Canada officially became a sovereign country in 1867;

-The Dominion of Canada was established with the passing of the British North American Act on July the 1st, 1867. This document would be Canada’s Constitution until 1982.

-The British North American Act was later named the Constitution Act.British-North-American-Act-1867

-The new government wanted to preserve Canada’s link with Britain, while at the same time develop into its own unique system.

-Confederation was the name of the event by which the federation of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick formed one country.

-A strong federal union would not only solve internal political difficulties, it would provide a better defense against the Americans.

It was decided that different levels of government would be formed, each with different responsibilities:

1. Federal Government – had the most power: taxes, criminal law, trade, foreign affairs and defense.

2. Provincial Government – education, health care, civil law.

Parliament would be 2 houses. The lower branch, ‘The House of Commons’ was elected on the basis of population. The upper branch, ‘The Senate’ was to have equal representation and serve a ‘sober second thought’ to the decisions made by the House of Commons.

Statute of Westminster (1931)

-Before this statue, any laws passed by the Canadian government had to be approved by the British government.Statute-of-Westminster

-Canada was continually moving toward full independence from Britain.

-In 1931, Canada could now change/ make laws without British influence.

Canada Act (1982)

-Although Canada could make its own laws, it still was unable to change its Constitution without Permission of the British parliament.

-In 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth signed an Act that enabled Canada to own its Constitution (bring it home to Canada and separate from British influence).

Key Terms

Citizenship – members in a political community, such as country, including rights, duties and responsibilities.

Government – a system by which a group of people makes the laws that are enforced to guide the affairs of a community, such as a country, province, or municipality.

Society – a group of interacting people who share a community.

Authoritarian – a form of decision making or a government system in which one person or a small group holds all power.

Democratic – a form of decision making in which all group members have a vote.

Consensus – a group decision reached through discussion to which all members agree.

Politics – a human activity in which apposing individuals or groups mobilize support to obtain power to government.

Power – the ability of an individual or group to get what it wants.

Common good – that which benefits all (or most) people in a community or society.

Levels of Government

Level: Federal

-Makes decisions related to the matters of nationwide importance.
-They collect income taxes, the goods and services tax and excise taxes.

-Responsibilities the federal government has is foreign trade and relations, currency, defense, postal service, immigration, communications, unemployment, criminal law, Aboriginal peoples.

Level: Provincial

-Can collect income tax, sales tax, and ‘’sin taxes’’ on alcohol and tobacco products.

-Responsible in areas such as agriculture and environmental protection, property and civil rights, marriage licenses, health and welfare, education.

Level: Municipal

-They are created by provinces or territories to govern local communities, including cities, towns, villages, and Aboriginal bands, or settlements.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment