Canada History

Canada History   timelines 
AskAHistorian    blog 




Elections | Governor General | Supreme Courts | Parliament | Political Parties | Prime Ministers | Provinces  | Symbols

The Queen is the official head of state for the country. Her representative in Canada is the Governor-General and in the Provincial Governments is the Lieutenant Governor-General. The evolution of real power and responsibilities throughout the centuries has result in a relationship where the Queen or Governor General relegate real power and decisions to the elected Prime Ministers. The Queen is treated as the head of government when on royal visits to Canada and makes various royal visits across the country every few years. Although the relationship between the reigning monarch traditionally was through connections and tradition with the British Government, that relationship has fundamentally changed since the constitution was brought back to Canada in the 80's and legal and formal ties to Britain's Parliament were severed. The Queen is now considered the Queen of Canada.

The role of the monarch is a direct result of the evolution of England's form of government form the times of the Anglo Saxons when one accepted ruler of the realm established control over most of England. When defeated by the great nobles of the country in a civil uprising King John unintentionally established the outline of Parliament when he legally assigned certain rights and roles to the nobles and eventually leading citizens form different parts of the country, with the signing of Magna Carta. As the real power of the monarch was eroded from 1867 onwards in Great Britain, the power also diminished n Canada. The Monarch has always been one part of Parliament and remains so today.

It is altogether likely that in the near future the role of choosing the Governor-General will evolve into a direct role of the Prime Minister with the role of the Queen or King being eliminated for the system completely.

Article/Document/Material Source: