Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982

PART II

RIGHTS OF THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA

Marginal note:Recognition of existing aboriginal and treaty rights
  •  (1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.

  • Definition of “aboriginal peoples of Canada”

    (2) In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Land claims agreements

    (3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.

  • Marginal note:Aboriginal and treaty rights are guaranteed equally to both sexes

    (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons. (96)

Marginal note:Commitment to participation in constitutional conference

 The government of Canada and the provincial governments are committed to the principle that, before any amendment is made to Class 24 of section 91 of the “Constitution Act, 1867”, to section 25 of this Act or to this Part,

  • (a) a constitutional conference that includes in its agenda an item relating to the proposed amendment, composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces, will be convened by the Prime Minister of Canada; and

  • (b) the Prime Minister of Canada will invite representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to participate in the discussions on that item. (97)

PART III

EQUALIZATION AND REGIONAL DISPARITIES

Marginal note:Commitment to promote equal opportunities
  •  (1) Without altering the legislative authority of Parliament or of the provincial legislatures, or the rights of any of them with respect to the exercise of their legislative authority, Parliament and the legislatures, together with the government of Canada and the provincial governments, are committed to

    • (a) promoting equal opportunities for the well-being of Canadians;

    • (b) furthering economic development to reduce disparity in opportunities; and

    • (c) providing essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians.

  • Marginal note:Commitment respecting public services

    (2) Parliament and the government of Canada are committed to the principle of making equalization payments to ensure that provincial governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. (98)

PART IV

CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE

 Repealed. (99)

PART IV.I

CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCES

 Repealed. (100)

PART V

PROCEDURE FOR AMENDING CONSTITUTION OF CANADA (101)

Marginal note:General procedure for amending Constitution of Canada
  •  (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by

    • (a) resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons; and

    • (b) resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces.

  • Marginal note:Majority of members

    (2) An amendment made under subsection (1) that derogates from the legislative powers, the proprietary rights or any other rights or privileges of the legislature or government of a province shall require a resolution supported by a majority of the members of each of the Senate, the House of Commons and the legislative assemblies required under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Expression of dissent

    (3) An amendment referred to in subsection (2) shall not have effect in a province the legislative assembly of which has expressed its dissent thereto by resolution supported by a majority of its members prior to the issue of the proclamation to which the amendment relates unless that legislative assembly, subsequently, by resolution supported by a majority of its members, revokes its dissent and authorizes the amendment.

  • Marginal note:Revocation of dissent

    (4) A resolution of dissent made for the purposes of subsection (3) may be revoked at any time before or after the issue of the proclamation to which it relates.

Marginal note:Restriction on proclamation
  •  (1) A proclamation shall not be issued under subsection 38(1) before the expiration of one year from the adoption of the resolution initiating the amendment procedure thereunder, unless the legislative assembly of each province has previously adopted a resolution of assent or dissent.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) A proclamation shall not be issued under subsection 38(1) after the expiration of three years from the adoption of the resolution initiating the amendment procedure thereunder.

Marginal note:Compensation

 Where an amendment is made under subsection 38(1) that transfers provincial legislative powers relating to education or other cultural matters from provincial legislatures to Parliament, Canada shall provide reasonable compensation to any province to which the amendment does not apply.

Marginal note:Amendment by unanimous consent

 An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the following matters may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada only where authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assembly of each province:

  • (a) the office of the Queen, the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor of a province;

  • (b) the right of a province to a number of members in the House of Commons not less than the number of Senators by which the province is entitled to be represented at the time this Part comes into force;

  • (c) subject to section 43, the use of the English or the French language;

  • (d) the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada; and

  • (e) an amendment to this Part.

Marginal note:Amendment by general procedure
  •  (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the following matters may be made only in accordance with subsection 38(1):

    • (a) the principle of proportionate representation of the provinces in the House of Commons prescribed by the Constitution of Canada;

    • (b) the powers of the Senate and the method of selecting Senators;

    • (c) the number of members by which a province is entitled to be represented in the Senate and the residence qualifications of Senators;

    • (d) subject to paragraph 41(d), the Supreme Court of Canada;

    • (e) the extension of existing provinces into the territories; and

    • (f) notwithstanding any other law or practice, the establishment of new provinces.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Subsections 38(2) to (4) do not apply in respect of amendments in relation to matters referred to in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Amendment of provisions relating to some but not all provinces

 An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to any provision that applies to one or more, but not all, provinces, including

  • (a) any alteration to boundaries between provinces, and

  • (b) any amendment to any provision that relates to the use of the English or the French language within a province,

may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada only where so authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assembly of each province to which the amendment applies.

