Canada is what is known as a "Democratic Federation" with both federal and provincial levels of government.

Responsibilities and powers are divided between the federal branch and its provincial executives. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a department of the government of Canada.

The government of Canada and the Canadian political system are quite complex, and based loosely on the British Westminster system. The system Canada follows today was initially drafted by the "Fathers of Confederation" in 1864, and became law in 1867 when the Constitution Act was passed. The Act gave executive authority to the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (as was the official title for the Monarch at the time), which made Canada a sovereign constitutional monarchy.

The federal government has the power to create laws for the peace, order, and responsible government of Canada. This includes federal jurisdictions such as international affairs, defence, immigration, criminal law, customs and border control. The provincial governments are responsible for, or share jurisdiction over, healthcare, education, and driver licensing and registrations, among other items.

The Canadian political establishment is centered in Ottawa, Canada's capital, with the two houses of Parliament situated on Parliament Hill. There is an upper house, The Senate, and a lower house, The House of Commons. Members of the House of Commons are called "Members of Parliament" (MPs), and are elected by the people to represent their interests and deliberate on various national issues affecting Canadians.

Electoral districts are divided into geographical areas known as ridings. The candidate with the most votes in the riding in which he or she is standing for office wins the authority to act in the best interests of the riding by taking his or her "seat" in Parliament.

The provincial political systems are based on the same doctrine as its federal counterpart. The provincial governments are referred to as "Legislative Assemblies" (except the "National Assembly" of Quebec), and the Queen's representative in each Assembly is called the "Lieutenant Governor". Generally, every four or five years an election is called by the reigning Premier. Pending the results of the election, the Lieutenant Governor will ask the leader of the party with the most seats in the Assembly to become the Premier of the province and form a government.

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Latest News

  • BC Conducts Second PNP Draw in Less Than a Week

    British Columbia (BC) has invited another 343 candidates to immigrate to the province through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) in draws that took place on February 23. This is the second batch of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) that have been issued in the past week, with the previous draws — which saw 459 ITAs issued — having taken place on February 17.

  • CRS Requirement Dips to 441 in February 22 Express Entry Draw

    The number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required by candidates in Canada's Express Entry immigration selection system to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) continues to decrease. On February 22, a total of 3,611 candidates with 441 or more CRS points received an ITA. This is comfortably the lowest points threshold of any draw since Express Entry was first launched more than two years ago.