The Constitution Act of 1867, the Push that Got the Ball Rolling. Jarik Langenfurth
January 7th 2013
There are many events in the past of which we can attribute to Canada becoming the great prosperous nation that we have today. It all started with the European explorers who sailed across the dangerous Atlantic ocean to come to the “new world”, they were in control of Eastern Canada. Our Quebec and Ontario were simple know as upper and lower Canada, our maritime provinces under complete British control. Thus we as a nation didn’t become out own colony with our own government until after World War 1. But the British North American Act of 1867, renamed the Constitution Act of 1867 in 1982, was the sparked that got the ball rolling on Canada’s journey national identity and prosperity. On July 1st 1867 the Queen of England signed the proclamation, which gave Canada a federal domain and defines much of the operations of the government of Canada, many of which are still being used to date. It also brought rules and regulations into Canada’s educational system allowing us to have a much more culturally adverse education but also a better one for all Canadians. The Act also had some effect on language rights, which can be deemed very important in modern Canada. Though this did not make Canada fully independent it gave us confederation which means we were still a British colony, but it was still a massive leap it Canada’s cultural, constitutional and educational identity. It has shaped Canada in uncountable ways and still today we are reaping the benefits from it. It wasn’t until mid-19th century that we Canada had an actual educational system; this was when the structure for modern day schools came into effect. The Canadian legislative realised that an education was need to curb the rising generations in the direction that they wanted them to go. This sometimes posed a large problem in Ontario and especially, which at that time were known as Upper and Lower Canada, both of these provinces tried to assimilate the citizens who were forced to attended denominational schools. The British in Ontario made their greatest attempt to make everyone either a catholic or a protestant, and in Quebec the Catholic Church still had a large amount of say in the goings on at school, so everyone was naturally forced to become catholic. In 1867 when the Constitution Act was brought into effect this was quite effectively slowed down. The Act allowed each province to make changes to the law in regards to education, according to the following provisions. They are not allowed to make laws that are prejudice against other religion and inhabit the certain religious group from preforming their practices in relation to denominational schools. Secondly, all the powers, privileges and duties at the union by law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the separate school and school trustees of the Queens Roman Catholic subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queens Protestant and Roman Catholic Church. Thirdly, in any province a system of separate or dissentient schools exist by law at the union; an appeal shall lie to the Governor General from any act of decision of any Provincial Authority affect any right or privilege of the protestant or Roman Catholic minority under the Queens rule. Lastly, if in any case the provincial law does not seem to the Governor General satisfactory, or if an appeal made by the Governor General under this section is not duly executed by the Provincial authority in that behalf, then in every such case, and as far as the Circumstances of each case required the parliament of Canada may make remedial changes to laws to achieve the appeal of which was requested. (Online Canadian encyclopedia) These four laws and regulations are still for the most part with our Canadian school systems, it was the foundations to our great education. The four laws have played a major...
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