The British North America Act, 1867 (The Constitution Act 1867) was enacted by the Imperial Parliament in 1867. 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 also allocated powers between the provincial and federal governments. Thus, Section 91 lists the powers of the federal Parliament, while Section 92 lists the powers of the Provincial Legislatures. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the federal government must not make laws dealing with matters of provincial jurisdiction, and vice versa.
Some of the key areas of federal and provincial responsibility are:
A copy of the Constitution Act (1867) may be found here:
The Consitutiion Act of 1982 — officially the Canada Act (1982) —- is essentially Canada’s constitution. Approved by the British Parliament on March 25, 1982, and proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of Canada, on Parliament Hill on April 17, 1982, the effectively makes Canada independent of the Westminster Parliament. The document contains the original statute that established the Canadian Confederation in 1867 (the British North America Act), the amendments made to it by the British Parliament over the years, and new material resulting from negotiations between the federal and provincial governments between 1980 and 1982.
The text of the Constitution Act (1982) may be found here:
One of the most significant elements of the Constitution Act (1982) is the inclusion of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter set down 34 rights to be observed across Canada, ranging from freedom of religion to linguistic and educational rights.