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C’est quoi?


Canadian federal and provincial politics

As the House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario return to their respective houses, it’s time to get reacquainted with the portfolios led by each level of government.

Notably, the federal government is responsible for some unique portfolios such as Canadian heritage, which led the Canada 150 celebrations and cooperated with Netflix Canada’s recent $500 million investment to curate Canadian content.

The federal government is also solely responsible for:

  • National defence
  • Veteran’s affairs
  • International affairs

The government of Ontario is accountable for ministries such as:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Energy
  • Labour

Current provincial bills include:

  • A minimum wage increase
  • Fair hydro plan
  • Free tuition for students from families who make less than $50,000 a year

A lot of federal and provincial jurisdictions coincide; for instance, the provinces and the federal government both have international trade agreements.

Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland is leading the NAFTA renegotiations and representing the interests of Canada, but on occasion, provincial leaders are invited to the negotiations. In addition, the province of Ontario has individual trade agreements with states, such as Michigan.

In portfolios such as health, the federal government sets mandates such as universal health care, and the provinces are responsible for implementing policies, managing funds, and providing services.

The federal government is mainly responsible for setting guidelines for the provinces to follow and dividing funds amongst the provinces. The provinces are then responsible for regulating and funding the programs.

Photo by Alorra Griffiths/The Ontarion.

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