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THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT, 1867.


30 VICTORIA, CHAPTER 3.


An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick,
and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith.

[29th March, 1867.]


Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have
expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under
the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a
Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:

And whereas such a Union would conduce to the Welfare of the Provinces
and promote the Interests of the British Empire:

And whereas on the Establishment of the Union by Authority of Parliament
it is expedient, not only that the Constitution of the Legislative
Authority in the Dominion be provided for, but also that the Nature of
the Executive Government therein be declared:

And whereas it is expedient that Provision be made for the eventual
Admission into the Union of other Parts of British North America:

Be it therefore enacted and declared 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:



I. - PRELIMINARY.


1. [Short Title.] This Act may be cited as The British North America
Act, 1867.


2. [Application of Provisions referring to the Queen.] The Provisions of
this Act referring to Her Majesty the Queen extend also to the Heirs and
Successors of Her Majesty, Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland.



II. - UNION.


3. [Declaration of Union] It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with
the Advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare by
Proclamation that, on and after a Day therein appointed, not being more
than Six Months after the passing of this Act, the Provinces of Canada,
Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be One Dominion under the
Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall
form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly.

4. [Construction of subsequent Provisions of Act.] The subsequent
Provisions of this Act shall, unless it is otherwise expressed or
implied, commence and have effect on and after the Union, that is to
say, on and after the Day appointed for the Union taking effect in the
Queen's Proclamation; and in the same Provisions, unless it is otherwise
expressed or implied, the Name Canada shall be taken to mean Canada as
constituted under this Act.

5. [Four Provinces.] Canada shall be divided into Four Provinces, named
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

6. [Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.] The Parts of the Province of
Canada (as it exists at the passing of this Act) which formerly
constituted respectively the Provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada
shall be deemed to be severed, and shall form two separate Provinces.
The Part which formerly constituted the Province of Upper Canada shall
constitute the Province of Ontario; and the Part which formerly
constituted the Province of Lower Canada shall constitute the Province
of Quebec.

7. [Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.] The Provinces of Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick shall have the same Limits as at the passing of
this Act.


8. [Decennial Census.] In the general Census of the Population of Canada
which is hereby required to be taken in the Year One thousand eight
hundred and seventy-one, and in every Tenth Year thereafter, the
respective Populations of the Four Provinces shall be distinguished.



III. - EXECUTIVE POWER.


9. [Declaration of Executive Power in the Queen.] The Executive
Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to
continue and be vested in the Queen.

10. [Application of Provisions referring to Governor General.] The
Provisions of this Act referring to the Governor General extend and
apply to the Governor General for the Time being of Canada, or other the
Chief Executive Officer or Administrator for the Time being carrying on
the Government of Canada on behalf and in the Name of the Queen, by
whatever Title he is designated.

11. [Constitution of Privy Council for Canada.] There shall be a Council
to aid and advise in the Government of Canada, to be styled the Queen's
Privy Council for Canada; and the Persons who are to be Members of that
Council shall be from Time to Time chosen and summoned by the Governor
General and sworn in as Privy Councillors, and Members thereof may be
from Time to Time removed by the Governor General.


12. [All Powers under Acts to be exercised by Governor General with
Advice of Privy Council, or alone.] All Powers, Authorities, and
Functions which under any Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, or of
the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or
of the Legislature of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Canada, Nova Scotia,
or New Brunswick, are at the Union vested in or exerciseable by the
respective Governors or Lieutenant Governors of those Provinces, with
the Advice, or with the Advice and Consent, of the respective Executive
Councils thereof, or in conjunction with those Councils, or with any
Number of Members thereof, or by those Governors or Lieutenant Governors
individually, shall, as far as the same continue in existence and
capable of being exercised after the Union in relation to the Government
of Canada, be vested in and exerciseable by the Governor General, with
the Advice or with the Advice and Consent of or in conjunction with
the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, or any Members thereof, or by
the Governor General individually, as the Case requires, subject
nevertheless (except with respect to such as exist under Acts of the
Parliament of Great Britain or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland) to be abolished or altered by the
Parliament of Canada.


