Executive Authority in Canada
Canada is both a constitutional monarchy as well as a parliamentary democracy, built on the legal system and the protection of individual rights and liberties. The government operates on behalf of the Crown but is ultimately accountable to the Canadian people. When it comes to executive authority in Canada, it is technically vested in the Crown (the Sovereign), and it has been administered in the name of the Crown by the Governor General, who acts on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and cabinet. The Crown is an abstract notion or symbol used in monarchies to represent the state and its authority. The Crown is the source of non-partisan sovereign authority under a constitutional monarchy as that of Canada. It is a component of the country's legislative, executive, as well as judicial branches. The Crown conducts each of these tasks under Canada's system of government on the advice of, or by the acts of, members of Parliament, ministers, and judges (Tidridge, 2011).
Officially known as Her Majesty's Government, Canada's government is defined under the constitution as consisting of the Queen, acting on the advice of her Privy Council, and the governor general, who is referred to as the Queen's substitute. Prime Ministers are chosen by the Crown in order to ensure that the government elected on democratic principles is always in existence, and the Cabinet, an advisory Privy Council body, is tasked with making recommendations to the Crown about the use of the prerogative powers. The Queen is notified by her viceroy of prime ministers' swearing-in as well as resignation, is kept fully informed by frequent correspondence with her Canadian ministers, and meets with them whenever practicable. By tradition, the substance of these conversations and discussions is kept private to safeguard the monarch's as well as her representative's neutrality. The tradition's relevance and feasibility in the arena of social media have been highly questioned (Reichert, 2013).
A binding ministerial advise is often offered in the relation to the constitutional monarchy as well as responsible governance, which means that the monarch reigns but does not rule, with the Cabinet ruling "in trust" for the monarch. This is referred to as "residuary monarchy."
On the other hand, the royal prerogative belongs to the Crown and can be exercised unilaterally by the monarch in extraordinary constitutional emergencies (including the exercise of reserve powers), allowing the monarch to make sure that "the government is supposed to conduct itself in accordance with the constitution." This power does not just belong to the ministers. In addition, the Queen is solely responsible for smaller duties and bills that require her approval (Corrigan, et. al., 2018).
For example, treaties' ratification, coalitions, accreditation of Canadian high commissioner, ambassadors and the receiving of such diplomats from foreign governments are all examples of foreign affairs that are under the purview of the royal prerogative, as do declarations of war and the granting of Canadian passports, which remain the sovereign's possession. However, only on the advice of an authorized ministry may dynastic honours be established.
The Government of Canada
All of the laws in Canada are monarchical in nature, as well as the sovereign is one of parliament's 3 components—formally known as the Queen-in-Parliament, but the monarch and viceroy are not involved in the legislative process except to provide Royal Assent, which is required for a bill to become law. This function may be performed by a person or a delegate, and the constitution provides for the viceroy to delay assent to the king. As the sovereign is responsible for the administration of justice for all her people, she has historically been referred to as the source of justice, with her position in Canadian courts being designated the Queen on the Bench. In most Canadian courtrooms, the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Canada and a portrait of the monarch are on display (Bens, 2018).
According to this system, the executive and legislative branches are fused together, creating a representative government in which the cabinet's members are picked from the democratically elected legislature or parliament and rely on that body's cooperation to carry out their duties. Therefore, Crown ministers are regularly scrutinised by their fellow lawmakers or legislators. The governor general invites the leader of the political party that looks capable of forming a government with the confidence of the House of Commons—typically the party with the most seats—to establish a government. The prime minister's primary role is to choose and organise the Cabinet, which serves both as a decision-making body and as a vehicle for determining the overall direction of government policy and operations. Ministers are answerable to the prime minister, who serves as the collective custodian of the Cabinet's duties (Dawson, & Dawson, 2018). Deputy ministers are answerable to ministers as well as, indirectly, to the prime minister through the clerk of the Privy Council. This double accountability structure highlights the critical function of deputy ministers in facilitating the essential checks and balances among collective and individual accountability. Along with establishing the Cabinet, the prime minister has the authority to define policy and at the same time make suggestions to the Governor in Council about the organisation, structure, and competence of ministerial portfolios in accordance with applicable legislation. On the recommendation of the clerk of the Privy Council, the prime minister also appoints deputy ministers. Deputy ministers are accountable to the prime minister via the clerk for adhering to the government's lawfully authorised policy. This accountability highlights the shared interest of all ministers and the prime minister's particular interest in the effective operations of the Public Service (Rice, 2016).
