The British North America Act, 1867
(Now renamed Constitution Act, 1867)

Document Summary:
Some important sections:

  • Section 3: A new Dominion formed from the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, under the name of Canada.

  • Section 9: The Queen holds executive power.

  • Section 16: The seat of government is to be in Ottawa.

  • Section 17: There will be one Parliament of Canada, consisting of the Queen, the Senate, and the House of Commons.

  • Sections 21-36: Set the rules and composition of the Senate.

  • Sections 27-52: Set the rules and composition of the House of Commons.

  • Sections 69-90: Set the rules and composition of the provincial legislatures.

  • Section 91: Sets the powers of Parliament.

  • Section 92: Sets the powers of the provincial legislatures.

  • Section 93: Puts education under provincial authority and protects separate schools.

  • Section 95: Puts agriculture and immigration under joint provincial-federal authority, with federal laws superior.

  • Section 102: Creates the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

  • Section 118: Sets the sums to be paid to provincial governments to maintain their governments.

  • Section 133: Either French or English may be used, and all documents are to be in both languages.

  • Sections 146-147: Make provision for other provinces or territories (including Rupert's Land) to join Confederation.