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Executive Powers Notes

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This is an extract of our Executive Powers document, which we sell as part of our Public Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Ottawa students.

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PART IX: EXECUTIVE POWERS The executive has various components, some of which are at arms length but still perform governmental functions. The crux of this is that government officials exercise their powers in furtherance of the public, not private interests. The executive's powers are constrained and respect the intentions of the legislative branch. Historically, the executive had narrow terms, as defined in the Constitution Act 1867 via ss. 9 -16. Today these terms are more broad, particularly given decentralization and the increase in the number of bureaucrats. The role of the executive is to implement legislation. It's action is synonymous with administrative action. The executive and the legislature are fused. QUEEN Part of Executive by virtue of s. 9 of the BNA. Executive authority is vested in the Queen or the Crown which is divisible (federal and provincial) - federal crown not responsible for obligations of provincial crown, and vice versa (2 different separations of powers which are created in the constitution via s. 91 and 92). The Queen confers her authority onto GG, and the LG in the provinces o Power of GG exercised in Council under s. 13 of BNA on advice of Privy Council o PC is broader and is not as overtly partisan as PMO - all Ministers are part of Privy Council and others may be appointed (ex. Premiers, Conrad Black, etc) o Only Privy Councilors part of Cabinet advise the GG o GG appoints to PC o Recall w Daubney: degree to which PM consults Cabinet varies CABINET: Appointed by PM to oversee portfolios. Appointments are at the unfettered discretion of PM and hold post at pleasure (Can be removed whenever). PM presides over Cabinet. RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT: Government accountable to Parliament. Cabinet drawn from the legislative branch - by convention you must have a seat in the house so you can be held accountable to the House. Each Minister is answerable to the activities of his or her ministry. PUBLIC SERVANTS: Employees of Crown that are politically neutral. According to the Fraser case, public servants have to be loyal and provide that perception. There are limits to their ability to criticize the government (ex. Daubney could not speak much at Justice; Margaret Geist) Employees of the Crown benefit from the Charter but there are limits in s.1. As a result of case called Osbourne, most civil servants can enjoy full s. 3 rights of Charter, but limitations are only really strictly applied to the higher echelons of the civil service. There exists whistleblower legislation, which also provides protection for employees who come out against the government. Public servants are accountable to Ministers, not Parliament

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