Patriating the Constitution

  • British North American Act

    Set out the powers of the federal and provincial governments and guaranteed the language and education rights of Quebec's French-speaking majority. BNA Act fell under British jurisdiction, no changes could be made without British Parliament's approval.
  • Statute of Westminister

    Passed by British government. This formally turned the British Empire into the British Commonwealth. Canada and Britain's status' were now equal which entitled both to make it's own laws.
  • Constitution Act

    Signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Trudeau outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Last step towards making Canada a completely independent nation had been taken.
  • Consitution Act (Amending formula)

  • Constitution Act (Charter of Rights & Freedoms)

  • Constitution Act (Notwithstanding clause)

  • Meech Lake Accord

    Prime Minister Mulroney called the premiers to a conference at Meech Lake, where it was proposed that a package of amendments to the Consitution. This Accord offered to recognize Quebec as a distinct society. Also proposed giving more power to other provinces. All provinces would have the power to veto constitutional change. But it had many critics and a big one was Trudeau, who argued the designation of Quebec as a distinct society would create "two solitudes" in Canada,
  • Collapse of the Meech Lake Accord

    The Accord had many critics and Trudeau was the one with a bigger voice. He said that it would create "two solitudes" in Canada. It would simply isolate the Francophones of Quebec - it would make them less rather than more a part of Confederation. Other's disliked the "distinct-society" clause. Manitoba and Newfoundland withheld support; causing the Accord to disintegrate. Quebec felt humiliated.
  • Charlottetown Accord

    Anxious to avoid previous mistakes, Mulroney’s government appointed "Citizen's Forum" - a committee that travelled across the nation to hear the views of Canadians on the future of the Constitution. This Accord answered Quebec's concerns in ways similar to the Meech Lake Accord. This Accord proposed reforming the Senate, making it an elected body with equal representation from all parts of the country. Also supported Aboriginal self-government to draw the support of the First Nations.
  • Failure of the Charlottetown Accord

    Mulroney warned rejection would endanger the future of the nation. This Accord had many clauses, each designed to please different groups that it was easy to find fault. B.C, the fastest-growing province, had 68.3% voted “no.” Voters felt it gave Quebec too much power. Quebec voters believed that the Accord didn’t give them enough power because the Senate seats were given up to the West. It also feared the Aboriginal self-government, because it would affect a large part of northern Quebec.
  • Referendum

    Parizeau called a provincial referendum on full sovereignty-separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. 49.4% voted yes to sovereignty; 50.6% were “no.” PM Chretien sent the question of how Quebec might separate to the Supreme Court of Canada, he followed up on the court’s ruling with his controversial “clarity bill,” which set down in law, Ottawa’s insistence on a clear question in any future referendum and a substantial “yes” majority before Quebec exit from Confederation would be negotiated