13. [Application of Provisions referring to Governor General in
Council.] The Provisions of this Act referring to the Governor General
in Council shall be construed as referring to the Governor General
acting by and with the Advice of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

14. [Power to Her Majesty to authorize Governor General to appoint
Deputies.] It shall be lawful for the Queen, if Her Majesty thinks fit,
to authorize the Governor General from Time to Time to appoint any
Person or any Persons jointly or severally to be his Deputy or Deputies
within any Part or Parts of Canada, and in that Capacity to exercise
during the Pleasure of the Governor General such of the Powers,
Authorities, and Functions of the Governor General as the Governor
General deems it necessary or expedient to assign to him or them,
subject to any Limitations or Directions expressed or given by the
Queen; but the Appointment of such a Deputy or Deputies shall not affect
the Exercise by the Governor General himself of any Power, Authority, or
Function.

15. [Command of Armed Forces to continue to be vested in the Queen.] The
Command-in-Chief of the Land and Naval Militia, and of all Naval and
Military Forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue and be
vested in the Queen.

16. [Seat of Government of Canada.] Until the Queen otherwise directs
the Seat of Government of Canada shall be Ottawa.



IV. - LEGISLATIVE POWER.


17. [Constitution of Parliament of Canada.] There shall be One
Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled
the Senate, and the House of Commons.

18. [Privileges, &c. of Houses.] The Privileges, Immunities, and Powers
to be held, enjoyed, and exercised by the Senate and by the House of
Commons and by the Members thereof respectively shall be such as are
from Time to Time defined by Act of the Parliament of Canada, but so
that the same shall never exceed those at the passing of this Act held,
enjoyed, and exercised by the Commons House of Parliament of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and by the Members thereof.

19. [First Session of the Parliament of Canada.] The Parliament of
Canada shall be called together not later than Six Months after the
Union.

20. [Yearly Session of the Parliament of Canada.] There shall be a
Session of the Parliament of Canada once at least in every Year, so that
Twelve Months shall not intervene between the last Sitting of the
Parliament in one Session and its first Sitting in the next Session.


The Senate.


21. [Number of Senators.] The Senate shall, subject to the Provisions
of this Act, consist of Seventy-two Members, who shall be styled
Senators.

22. [Representation of Provinces in Senate.] In relation to the
Constitution of the Senate, Canada shall be deemed to consist of Three
Divisions:

1. Ontario;
2. Quebec;
3. The Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick;

which Three Divisions shall (subject to the Provisions of this Act) be
equally represented in the Senate as follows: Ontario by Twenty-four
Senators; Quebec by Twenty-four Senators; and the Maritime Provinces
by Twenty-four Senators, Twelve thereof representing Nova Scotia, and
Twelve thereof representing New Brunswick.

In the Case of Quebec each of the Twenty-four Senators representing
that Province shall be appointed for One of the Twenty-four Electoral
Divisions of Lower Canada specified in Schedule A. to Chapter One of
the Consolidated Statutes of Canada.


23. [Qualifications of Senator.] The Qualifications of a Senator shall
be as follows:

(1.) He shall be of the full age of Thirty Years:
(2.) He shall be either a Natural-born Subject of the Queen, or a
Subject of the Queen naturalized by an Act of the Parliament of
Great Britain, or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, or of the Legislature of One of the Provinces
of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Canada, Nova Scotia, or New
Brunswick, before the Union, or of the Parliament of Canada after
the Union:
(3.) He shall be legally or equitably seised as of Freehold for his own
Use and Benefit of Lands or Tenements held in Free and Common
Socage, or seised or possessed for his own Use and Benefit of Lands
or Tenements held in Franc-alleu or in Roture, within the Province
for which he is appointed, of the Value of Four thousand Dollars,
over and above all Rents, Dues, Debts, Charges, Mortgages, and
Incumbrances due or payable out of or charged on or affecting the
same:
(4.) His Real and Personal Property shall be together worth Four
thousand Dollars over and above his Debts and Liabilities:
(5.) He shall be resident in the Province for which he is appointed:
(6.) In the case of Quebec he shall have his Real Property Qualification
in the Electoral Division for which he is appointed, or shall be
resident in that Division.

