Parliament vs. Government

Canada is a constitutional monarchy - His Majesty King Charles III is King of Canada and Head of State. In this system of government, the power to govern is vested in the Crown but is entrusted to the elected government to exercise on behalf of the people.


Parliament is the legislative or law-making body, responsible for debating, amending and passing laws. At the federal level it is comprised of the Monarch, represented by the Governor General, the appointed Senate and the elected House of Commons. At the provincial level, parliament refers to the Monarch, represented by the Lieutenant-Governor, and the elected Legislative Assembly. Parliament has a responsibility to hold the government accountable.


Government is the administrative body who set public policy and is comprised of the Executive Council (Cabinet) and the Premier or Prime Minister, supported by the Members of Parliament from the political party which elected the most members. Learn more about Canada's levels of Government.