founding constitutional document is the British North America
Act of 1867, written by the Fathers of Confederation and passed
by the British Parliament.
1982, it was patriated, i.e. brought under the authority of the
Canadian Parliament. It was then amended and renamed the
Constitution Act, 1867
Canada as a constitutional monarchy
description of "Executive Power" in the Constitution Act, 1867 begins by
declaring Canada's relationship to the British monarchy: "The Executive
Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to
continue and be vested in the Queen."
However, it is Parliament and the
provincial legislatures -- rather than the governor general and the
lieutenant-governors as representatives of the Crown -- that give active
expression to the political will of Canadians.
Canada as a federation
in its modern form was created in 1867 thanks to a federation of
the previously separate British colonies of North America.
original members were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the United
Province of Canada (which became Ontario and Quebec)
Manitoba was created in 1870 after the Metis Rebellion
British Columbia joined in 1871
joined in 1873
Saskatchewan and Alberta were created in 1905
Newfoundland was the last province to join in 1949.
authors of Canada's Constitution spent several years debating
the direction and concentration of political authority in
Canada. Having settled on a federal system, the architects of
Confederation distributed legislative power between a
centralized national government and parallel provincial
governments. Articles 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867
enumerate the specific powers of Parliament and of the