24. [Summons of Senator.] The Governor General shall from Time to Time,
in the Queen's Name, by Instrument under the Great Seal of Canada,
summon qualified Persons to the Senate; and, subject to the Provisions
of this Act, every Person so summoned shall become and be a Member of
the Senate and a Senator.

25. [Summons of First Body of Senators.] Such Persons shall be first
summoned to the Senate as the Queen by Warrant under Her Majesty's Royal
Sign Manual thinks fit to approve, and their Names shall be inserted in
the Queen's Proclamation of Union.

26. [Addition of Senators in certain Cases.] If at any Time on the
Recommendation of the Governor General the Queen thinks fit to direct
that Three or Six Members be added to the Senate, the Governor General
may by Summons to Three or Six qualified Persons (as the Case may be),
representing equally the Three Divisions of Canada, add to the Senate
accordingly.


27. [Reduction of Senate to normal number.] In case of such Addition
being at any Time made, the Governor General shall not summon any Person
to the Senate, except on a further like Direction by the Queen on the
like Recommendation, until each of the Three Divisions of Canada is
represented by Twenty-four Senators and no more.

28. [Maximum Number of Senators.] The Number of Senators shall not at
any Time exceed Seventy-eight.

29. [Tenure of Place in Senate.] A Senator shall, subject to the
Provisions of this Act, hold his Place in the Senate for Life.

30. [Resignation of Place in Senate.] A Senator may by Writing under his
Hand addressed to the Governor General resign his Place in the Senate,
and thereupon the same shall be vacant.

31. [Disqualification of Senators.] The Place of a Senator shall become
vacant in any of the following Cases: -

(1.) If for Two consecutive Sessions of the Parliament he fails to give
his Attendance in the Senate:
(2.) If he takes an Oath or makes a Declaration or Acknowledgment of
Allegiance, Obedience, or Adherence to a Foreign Power, or does an
Act whereby he becomes a Subject or Citizen, or entitled to the
Rights or Privileges of a Subject or Citizen, of a Foreign Power:
(3.) If he is adjudged Bankrupt or Insolvent, or applies for the Benefit
of any Law relating to Insolvent Debtors, or becomes a public
Defaulter:
(4.) If he is attainted of Treason or convicted of Felony or of any
infamous Crime:
(5.) If he ceases to be qualified in respect of Property or of
Residence; provided, that a Senator shall not be deemed to have
ceased to be qualified in respect of Residence by reason only of
his residing at the Seat of the Government of Canada while holding
an Office under that Government requiring his Presence there.

32. [Summons on Vacancy in Senate.] When a Vacancy happens in the Senate
by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by
Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy.

33. [Questions as to Qualifications and Vacancies in Senate.] If any
Question arises respecting the Qualification of a Senator or a Vacancy
in the Senate the same shall be heard and determined by the Senate.


34. [Appointment of Speaker of Senate.] The Governor General may from
Time to Time, by Instrument under the Great Seal of Canada, appoint a
Senator to be Speaker of the Senate, and may remove him and appoint
another in his Stead.

35. [Quorum of Senate.] Until the Parliament of Canada otherwise
provides, the Presence of at least Fifteen Senators, including the
Speaker, shall be necessary to constitute a Meeting of the Senate for
the Exercise of its Powers.

36. [Voting in Senate.] Questions arising in the Senate shall be decided
by a Majority of Voices, and the Speaker shall in all Cases have a Vote,
and when the Voices are equal the Decision shall be deemed to be in the
Negative.


The House of Commons.


37. [Constitution of House of Commons in Canada.] The House of Commons
shall, subject to the Provisions of this Act, consist of One hundred and
eighty-one Members, of whom Eighty-two shall be elected for Ontario,
Sixty-five for Quebec, Nineteen for Nova Scotia, and Fifteen for New
Brunswick.


