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Consolidation of Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982


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 since its enactment. The Constitution Act, 1982 contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other 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, is renamed as 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 Constitution Act, 1982 was enacted as Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982, 1982, c. 11 (U.K.). It is set out in this consolidation as a separate Act after the Constitution Act, 1867.

Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1867

The law embodied in the Constitution Act, 1867 has been altered many times otherwise than by textual 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 including only those subsequent enactments that alter the text of the Act would therefore 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, whether by textual amendment or otherwise.

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

I. Textual Amendments

  • 1. Repeals

    Repealed provisions (e.g. section 2) have been deleted from the text and quoted in a footnote.

  • 2. Amendments

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

  • 3. Additions

    Added provisions (e.g. section 51A) are included in the text.

  • 4. Substitutions

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

II. Non-textual Amendments

  • 1. Alterations by United Kingdom Parliament

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

  • 2. Additions by United Kingdom Parliament

    Constitutional provisions delivered otherwise than by using the insertion of extra provisions inside the constitution Act, 1867(e.g. provisions of the charter Act, 1871 authorizing Parliament to legislate for any territory now not included in a province) aren’t integrated in the textual content however the extra provisions are quoted in the appropriate footnote.

  • 3. Alterations by Parliament of Canada

    Provisions concern to alteration by using the Parliament of Canada (e.g. section 37) have been covered inside the text in their altered shape, wherever possible, but where this was now not possible (e.g. section forty) the authentic section has been retained in the textual content and a footnote reference made to the Act of the Parliament of Canada effecting the alteration.

  • 4. Alterations by the Legislatures

    Provisions difficulty to alteration with the aid of the legislatures of the provinces, either by distinctive feature of precise authority (e.g. sections eighty three and 84) or by means of distinctive feature of head 1 of phase ninety two (e.g. sections 70 and seventy two), have been blanketed inside the text of their unique shape however the footnotes consult with the provincial enactments effecting the alteration. Amendments to the provincial enactments are omitted; these may be found with the aid of consulting the provincial statutes. similarly, only the enactments of the unique provinces are referred to; corresponding enactments by using the provinces that were created at a later date are neglected.

Spent Provisions

Footnote references are made to those sections which are spent or probably spent. as an instance, segment 119 became spent through lapse of time and the footnote reference indicates this. In turn, section one hundred forty is probably spent, but short of analyzing all statutes handed earlier than Confederation there would be no way of ascertaining sincerely whether or not the segment is spent; the footnote reference therefore suggests that the section might be spent.


The enactments of the UK Parliament and the Parliament of Canada, and Orders in Council admitting territories, that are noted inside the footnotes may be determined in Appendix II of the Appendices to the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985 and inside the annual volumes of the Statutes of Canada.

There are some inconsistencies within the capitalization of nouns. It became firstly the exercise to capitalize the first letter of all nouns in British statutes and the constitution Act, 1867 was so written, however this exercise changed into discontinued and changed into never observed in Canadian statutes. in the original provisions blanketed on this consolidation, nouns are written as they had been enacted.

French Version

The French model of the charter Act, 1867 is the traditional translation. It does not have the force of regulation in view that this Act changed into enacted by means of the Parliament of the UK in English simplest.

phase 55 of the constitution Act, 1982 affords that a “French model of the quantities of the constitution of Canada mentioned in the time table [to that Act] will be prepared with the aid of the Minister of Justice of Canada as expeditiously as possible”. The French Constitutional Drafting Committee was set up in 1984 with a mandate to assist the Minister of Justice in that project. The Committee’s very last report, which contains forty-two constitutional enactments, become tabled in Parliament in December 1990. The French model of the final document is to be had on the Justice Canada website at the following URL: http://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/sjc-csj/constitution/loireg-lawreg/index.html.


This consolidation of the constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982 consists of cloth prepared with the aid of the overdue Dr. E. A. Driedger, Q.C. The material has been up to date where necessary. The branch of Justice gratefully acknowledges Dr. Driedger’s earlier paintings.







French version prepared under section 55 of the Constitution Act, 1982

(English version of report)

segment 55 of the charter Act, 1982 affords that a “French model of the quantities of the charter of Canada noted inside the time table [to that Act] will be organized via the Minister of Justice of Canada as expeditiously as viable”. The French Constitutional Drafting Committee become set up in 1984 with a mandate to help the Minister in that mission. The Committee’s final file was tabled in Parliament in December 1990.  Click here for the French version of the Final Report.

The English model of the report reproduces the legit version of the enactments and was not changed by the Committee. It become covered inside the final record simplest to facilitate assessment with the proposed new French text.

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