Ministerial accountability is a basic constitutional aspect within the ambit of Westminster parliamentary system of the United Kingdom, under which ministers are accountable towards the parliament for the conduct and functioning of their ministry and government as a whole. Ministerial accountability is critical to the parliamentary system, since it guarantees that the government is held accountable towards the legislature and, eventually, to the populace (Brenton, 2014). Rather than focussing upon the specific legislation, this idea is developed mostly on a corpus of constitutional norms developed via precedents. In several nations, like the United Kingdom and Canada, ministerial duty is also legally defined by the oath sworn by each minister upon becoming a Privy Council member. Ministers—in Commonwealth nations, they are referred to as ministers of the crown—have both a collective as well as an individual duty to parliament.
The Role of the Monarchy
Ministers report directly to the Prime Minister, who appoints them on the suggestion of the Governor General. The Governor General may, at any time, seek the resignation of a minister on the proposal of the Prime Minister. Ministers are also subject to parliamentary oversight. Parliament bestows the majority of ministerial responsibility on Ministers. through legislation that define the Minister's specific powers, duties, and responsibilities. Additionally, Ministers may have additional authority under common law. They may also be allocated tasks by the Prime Minister. Ministers are accountable to Parliament for all of their responsibilities, whether statutorily mandated or not. Collectively, all members of the Ministry are accountable for implementing the government's policies as determined by the Cabinet.
To begin, it implies that the government is conquers the power for the duration of the parliament's confidence in it, as well as all ministers stand or fall with the government. Furthermore, until the prime minister releases them from this commitment, all members of government address the legislature in unison. Additionally, until the prime minister releases them from this commitment, all members of the government address the legislature in tandem. Ministers exhibit their responsibility to organisations by performing their obligations with appropriate effort and competence. What constitutes adequate ministerial oversight varies depending to the structure of the organisation and the position of the minister (Malcolmson, 2016). If there are arm's-length entities engaged and the bulk of authorities, responsibilities, and tasks have been assigned to a deputy head or governing body, the Minister's engagement will be systemic—for instance, making or proposing suitable appointments, approving of the corporate plans, or reviewing the need for revisions to the framework legislation—and the Minister's involvement will be limited to a single issue.
When we talk about responsible governance, we are talking about a government that is accountable to the people. It takes the shape of a Cabinet that is possible with the support of an elected legislature, rather than on the support of the monarch or his or her agents. The concept of responsible governance was originally introduced in Canada in the 1830s. It grew in importance as a result of the Confederation. Canada obtained independence from Britain by this strategy, which did not include a revolutionary uprising. While the judiciary is distinct from another two branches of government, the government is created when a majority of members of the legislature vote to form the government. As a result, the government is jointly and severally liable to Parliament for its acts (Glas & Kirton, 2013). This indicates that Parliament has the authority to hold the government responsible for its actions and to scrutinise the way in which it operates.
Prior to the establishment of responsible governance in British North America, colonial governors were bound by the recommendations and policies of British ministers in the colonies. Small local elite organisations, such as the Family Compact and the Château Clique, had enormous power in colonial administrations, and those who advocated for more accountable governance sought to curtail their influence. The colonists were agitated as a result of their misuse of authority (Warshaw, 2019).
The Legislative Process
The most important tenet of a representative government is that it must have the confidence of Parliament in order to pass legislation and collect taxes. The establishment of this system in British North America provided the colonists with more autonomy over their own affairs. As time went on, Canadians acquired more power over their own political problems. They were able to attain self-direction without resorting to revolt.
Environmental, social, health, as well as economic policy are just a few of the topics covered in this multidisciplinary programme. There are several international accords that require periodic reporting on efforts towards implementation and that may require other countries to evaluate the country's performance in context of their own efforts. These policies emphasise the federal, provincial, as well as territorial policies of Canada in the areas such as economic, social, and cultural rights, and they also describe the goals of the country's policies in these areas. In addition to promoting human rights, the United Nations is interested in Canada's performance and reporting to the organisation, as well as its duties under the United Nations Human Rights Charter (Tattrie & De, A, 2014).
