Contemporary Canadian Government & Politics:
A Practical Research Guide

Introduction   Starting   Clarifying   Bibliographies   Finding & Evaluating
Primary Sources   Special Topics   Citing Sources   Ask Your Librarian!   Detailed Table of Contents
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6. Special Topics
Introduction Aboriginal Peoples Federalism / Constitutional Issues Environmental Policy Government & Party Finance
Immigration Policy International Relations Provincial/Local Government & Politics Women in Politics

Provincial/Local Government & Politics: Introduction

Provincial/Local — Clarifying Provincial/Local — Bibliographies Provincial/Local — Finding & Evaluating Provincial/Local — Primary Sources

The ten provincial and three territorial governments in Canada have responsibility for areas such as health, education, natural resources, and local government. They each have a Legislative Assembly similar to the federal House of Commons, but no Senate. Provincial politics also has many similarities with federal politics, with a notable exception being in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, where there is no party system; members of the Legislative Assembly are elected as independents. Local government is also non-partisan.

Since local governments are established by and under the control of each of the provinces and territories, their structures vary. There are thousands of municipal governments in Canada. They include villages, towns, cities, boroughs, townships, counties, districts, metropolitan and regional municipalities, etc. The powers of municipal governments also vary and are laid out in provincial laws. Generally, municipal governments provide services such as policing, hospitals, schools, garbage and sewage disposal, roads and traffic control, fire protection, building regulation, parks, libraries, etc. and are empowered to pass bylaws and collect taxes to get this done. There are also local boards, such as school and hospital boards, commissions, and other bodies that make up local government. There are many complexities and areas of overlap between the powers and areas of responsibility of all levels of government in Canada. For more detailed explanations see the sources listed in Clarifying -- Overview & Background Information of this Special Topic and Clarifying -- Overview & Background Information in the main part of this guide, such as How Canadians Govern Themselves by Eugene Forsey.

The purpose of this Special Topic is to guide the researcher to key sources of information for research on provincial/territorial and local government and politics and to give an idea of the vast amounts of information available. It is not by any means comprehensive. Some topics, such as aboriginal, environmental, and federal/provincial affairs will be covered in more detail in separate Special Topic sections.

NOTE: The general sources for contemporary Canadian Government and Politics covered in the main portion of this guide should also be used for this topic. The following more specialized sources will provide additional information. (Where no link is given, please refer to the main section of this guide.)

1. Time Out: Starting a Research Project
2. Clarification and Direction: Finding the Facts
Definitions
Facts & Figures
  • General
  • Dates
  • People
  • Statistics
Overview and Background Information
  • Encyclopedias
  • Annual Reviews
  • Textbooks
  • Parliamentary and Legislative Research Papers
3. Bibliographies
4. Finding and Evaluating Substantive Information
Finding
  • Core Journals
  • Indexes
  • Books and other Academic Work
  • Current Events/News
  • Government Information
  • Political Party Information
  • Research Organizations
  • Videos
Evaluating
5. Primary Source Material
Selected Key Resources
  • What Was Said
  • What Was Written
  • Personal Papers
  • Recorded Images
  • What is Happening Now
6. Other Special Topics
7. Citing Sources Used
8. Ask your Librarian!
Provincial/Local — Clarifying Provincial/Local — Bibliographies Provincial/Local — Finding & Evaluating Provincial/Local — Primary Sources
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Introduction   Starting   Clarifying   Bibliographies   Finding & Evaluating
Primary Sources   Special Topics   Citing Sources   Ask Your Librarian!   Detailed Table of Contents

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R. P. Bell Library   Mount Allison University   Mount Allison Centre for Canadian Studies
Last Updated: January 3, 2008
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