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Banner: First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics
Alone at the Top

The prime minister is in charge of Canada's federal government. Arthur Meighen, Canada's ninth prime minister, said, "The powers of a prime minister in Parliament are supreme in their importance."

Did you know…?

Though the prime minister is the head of government, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the country. Since she can't usually be here, the Queen is represented by the governor general. The governor general is the one who approves new laws made by the government.

Our governor general is a woman named Michaëlle Jean. The Governor General's website: www.gg.ca/menu_e.asp

Besides the governor general, each province has a lieutenant governor who represents the Queen in the province.



Key Words

  • federal:
    • Having to do with the government of all of Canada  -  not provincial governments or other levels of government.
  • government:
    • All the people who lead the country, including the prime minister, the Cabinet and all their advisors. The federal government is the government of all of Canada. There is also a government for each province and each town or city.
  • Parliament:
    • People from across Canada who are chosen or elected to pass the laws that shape our lives. Parliament includes the Senate and the House of Commons. The Senate is the group of people who are not elected, but are chosen by the prime minister. The House of Commons is the group of people who have been elected by Canadians. They are called Members of Parliament  -  and there are 301 of them! Go here to find the name of your Member of Parliament: http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/Senators
  • represent, representative:
    • A person who represents someone else is taking the place of that person and speaking for them. There can be representatives of one person (like the governor general) or many (like people who are elected to Parliament).