The legal governing framework for the country of Canada is the Constitution of Canada. It distributes power and authority to the executive branches of government and legislatures for the provincial and federal territories.
Brief History of Canada’s Constitution
When Canada was brought into existence, it served as a British colony. The British North America act of 1867 put into writing majority constitutional rules for Canada although the paramount changes to the Constitution of Canada could only be made through the United Kingdom parliament. In 1982, a charter was put into formation as a part of Canada’s constitution along with multiple procedures that allowed the constitution to now be amended in Canada.
Fundamentals of the constitution
The democratic government is governed by the basic principles of the Constitution of Canada which designate power to the three branches of the said government:
- The executive
- The legislative
- The judiciary
The executive power belongs to the Queen in Canada although in the modern democratic society the Queen’s powers are implemented by the Ministers presiding in the House of Commons.
Parliament is the legislative branch of the federal government. Formation of new bills and amending previous bills are discussed and implemented by the Senate and the House of Commons.
The judicial branch of the government is composed of judges. The responsibility of the judiciary is to interpret and implement the law and the constitution and give impartial verdicts on every type of case which is presented.
The Federal System
Creating the laws of the country falls into the domain of the Parliament of Canada and the provincial and territorial legislatures. The parliament can make laws for the entire country but only if it gets approval from the Constitution of Canada. However, a provincial or territorial legislature can make laws about matters within a province’s borders.
Authorities that the federal government supersedes are but not limited to trade between provinces, criminal law, patents, national defense, money, and postal services. The federal governments also hold responsibilities for the three territories, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
The provincial government has authority over education laws, property laws, civil rights, and the administration of justice, hospitals, municipalities, and other local or private matters within the province.
The local or municipal governments are created under provincial laws and can make bylaws that regulate different local matters such as smoking, pesticide use, parking, business regulations, and construction permits.
The Constitutional Act in Canada holds protection for the rights of Aboriginal people (Indian, Inuit, and Metis) of Canada. Section 35 of the act consolidates and affirms Aboriginal rights, these rights direct towards the historical occupancy and the use of land by Aboriginal people. These rights allow and preserve the traditions and customs that are practiced by the Aboriginal people to be protected for their future generations. Section 35 also recognizes and affirms treaty rights, which are specifically set out in agreements between the Crown and particular groups of Aboriginal people.
The country of Canada is a Bijuralist one, which means it contains both the common law system as well as the civil law system. All the matters pertaining to the private law in Quebec, Canada is governed by civil law, while in the other provinces of Canada, the civil law is applicable. It is the duty of the Federal bills and regulations authorities to respect both forms of law systems, and as for the language aspect of the country, all the legal concepts within these said laws must be interpreted and expressed in English as well as the French language.