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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A capital is a city that is the official seat of government for a political entity, such as a state or nation.  It reflects the history, aspirations and democratic traditions of its citizens.

A capital is a place to remember and explore our collective past, showcasing significant milestones, objects and symbols through museums, historic sites, heritage buildings and stories. 

A capital is a place to celebrate the present.  It is a location of festivals, ceremonies, democratic processes and visits by important dignitaries.

A capital is a place to envision and realize the future.  It is a centre for advancing cultural arts, education, technology, recreation and athletics, conservation and preservation and justice.

A capital itself is a symbol of the people to which it belongs, their way of government and way of life.

The Capital as a Seat of Government

A Capital city is where the three components, known as the "seat of government" are located. The three components are:

Political
The elected representatives who make laws and policy and work in the Legislative Building (or City Hall for municipal government).

Administrative
The public servants who draft policies and laws and administer government services work in government offices.

Judicial
The judges and lawyers in courts who uphold the laws as part of the legal system and work in the courthouse.

Our system of government is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy.  In Canada, the head of state is The Queen and her representatives that act on her behalf.  Each Capital in Canada has a vice-regal representative.

Canada has one federal Capital - Ottawa, Ontario - 10 provincial capitals and three territorial capitals.

Our Political System

Canada's political system has three main components:

Parliamentary Democracy
Canada's system of government has three branches of Parliament; Governor General, House of Commons and the Senate, that debate laws before they vote on them. The monarch appoints the Governor General as her representative on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor General appoints the senators to represent regions on the advice of the Prime Minister. The members of the House of Commons, however, are elected by the people to represent them in their ridings, therefore creating a parliamentary democracy. This system of "responsible government" means the ministers must retain the confidence of a majority of the elected members in the House of Commons (federal) or Legislative Assembly (provincial).

Federal State
There are two concurrent jurisdictions in Canada: the central government in Ottawa and the ten provincial governments.  These jurisdictions are "co-sovereign," in that each has exclusive constitutional responsibilities as well as some shared ones; together they make up the Canadian State.  The three territories, while receiving their authority from the Parliament of Canada, have been granted the right to exercise many powers similar to those of provinces.  Their form of government continues to evolve.

Constitutional Monarchy
The Canadian Head of State is a hereditary monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, who reigns over Canada's parliamentary democracy and federal state.  The Queen is personally represented by the Governor General for Canada as a whole, by the Lieutenant Governor in each of the ten provinces and by Territorial Commissioners in each of the three territories.  They carry out most of her functions as Head of State.

Learn more about the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan at www.ltgov.sk.ca.
Visit Canadian Heritage to learn more about the Canadian Monarchy.



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