Security Intelligence Service (SI) is Canada's principal national intelligence service. This agency is charged for evaluating, reporting, and disseminating intelligence on challenges to Canada's national security, as well as undertaking covert and overt activities in Canada and overseas. It also advises the Minister of Public Safety on national security concerns and threats to the country's security. Parliamentary committees have been established in Canada to assess the national security and intelligence community's policies, administration, finances and operations (Atak, Hudson, & Nakache, 2019). According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, CSIS has the authority to investigate, collect and analyse information and intelligence about activities that are suspected of being dangerous for Canada, and report and advise the Canadian government on these matters, as well as provide security assessments to federal departments. Among its many responsibilities is the gathering of intelligence and the execution of investigations and operations, both public and private, both within and outside of Canada.
In order to defend Canada's national security, CSIS investigates and reports on potential risks to the country's security. CSIS works within Canada's national security framework to advise the Government of Canada on these dangers, guided by the rule of law and the importance of protecting human rights. The Minister of National Defence's portfolio includes the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and a number of allied institutions. Protecting Canada and its interests is made possible through a wide range of Defense Portfolio components.
To fulfil its duty, CSIS obtains information from a variety of sources, including security services in foreign countries, provincial, federal governments as well as the RCMP and municipal police, covert informants and publically available sources Surveillance tactics are also used by CSIS to obtain information. CSIS must get a warrant from a judge of the Federal Court of Canada in order to conduct certain types of surveillance (involving intercepting communications by wiretapping, eavesdropping or intercepting mail) (Laurin, 2020).
The Cabinet and Ministerial Accountability
Before being delivered to the judge, these warrant petitions must be authorised by the Minister of Public Safety. If the person under surveillance is not informed of the warrant application and does not have a right to attend at the application hearing, the warrant will be issued ex parte.
CSIS may also conduct unannounced interviews with persons who CSIS feels may have relevant information. According to BCCLA, CSIS and RCMP intelligence personnel visited the residences of those who were outspoken in the media or involved with protest organisations during the 2008 Summer Olympics. CSIS officials were also alleged to the BCCLA to have stopped people from speaking out against the Olympics at Vancouver City Council sessions (Dafnos, 2013).
Currently, just two organisations are subject to an independent expert evaluation to determine if they are in compliance with the legislation. An independent examination of Canada's national police force, which investigates security offences, has been established by the government. There are few exceptions, but this review is restricted to processing public complaints about police officer conduct and conducting public interest studies on certain operations with the approval from the Public Safety Minister of Canada. To ensure the legality, reasonableness, and necessity of all federal government national security as well as intelligence activities, a bill has been initiated to establish a single expert review body. This body would be tasked with investigating complaints about the activities of three different agencies. Additionally, the bill proposes the formation of an Intelligence Commissioner, who would be responsible for approving specific actions carried out by Canada's intelligence services.
Federalism is a political system in which government authority and responsibilities are split among a federal legislature, and state or province legislative bodies.' Smaller states are not sovereign and therefore can lawfully split from a federation, as understood in modern times. Decentralization and centralization have alternated throughout Canadian federalism in practise. The federal government is in charge of all of the United States under the constitution. Each province governs a portion of the people and a piece of the geographic area. Canada's written constitution gives both levels of government jurisdiction, but it has characteristics that are inconsistent with a strong federalist approach. Throughout Canadian history, federalism has been put to the test. It's still a hot topic of contention (Kincaid & Cole, 2011).
Federalism in Canada began with Confederation. In order to promote economic growth, territory expansion, and national defence, the union was formed for a number of reasons, however, many individuals favoured keeping the current administrations and borders. Quebec was overwhelmingly populated by French Canadians. Because they were a minority, they did not want to give all of their authority to a centralised government. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both have a strong sense of self. As a result, federalism was essential. provincial governments make up Canada's federation, which includes the central government and ten smaller ones. The Constitution of Canada is the source of power for all eleven governments. Additionally, in the far north, there are three territorial administrations that exercise powers given by the federal parliament, as well as municipal governments that execute powers delegated by their respective province or territory. Legislative authority resides in a separate domain for each jurisdiction. On the basis of the concept of exhaustive distribution, all legal matters are allocated to either the federal Parliament or provincial legislatures, which are responsible for enacting legislation (Béland et al., 2017).