38. [Summoning of House of Commons.] The Governor General shall from
Time to Time, in the Queen's Name, by Instrument under the Great Seal of
Canada, summon and call together the House of Commons.

39. [Senators not to sit in House of Commons.] A Senator shall not be
capable of being elected or of sitting or voting as a Member of the
House of Commons.

40. [Electoral Districts of the Four Provinces.] Until the Parliament
of Canada otherwise provides, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick shall, for the Purposes of the Election of Members to serve in
the House of Commons, be divided into Electoral Districts as follows:

1. - ONTARIO.

Ontario shall be divided into the Counties, Ridings of Counties, Cities,
Parts of Cities, and Towns enumerated in the First Schedule to this Act,
each whereof shall be an Electoral District, each such District as
numbered in that Schedule being entitled to return One Member.

2. - QUEBEC.

Quebec shall be divided into Sixty-five Electoral Districts, composed
of the Sixty-five Electoral Divisions into which Lower Canada is at
the passing of this Act divided under Chapter Two of the Consolidated
Statutes of Canada, Chapter Seventy-five of the Consolidated Statutes
for Lower Canada, and the Act of the Province of Canada of the
Twenty-third Year of the Queen, Chapter One, or any other Act amending
the same in force at the Union, so that each such Electoral Division
shall be for the Purposes of this Act an Electoral District entitled
to return One Member.

3. - NOVA SCOTIA.

Each of the Eighteen Counties of Nova Scotia shall be an Electoral
District. The County of Halifax shall be entitled to return Two Members,
and each of the other Counties One Member.

4. - NEW BRUNSWICK.

Each of the Fourteen Counties into which New Brunswick is divided,
including the City and County of St. John, shall be an Electoral
District; The City of St. John shall also be a separate Electoral
District. Each of those Fifteen Electoral Districts shall be entitled
to return One Member.

41. [Continuance of existing Election Laws until Parliament of Canada
otherwise provides.] Until the Parliament of Canada otherwise provides,
all Laws in force in the several Provinces at the Union relative to
the following Matters or any of them, namely, - the Qualifications and
Disqualifications of Persons to be elected or to sit or vote as Members
of the House of Assembly or Legislative Assembly in the several
Provinces, the Voters at Elections of such Members, the Oaths to be
taken by Voters, the Returning Officers, their Powers and Duties, the
Proceedings at Elections, the Periods during which Elections may be
continued, the Trial of controverted Elections, and Proceedings incident
thereto, the vacating of Seats of Members, and the Execution of new
Writs in case of Seats vacated otherwise than by Dissolution, - shall
respectively apply to Elections of Members to serve in the House of
Commons for the same several Provinces.

Provided that, until the Parliament of Canada otherwise provides, at
any Election for a Member of the House of Commons for the District of
Algoma, in addition to Persons qualified by the Law of the Province of
Canada to vote, every male British Subject, aged Twenty-one Years or
upwards, being a Householder, shall have a Vote.

42. [Writs for First Election.] For the First Election of Members to
serve in the House of Commons the Governor General shall cause Writs to
be issued by such Person, in such Form, and addressed to such Returning
Officers as he thinks fit.

The Person issuing Writs under this Section shall have the like Powers
as are possessed at the Union by the Officers charged with the issuing
of Writs for the Election of Members to serve in the respective House of
Assembly or Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia,
or New Brunswick; and the Returning Officers to whom Writs are directed
under this Section shall have the like Powers as are possessed at the
Union by the Officers charged with the returning of Writs for the
Election of Members to serve in the same respective House of Assembly
or Legislative Assembly.


43. [As to Casual Vacancies.] In case a Vacancy in the Representation
in the House of Commons of any Electoral District happens before the
Meeting of the Parliament, or after the Meeting of the Parliament before
Provision is made by the Parliament in this Behalf, the Provisions of
the last foregoing Section of this Act shall extend and apply to the
issuing and returning of a Writ in respect of such Vacant District.

44. [As to Election of Speaker of House of Commons.] The House of
Commons on its first assembling after a General Election shall proceed
with all practicable Speed to elect One of its Members to be Speaker.

