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The Canadian Constitution

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

May 21, 2008 Alex’s email: [email protected] The Canadian Constitution Blend of unwritten styles • Unwritten o Conventions inherited from UK such as a role of Prime Minister and Cabinet • Written o Ex: British North America Act: 1867 (now known as Constitution Act 1867)  Made amendments made from 1867 – 1982  Established the divisions of powers between the federal government and the provinces  KNOW FOR TEST (maybe?)  Section #91 • Gives federal powers, including taxation powers, the Peace order, power to natives, the military criminal law, etc.  Section #92 • Provincial powers, including health care, welfare, local politics, local/private nature, licensing  Section #93 • Education within the provinces, with some restrictions  Section #95 • Commerce, agriculture, and immigration (both provincial and federal) o Ex: Statute of Westminster: 1931  Took Canada out of British colonial status  Canadian Parliament essentially became independent o Constitution Act of 1982 (including Charter of Rights and Freedoms)  Finally codified an amendment formula  Gave the provinces more powers  Established a true Canadian Bill of Rights which was superior to the 1960 Bill of Rights which only affected the Canadian federal government  Never signed by Quebec (but Quebec is legally bound by it)  Meech Lake Accord (1987) was an attempt to bring Quebec into the “Constitutional fold” • Would have given Quebec recognition as a “distinct society” within Canada and decentralized Canada further • Failed to be ratified in 1990  The Charlottetown Accord (1992) was essentially “Meech Lake 2” • Would have given Canadians an elected Senate, a “Social Charter”, and Aboriginal self-government as well • Failed in the referendum of October 19
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