Free of the Colonial Yoke? Not quite!

Jeopardy clue: “The Constitution of this 150-year old country exists as “Schedule B” to an ordinary statute of another country.” Correct response: “What is Canada?” This is true of what has been for 35 years the most significant part of the Constitution of Canada, the Constitution Act, 1982, Parts I and II of which are, […]

The Significance of the Charter in Canadian Legal History

Looking Back 2017 not only marks 150 years since the British North America Act, 1867 (better known today as the Constitution Act, 1867), came into being, it also marks the 35th anniversary of an important part of our Constitution – the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What is the Charter? At the grassroots level, […]

The Evolution of Canadian Law

With the 150th anniversary of Confederation upon us, it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on the high points of 150 years of legal change in Canada.  Such an exercise is always a challenge, of course, because what might be considered significant to some may be seen as minor or less important to others. In this […]

An Indigenous Perspective to Canada’s 150th Birthday

This year, there are many celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday. What we are really commemorating is the British North America Act 1867 (BNA Act 1867) which established our country’s Constitution. The BNA Act 1867 has since been renamed the Constitution Act 1982 after the repatriation of our Constitution from Great Britain. Ministers’ Working Group One […]

The Statute of Westminster: A Stepping Stone towards Canadian Independence

British imperial history is replete with examples of declarations of independence, often accompanied by violent uprisings or civil conflict. One of the fundamental documents of Canadian independence was also a declaration, albeit of a different character and issued under very different circumstances. In the early 20th century, the Dominions (at the time comprising of the […]

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