Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Canadian Local Governments Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

Canadian Local Governments - Essay Example This paper seeks to analyze the operation of local governments in Canada and try to answer the question of whether they should have recognition in the Constitution as a distinct level of government with guaranteed functions and sources of funds based on various schools of thought advanced by different scholars. Canadian local governments Canada as a country has different distinct levels of government that include the federal government, provincial governments, territorial governments, and local governments1. The federal government is the central governing organ, popularly known as the government of Canada, and works hand in hand with the territorial governments. It performs the roles of a state with such institutions as the prime minister’s seat, considered the country’s top leadership organ, and the legislature both of which are responsible such issues as national security, foreign relations, citizenship matters and law. The provincial level has a similar structure to the federal government with its own independent jurisdiction entrenched in the country’s constitution. It includes provision of health services, education, transport and the associated infrastructure, civil and property rights. The last level is the local government, which is generically responsible for policy matters that directly relate to the local grass root communities, whether in the rural or urban areas2. Just like the other upper levels of government, it has its own leadership structures comprising of commissions, boards, agencies, and political institutions with leaders like mayors, directors, and councillors. The local governments have varying roles depending on the province and the characteristics of the region under which they fall. For example, their role in a rural area is naturally different from those of an urban centre. However, their functions generally revolve around similar responsibilities. To begin with, they offer security to individuals and their prope rties including policing, emergency response, fire fighting, management of local transport that includes construction of local roads and their maintenance. They are also responsible for development planning, which entails zoning and provision of public utilities like electricity, sewerage services, water, and their maintenance. Other crucial roles of the Canadian local governments include provision of social welfare services like health, education, places of recreation and culture services at the local levels. Local government administrative structures Canadian constitution gives recognition to the independence of the federal and provincial governments, conferring to them the power and policy authority that require their approval for any changes. This is direct opposite to the local governments, which are organs of the provincial government, obtaining their power from municipal Acts formulated by the provincial parliament. This implies that they are under complete control of the pro vincial government, which has all the rights to change their jurisdiction without seeking their consent. This has seen major changes in the local structures, including abolishment and amalgamation of municipalities, as well as creation of new ones without their involvement3. Financial structures, powers, leadership selection criteria, and duties of local governments are also subject to decisions made at the provincial level. Provinces Influence their day-to-day operations significantly since the by-laws within which they

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