1774 Quebec Act
British law that provided for a system of government for the colony of Quebec that
included certain privileges for the French-speaking, Roman Catholic majority.
1982 Constitution Act
Sponsored by Trudeau, containing a made-in-Canada constitutional amending formula
and a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Refers to a federal system in which the division of powers (and specific arrangements
pertaining to them) are not the same from province to province.
In Canada, the debate of two against ten. As a recognized colonial identity within
Canada, Quebec insisted on having its own Charter when the federal government decided
to Patriate the constitution and add a Charter, and Alberta followed – they wanted
jurisdiction over their resources. Manitoba joined on. It resulted in all provinces
demanding their right to equal constitutional/federation power (as Quebec) – equal
partners in a federal contract!
Everyone is equal; goes along with the Contract theory of Federalism.
Assembly of First Nations
The largest interest group representing status and non-status Indians. This organization
works to protect the rights, treaty obligations, ceremonial practices/traditions, and claims
of First Nations citizens.
Parliamentary budget officer; the official of Parliament who oversees the auditing of
government departments’ expenditures and reporting of unlawful or irresponsible
A member of parliament who does not have a Cabinet post or specific position.
Ensures financial accountability in federal government operations.
Bifurcated welfare state
A system divided into 2 parts, where higher income families are eligible for programs
that help maintain and build assets while lower income families only qualify for
necessities (such as food stamps).
The idea that political parties should work to mediate and broker cleavages in regions,
ethnic/linguistic groups, classes, and genders. Parties should act as national agents of
Flaws: Lack concrete ideologies, political stance, and distinctive programs.
Refers to governments where major political decisions are made by the Cabinet as a
whole, as opposed to one in which the prime minister acts with autonomy or dominance.
It is widely argued that in Canada, there no longer exists a Cabinet Government but a
prime ministerial government. o The notion that the prime minister is now so dominant that the label “Cabinet
governance” no longer accurately describes how decisions are made in the
A convention that all Cabinet ministers must publicly support whatever decisions the
Cabinet has made, regardless of their political views.
Canada Health and Social Transfer Payments
A system of block transfer payments from the federal government to provincial
governments to pay for health care, post-secondary education and welfare, in place from
the 1996-97 fiscal year until the 2004-05 fiscal year.
Emphasize coordination of policies – finance and treasury board especially. Generally
small departments that aren’t as hierarchical – more oversight departments; tend to be
Jurisdiction usually extends across all policy areas.
Rather than relying on the funding from interests or patronage appoints, cartel parties
are defined by the way(s) they monopolize money. One of the ways to do this is writing
into the structure of the state itself, a way to guarantee money to the parties. The leading
parties exploit their dominance around funding and electoral reform. This is when the
policy of funding determination according to how many votes each party receives (per-
The whole body of MPs whom discuss parliamentary strategy and party policy together.
Charlottetown Accord (1992)
Response to Quebec’s demands for distinct society status, Aboriginal demands for the
right to self-govern, and the West’s demand for a Triple-E Senate.
o Triple-E Senate: equal, elected, effective. It is a proposed variation of reform to
the current Canadian Senate, calling for senators to be elected to exercise
effective powers in numbers equally representative of each province.
Aboriginals, women and ethnic minorities (a.k.a. distinctive groups) under the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.
Civil service vs. Public service
Conservatives seek to minimize the role of the state in capitalistic and market activity,
advocating individualism and minimal government ownership. If inequality results, it is
natural and deserved.
With the appointment of Sir Wilfrid Laurier came a new phase of Confederation that
Rand Dyck refers to as "Classical Federalism". This was marked by a more equal
relationship between the levels, as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council settled
several disputes in favour of the latter. The federal government's disallowance and
reservation powers fell into disuse. This continued throughout the early years of the
leadership of Prime Minister Mackenzie King. More balanced and equal relationship between Federal and Provincial levels of
government, as opposed to prior-to, where Federal powers had dominated decision
A cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate,
reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition. The usual reason given for
this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament. A
coalition government might also be created in a time of national difficulty or crisis, for
example during wartime, or economic crisis, to give a government the high degree of
perceived political legitimacy, or collective identity it desires whilst also playing a role in
diminishing internal political strife.
If a vote of no confidence is passed in parliament, the government is responsible
collectively, and thus the entire government resigns.
If passed in its Second Reading, a Bill proceeds to the Committee Stage – usually a
Standing Committee – in the House of Commons or the Senate.
o Standing Committee: permanent one; in the House of Commons; each
committee deals with bills in specific subject areas (parallel to the areas of
government). They cease to exist once they have reached their conclusion (ad hoc
Compact and Contract theories of Federalism
Compact theory posits that Confederation was an agreement between the two founding
peoples, French and English, and that therefore Quebec should have special veto powers
relating to its position in the federal structure. However, compact theory was rejected
by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 1981 Patriation Reference. Compact theory is
often advanced by Quebec nationalists.
Each province has the right to veto constitutional change that affects provincial power or
During the Trudeau era (1970-1984), federalism in Canada became more centralist in
ideology; a dominant and controlling Federal government.
Canada was in desperate need to replenish its supply of soldiers; however, there were
very few volunteers to replace them. The recruiting effort in Quebec had failed, and
Canada turned conscription.
Almost all French Canadians opposed conscription: they felt that they had no particular
loyalty to either Britain or France. Led by Henri Bourassa, they felt their only loyalty was
to Quebec. English Canadians generally supported the war effort as they felt stronger ties
to the British Empire. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 caused a considerable rift along
ethnic lines between Anglophones and Francophones.
Unwritten rules of behavior; considered binding, but not enforceable by the courts.
Canada’s form of government; characterized by a monarch who is head of state, but with
almost all powers put in the hands of the government. Continental dependency
The notion of how continents depend on each other for resources and political needs. E.g.
Canada’s heavy reliance on the USA.
A corporation owned by the government that assumes a structure similar to that of a
private company and that operates semi-independently of the Cabinet.
E.g. CBC, Canada Post, Bank of Canada, etc.
A clause in the Meech Lake Accord (Mulroney) which labeled Quebec as a distinct
society apart from regular Canadian culture.
A system where people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative
democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives.
Those intensely committed to a particular party (numbers continue to decrease).
Your voting behaviour is set much earlier in your life by things like family, peers, and
education. These are less likely to be swayed by elections and the party leader(s).
Much more influenced by current events, campaigns, negative campaigning, introduction
of wedge issues, etc. This is seen to be much more prevalent today.
1839 report by Lord Durham recommending the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and
the granting of responsible government to the colony of Canada.
Canada needed to be (officially) bilingual – a proposition made after assimilation of the
Interaction between the Cabinet, the senior public service, and advocacy groups;
combined, they usually form most of the public decisions.
Elite in 2 ways:
o Small numbers of people with a disproportionate amount of power.
o Exclusive socioeconomic background; higher social class, incomes, and
Because they share a common background, they are usually able to come to an agreement
as to what is best.
Term is used to describe the relations between cabinet ministers and officials of the two
levels of government.
Usually secretive; legislatures, political parties, and the public are not allowed a role in
Extensive federal-provincial interaction.
First Ministers’ Conference (PM and Premiers). Replaced with the First Ministers’
dinners at the PM’s house.
First-past-the post Determined by measuring the candidate with the most votes in each riding (e.g. Canada).
Penalizes parties who do not have geographically-concentrated support.
Also known as single member plurality system.
Fragment theory of culture
When people emigrated (we are a settler society), the settlers bring with them the cultural
baggage from their homeland. As a result, Canada is a fragmented society.
Conservatism promoted multiculturalism. Where does the left wing aspect come from?
When you looked at further emigration that comes over, the labour movement and
working class that settle in the prairies and west, they bring with them the European
working class ideologies: socialism. Because of this pre-existing collective basis in
Canada, it flourished (unlike the U.S.).
The governor general is head of state, providing a ceremonial and constitutional
continuity (doesn’t change with a change in government). In other words, it’s not a
Queens Representative in Canada, dissolves and prorogue and summon parliament, acts
as Head of State for visiting dignitaries, etc.
Indian Act 1876
Creates a distinction between citizens and those that are governed by the Indian Act. To
become Canadian citizens, a native American would have to give up their rights as
outlined by the Indian Act.
Gave more power to bureaucrats and less to natives.
Work to influence public policy.
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
A committee of the British Parliament which functioned as Canada’s court of appeal until
King-Byng dispute (1926)
Canada makes a point of the importance of appointing its own Governor General.
King – Liberal with a minority government. Rather than getting a vote of centure, went
to the Governor General and requested an election.
Byng – Could they form a coalition government? The Governor General refused King’s
request for an election, and the Conservatives and Progressives joined. Eventually led to
an election because they couldn’t agree on decisions.
Created a precedent where the Prime Minister would be allowed to select the governor
general instead of allowing one to be brought in internationally.
Commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary
opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not
in government, either on i