- Constitution of Canada
- Constitution Acts of Canada 1867 to 1982. Canadian Laws.






This consolidation contains the text of the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act, 1867), together with amendments made to it since its enactment, and the text of the Constitution Act, 1982, as amended by the Constitution Amendment Proclamation 1983. The Constitution Act, 1982 contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other new provisions, including the procedure for amending the Constitution of Canada.

The Constitution Act, 1982 also contains a Schedule of repeals of certain constitutional enactments and provides for the renaming of others. The British North America Act, 1949, for example, i renamed in the Schedule, the Newfoundland Act. the new names of these enactments are used in this consolidation, but their former names may be found in the Schedule.

The law embodied in the Constitution Act, 1867 has been altered many times otherwise than by direct amendment, not only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, but also by the Parliament of Canada and the legislatures of the provinces in those cases where provisions of that Act are expressed to be subject to alteration by Parliament or the legislatures. A consolidation of the Constitution Acts with only such subsequent enactments as directly alter the text of the Act would therefor not produce a true statement of the law. In preparing this consolidation an attempt has been made to reflect accurately the substance of the law contained in enactments modifying the provisions of the Constitution Act, 1867.

The various classes of enactments modifying the text of the Constitution Act, 1867, have been dealt with as follows:



Repealed provisions (e.g. section 2) have been deleted from the text and quoted in a footnote.


Amended provisions (e.g. section 4) are reproduced in the text in their amended form and the original provisions are quoted in a footnote.


Added provision (e.g. section A) are included in the text.


Substituted provisions (e.g. section 18) are included in the text, and the former provisions is quoted in a footnote.



Provisions altered by the United Kingdom Parliament otherwise than by direct amendment (e.g. section 21) are included in the text in their altered form, and the original provision is quoted in a footnote.


Constitutional provisions added otherwise than by the insertion of additional provisions in the Constitution Act, 1867 (e.g. provisions of the Constitution Act. 1871 authorizing Parliament to legislate for any territory not included in a province) are not incorporated in the text, but the additional provisions are quoted in an appropriate footnote.


Provisions subject to alteration by the Parliament of Canada (e.g. section 37) have been included in the text in their altered form, wherever possible, but where this was not feasible (e.g. section 40) the original section has been retained in the text and a footnote reference made to the Act of the Parliament of Canada effecting the alteration.


Provisions subject to alteration by legislatures of the provinces, either by virtue of specific authority (e.g. sections 83, 84) or by virtue of head of section 92 (e.g. sections 70, 72), have been included in the text in their original form, but the footnotes refer to the provincial enactments effecting the alteration. Amendments to provincial enactments are not referred to: these may be readily found by consulting the indexes to provincial statutes. The enactments of the original provinces only are referred to; there are corresponding enactments by the provinces created at a later date.


Footnote references are made to those sections that are spent or are probably spent. For example, section 119 became spent by lapse of time and the footnote reference so indicates; on the other hand, section 140 is probably spent, but short of examining all statutes passed before Confederation there would be no way of ascertaining definitely whether or not the section is spent; the footnote reference therefore indicates the section as being probably spent.

The enactments of the United Kingdom Parliament or the Parliament of Canada, and Orders in Council admitting territories, referred to in the footnotes, may be found in Appendix II to the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, and in the annual volumes of the statutes of Canada.

The reader will notice inconsistencies in the capitalization of nouns. It was originally the practice to capitalize the first letter of all nouns in British statutes and the Constitution Act, 1867, was so written, but this practice was discontinued and was never followed in Canadian statutes. In the original provisions included in this consolidation nouns are written as they were enacted.

* * * * * * * * * *

This consolidation contains material prepared by the late Dr. E.A. Driedger, Q.C., which was last published by the Department of Justice in 1986 under the title The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982. The material has been updated where necessary but the Department gratefully acknowledges Dr. Driedger's earlier work.


30 & 31 VICTORIA, c. 3. (U.K.)


An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Vrunswick, and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith

(29th March 1867.)

