Visuals: Government, Parliament and politics

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United Nations Security Council Electoral System

The infographic explains the composition of the United Nations Security Council. There are 15 seats on the council, five are reserved for its permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), and 10 seats for non-permanent members, which are distributed to the UN’s five Regional Groups. The Africa group has three seats, the Asia-Pacific group has two seats, the Eastern Europe group has one seat, the Latin American and Caribbean group has two seats and the Western Europe and others groups (which includes Canada) has two seats. One seat allocated to either the Africa group or the Asia-Pacific group is always occupied by a Middle-Eastern country, an arrangement known as the “Arab swing seat.” Elections for the non-permanent seats are held every year, with different seats being filled in even and odd numbered years.

Read the HillNote: Elections to the United Nations Security Council (2019)


Women in Parliament: Selected Highlights over 100 Years

This infographic illustrates some notable firsts for women in Canada’s Parliament over the past 100 years. Notable highlights include the first woman, Agnes Campbell Macphail, elected to the House of Commons in 1921. In addition, various firsts for women with intersecting identities in Parliament are shown, such as the appointment of the first Black person, the Honourable Anne C. Cools, to the Senate in 1984. The infographic also shows increased proportions of women represented in both chambers over time. Representation of women reached 5% in the Senate in 1953, and a similar percentage was attained in the House of Commons in 1980. In 2021, women’s representation in Parliament reached 49% in the Senate and 30% in the House of Commons.

Read the HillNote: Women in the Parliament of Canada: 100 Years of Representation (2021)


Violence against politicians

Violence against politicians is on the rise globally and has four main forms: psychological, sexual, physical and economic. Perpetrators of violence against politicians include individuals, coordinated groups and the state. Social media is an important tool for politicians because it is low cost, instant and interactive. Online violence is unique because it is relentless, anonymous and easy to access. Its impact is also unique because of its digital permanence and potential for large audiences. Politicians who are members of certain groups, including women, racialized communities, Indigenous peoples, ethnic and religious minority populations, and LGBTQ2+ people are disproportionately targeted and affected by violence, with an intent to restrict the participation of diverse voices in politics. An intersectional analysis demonstrates that politicians who are members of more than one underrepresented group are at even greater risk for violence than other politicians.

Read the HillNote: Violence Against Politicians in Canada and Internationally (2022)


Federal Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Process

As part of the federal electoral boundaries readjustment process, a readjustment of the seat count in the House of Commons and the boundaries of federal electoral districts occurs every 10 years. It involves only the ten provinces. Canada’s three territories are assigned one seat each. Presently, British Columbia has 43 seats, Alberta has 37, Saskatchewan 14, Manitoba 14, Ontario 122, Quebec 78, New Brunswick 10, Nova Scotia 11, Prince Edward Island 4, and Newfoundland and Labrador 7. Under section 51(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867, there are four ways provinces can be assigned seats in the House of Commons: (1) Rapid comparative population growth, for example, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. (2) The senatorial clause, where the number of seats a province has in the House Commons cannot be less than the number of senators representing that province, for example, New Brunswick and PEI. (3) The amended grandfather clause where the number of seats a province has in the House of Commons cannot fall below its seat allocation during the 43rd Parliament, for example, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. (4) The representation rule, where a province’s share of seats in the House is about equal to its share of the total population of all provinces; this rule was not applied in 2021. Independent, neutral three-member commissions set each province’s electoral boundaries. Elections Canada has no involvement in making decisions about a province’s electoral boundaries The commission’s decisions are based on communities of interest, communities of identity, the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province and manageable geographic size. As part of the process followed, each commission makes an initial proposal of electoral districts with names, holds one or more public meetings and receives feedback. Then, each commission prepares a report that is tabled in the House of Commons. Members’ feedback is compiled and returned to commissions. Lastly, each commission prepares a final report that establishes the new electoral districts and their names for all provincial electoral boundaries.

Read the HillStudy: The Process for Readjusting the Seat Count in the House of Commons and the Boundaries of Electoral Districts (2022)


Process for Approving New Government Initiatives

The infographic outlines the approval process for new government initiatives in the following ten steps. Step 1: The government proposes an initiative. Step 2: Central agencies help the department responsible for the initiative to prepare a Memorandum to Cabinet. Step 3: A Cabinet policy committee reviews the Memorandum to Cabinet and issues a recommendation. Step 4: The department prepares a Treasury Board submission. Step 5: The Treasury Board reviews the submission and makes a decision. Step 6: The next round of estimates includes a request for funding for the new initiative. Step 7: The president of the Treasury Board tables the estimates in the House of Commons and presents a corresponding supply bill. Step 8: Parliament studies and adopts the supply bill. Step 9: The department can spend public funds. Step 10: The department’s actual spending is reported in the Public Accounts of Canada.

