The BNA Act

 

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For full text, go to http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/const/c1867_e.html#pre

 

Originally, The British North America Act, 1867, amended as the Constitution Act, 1867

 

An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick,
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 Interests 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: (1)


 

 

 

 

II.   UNION

Declaration of Union

3.

It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare by Proclamation that, on and after a Day therein appointed, not being more than Six Months after the passing of this Act, the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly. (4)

 

Four Provinces

5.

Canada shall be divided into Four Provinces, named Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. (6)

 

 

 

III.   EXECUTIVE POWER

Declaration of Executive Power in the Queen

9.

The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

 

 

 

IV.  LEGISLATIVE POWER

Constitution of Parliament of Canada

17.

There shall be One Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate, and the House of Commons.

As to Election of Speaker of House of Commons

44.

The House of Commons on its first assembling after a General Election shall proceed with all practicable Speed to elect One of its Members to be Speaker.

 

 

 

Speaker to preside

46.

The Speaker shall preside at all Meetings of the House of Commons.

Voting in House of Commons

49.

Questions arising in the House of Commons shall be decided by a Majority of Voices other than that of the Speaker, and when the Voices are equal, but not otherwise, the Speaker shall have a Vote.

Duration of House of Commons

50.

Every House of Commons shall continue for Five Years from the Day of the Return of the Writs for choosing the House (subject to be sooner dissolved by the Governor General), and no longer. (26)

Readjustment of representation in Commons

51.

(1) The number of members of the House of Commons and the representation of the provinces therein shall, on the coming into force of this subsection and thereafter on the completion of each decennial census, be readjusted by such authority, in such manner, and from such time as the Parliament of Canada from time to time provides, subject and according to the following rules:

 

 

 

MONEY VOTES; ROYAL ASSENT

Appropriation and Tax Bills

53.

Bills for appropriating any Part of the Public Revenue, or for imposing any Tax or Impost, shall originate in the House of Commons.

 

 

 

VI.   DISTRIBUTION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS

 

 

 

POWERS OF THE PARLIAMENT

Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada

91.

It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; and for greater Certainty, but not so as to restrict the Generality of the foregoing Terms of this Section, it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in this Act) the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,

1.

Repealed. (44)

1A.

The Public Debt and Property. (45)

2.

The Regulation of Trade and Commerce.

2A.

Unemployment insurance. (46)

3.

The raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation.

4.

The borrowing of Money on the Public Credit.

5.

Postal Service.

6.

The Census and Statistics.

7.

Militia, Military and Naval Service, and Defence.

8.

The fixing of and providing for the Salaries and Allowances of Civil and other Officers of the Government of Canada.

9.

Beacons, Buoys, Lighthouses, and Sable Island.

10.

Navigation and Shipping.

11.

Quarantine and the Establishment and Maintenance of Marine Hospitals.

12.

Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries.

13.

Ferries between a Province and any British or Foreign Country or between Two Provinces.

14.

Currency and Coinage.

15.

Banking, Incorporation of Banks, and the Issue of Paper Money.

16.

Savings Banks.

17.

Weights and Measures.

18.

Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes.

19.

Interest.

20.

Legal Tender.

21.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency.

22.

Patents of Invention and Discovery.

23.

Copyrights.

24.

Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians.

25.

Naturalization and Aliens.

26.

Marriage and Divorce.

27.

The Criminal Law, except the Constitution of Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but including the Procedure in Criminal Matters.

28.

The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Penitentiaries.

29.

Such Classes of Subjects as are expressly excepted in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces.

And any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section shall not be deemed to come within the Class of Matters of a local or private Nature comprised in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces. (47)

 

 

 

 

EXCLUSIVE POWERS OF PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURES

Subjects of exclusive Provincial Legislation

92.

In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,

1.

Repealed. (48)

2.

Direct Taxation within the Province in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial Purposes.

3.

The borrowing of Money on the sole Credit of the Province

4.

The Establishment and Tenure of Provincial Offices and the Appointment and Payment of Provincial Officers.

5.

The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province and of the Timber and Wood thereon.

6.

The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province.

7.

The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals.

8.

Municipal Institutions in the Province.

9.

Shop, Saloon, Tavern, Auctioneer, and other Licences in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial, Local, or Municipal Purposes.

10.

Local Works and Undertakings other than such as are of the following Classes:

(a)

Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, Telegraphs, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province:

(b)

Lines of Steam Ships between the Province and any British or Foreign Country:

(c)

Such Works as, although wholly situate within the Province, are before or after their Execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces.

11.

The Incorporation of Companies with Provincial Objects.

12.

The Solemnization of Marriage in the Province.

13.

Property and Civil Rights in the Province.

14.

The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts.

15.

The Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section.

16.

Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province.

 

 

 

NON-RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCES,
FORESTRY RESOURCES AND ELECTRICAL ENERGY

Laws respecting non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources and electrical energy

92A.

(1) In each province, the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to

(a)

exploration for non-renewable natural resources in the province;

(b)

development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province, including laws in relation to the rate of primary production therefrom; and

(c)

development, conservation and management of sites and facilities in the province for the generation and production of electrical energy.

Export from provinces of resources

 

(2) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the export from the province to another part of Canada of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the production from facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy, but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada.

Authority of Parliament

 

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) derogates from the authority of Parliament to enact laws in relation to the matters referred to in that subsection and, where such a law of Parliament and a law of a province conflict, the law of Parliament prevails to the extent of the conflict.

Taxation of resources

 

(4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of

(a)

non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and

(b)

sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom,

whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province.

"Primary production"

 

(5) The expression "primary production" has the meaning assigned by the Sixth Schedule.

Existing powers or rights

 

(6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) derogates from any powers or rights that a legislature or government of a province had immediately before the coming into force of this section. (49)

 

 

 

EDUCATION

Legislation respecting Education

93.

In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:

(1)

Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union:

(2)

All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec:

(3)

Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education:

(4)

In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section. (50)