I am not sure if this is the right question for this site. I asked a similar question in WordReference.com which resulted in this query (I have modified my question).

This is how I want to word it:

In view of such problems, the federal government in 1918 introduced the Employment Offices Coordination Act and subsequently created the Employment Service of Canada (ESC).

Question: Is it correct to say the Federal government introduced the Act and created the department of ESC?

The book (No Fault of Their Own, James Struthers, 1983) that I am using as reference uses different terms:

"The Union government developed two [one of which is that Act] programs..."

"Through it [ESC] Ottawa established a link with the nation's labour markets..."

"Like much of the Union government's subsequent legislation in housing, education..., the ESC was financed through conditional grants. Ottawa provided subsidy of $150,000..."

"The Dominion authorities were not willing to acept full responsibility..."

"the creation of ESC was an evidence of federal commitment to tackling unemployment..."

To me it seems they are terms used to refer to Ottawa and that it might be okay to use federal government.

Others suggested that Canada's federal government does not pass/enact Acts. Acts/Bills receive royal assent (they are correct). Here is my earlier effort: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/tthe-federal-government-enacted-the-employment-offices-coordination-act.3493606/

They suggested the following sentence:

The Employment Offices Coordination Act was introduced/received royal assent/was passed in 1918.

But it did not work for me as it doesn't say who was responsible in creating the Act. I am trying to say that the federal government responded to some problems with this Act.

1 Answer 1


There's a lot in this, because not only does it include idioms that differ between the many places English is spoken, but the governmental processes in those places are also different, as well as the terminology used to talk about government. This response will focus on Canada vs. the UK vs. the US.

Reading through the responses you got, and reading into how Canadians talk about their government, I would disagree with the statement that "The federal government doesn't pass laws", and would encourage you to ignore the people from the UK on that forum who insisted otherwise, and who didn't pay attention to the person who pointed out the differences in terminology between the UK and Canada.

In the UK, their governmental system is not "federal", and to them, the word "government" does not include parliament (where laws are passed). So it doesn't make sense to say "the UK federal government introduced, passed, or enacted a law".

In Canada however, as well as the U.S., the term "The Federal Government" includes the entire national governing body, including congress/parliament, and is only used to differentiate it from the local governments of provinces/states/cities. It's a general term in Canada and the US, which can refer to any of its pieces, so you can indeed say "the federal government passed ____ law".

It's not the most interesting read, but the wikipedia page on Canadian Federalism talks repeatedly about the Canadian Federal Government, and it clearly does not only include the Canadian executive branch. (As a note, it is the executive branch which gives 'royal assent').

So I'd say your original sentence sounds perfectly fine, and much better than "... gave royal assent to", though I'd change "introduced" to "enacted" or "passed". A parliament member "introduces" a bill for consideration, and a government can "introduce" a program, but usually people don't talk about a government introducing a bill.

In view of such problems, the federal government in 1918 passed the Employment Offices Coordination Act and subsequently created the Employment Service of Canada (ESC).

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