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Canadian Govt. & Politics: Provincial and Local Government & Politics

Provincial and Local Government & Politics: Introduction

The ten provincial and three territorial governments in Canada have responsibility for areas such as health, education, natural resources, and local government. They each have a Legislative Assembly similar to the federal House of Commons, but no Senate. Provincial politics also has many similarities with federal politics, with a notable exception being in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, where there is no party system; members of the Legislative Assembly are elected as independents. Local government is also non-partisan.

Since local governments are established by and under the control of each of the provinces and territories, their structures vary. There are thousands of municipal governments in Canada, including villages, towns, cities, boroughs, townships, counties, districts, metropolitan and regional municipalities, etc. The powers of municipal governments also vary and are laid out in provincial laws. Generally, municipal governments provide services such as policing, hospitals, schools, garbage and sewage disposal, roads and traffic control, fire protection, building regulation, parks, libraries, etc. and are empowered to pass bylaws and collect taxes to get this done. There are also local boards, such as school and hospital boards, commissions, and other bodies that make up local government. The powers and areas of responsibility of all levels of government in Canada are described in sources such as How Canadians Govern Themselves by Eugene Forsey, listed in Clarification -- Overview & Background Information of this Special Topic and in the main part of this guide,

NOTE: The general sources for contemporary Canadian Government and Politics covered in the main portion of this guide should also be used for this topic. The more specialized sources listed here provide additional information. 


Clarification and Direction: Finding the Facts

  • Definitions 
  • Facts & Figures (General, Dates, People, Statistics)
  • Overview and Background Information (Encyclopedias, Annual Reviews, Textbooks, Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers)


Finding and Evaluating Sources

  • Finding Sources (Core Journals, Indexes, Books and other Academic Work, Current Events/News, Government Information, Political Party Information, Research Organizations, Videos)
  • Evaluating Sources

Primary Source Material

  • Selected Key Resources (What Was Said, What Was Written, Personal Papers, Recorded Images, What is Happening Now)