates the monarch's representative, the governor general, must select as prime minister the person most likely to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons; this individual is typically the leader of the political party that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber.

Quebec

Quebec ( (listen); French: Québec [kebɛk] (listen)) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada (with Ontario).

Quebec is the second-most populous province of Canada, after Ontario. It is the only one to have a predominantly French-speaking population, with French as the sole provincial official language. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. Approximately half of Quebec residents live in the Greater Montreal Area, including the Island of Montreal. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, and Gaspé regions. The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples. The climate around the major cities is four-seasons continental with cold and snowy winters combined with warm to hot humid summers, but farther north long winter seasons dominate and as a result the northern areas of the province are marked by tundra conditions. Even in central Quebec, at comparatively southerly latitudes, winters are severe in inland areas.

Quebec independence debates have played a large role in the politics of the province. Parti Québécois governments held referendums on sovereignty in 1980 and 1995. Although neither passed, the 1995 referendum saw the highest voter turnout in Quebec history, at over 93%, and only failed by less than 1%. In 2006, the House of Commons of Canada passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada".While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become an economically influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output.

Treaty 8

Treaty 8 was an agreement signed on June 21, 1899, between Queen Victoria and various First Nations of the Lesser Slave Lake area. The Treaty was signed just south of present-day Grouard, Alberta.

Treaty 8 is one of eleven numbered treaties made between the Government of Canada and First Nations. The Government of Canada had between 1871 and 1877 signed Treaties 1 to 7. Treaties 1 to 7 covered the southern portions of what was the Northwest Territories. At that time, the Government of Canada had not considered a Treaty with the First Nations in what would be the Treaty 8 territory necessary, as conditions in the north were not considered conducive to settlement. Along with Douglas Treaties, they were the last treaties signed between the Crown and the First Nations in British Columbia until Nisga'a Final Agreement.

Visa policy of Canada

A foreign national wishing to enter Canada must obtain a temporary resident visa from one of the Canadian diplomatic missions unless he or she holds a passport issued by one of the 54 eligible visa exempt countries and territories or proof of permanent residence in the United States.All visa-exempt travelers to Canada (except United States citizens) have been required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) when arriving in Canada by air since 10 November 2016. Travelers were able to apply early as of 1 August 2015.Applications of visitor visas, work permits, study permits and certain types of permanent residency can be submitted online. However, such applicants must provide their biometrics (photograph and fingerprints) as a part of their application process. Depending on the country by which the passport was issued, a visa application may have to be submitted at a visa application centre at a Canadian diplomatic mission.

Visa requirements for Canadian citizens

Visa requirements for Canadian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Canada. As of 26 March 2019, Canadian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 184 countries and territories, ranking the Canadian passport 6th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Belgium, Greece, Ireland and the United States of America) according to the Henley & Partners Passport Index.

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