Read the HillStudy: Funding New Government Initiatives: From Announcement to Money Allocation (2021)


The Parliamentary Financial Cycle

This figure shows the timeline of the parliamentary financial cycle. Starting from the bottom and moving to the top, the figure is divided into three sections in the parliamentary financial cycle: Before the fiscal year, During the fiscal year (1 April to 31 March), and After the fiscal year. The first section, Before the fiscal year, includes the following milestones: September – Finance Committee pre-budget consultations December – Finance Committee report Between February and April – Budget March – Main Estimates, Departmental plans, Interim supply The second section, During the fiscal year (1 April to 31 March), includes the following milestones: May – Supplementary Estimates (A) June – Approval of full supply/End of supply period October – Economic and fiscal update November – Supplementary Estimates (B) December – End of supply period February – Supplementary Estimates (C) March – End of supply period The third section, After the fiscal year, includes the following milestones October – Public Accounts of Canada November – Departmental results reports

Read the HillStudy: The Parliamentary Financial Cycle (2021)


Recognition of Black History Month in Canada: Key Events Along the Way

This infographic presents a number of important dates related to Black History Month and the participation of Black people in the Canadian parliamentary system. 1926: The precursor to Black History Month, Negro History Week, begins in the United States. 1949: First Black candidate runs for election to the House of Commons. (Bill White). 1968: First Black Member of the House of Commons is elected. (The Honourable Lincoln Alexander). 1984: First Black Senator is appointed. (The Honourable Anne Cools). 1993: First Black woman is elected to the House of Commons. (The Honourable Jean Augustine). 1995: Black History Month is recognized by the House of Commons. 2005: First Black Governor General is sworn in. (The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean). 2008: Black History Month is recognized by the Senate of Canada.

Read the HillNote: Black History Month: Key Dates and Key People (2020)


Canada’s Nuclear Industry at a Glance

This figure offers an overview of the impact of Canada’s nuclear industry on the economy, employment, power generation and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, the nuclear industry contributed $6 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product and accounted for 60,000 jobs, 30,000 of them direct and 30,000 indirect. In 2019, women and Indigenous peoples accounted for 16% and 3% of the workers in this industry, respectively. In the case of the uranium mining sector, 40% of jobs were held by Indigenous peoples in 2019. In 2017, Canada’s 19 nuclear reactors produced 15% of the country’s power. Canada produced 22% of the world’s uranium in 2017, making it the world’s second largest producer. A total of 87% of Canada’s uranium was exported in 2017. Lastly, nuclear energy is the second-lowest source of emissions in Canada behind hydroelectricity, and it displaces 50 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Stages in the Multiple-Barrier System for the Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel

This figure presents the schematic of a deep geological repository and describes the stages in a multiple barrier system for the isolation and disposal of high-level radioactive waste. The barriers consist of the spent fuel pellet, which is about the size of a quarter; the fuel element, which looks like a half-metre-long rod and holds several fuel pellets; the fuel bundle, composed of several fuel elements; the used fuel container, into which a fuel bundle is inserted; bentonite clay, in which the used fuel container is placed; the placement room, located more than 500 metres below ground; and the geosphere, which forms a natural rock barrier. The main shaft complex and the ventilation exhaust shafts are also located underground.

Read the Background Paper: Nuclear Energy and Radioactive Waste Management in Canada (2020)

Graphs and charts

Geographic Distribution of Speakers of French on a Daily Basis, 2022

Figure 1 presents information on the distribution of speakers of French on a daily basis by geographic region for 2022. According to the data, 47% of speakers of French on a daily basis live in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Europe comes second, with 31% of speakers of French on a daily basis. The Maghreb and Middle East rank third, accounting for 15% of speakers of French on a daily basis. The Americas and Caribbean region follows with 7%. Lastly, the Asia and Oceania region is home to 0.3% of speakers of French on a daily basis.

Read the HillNote: The Parliament of Canada and the Francophonie (2022)


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