Constitution Act, 1867

British North America Act of 1867British North America Act, 1867British North America ActBritish North America Act'', 18671867British North America Act 1867Constitution ActConstitution Act 1867Constitution Act of 1867Canadian Constitution
The Constitution Act, 1867 (Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, originally enacted as The British North America Act, 1867, and referred to as the BNA Act) (the Act) is a major part of Canada's Constitution.wikipedia
709 Related Articles

Canadian federalism

federalismCanadian federalistCanadian federation
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system.
The division of powers is set out in the Constitution Act, 1867 (originally called the British North America Act, 1867), a key document in the Constitution of Canada.

Constitution of Canada

Canadian ConstitutionConstitutionconstitutional
The Constitution Act, 1867 (Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, originally enacted as The British North America Act, 1867, and referred to as the BNA Act) (the Act) is a major part of Canada's Constitution.
According to subsection 52(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982, the Canadian Constitution consists of the Canada Act 1982 (which includes the Constitution Act, 1982), acts and orders referred to in its schedule (including in particular the Constitution Act, 1867, formerly the British North America Act, 1867), and any amendments to these documents.

Government of Canada

Canadian governmentfederal governmentfederal
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system.
In both senses, the current construct was established at Confederation through the Constitution Act, 1867—as a federal constitutional monarchy, wherein the Canadian Crown acts as the core, or "the most basic building block", of its Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.

Dominion

DominionsBritish Dominiondominion status
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system. The Act begins with a preamble declaring that the three provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which would become Ontario and Quebec) have requested to form "one Dominion...with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom".
Under the British North America Act 1867, Canada received the status of "Dominion" upon the Confederation of several British possessions in North America.

House of Commons of Canada

House of CommonsMPMember of Parliament
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system. The Parliament of Canada comprises the Queen and two chambers (the House of Commons of Canada and the Senate of Canada), as created by section 17.
The House of Commons was established in 1867, when the British North America Act (now called the Constitution Act, 1867) created the Dominion of Canada and was modelled on the British House of Commons.

Senate of Canada

SenatorSenateCanadian Senator
The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system. The Parliament of Canada comprises the Queen and two chambers (the House of Commons of Canada and the Senate of Canada), as created by section 17.
The Senate came into existence in 1867, when the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the British North America Act 1867 (BNA Act), uniting the Province of Canada (which was separated into Quebec and Ontario) with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single federation, a dominion called Canada.

British North America Acts

British North America ActBNA ActBritish North America Act, 1867
The British North America Acts, including this Act, were renamed in 1982 with the patriation of the Constitution (originally enacted by the British Parliament); however, it is still known by its original name in United Kingdom records.
Canada dates its history as a country to the British North America Act, 1867, which came into effect on July 1, 1867.

Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme CourtCanadian Supreme CourtSupreme Court Justice
In New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia, the leading Canadian case on parliamentary privilege, the Supreme Court of Canada grounded its 1993 decision on the preamble.
The creation of the Supreme Court of Canada was provided for by the British North America Act, 1867, renamed in 1982 the Constitution Act, 1867.

Patriation

patriatepatriatedpatriating
The British North America Acts, including this Act, were renamed in 1982 with the patriation of the Constitution (originally enacted by the British Parliament); however, it is still known by its original name in United Kingdom records.
From 1867, the Constitution of Canada was primarily contained in the British North America Act, 1867, and other British North America Acts, which were passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Ontario

Ontario, CanadaONProvince of Ontario
The Act begins with a preamble declaring that the three provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which would become Ontario and Quebec) have requested to form "one Dominion...with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom".
The British North America Act took effect on July 1, 1867, establishing the Dominion of Canada, initially with four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

Governor General of Canada

Governor GeneralGovernor-General of CanadaGovernor-General
Section 9 confirms that all executive powers remain with the Queen, as represented by the Governor General or an administrator of the government, as stated in Section 10.
The present incarnation of the office emerged with Canadian Confederation and the passing of the British North America Act, 1867, which defines the role of the governor general as "carrying on the Government of Canada on behalf and in the Name of the Queen, by whatever Title he is designated".

Preamble

introductory statementexplanatory statements
The Act begins with a preamble declaring that the three provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which would become Ontario and Quebec) have requested to form "one Dominion...with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom".
In Canada, the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1867 was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Provincial Judges Reference, to increase guarantees to judicial independence.

