Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy guided by a constitution. This means that Canada has different levels of government, each with explicit and implied authority. This authority comes through the constitution and the laws of other governments. This means that each level of government - federal, provincial, and municipal - have their own roles and responsibilities, and they generally cannot overrule another government's jurisdiction.
Sometimes there is overlap. For example, in Ottawa, we might see the Ottawa Police Service (a municipal service), the Ontario Provincial Police (a provincial service), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (a federal service). They each have different and sometimes overlapping responsibilities.
Another example is infrastructure. The City of Ottawa handles local roads, paving, street lights, buses, and so on. Ontario takes care of provincial highways (for example, Highway 417) while the federal government takes care of national highways (for example, the TransCanada Highway). Different levels of government may provide funding for different governments' projects (for example, the Ottawa Light Rail Project), but the project remains a project of a specific level of government.
Here are a few examples:
Municipal - talk to your local City Councillor
- Local transit (buses, taxis, etc)
- Roads (paving, street signs, speed bumps, etc)
- Property taxes
- Garbage collection
- Land use/zoning
Federal - talk to your local Member of Parliament
- National defence
- Foreign affairs
- Canada Post
- Employment insurance
As a Member of Provincial Parliament, I can help you with items within Ontario's jurisdiction. These are just a few examples:
- OSAP (Student loans)
- Hospitals and long-term care
- Schools (primary, secondary, and post-secondary)
- Birth, marriage, and death certificates and licences
- Regulated professions (teachers, doctors, realtors, veterinarians, accountants, engineers, pharmacists, lawyers, etc)
- Social assistance
- Driver's licences and health cards
Do you have a question I can help with? Please contact my office.