Canadian Democracy

Timeline created by mr._kent
  • Responsible Government

    Responsible Government
    In 1848, Canada was given Responsible Government by the British Monarchy. This gave Canada the ability to create a representative government that was responsible to the people that elected it. For the first time in British North America, the people had some say in decisions made within the colonies
  • Confederation

    On July 1, 1867, Canada became officially an independent nation. The Canadian government could now control its own affairs, without the intrusion of Great Britain. This made democracy stronger in Canada as government affairs were now controlled by those living within Canada, rather than an outside force.
  • Women Gain the Right to Vote

    Women Gain the Right to Vote
    During WWI, some Canadian women got the right to vote in federal elections. Even though only women who had family members fighting overseas got the right to vote, it was the first step towards full voting equality in Canada.
  • The Persons Case

    The Persons Case
    Thanks to the efforts of the Famous Five, women were finally identified as 'persons' under the British North America Act. This gave women full equality under the constitution. This represents the next major step in gender equality in Canada, leading to more accurate representation of Canadians in government.
  • The Statute of Westminster

    The Statute of Westminster
    The Statute of Westminster was an act of the British Parliament that gave Canada and the other countries of the British Empire the right to control their own international affairs. Prior to this, Canada had to deal with other countries through Britain as an intermediary. Now Canada, and Canadians, could set their own course in international affairs such as war.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    Prime Minister John Diefenbaker passed the Canadian Bill of Rights. This was the first step to having legally protected rights in Canada. Though it protected the rights of Canadians, it was not a part of the constitution, and could therefore be changed by any future government.
  • Patriation of the Constitution

    Patriation of the Constitution
    Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II signed the Constitution Act, 1982; the new Canadian constitution. The new constitution added an amending formula - which allowed Canada to change its own constitution - and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The rights of all Canadians were now fully entrenched in the constitution, and much harder to challenge and change.
  • Meech Lake Accord

    Meech Lake Accord
    Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the Premiers of the 10 provinces negotiated an amendment to the constitution in an attempt to get Quebec to sign the agreement (they had not signed the agreement in 1982). The Accord was supported by the Queen, but was defeated when it was not ratified in Manitoba and Newfoundland. The agreement had required all 10 provinces to ratify it. Elijah Harper, and aboriginal MPP in Manitoba is credited as having kept the province from ratifying the agreement.
  • Charlottetown Accord

    Charlottetown Accord
    Brian Mulroney's second attempt to amend the constitution, and get Quebec to sign on. This agreement was put to a national referendum in 1992. The majority of Canadians voted against the Accord, thus killing the agreement. This furthered Quebec's feelings of alienation, and would be a contributing factor to the growing separatist movement in Quebec in the 1990s.
  • Prisoners Can Vote Too!

    Prisoners Can Vote Too!
    In 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the law that prisoners in Canada were not allowed to vote was unconstitutional. They stated that the law went against the prisoners' constitutionally protected right to vote. As a result, for the first time in Canadian history, prisoners were allowed to vote in the 2004 federal election. This shows the growth of Canadian democracy as a protector of the rights of ALL citizens.