What Do Canadian Cities Do?

With three levels of government in Canada it can be hard to keep track of who does what. Below is a chart of the roles of cities, provinces and the federal government.

There are some roles that belong only to the Federal government including: money and banking, international and interprovincial/territorial trade, airlines and railways, telecommunications and broadcasting, foreign affairs and international assistance, defence and veterans affairs, border security employment insurance and criminal law.

Role of the City, Province & Federal Government learning guide brochure

Roles and Responsibilities in Canada

Federal (F), Provincial (P), Municipal (M)

F P M
Aboriginal peoples checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Administration of justice checkmark-white checkmark-white
Agriculture checkmark-white checkmark-white
Arts and culture facilities/events checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Bylaw enforcement checkmark-white checkmark-white
Direct taxation checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Economic development checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Emergency medical services checkmark-white
Emergency preparedness checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Environment checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Fire protection checkmark-white
Health care * checkmark-white checkmark-white
Housing checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Hydro services checkmark-white checkmark-white
Immigration checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Indirect taxation checkmark-white checkmark-white
Industry checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Municipal institutions checkmark-white checkmark-white
Municipal licensing
(animal, building, business)
checkmark-white
Municipal planning checkmark-white
Municipal streets and roads checkmark-white
Natural resources checkmark-white
Parking checkmark-white
Parks and recreation checkmark-white
Pensions/income support * checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Policing checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Post-secondary education, training and research checkmark-white checkmark-white
Primary and secondary education checkmark-white checkmark-white
Public health checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Public libraries checkmark-white
Public transit checkmark-white
Social assistance and social
services
checkmark-white checkmark-white
Transportation infrastructure checkmark-white checkmark-white checkmark-white
Waste and recycling services checkmark-white
Water and wastewater checkmark-white
“our cities, our future” Addressing the fiscal imbalance in Canada’s cities today, Big City Mayors’ Caucus, June 2006
* provided by some municipalities