10 things to know about Canada


Commonly referred to as “America’s Hat,” “America, Jr.,” and my personal favorite, “The “north” part in North America,” Canada is often overlooked when considering powerful nations of the world. And as a proud Canadian eager to defend the worth of my country, these ignorant nicknames and hateful oversights are offensive and unnecessary.

Hence, the birth of my column. Each column will discuss a new, insightful Canadian topic, in the hopes of rendering the reader a believer in the importance of Canada. A far-cry, I know, for a group of American high schoolers. Minimally, I mean to enlighten everyone to the wonders of Canadian culture, politics and history.

To begin, I will defy the idea that Canada is simply a northern icebox filled with polar bears and Eskimos (who are actually called the Inuit). There is a government. A decently effective one, at that.

And no, we do not regard the Queen as our ruler. Her Majesty the Queen of England eliminated her direct presence in the government in 1867, in an act called the Constitution Act of 1867. She has a representative in Canada whose name is Michaelle Jean, who is also referred to as the Governor General. However, her powers are limited in the government and are often trumped by other main leaders. Due to this, she remains merely a symbol and an important figure when designing pretty money.

There are 3 branches in the government: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive, with the Prime Minister as the head of the Executive.

The Prime Minister’s role is almost identical to that of the president. Stephen Harper has fulfilled that role since 2006. He is of the Conservative Party of Canada, a party formed with the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.

The Legislative branch has a House of Commons (similar to House of Representatives), and the Judicial branch has a Chief Justice.  

Mike Daigle, senior, is Canadian and interns at the Canadian Embassy in North Carolina.

When asked to explain Canadian government in a few words, Daigle, responded “Canada has a prime minister, free health care and a democracy. It is fairly similar to American government.”

This all sounds pretty familiar, eh? That’s because it is familiar- it’s extremely similar to that of America’s government.

When I announced that I was going to write about this topic, the main response was “Whoa, Canada actually has a government?” And despite the fact that those responders may or may not have been joking, I hope this article silenced those doubts once and for all.


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