The executive branch of governance in Canada, responsible for policy implementation and decision-making, consists of the Prime Minister and cabinet. In addition to possessing the policymaking instrument, signaling to the public the priorities of the nation, it also has specific powers, such as the authority to nominate justices to the Supreme Court (which are formally appointed by the Crown), the authority to nominate the Governor General (who is also appointed by the Crown), and operational command of the armed forces (with formal military authority held by the Governor General).
However, the executive branch depends on the legislative for its continuity. The Prime Minister and ministers of the government are drawn from its members and subject to its confidence.
The legislative branch of governance in Canada, charged with lawmaking, consists of the Senate and House of Commons. It can enact federal statutes (including budgetary authorizations and tax bills, giving it the "power of the purse") and begin the process of amending the constitution. Through a vote of no-confidence by the Commons, the legislative branch can force the resignation of the government.
However, the Commons can be dissolved by the Crown at the request of the government, thereby forcing new elections, or prorogued in the same manner, thereby ensuring the government's continuity even in the face of loss of parliamentary support.
The judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court, has the power of judicial review, allowing it to effectively declare laws null and void if they violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or other organic or statutory law. However, the judiciary is not self-perpetuating and relies on the executive to fill its vacancies.
The three branches of governance, though not separate and equal as in presidential systems, are nonetheless finely balanced, ensuring no branch is more influential than the other.