Implied Bill of Rights

As Peter Hogg wrote in Constitutional Law of Canada, some have argued that, since the United Kingdom had some freedom of expression in 1867, the preamble extended this right to Canada even before the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982; this was a supposed basis for the Implied Bill of Rights.
When provincial legislation intrudes deeply into fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, association or assembly, the provincial legislature is creating criminal legislation, which under the distribution of powers is reserved exclusively to the Parliament of Canada by section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Lieutenant governor (Canada)

Lieutenant Governorlieutenant governorsLieutenant-Governor
Section 12 states that the executive branches of the Provinces continue to exist and their power is exercised through the Lieutenant Governors, and that the powers exercised by the federal government must be exercised through the Governor General, either with the advice of the privy council or alone. Each province must have a Lieutenant Governor (Section 58), who serves at the pleasure of the Governor General (Section 59), whose salary is paid by the federal parliament (Section 60), and who must swear the oath of allegiance (Section 61).
The offices have their roots in the 16th and 17th century colonial governors of New France and British North America, though the present incarnations of the positions emerged with Canadian Confederation and the British North America Act in 1867, which defined the viceregal offices as the "Lieutenant Governor of the Province acting by and with the Advice the Executive Council thereof."

Judicial independence

independent judiciaryindependence of the judiciaryindependent
Moreover, since the UK had a tradition of judicial independence, the Supreme Court ruled in the Provincial Judges Reference of 1997 that the preamble shows judicial independence in Canada is constitutionally guaranteed.
Canada has a level of judicial independence entrenched in its Constitution, awarding superior court justices various guarantees to independence under sections 96 to 100 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Census in Canada

Canadian censuscensusCensus of Canada
And Section 8 provides that a national census of all provinces must be held every ten years.
The first national census of the country Canada was taken in 1871, as required by section 8 of the British North America Act, 1867.

Provincial Judges Reference

Reference re Provincial Court JudgesReference re Remuneration of JudgesReference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.)
Moreover, since the UK had a tradition of judicial independence, the Supreme Court ruled in the Provincial Judges Reference of 1997 that the preamble shows judicial independence in Canada is constitutionally guaranteed.
One problem identified was that the independence of provincial judges was not protected as extensively as the federal judges were under sections 96 to 100 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Parliament of Canada

ParliamentCanadian ParliamentMP
The Parliament of Canada comprises the Queen and two chambers (the House of Commons of Canada and the Senate of Canada), as created by section 17.
The sovereign's place in the legislature, formally called the Queen-in-Parliament, is defined by the Constitution Act, 1867, and various conventions.

Oath of Allegiance (Canada)

Oath of AllegianceOath of Allegiance in Canada
Each province must have a Lieutenant Governor (Section 58), who serves at the pleasure of the Governor General (Section 59), whose salary is paid by the federal parliament (Section 60), and who must swear the oath of allegiance (Section 61).
The Canadian oath was established at that time in the British North America Act, 1867 (now Constitution Act, 1867), meaning that alteration or elimination of the oath for parliamentarians requires a constitutional amendment.

Queen's Privy Council for Canada

PCPrivy CouncilPrivy Council of Canada
Section 11 creates the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.
The Constitution Act, 1867, outlines that persons are to be summoned and appointed for life to the Queen's Privy Council by the governor general, though convention dictates that this be done on the advice of the sitting prime minister.

Quebec

QuébecProvince of QuebecQC
The Act begins with a preamble declaring that the three provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which would become Ontario and Quebec) have requested to form "one Dominion...with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom".
However, both English and French are required by the Constitution Act, 1867, for the enactment of laws and regulations, and any person may use English or French in the National Assembly and the courts.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Charter of Rights and FreedomsCharterCharter of Rights
As Peter Hogg wrote in Constitutional Law of Canada, some have argued that, since the United Kingdom had some freedom of expression in 1867, the preamble extended this right to Canada even before the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982; this was a supposed basis for the Implied Bill of Rights.
The Charlottetown Accord would have specifically required the Charter to be interpreted in a manner respectful of Quebec's distinct society, and would have added further statements to the Constitution Act, 1867 regarding racial and sexual equality and collective rights, and about minority language communities.

National Assembly of Quebec

National AssemblyMNAQuebec National Assembly
Sections 69 and 70 establishes the Legislature of Ontario, comprising the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and Sections 71 to 80 establishes the Parliament of Quebec, which at the time comprised the Lieutenant Governor, the Legislative Assembly of Quebec (renamed in 1968 to the National Assembly of Quebec), and the Legislative Council of Quebec (since abolished).
The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly known as the British North America Act), which created Canada, split the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Provinces and territories of Canada

ProvinceCanadian provinceprovincial
Although the text of the Act appears to give Parliament residuary powers to enact laws in any area that has not been allocated to the provincial governments, subsequent Privy Council jurisprudence held that the "peace, order, and good government" power is in a delimited federal competency like those listed under section 91 (see e.g. AG Canada v AG Ontario (Labour Conventions), [1937] AC 326 (PC)).
The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada.

Electoral district (Canada)

electoral districtridingFederal riding
Section 41 divides the Provinces in electoral districts and Section 41 continues electoral laws and voting qualifications of the time, subject to revision.
The Constitution Act, 1867, which created the electoral map for Ontario for the first general election, used the term "ridings" to describe districts which were sub-divisions of counties.