Constitution Act, 1871 (annotated)

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Constitution Act, 1871

(British North America Act, 1871)  (1871) 

This act gave Canada the power to establish new provinces and territories and change provincial boundaries with the affected province's consent. The Act recognized the creation of the province of Manitoba and the incorporation of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory into Canada and allowed parliament and the Ontario and Quebec legislatres to redraw the boundaries of Ontario and Quebec in order to incoporate parts of these acquisitions.

Contents[edit]

Constitution Act, 1871

1. Short title.
2. Parliment of Canada may establish new Provinces and provide for the constitution, etc., therof.
3. Alteration of limits of Provinces.
4. Parliament of Canada may legislate for any territory not included in a Province.
5. Confirmation of Acts of Parliament of Canada.
6. Limitation of powers of Parliament of Canada to legislate for an established Province.

Notes

The Act[edit]

34 & 35 Victoria, c. 28 (U.K.)


An Act respecting the establishment of Provinces in the Dominion of Canada.


[ 29th June, 1871 ]


Whereas doubts have been entertained respecting the powers of the Parliament of Canada to establish Provinces in territories admitted, or which may hereafter be admitted, into the Dominion of Canada, and to provide for the representation of such Provinces in the said Parliament, and it is expedient to remove such doubts, and to vest such powers in the said Parliament:

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—


Short title.
1. This Act may be cited as the Constitution Act, 1871.[1]
Parliment of Canada may establish new Provinces and provide for the constitution, etc., therof.
2. The Parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new Provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any Province thereof, and may, at the time of such establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such Province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province, and for its representation in the said Parliament.
Alteration of limits of Provinces.
3. The Parliament of Canada may from time to time, with the consent of the Legislature of any Province of the said Dominion, increase, diminish, or otherwise alter the limits of such Province, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon to by the said Legislature, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any such increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any Province affected thereby.
Parliament of Canada may legislate for any territory not included in a Province.
4. The Parliament of Canada may from time to time make provision for the administration, peace, order and good government of any territory not for the time being included in any Province.
Confirmation of Acts of Parliament of Canada.
5. The following Acts passed by the said Parliament of Canada, and entitled respectively:
An Act for the temporary government of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory when united with Canada; and
Manitoba Act, 1870

shall be and be deemed to have been valid and effectual for all purposes whatsoever from the date at which they respectively received the assent, in the Queen's name, of the Governor-General of the said Dominion of Canada.

Limitation of powers of Parliament of Canada to legislate for an established Province.
6. Except as provided for by the third section of this Act, it shall not be competent for the Parliament of Canada to alter the provisions of the last mentioned Act of the said Parliament in so far as it relates to the Province of Manitoba or any other Act hereafter establishing new Provinces in the said Dominion, subject always to the right of the Legislature of the Province of Manitoba to alter from time to time the provisions of any law respecting the qualification of electors and members of the Legislative Assembly, and to make laws respecting elections in said Province.

Notes[edit]

  1. As enacted by the Constitution Act, 1982. The section, as originally enacted, read as follows:
    1. This Act may be cited for all purposes as The British North America Act, 1871.


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Canadian legislation is under Crown Copyright pursuant to Section 12 of the Copyright Act for 50 years after the year of first publication. That section and the lack of modern case law make it unclear whether these documents remain protected by perpetual Crown rights and privileges after that term ends.