|Ontario is one of the ten provinces of Canada. It is Canada’s second largest province covering an area of over one million square kilometres, and has a population of more than 12 million people. It shares borders with Québec to the east, Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, and the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes to the south. Its industries include agriculture, mining, software design and car manufacture. The provincial government’s jurisdiction extends to education, health and social services, the administration of justice, prisons, and direct taxation, while the federal government remains responsible for immigration, indirect taxation, criminal justice and penitentiaries, defence, and trade and commerce. The two levels of government consult each other regarding matters of mutual concern. |
The Lieutenant-Governor is the Queen’s official representative in Ontario. Appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Lieutenant-Governor acts as the province’s head of State, performing various legislative duties such as summoning and reading the Speech from the Throne at the start of a session to set forth the government’s legislative priorities, providing Royal Assent to bills to make them laws, and dissolving Parliament for an election. The Lieutenant Governor also presides at provincial events around Ontario.
The Legislative Assembly is composed of all elected Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs). It may consider proposals for new laws, and passes, changes and repeals laws. A party that wins the majority of the seats in the Assembly forms a majority government. A government may hold power for a period of five years, although an election may be called earlier.