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How The Constitution Was Patriated


Overview of How the Constitution was Patriated

- Constitution patriated by series of debates and discussions in the Senate and House of Commons.
- Prime Minister Trudeau didn't allow province to have veto.
- December 1981 resolution approved by Senate and House of Commons.
- April 17,1982, Queen Elizabeth signed the proclamation.


How the Constitution was Patriated

The constitution was patriated by a series of debates and discussions in the Senate and the House of Commons, followed by the introduction of the resolution. Many people criticized the federal government for acting alone, without involving the provinces or ordinary citizens in the process. The premiere's went as far as the Supreme Court of Canada to question the legality of the Resolution. The ruling was that although the federal government acted alone it was legal but the Court also said that they need the "substantial consent" from the provinces. The Federal Government faced a challenge of obtaining consent from the provinces without delaying the patriation of the constitution.

Further discussions with the provincial premiers in November 1981 resulted in an accord or agreement. Once the provinces knew that the federal government could act alone, they worked to reach an agreement that reflected their concerns. Prime Minister Trudeau did not allow any province to have a veto. He felt that no province should have special powers because the constitution guaranteed the rights of all Canadians. The Prime Minister and the premieres signed the accord meeting the challenge set out in the Supreme Court's condition of Substantial consent. Quebec refused to sign because the veto was denied.

In December 1981 the Senate and the House of Commons approved the resolution. The constitution act of 1982 was then passed by the British parliament. On April 17, 1982 Queen Elizabeth signed the proclamation.



Copyright 1998, Phil C. & Hussein B.