Of course, it’s important to know the powers, or jurisdiction, that apply to different elected officials. Here is a brief overview, as well as information on how to find out who holds these positions for the area you live:
- (Municipal) City Councilor. This is the person elected to represent your council ward at city hall. Municipal governments are responsible for local matters in a particular city or town – such as parks, community water systems, and construction – but are becoming much more active in areas of environmental regulation and conservation. Cities and towns can also comment on new energy projects in their jurisdiction. Therefore, it’s important to know who your councilor is and on what committees they serve on. You can find this information on your city’s website
- (Provincial) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)/ Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP Ontario)/ Member of the National Assembly (MNA Quebec). This is the person elected to represent you in your provincial parliament or legislative assembly. Provincial authority over energy is extensive, and includes the exploration and taxation of oil and natural gas resources, as well as any related infrastructure. Provinces are also responsible for funding health care and education, and often rely on income from the energy industry to pay for these services. In addition to their role as a legislator, some MLAs/ MPPs/ MNAs from the governing party will also be Ministers, meaning they have additional influence over the formulation of government policy and regulations. To find your MPP/MLA, visit your provincial legislature’s website, which can be found here.
- (Federal) Member of Parliament (MP). This is the person elected to represent you in Ottawa based on the federal riding you live. Your MP will vote on federal legislation in the House of Commons. When it comes to Canada’s energy industry, the federal government regulates interprovincial and international pipelines, and environmental matters that affect the whole country. All of this makes knowing your MP and how to engage him/her, even more important. Find out who your MP is here. As with provincial politicians, some MPs from the governing party will also serve in the cabinet as Ministers.