Canada is organized as a constitutional democracy, with the Constitution being the supreme law of the country, allocating law-making powers between democratically elected governments at the federal and provincial levels.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects fundamental rights and freedoms of all Canadians from breaches by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The protections are broad, ranging from freedom of expression and the right to vote, through equality rights, to protection from arbitrary arrest or being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
The Constitution Act, 1982 explicitly recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights applying to the Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada. Aboriginal rights include traditional cultural practices and activities as well as territorial interests.
Canada is a democracy, which means that the government can act only with the authority of the Canadian people. Canadians elect people to represent them in Parliament and in the provincial legislatures. Those representatives are responsible for making laws and governing the country.
A federal style of government is one that has two separate levels of government: a central government and several regional governments. For example, Canada has a federal style of government with a federal government and provincial governments. Each level of government has specific powers and responsibilities that only it can use and these are described in the Constitution.
The Centre for Constitutional Studies is a hub for constitutional research and public education in Canada. It connects leading Canadian and international scholars, contributes to constitutional debate, and creates resources that educate the public about the Constitution.