Among Canada's most important laws is the Constitution Act, 1867 (previously known as the British North America Act, 1867). As time has progressed, several changes have been made, but the 1867 Act remains the foundation of federal and provincial legislative authority (Lajoie, 2018). As a reaction to the colonial-era variety of Lower Canada and the Province of Canada, notably the severe division amongst French-speaking population in Lower Canada and English-speaking inhabitants in Upper Canada and the Maritimes, the Canadian constitution was federal in character. After seeing the atrocities of the American Civil War, John A. Macdonald Canada's first prime minister changed his mind and advocated for a federal structure in order to avoid a repeat of that tragedy.
No matter how many rounds of constitutional debates Canada has had, it has yet to come up with a solution to the subject of federalism. Federalism's shortcomings were exposed in a second referendum on Quebec sovereignty held in 1995. All the provinces' interests are taken into account by proponents of more autonomy for provinces. According to them, the two levels of government need to be aligned with what they see as socioeconomic realities. This, they believe will create a more stable and credible political system (McDonough Dolmaya, 2014).
According to those who believe in maintaining or extending federal authority, interprovincial differences are a direct result of decentralisation. To them, centralization is the only way to ensure that Canadian interests are protected and that they be protected in the most effective way. They also claim that too much decentralisation hurts Canada's economy and its global standing.
General Assembly ratified UNDRIP in 2007, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This piece of international law respects Indigenous Peoples' rights and is classified as'soft law,' which is a type of quasi-legality that does not legally bind governments. There are several reasons why soft law is significant, but the most important one is that it may be utilised by Canadian courts to contextualise hard law (Champagne, 2013).
In order to ensure the existence, dignity, and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP creates a universal framework of basic standards Indigenous People's human rights and basic freedoms are addressed in this document. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) principles guarantee that Canada satisfies these baseline criteria and provides a better level of protection for Indigenous rights than those now in place in Canadian law.
Indigenous Peoples and Canada need to implement UNDRIP as a first step in the process of resolving their differences. For example, the Haida Nation, which is located on the Pacific Coast, finds UNDRIP valuable in its efforts to gain acknowledgment of its sovereignty, jurisdiction, as well as rights through the UNDRIP process.
For the rights and duties of Canada to be achieved, the international resolution must be implemented domestically. UNDRIP rights and duties can't be easily incorporated into Canadian legislation. Furthermore, colonial law and administration have already done a great deal to split and disentangle ancestral Indigenous people, undermine their linkages to traditional areas, and marginalise and conceal important aspects of their traditions.
A number of important aspects of the document are left unclear, including who qualifies as Indigenous peoples, how traditional lands or territories should be distinguished, and which traditions and traits should be subject to cultural preservation rights. courts and parliaments may return to using the metrics with which they are already aware if left to their own devices. However, governments and tribunals risk undermining the rights that otherwise would have been safeguarded if they are trusted to interpret important categories under UNDRI unilaterally. In contrast to indigenous governments, non-indigenous governments, for example, have no prior knowledge of indigeneity. Traditional lands or territories may prompt courts to apply the law of Aboriginal Title, a procedure that is both time-consuming as well as restricts the rights enshrined in UNDRIP to those already guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution. In the case of Aboriginal rights, there are similar issues (Boutilier, 2017).
It is also necessary to address a number of procedural considerations, such as the timeliness with which the vehicle implementation should be accomplished. Canada's government has offered legislation as a mechanism of implementation for both, yet each have their own pros and cons. The laws of the country may be uniform, but they can also be modified to apply to certain groups of people. However, unlike treaties, the rights included in laws implementing UNDRIP are not protected by the Constitution. Furthermore, legislation can be overturned by subsequent or more specific law, but it can also be repealed by future administrations that may have a different constituency and political platform. In order to guarantee that any later laws are subject to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), such considerations must be taken into account while crafting UNDRIP legislation. UNDRIP legislation cannot be altered by succeeding governments unless they comply with particular procedure and form criteria, including a supermajority vote, or by incorporating explicit clauses that bind both the federal and provincial Crowns. In order to move Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples forward, legislation to enhance federal implementation of the Declaration is essential to do so. Building on this foundation is essential to adequately recognising, respecting and defending Indigenous peoples' rights. Therefore, it is necessary that comprehensive framework is developed with regard to the effective implementation of UNDRIP (Isaac & Hoekstra, 2018).
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