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History & Government

History

Ontario, which became a province in 1867, is the second largest of Canada’s 10 provinces. The name Ontario comes from the aboriginal phrase “glittering waters” which refers to our thousands of lakes.

Ontario’s history is a story of many cultures. This section describes the original settlements by aboriginals, the arrival of European explorers and traders, waves of immigration, the rise of industry, people moving to cities, and much more.

Learn more:

Ontario’s history from the early 1600s to the early 2000s

Ontario’s First Nations history

History of the Francophone community in Ontario

Government

Both Canada and Ontario have a parliamentary system of government, based on the British model. This section explains how government works in Ontario and Canada.

The federal government and the provincial governments have different powers, but work closely together to deliver vital services.

Federal Government - The Government of Canada

The federal government is responsible for nation-wide concerns, such as foreign affairs. It works with the provinces in such areas as transportation, health and justice.

Learn more about the Government of Canada

Provincial Government - The Government of Ontario

The provincial government is reponsible for transportation, health the administration of justice and education.

Learn more about the Government of Ontario

Municipal Government - Cities and Towns

Cities and towns take responsibility for municipal matters such as local bridge and road repairs, public transportation, garbage collection, sewage system maintenance and public utilities. They sometimes share some aspects of these responsibilities with the province. These are set out in the Canadian constitution.

See the links below for more information.

About the Government of Ontario

About voting in Ontario and Canada

Municipal government in Ontario

 
 
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