Parliament, Roles and the News

Parliament is made up of the following three parts: the Monarch, who is the Head of State (represented by the Governor General), the Senate and the House of Commons. Parliamentarians in the Senate and House of Commons represent people in their districts and constituencies and work to make laws that impact all Canadians.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Governor General:

  • represents the Monarch in Canada;
  • serves as Canada’s Commander-in-Chief;
  • promotes Canadian sovereignty;
  • celebrates excellence through the presentation of orders, decorations and medals;
  • promotes national identity, unity, and moral leadership.


  • participate in sessions in the Senate Chamber;
  • work in committees;
  • travel regularly to the region of Canada that they represent;
  • act as ombudsmen for Canadians;
  • internationally, boost Canada’s profile and strengthen its relationships with other countries through participation in parliamentary associations.

Members of Parliament (MPs):

  • represent their constituents views by presenting petitions, making statements and asking questions in the House of Commons Chamber;
  • work in committees;
  • attend caucus meetings;
  • act as ombudsmen, helping constituents with issues that relate to the business of the federal government;
  • travel regularly to their riding to meet with constituents and attend events.

Read and

Look at today’s news and record the number of times news stories refer to the Governor General, Senators, or MPs.

Which of the three roles is mentioned most often?

What types of stories are written about each role? (Factual, promotional, interpretive and/or feature)

Why do you think this is so?