The Canadian Federal Government

Organization of the Federal Government of Canada

Canadian Federal Government Organization Chart

A simple way to understand how the Canadian parliamentary system of government is organized is to take a look at its Organization Chart.

Canadian Federal Government Institutions

For more in-depth information, the Federal Government Organization category covers the major Canadian government institutions - the monarchy, governor general, federal courts, the prime minister, parliament, government departments and agencies.

A quick way to find your way around the thousands of pages of information put out by the Canadian government is to use the Canada Online Subject Index to federal government departments and agencies. Once you find the relevant department, most government sites have a search function that will guide you from there.

Canadian Federal Government Employees

Another valuable piece of information on the Web is the Canadian federal government telephone directory. You can search for individual federal government employees, by department if you like, and it also provides useful inquiry numbers, as well as organization information.

Continue: How the Federal Government Works

Canadian Federal Government Operations

Eugene Forsey's How Canadians Govern Themselves is an important introduction to how government works in Canada. It covers the origins of the Canadian parliamentary system and its day-to-day operations, and explains the major differences between the federal and provincial governments in Canada. It also highlights some of the differences between the Canadian and American systems of government.

Canadian Federal Government Public Policy

For information on public policy and how it is made, try the Policy Research Initiative (PRI). The PRI was started by the Clerk of the Privy Council to strengthen public policy development and information sharing.

The Privy Council Office, the public service organization that provides support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is a useful source of online publications and information resources on a wide range of current Canadian public policy.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is another good resource for information on the inside operations of the Canadian federal government. Its Web site posts many of the policies and regulations covering human resources, financial management and information technology of the federal government. As an example, this is where you'll find information on the Government On-Line Project, the federal government's effort to put its most frequently used services on the Internet.

The Speech From the Throne opening each session of Parliament outlines the legislative and policy priorities for the government for the coming session of Parliament.

The Prime Minister's Office announces major public policy initiatives introduced by the federal government.

Canadian Federal Government Elections

To get an overview of Canadian elections, start with Elections in Canada. You'll find additional reference information in Federal Elections, including the results of the last federal election, information on who can vote, the National Register of Electors, federal ridings and Members of Parliament.

Continue: Federal Government Services

The Canadian federal government provides many different services to individuals and to business, both inside and outside Canada. Here is just a small sample. For more information, check the Government Services category.

Citizenship and Immigration

  • Canadian Citizenship
    Information on becoming a Canadian citizen, including applications, test and fees.
  • Immigration to Canada
    Information for those planning to come to Canada, including requirements, how to apply and visas.

Contracts and Purchasing

Employment and Unemployment


  • Canadian Government Pensions
    The Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and other Canadian government retirement, survivor and disability pensions.
  • RRSPs
    One of the biggest breaks you'll get from the Canadian federal government.


  • Personal Income Taxes
    Information to help you complete your Canadian personal income tax return.
  • Business Taxes
    Canada Revenue Agency information for business. Corporate income tax, Business Number, payroll deductions, importing, and exporting.

Travel and Tourism

  • Canadian Travel and Tourism
    Federal government services including border protection, travel safety regulations, tourism offices, management of national parks and government funded museums.
  • Canadian Passports
    Instructions on how to apply for a Canadian passport.
  • Canada Customs at the Border
    Canadian government customs regulations and services when you or your goods cross the Canadian border.


  • Weather in Canada
    Environment Canada provides weather forecasts across Canada, as well as safety information on extreme weather conditions and research on climate change.