Which government does what?

There are three levels of government in Canada: federal; provincial/territorial; and municipal. [Some provinces also have a fourth level in the form of regional governments.] Municipal and regional governments fall under the legislative jurisdiction of the provinces and territories, but they have legislative authority for aspects of local government.


Different levels are responsible for different areas of policy. Understanding landscape helps you focus your engagement within it. The "Canadian Encyclopedia" has a great reference on the division of powers

among various levels of government.

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Federal

The senior-most level in Canada, the federal government deals with areas of law and policies on the global and national stages. Canada’s international roles in climate change is one example. So, too, are foreign affairs and trade, Indigenous relations and immigration, and more.

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Provincial/Territorial

Provincial and territorial governments have authority over a range of laws and policies such as education, health, the administration of justice, and transportation.

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Regional

In Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, municipalities are grouped under a regional political and administrative structure. Examples vary across regional governments, but many of them are responsible for emergency services, land use planning, housing and waste management.

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Municipal

The level often closest to individual Canadians, municipal governments usually have authority for things such as by-laws, libraries, parks and recreation and transit.