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Imperialism

Support for the British Empire and imperialism was strong in much of Canada in the decades after Confederation. But gradually, imperialist loyalties declined and Canadians demanded and won full autonomy within the empire.

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Defence Policy

Before 1870, the defence of Canada was a costly burden for France and then for Great Britain, invariably against enemies to the south, be they Iroquois, English or the American invaders of 1775-76 (see AMERICAN REVOLUTION) or of 1812-14.

Macleans

Throne Speech 1996

As Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's government tried to evoke a new era of Canadian team spirit in the House of Commons last week, it was no coincidence that the one premier who came to listen was Captain Canada himself.

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Welfare State

The welfare state in Canada is a multi-billion dollar system of government programs that transfer money and services to Canadians to deal with an array of societal needs.

Macleans

Water Wars

They are an unlikely class of political provocateurs: the water entrepreneurs. In Vancouver, fast-talkers with dreams of getting in on the ground floor of a 21st-century boom once touted their plans for taking pure British Columbia mountain water in tankers to California. Shut down by a B.C.

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Cabinet

In Canada's parliamentary system of government, the Cabinet is the committee of ministers that holds executive power. Cabinets are chaired by the Prime Minister (or in the provinces, by a premier) and ministers are most often elected politicians drawn from the party holding the most seats in the House of Commons (or the provincial legislature). Cabinets are traditionally strong, consensus-driven institutions, although some believe their influence is waning in the face of powerful prime ministers and their advisers.

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Peace, Order and Good Government

“Peace, order and good government” are the words used in section 91 of the British North America Act of 1867 (now Constitution Act, 1867) to define the Canadian Parliament’s lawmaking authority in relation to provincial authority. The phrase’s vague and broad definition of Parliament’s authority over provincial matters has caused tensions between federal and provincial governments over the scope of powers since Confederation. It has come to be considered the Canadian counterpart to the United States’ “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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Canada West

In 1841, Britain united the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada. This was in response to the violent rebellions of 1837–38. The Durham Report (1839) laid out the guidelines to create the new colony with the Act of Union in 1840. The Province of Canada was made up of Canada West (formerly Upper Canada) and Canada East (formerly Lower Canada). The two regions were governed jointly until Confederation in 1867. Canada West then became Ontario and Canada East became Quebec.

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House of Commons

The House of Commons is the centre of political power in Canada. The prime minister and his Cabinet receive their authority through the confidence of the House. It is an institution steeped in tradition and history.

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Heraldry

During the Crusades (11th-13th centuries), the European nations felt the need to identify themselves with crosses of various colours, and at the same time to reduce casualties with improved armour.

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Union Government

Union Government In early 1917, during WORLD WAR I, recruitment for the CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE fell to a very low level. PM Sir Robert BORDEN, opposed to any reduction in Canada's commitment to the war effort, announced on 18 May 1917 that the government would introduce CONSCRIPTION to Canada.

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Rep by Pop

Representation by population is a political system in which seats in a legislature are allocated on the basis of population. It upholds a basic principle of parliamentary democracy that all votes should be counted equally. Representation by population was a deeply divisive issue among politicians in the Province of Canada (1841–67). Nicknamed “rep by pop,” it became an important consideration in the lead up to Confederation. (See also: Representative Government; Responsible Government.)

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Governor General

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. As such, the governor general acts as the Crown’s representative, carrying out the tasks of the monarch — currently Elizabeth II — on Canadian soil. The governor general has extensive ceremonial duties, but also fulfills an important role in upholding the traditions of Parliament and other democratic institutions.

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Double Shuffle

After the George-Étienne Cartier-John A. MacDonald ministry in the Province of Canada was forced to resign on 29 July 1858, a Reform ministry was formed under George Brown and A.A. Dorion.