Marginal note:Amendments by Parliament

 Subject to sections 41 and 42, Parliament may exclusively make laws amending the Constitution of Canada in relation to the executive government of Canada or the Senate and House of Commons.

Marginal note:Amendments by provincial legislatures

 Subject to section 41, the legislature of each province may exclusively make laws amending the constitution of the province.

Marginal note:Initiation of amendment procedures
  •  (1) The procedures for amendment under sections 38, 41, 42 and 43 may be initiated either by the Senate or the House of Commons or by the legislative assembly of a province.

  • Marginal note:Revocation of authorization

    (2) A resolution of assent made for the purposes of this Part may be revoked at any time before the issue of a proclamation authorized by it.

Marginal note:Amendments without Senate resolution
  •  (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada made by proclamation under section 38, 41, 42 or 43 may be made without a resolution of the Senate authorizing the issue of the proclamation if, within one hundred and eighty days after the adoption by the House of Commons of a resolution authorizing its issue, the Senate has not adopted such a resolution and if, at any time after the expiration of that period, the House of Commons again adopts the resolution.

  • Marginal note:Computation of period

    (2) Any period when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved shall not be counted in computing the one hundred and eighty day period referred to in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Advice to issue proclamation

 The Queen’s Privy Council for Canada shall advise the Governor General to issue a proclamation under this Part forthwith on the adoption of the resolutions required for an amendment made by proclamation under this Part.

Marginal note:Constitutional conference

 A constitutional conference composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces shall be convened by the Prime Minister of Canada within fifteen years after this Part comes into force to review the provisions of this Part. (102)

PART VI

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION ACT, 1867

 (103)

 (104)

PART VII

GENERAL

Marginal note:Primacy of Constitution of Canada
  •  (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

  • Marginal note:Constitution of Canada

    (2) The Constitution of Canada includes

    • (a) the Canada Act 1982, including this Act;

    • (b) the Acts and orders referred to in the schedule; and

    • (c) any amendment to any Act or order referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:Amendments to Constitution of Canada

    (3) Amendments to the Constitution of Canada shall be made only in accordance with the authority contained in the Constitution of Canada.

Marginal note:Repeals and new names
  •  (1) The enactments referred to in Column I of the schedule are hereby repealed or amended to the extent indicated in Column II thereof and, unless repealed, shall continue as law in Canada under the names set out in Column III thereof.

  • Marginal note:Consequential amendments

    (2) Every enactment, except the Canada Act 1982, that refers to an enactment referred to in the schedule by the name in Column I thereof is hereby amended by substituting for that name the corresponding name in Column III thereof, and any British North America Act not referred to in the schedule may be cited as the Constitution Act followed by the year and number, if any, of its enactment.

Marginal note:Repeal and consequential amendments

 Part IV is repealed on the day that is one year after this Part comes into force and this section may be repealed and this Act renumbered, consequentially upon the repeal of Part IV and this section, by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada. (105)

 Repealed. (106)

Marginal note:French version of Constitution of Canada

 A French version of the portions of the Constitution of Canada referred to in the schedule shall be prepared by the Minister of Justice of Canada as expeditiously as possible and, when any portion thereof sufficient to warrant action being taken has been so prepared, it shall be put forward for enactment by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada pursuant to the procedure then applicable to an amendment of the same provisions of the Constitution of Canada. (107)

Marginal note:English and French versions of certain constitutional texts

 Where any portion of the Constitution of Canada has been or is enacted in English and French or where a French version of any portion of the Constitution is enacted pursuant to section 55, the English and French versions of that portion of the Constitution are equally authoritative.

Marginal note:English and French versions of this Act

 The English and French versions of this Act are equally authoritative.

Marginal note:Commencement

 Subject to section 59, this Act shall come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada. (108)

Marginal note:Commencement of paragraph 23(1)(a) in respect of Quebec
  •  (1) Paragraph 23(1)(a) shall come into force in respect of Quebec on a day to be fixed by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Authorization of Quebec

    (2) A proclamation under subsection (1) shall be issued only where authorized by the legislative assembly or government of Quebec. (109)

  • Marginal note:Repeal of this section

    (3) This section may be repealed on the day paragraph 23(1)(a) comes into force in respect of Quebec and this Act amended and renumbered, consequentially upon the repeal of this section, by proclamation issued by the Queen or the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada.

Marginal note:Short title and citations

 This Act may be cited as the Constitution Act, 1982, and the Constitution Acts 1867 to 1975 (No. 2) and this Act may be cited together as the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982.

Marginal note:References

 A reference to the “Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982” shall be deemed to include a reference to the “Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1983”. (110)