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Constitution Act, 1982

The Constitution Act, 1982 is a landmark document in Canadian history. It achieved full independence for Canada by allowing the country to change its Constitution without approval from Britain. It also enshrined the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada’s Constitution, the highest law of the land. The Act was passed after a fierce, 18-month political and legal struggle that dominated headlines and the agendas of every government in the country. (See Patriation of the Constitution.)

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Bloc Québécois

The Bloc Québécois is a federal political party that was created officially on 15 June 1991 (registered by Elections Canada on 11 September 1993). It was founded as a parliamentary movement composed of Québec MPs who left the Conservative and Liberal parties after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. The party promotes Quebec's interests and Quebec sovereignty in the House of Commons. The Bloc was led by former federal Conservative cabinet minister Lucien Bouchard before he left to become leader of the Parti Québécois and premier of Quebec in January 1996. Gilles Duceppe played a significant role in the direction of this party, remaining its leader for nearly fifteen years. On March 18, 2017, Martine Ouellet was elected head of the Bloc Québécois, but she resigned in June 2018 after a leadership review. Yves-François Blanchet became leader of the party in January 2019. Under Blanchet, the Bloc won 32 seats in the October 2019 federal election, returning it to official party status.

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Patriation of the Constitution

In 1982, Canada fully broke from its colonial past and “patriated” its Constitution. It transferred the country’s highest law, the British North America Act (which was renamed the Constitution Act, 1867), from the authority of the British Parliament to Canada’s federal and provincial legislatures. The Constitution was also updated with a new amending formula and a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These changes occurred after a fierce, 18-month political and legal struggle that dominated headlines and the agendas of every government in the country.

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Jacques Parizeau

Jacques Parizeau, GOQ, economist, professor, senior public servant, politician and premier of Québec (born 9 August 1930 in Montréal, QC; died 1 June 2015 in Montréal, QC).

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Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a minority Liberal government, elected on 16 May 2019. The premier of the province is Andrew Furey and the Lieutenant Governor is Judy May Foote. Its first premier, Joey Smallwood, was elected in 1949, after the province joined Confederation. Prior to Confederation, Newfoundland was first a British colony, then beginning in 1907, a dominion of the British Empire. It has been governed in various ways throughout its history, beginning with naval law in the 1600s.

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Referendum

A referendum is the asking of a political question to an electorate, for direct decision by general vote. Although federal referendums are rare in Canada, there have been numerous provincial referendums and plebiscites since Confederation.

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Reform Party of Canada

The Reform Party was a right-wing, populist, western political protest movement that grew to become the official opposition in Parliament in 1997. Reform played a role in the creation of the Canadian Alliance, as well as the demise of the federal Progressive Conservative Party — and the eventual merger of those two groups into today's Conservative Party.

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Native Women’s Association of Canada

Founded in 1974, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is an organization that supports the socio-economic, political and cultural well-being of Indigenous women in Canada. Dedicated to the principles of humanitarianism, NWAC challenges the inequalities and discrimination that Indigenous women face by remaining politically engaged in causes such as education, housing, child welfare and more.

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Charlottetown

Charlottetown, PEI, incorporated as a city in 1855, population 36,094 (2016 c), 34,562 (2011 c). The capital of Prince Edward Island, the City of Charlottetown is also the administrative centre of Queens County and the principal municipality of Canada's smallest province. It is situated on a broad harbour opening into the Northumberland Strait. Three rivers converge there, with the city located on a low-rising point of land between the Hillsborough (East) and North (Yorke) rivers just opposite the harbour's mouth. Suburban development has spread across the Hillsborough to Stratford, and between the North and West (Eliot) rivers at Cornwall. Besides its governmental functions, Charlottetown services a considerable agricultural hinterland and is the focus of Island communications. Its favourable climate, nearby beaches and claim to be the “Birthplace of Confederation” have made it a major tourist centre.

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Biculturalism

This neologistic term came into public consciousness with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963. On examining its terms of reference the commission could not find the word in a dictionary.

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