45. [As to filling up Vacancy in Office of Speaker.] In case of a
Vacancy happening in the Office of Speaker by Death, Resignation, or
otherwise, the House of Commons shall with all practicable Speed proceed
to elect another of its Members to be Speaker.

46. [Speaker to preside.] The Speaker shall preside at all Meetings of
the House of Commons.

47. [Provision in case of Absence of Speaker.] Until the Parliament of
Canada otherwise provides, in case of the Absence for any Reason of
the Speaker from the Chair of the House of Commons for a Period of
Forty-eight consecutive Hours, the House may elect another of its
Members to act as Speaker, and the Member so elected shall during the
Continuance of such Absence of the Speaker have and execute all the
Powers, Privileges, and Duties of Speaker.

48. [Quorum of House of Commons.] The Presence of at least Twenty
Members of the House of Commons shall be necessary to constitute a
Meeting of the House for the Exercise of its Powers; and for that
Purpose the Speaker shall be reckoned as a Member.

49. [Voting in House of Commons.] Questions arising in the House of
Commons shall be decided by a Majority of Voices other than that of the
Speaker, and when the Voices are equal, but not otherwise, the Speaker
shall have a Vote.

50. [Duration of House of Commons.] Every House of Commons shall
continue for Five Years from the Day of the Return of the Writs for
choosing the House (subject to be sooner dissolved by the Governor
General), and no longer.

51. [Decennial Re-adjustment of Representation.] On the Completion of
the Census in the Year One thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, and
of each subsequent decennial Census, the Representation of the Four
Provinces shall be readjusted by such Authority, in such Manner, and
from such Time, as the Parliament of Canada from Time to Time provides,
subject and according to the following Rules:

(1.) Quebec shall have the fixed Number of Sixty-five Members:
(2.) There shall be assigned to each of the other Provinces such a
Number of Members as will bear the same Proportion to the Number
of its Population (ascertained at such Census) as the Number
Sixty-five bears to the Number of the Population of Quebec
(so ascertained):
(3.) In the Computation of the Number of Members for a Province a
fractional Part not exceeding One Half of the whole Number
requisite for entitling the Province to a Member shall be
disregarded; but a fractional Part exceeding One Half of that
Number shall be equivalent to the whole Number:
(4.) On any such Re-adjustment the Number of Members for a Province
shall not be reduced unless the Proportion which the Number of the
Population of the Province bore to the Number of the aggregate
Population of Canada at the then last preceding Re-adjustment of
the Number of Members for the Province is ascertained at the then
latest Census to be diminished by One Twentieth Part or upwards:
(5.) Such Re-adjustment shall not take effect until the Termination
of the then existing Parliament.

52. [Increase of Number of House of Commons.] The Number of Members
of the House of Commons may be from Time to Time increased by the
Parliament of Canada, provided the proportionate Representation of
the Provinces prescribed by this Act is not thereby disturbed.


Money Votes; Royal Assent.


53. [Appropriation and tax Bills.] Bills for appropriating any Part of
the Public Revenue, or for imposing any Tax or Impost, shall originate
in the House of Commons.

54. [Recommendation of Money Votes.] It shall not be lawful for the
House of Commons to adopt or pass any Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill
for the Appropriation of any Part of the Public Revenue, or of any Tax
or Impost, to any Purpose that has not been first recommended to that
House by Message of the Governor General in the Session in which such
Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill is proposed.

55. [Royal Assent to Bills, &c.] Where a Bill passed by the Houses of
the Parliament is presented to the Governor General for the Queen's
Assent, he shall declare, according to his Discretion, but subject to
the Provisions of this Act and to Her Majesty's Instructions, either
that he assents thereto in the Queen's Name, or that he withholds the
Queen's Assent, or that he reserves the Bill for the Signification of
the Queen's Pleasure.

56. [Disallowance by Order in Council of Act assented to by Governor
General.] Where the Governor General assents to a Bill in the Queen's
Name, he shall by the first convenient Opportunity send an authentic
Copy of the Act to One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State,


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