Political Members Serving Canadian Provinces: Know Who's Who

Posted on: 11 August 2019

Government officials are always a complicated array of offices and titles. Unless you intentionally study government and politics at university, or intentionally teach yourself about such topics, you may be a little lost when the subject comes up. From the entry level politician to the major players in government, here is a quick breakdown of government positions and offices, as well as what each representing official does. 

Prime Minister

Canada's Prime Minister is one of the highest officials in the land. He or she only has a handful of people above him/her in the governing body and the powers that be, with the Queen of England being one of them. All other officials, lawmakers, legislators, secretaries, and provincial representatives report either directly or indirectly to the Prime Minister. 

Senate and the House of Commons

Canada follows England's lead with its seat of government in a Parliament. Parliament itself is split into two houses, that of the Senate, and the other the House of Commons. The senate positions are held most often by "lords" and "ladies" of power and authority, and the House of Commons representatives are people who supposedly represent the "common people" (hence, the name, House of "Commons"). 

Parliamentary Secretaries

These officials assist parliamentary representatives in an advisory position with specific interests. They also further their special interests whenever governing bodies want to change laws to help or hinder the special interest groups and the special departments (e.g., department of tourism, La Francophonie, department of agriculture, etc.). They are both independent officials and supportive officiants in their government roles. 

Members of Legislative Assembly

This section of the government is more closely tied to individual provinces. Each province is granted its own governing body to create and enact laws consistent with the operations of the individual province. The members of the legislative assembly only make up one part, albeit a very large part, of each provincial government. 

Barristers, Judges, and Tribunals

Legal issues presented in Canadian court also follow the British model. Lawyers are barristers or "crown prosecutors." Judges may go by different titles, depending on the province and the level of court in which they are seated on the bench. Tribunals refer to court cases presented before "the Crown" or judge, and sometimes the tribunal will have more than one judge on the bench. Most of these officials are elected to their positions, with the exception of defense barristers acting as independent agents for the people.