How Government Works - Institute on Governance

How Government Works

Learn how to work in the Canadian public service  developing an understanding of the Westminster model, and getting an overview of the structures, processes and players that you need to know.


Course Description

  • If you work in or with the Government of Canada, How Government Works is a must-take half-day webinar. We will provide you with our “user guide” of how to work the Canadian government, and we will provide you with an overview of the structures, processes and players that you need to know.
  • Join us as we set out the core constitutional and institutional foundations, and then move into how decisions are made across the system. We will consider not just how things are organized but why, and what that means for you and your work.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will learn about the Westminster model of government in Canada, including the roles and responsibilities of Parliament, the judiciary, Cabinet and ministers and how these elements work. 
  • You will learn about the role of the Prime Minister as the architect and chair of Cabinet and determiner of the machinery of government. 
  • You will cover the planning cycles and the decision-making processes of Cabinet and its committees like the Treasury Board. 
  • You will explore federalism and fiscal federalism in Canada 
  • You will learn about the role of central agencies and their ministers, including the Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. 

Bundle This Webinar:

This webinar is eligible to be bundled with two other webinars of your choice for a ‘buy 2, get 1 free’ price of $780. Take advantage of our recommended streams (Leadership; Policy: Government Essentials: Innovation) to choose your bundle or mix and match the webinars that best suit your needs. Upon registration, be sure to select the bundle option and then select your webinars. Contact us for support at 613-562-0090 or

Customize This Webinar:

This webinar is eligible to be customized as a private offering for your team and organization. Contact us at to discuss your needs. 

Group Discounts:

 If you have more than two people attending, you may be eligible for a group discount. Contact us for details at 613-562-0090 or


Toby Fyfe

President and CEO

Expertise: public governance; leadership   Degree(s): BA, Glendon College, York University; MA, University of Ottawa  Certification(s) & designation(s): Graduate, Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program.  Toby Fyfe is an advocate for improved public governance and strong government institutions that build citizen trust in the democratic process. He joined the IOG in 2011 after a varied career as a  federal public servant executive […]

Catherine Waters

Senior Practice Lead  

Expertise: Learning Centre and Leadership– curriculum design and delivery, facilitation and custom instruction  Degrees:   BA (Hon) English & French (University of Victoria); MA Public Policy and Administration (Carleton University); MSc Labour Economics (London School of Economics).  Catherine Waters is Senior Practice Lead in the IOG Leadership and Learning Centre. She has extensive experience as a consultant, researcher […]

Karl Salgo

Executive Director & Senior Advisor, Public Governance

Expertise: Public Governance, Public Sector Governance, including the machinery of government   Degree(s): BA (St Michael’s College, UofT), JD (Faculty of Law, UofT), MPA (School of Policy Studies, Queens University)  Karl advises government on all aspects of public sector governance, including institutional capacity, the center of government, organizational design and effectiveness, accountability, oversight, and risk management. He has led […]

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