Canadian Constitutional Documents and Proposals
All the documents from 1867-1982 are legally binding. (See explanatory notes for some information about
the 1867 and 1982 acts.) The last two items represent defeated
proposals or past topics of discussion.
Constitution Act, 1867 (Formerly British North America Act)
- Founding document of the Dominion of Canada
Constitution Act, 1871 (Formerly British North America Act)
- Gave Parliament the power to create new provinces out of
the Northwest Territories (recently acquired from the Hudson's Bay
Company and the Queen)
Constitution Act, 1886 (Formerly British North America Act)
- Representation for citizens in Territories
Constitution Act, 1907 (Formerly British North America Act)
- Amendments to the federal-provincial transfer payment schedule
Constitution Act, 1915 (Formerly British North America Act)
- Refines rules for Senate seat allocation
Statute of Westminster, 1931
- Removed legislative authority of Parliament at
Westminster (London) over the Dominions (Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Newfoundland),
with the following caveat:
- As the Canadian delegation had been unable to settle on an
amending formula, the existing scheme (ie. a simple
British law, subject to amendment) was retained.
Constitution Act, 1982
Loi Constitutionelle de 1982
- Act which 'patriated' Canada's constitution, due to Trudeau
- Included a domestic amending formula
- Includes Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Never signed by Quebec, although it remains legally binding
Meech Lake Accord (1987)
- Featured the "5 minimal demands" for Quebec, so they could
sign 1982 constitution "with dignity and honour".
- Timed out after 3 years, on June 23, 1990. At deadline,
had been ratified by the House of Commons and eight of
the ten provincial legislatures. Ratification in
Manitoba was obstructed by a filibuster of Native MLA
Elijah Harper. With the defeat of the Accord apparent,
Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells, having previously
'unratified' the Accord, declined to call the
reratification vote in the Nfld. legislature.
- Clark Proposal for Constitutional Amendment (1991)
- Charlottetown Accord (1992)
- (Unofficial and
texts, plus a representation of the Government mailing
- Meech Lake demands plus "Canada Clause"
- Included proposal for Equal (by province) Senate
- Included promise of autonomy for First Nations
- Included social charter
- Defeated in Oct 26th 1992
in Quebec and also
in rest of Canada (two coincident referenda).
The Solon Law Archive's collection of Canadian Constitutional Documents
NOTE: File Compression
Some of the longer clips have been compressed with the GNU project's
GZIP program, which is available for most operating
systems at www.gzip.org.
email@example.com (Last update: 31Oct95)