The Canada Act 1982 (1982 c. 11) is an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament that severed all remaining legislative dependence of Canada on the United Kingdom, in a process known as "patriation". It contains the text of the Constitution Act, 1982, in both of Canada's official languages, in Schedule B, and a translation of the main body into French in Schedule A, making it the first Act of Parliament from Great Britain since the middle ages to be passed in French.
Canada's road to political self government began with the British North America Act, 1867 (now called in Canada the "Constitution Act, 1867," although it is still often referred to by its British name, or simply the "BNA Act"). This act created the modern state of Canada by combining the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a dominion within the British Empire. From this Canada adopted a Westminster style government with a Parliament. A Governor General fulfilled the constitutional duties of the British Sovereign on Canadian soil.
Despite this, the United Kingdom still had the power to legislate for Canada. The Statute of Westminster 1931 removed this power of the British Parliament for Canada, as well as the other British Dominions (Australia, the Irish Free State, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, and the Dominion of Newfoundland), save where the Dominion consented to Imperial legislation. Also, the British North America (No. 2) Act 1949 was passed by the British Parliament, giving the Canadian Parliament significant constitutional amending powers. However, an Act of the British Parliament was still required to make some amendments in the Canadian constitution.
This delay in patriation of the Canadian constitution was due in large part to the lack of agreement over a mechanism for amending the constitution that would be acceptable to all of the provinces, particularly Quebec.
Aside from some objections from British MPs who protested Canada's past mistreatment of Quebec and Aboriginal peoples (as recalled with frustration by Jean Chrétien in his memoirs Straight from the Heart), there was little opposition from the British government to passing the Act. Through section 2 of the Canada Act 1982, the United Kingdom ended its involvement in further amendments to the Canadian constitution.
Whilst the Canada Act 1982 received Royal Assent on March 29, 1982 in London, it was not until the Queen came to Canada that the Constitution Act, 1982, its Canadian equivalent, was proclaimed by letters patent as a statutory instrument by the Queen during her presence in Canada.
The Constitution Act 1982 was signed into law by Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada on a rainy April 17, 1982 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Queen Elizabeth remains Queen and Head of State of Canada to this day. Her constitutional powers over Canada were not affected by the Act. Canada has full sovereignty over its realm and the Queen's role is separate from her role as the British monarch.
Conservative Majority Government: Implications for the "Investment Canada Act", Foreign Ownership Rules in Telecommunications, and the "Competition Act".
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Conservative Majority Government: Implications For The "Investment Canada Act", Foreign Ownership Rules In Telecommunications, And The "Competition Act".
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