Repatriation of the Constitution and the refusal of Quebec

Patriation of the Constitution

On October 2, 1980, the Canadian federal government introduced the text of a resolution asking the Parliament of the United Kingdom to "repatriate" Canada's Constitution. In doing so, Canada was initiating the process that would make it sovereign to legislate on its own destiny without the constitutional authority of the United Kingdom, the colonial power.

The federal government and the governments of nine provinces, excluding Quebec, which feared a diminution of its rights, adhered to the Constitution. However, Quebec's refusal to accede to the Constitution was essentially a political decision. Legally, Quebec, as long as it does not attain independence, is bound by the The Constitution Act of 1982 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On April 17, 1982 the Charter went into effect. The rights it protects are also protected by the Canadian Constitution, for which the Charter is an integral part, sheltering it from legislative amendment, to which ordinary legislation is subject.