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This Day in History

January 1, This Day in History – June 1st: The Ratification of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982



June 1st holds a significant place in Canadian history, marking the ratification of the Constitution Act on this day in 1982. The event represented a monumental step forward in Canada’s political independence, establishing a uniquely Canadian framework for the country’s constitution.

Prior to 1982, Canada’s constitution remained under the control of the British parliament, and any constitutional amendments required British approval. The enactment of the Constitution Act, formally known as the Canada Act 1982 in the UK, fully repatriated Canada’s constitution, placing it under the Canadian government’s jurisdiction.

The Constitution Act also incorporated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a comprehensive bill of rights that guarantees fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights, and language rights to every Canadian citizen. The Charter remains a central aspect of Canadian law and society, promoting a culture of respect and inclusion.

The Act also recognized and affirmed existing Aboriginal and treaty rights, laying a foundation for future discussions and negotiations between the Canadian government and Indigenous peoples.

June 1st is a day of historical significance, not only for Canadians but for all those who value the self-determination of nations. It marked the day when Canada took a bold step towards autonomy, reaffirming its national identity, and laying a foundation for the values it upholds today.

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