WHEREAS the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:

And whereas such a Union would conduce to the Welfare of the Provinces and promote the Interest of the British Empire:

And whereas on the Establishment of the Union by Authority of Parliament it is expedient, not only that the Constitution of the Legislative Authority in the Dominion be provided for, but also that the Nature of the Executive Government therein be declared:

And whereas it is expedient that Provision be made for the eventual Admission into the Union of other Parts of British North America:

Short title
Declaration of Union
Construction of subsequent Provisions of Act
Four Provinces
Provinces of Ontario and Quebec
Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
Decennial Census
Executive Power
Declaration of Executive Power in-the-Queen
Application of Provisions referring to Governor General
Constitution of Privy Council for Canada
All Powers under Acts to be exercised by Governor General
Application of Provisions referring to Governor General in Council
Power to Her Majesty to authorize Governor General to appoint Deputies
Command of Armed Forces to continue to be vestedin-the-Queen
Seat of Government of Canada
Legislative Power
Constitution of Parliament of Canada
Privileges of Houses
First Session of the Parliament of Canada
The Senate
Number of Senators
Representationof Provinces in Senate
Qualifications of Senator
Summons of Senator
Addition of Senators in certain cases
Reduction of Senate to normal Number
Maximum Number of Senators
Tenure of Place in Senate
Resignation of Place in-Senate
Disqualification of Senators
Summons on Vacancy in Senate
Questions as to Qualifications and Vacancies in Senate
Appointment of Speaker of Senate
Quorum of Senate
Voting in Senate
The House of Commons
Constitution of House of Commons in Canada
Summoning of House of Commons
Senators not to sit in House of Commons
Electoral districts of the four Provinces
Continuance of existing Election Laws until Parliament
Election of Speaker of House of Commons
Filling up Vacancy in Office of Speaker
Speaker to preside
Provision in case of Absence of Speaker
Quorum of House of Commons
Voting in House of Commons
Duration of House of Commons
Readjustment of representation in Commons
Constitution of House of Commons
Increase of Number of House of Commons
Money Votes Royal Assent
Appropriation and Tax Bills
Recommendation of Money Votes
Royal sAssent to Bills
Disallowance by Order in Council
Signification of Queens Pleasure on Bill reserved
Provincial Constitutions
Executive Power
Appointment of Lieutenant Governors of Provinces
Tenure of Office of Lieutenant Governor
Salaries of Lieutenant Governors
Oaths of Lieutenant Governor
Application of Provisions referring to Lieutenant Governor
Appointment of Executive Officers for Ontario and Quebec
Executive Government of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
Powers to be exercised by Lieutenant Governor
Application of Provisions referring to Lieutenant Governor in Council
Administration in Absence of Lieutenant Governor
Seats of Provincial Governments
Legislative Power
Legislature for Ontario
Electoral districts
Legislature for Quebec
Constitution of Legislative Council
Qualification of Legislative Councillors
Resignation Disqualification
Questions as to Vacancies
Speaker of Legislative Council
Quorum of Legislative Council
Voting in Legislative Council
Constitution of Legislative Assembly of Quebec
Ontario and Quebec
Summoning of Legislative Assemblies
Restriction on election of Holders of offices
Continuance of existing Election Laws
Duration of Legislative Assemblies
Yearly Session of Legislature
Speaker Quorum
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
Constitutions of Legislatures of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
The Four Provinces
Application to Legislatures of Provisions respecting Money Votes
Distribution Of Legislative Powers
Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada
Subjects of exclusive Provincial Legislation
Laws respecting non renewable natural resources
Legislation respecting Education
Legislation for Uniformity of Laws in Three Provinces
Concurrent Powers of Legislation respecting Agriculture
Appointment of Judges
Selection of Judges in Ontario
Selection of Judges in Quebec
Tenure of office of Judges
Salaries of Judges
General Court of Appeal
Revenues Debts Assets Taxation
Creation of Consolidated Revenue Fund
Expenses of Collection
Interest of Provincial Public Debts
Salary of Governor General
Appropriation from Time to Time
Transfer of Stocks
Transfer of Property in Schedule
Property in Lands Mines
Assets connected with Provincial Debts
Canada to be liable for Provincial Debts
Debts of Ontario and Quebec
Assets of Ontario and Quebec
Debt of Nova Scotia
Debt of New Brunswick
Payment of interest to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
Provincial Public Property
Further Grant to New Brunswick
Form of Payments
Canadian Manufactures
Continuance of Customs and Excise Laws
Exportation and Importation as between Two Provinces
Lumber Dues in New Brunswick
Exemption of Public Lands
Provincial Consolidated Revenue Fund
Miscellaneous Provisions
Oath of Allegiance
Continuance of existing Laws Courts Officers
Transfer of Officers to Canada
Appointment of new Officers
Treaty Obligations
Use of English and French Languages
Ontario and Quebec
Powers Duties of Executive Officers
Great Seals
Construction of temporary Acts
Errors in Names
Ussue of Proclamations before Union to commence after Union
Issue of Proclamations after Union
Arbitration respecting Debts
Division of Records
Constitution of Townships in Quebec
Intercolonial Railway
Admission Of Other Colonies
Power to admit New foundland into the Union
Representation of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island in Senate
First Schedule
Second Schedule
Third Schedule
Fourth Schedule
Fifth Schedule
Sixth Schedule
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