Bilingual and Bi-Juridical -
Canada is a bilingual, bi-juridical, and multicultural country, composed of 10 provinces and 3 territories. English and French are federally mandated official languages pursuant to the Official Languages Act (Canada). French is the official language in the Province of Québec pursuant to the Charter of the French Language (Québec). The legal system of all provinces and territories (other than the Province of Québec) is based upon the Common Law, derived from England. Québec (like the American State of Louisiana) is governed by the Civil Law system, derived from the French Napoleonic Code, as reflected in the Civil Code of Lower Canada adopted in 1866 (one year prior to Confederation) and replaced as of January 1st , 1994 by the Civil Code of Québec (the “CCQ”).
Levels of Government and Jurisdiction -
Canada has several levels of government: federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal. The allocation of exclusive jurisdiction between the federal and provincial/territorial governments was established under the British North America Act of 1867 at the time of Confederation.
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