What's New?

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Last update: 26 October, 2019.

This is the first spot to check and see what's new amongst my law pages. Essentially what you will find here is news of importance to the archive, such as additions or deletions, or even re-organizations of the hierarchy. Further information about the history of the archive can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please also note: If the server isn't responding to your queries or document requests, it's probably because I am updating them!

29 October, 2019.

Added to the Canada Constitution Proposals section a few pointers to Imperial Conferences that lead up to the Statute of Westminster.

26 October, 2019

Added the rather obscure government response to the UK Kershaw Report of 1981, in English and French.

13 September, 2019

Added various links on the Canadian Statutes pages, including links to the Revised Statutes of Canada for various years, like 1970 and 1985. Incidentally, yes, this means the RSC 1985 is online, quietly scanned and digitised on the Internet by Publications Canada. The digitisation of the Statutes is a right mess on the other hand, given that many different web sites must be consulted just to find all of them. There's a separate index for those now, from 1867 to date and the WikiSource/Wikipedia page updated.
Again the Canadiana.org people have come through by making both the House of Commons Sessional Papers and Unpublished Sessional Papers. There are valuable documents, but the confusion arises mainly from what was microfilmed and scanned, again like the Statutes of Canada, creating a bit of a mess. Many link to the sessional papers up to 1925 when they were discontinued, but it isn't well-known that these were revived sometime in 1930, some separately as Annual Departmental reports (1925-1955).

Sessional papers of the Dominion of Canada, 1868 - 1900
Sessional papers of the Dominion of Canada, 1901 - 1925
Unpublished Sessional Papers, 1917 - 1993?, NOTE: This collection of film reels has NOT been OCR'd and so is not searchable, diminishing its utility. Canadiana calls this "House of Commons sessional records" while the Library and National Archives correctly calls these "Unpublished House of Commons sessional papers."

30 August, 2019

Added a link to the famous (or infamous) "Kitchen Accord" to the Proposals section which broke the deadlock during the negotiations over the draft of what would become the Constitution Act, 1982. The Library and Archives has made a digital copy available for all to see.

1 July, 2019

Being Canada Day, here is Queen Victoria's Proclamation for the British North America Act, 1867, fixing July 1 as the official date to become law and appointing the colony's first Senators.

28 June, 2019

More updates to the HTML, and added a few of the acts referred to in the Constitution Act, 1867, footnotes, such as:
The Manitoba Boundary Extension Act, 1912
The Ontario Boundary Extension Act, 1912
The Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1912
The Manitoba Boundary Extension Act, 1930
The Manitoba and Ontario Boundary Act, 1950
An Act respecting the Export Duties imposed on Lumber by the Legislature of the Province of New Brunwick
Then there's An Act respecting the admission of the Colony of Prince Edward Island as a Province of the Dominion, which anticipated the Prince Edward Island Terms of Union
There is also the early proposal to unify Lower and Upper Canada in 1822, years before the more famous version became law in 1840.
Speaking of the The Union Act, 1840, there were three successive amnedments to it: The Canada Union Act Amendment, 1848, the Union Act Amendment Act, 1854 and the Union Act Amendment Act, 1859. Explanations found in the Main page.

11 June, 2019

Many updates to the Committees section of the Constitution of Canada website. The Library of Parliament has digitised a large bulk of Debates, Journals and Commitee minutes and report with the help of Canadiana, so pointers to the relevant ones on the topic of the constitution has been added. Much coverage is devoted to the various minutes as well as available reports. Due to the vast amount of documentation, and because they have provided searchable PDFs, there's really no point in transcribing and reproducing what's there. As a consequence, the page is starting to look quite messy.

12 April, 2019

Many updates to the HTML and various minor corrections to nearly everything in Canadian Constitution pages.
Replaced the version of the Constitution Amendment, 1997, (Québec) with the actual version published in the Canada Gazette, the old one was a resolution from Quebec's National Assembly.
Consolidated changes to the Newfoundland Act, especially the many changes to Term 17 and verified that the changes made by the Constitution Amendment 2001 (Newfoundland and Labrador) were correct and one peculiar change not picked up by Appendix II of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985.
Law students: Here's a really good thesis subject, or something to develop into a drinking game: Take the Newfoundland Act for example. The RSC 1985 Appendix II version, as amended, is the one everyone knows and loves. But section 2 was repealed by UK statute in 1969. It's not reflected in the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985.

The search for various Annual Statutes on the Internet has been maddening to say the least. Spread across 4 or 5 different organisations, created as part of various disconnected projects, it's basically one hell of a mess. I made an update to Wikipedia to point to where all these lie, but it's likely high time to assemble a local index, coming in the future. Bizarre.

12 September, 2018

Linked to the transcript of the Balfour Declaration of 1926, which gave eventual rise to the Statute of Westminster, 1931.

22 January, 2016

Thanks to reader Michael Kim, a LL.M. student at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University for finding an OCR typo in the Union Act 1840.

3 June, 2014

Thanks to reader Richard Toporoski for pointing out an OCR error the Proclamation of 1982.

12 November, 2013

Thanks to reader Mathew Englander for pointing out some inconsistencies between the changes to the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Constitution Act, 1999 (Nunavut).

15 Octboer, 2012

Fixed a typo in the Report on CERTAIN ASPECTS of the CANADIAN CONSTI~UTION, thanks to an anonymous reader.

12 January, 2012

Added the Fair Representation Act, 2011 which amended section 51(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867

1 September, 2011

The report of the Special Joint Committee on Senate Reform (Molgat-Cogrove), 1984, is now online.

23 August, 2011

Added the Goldenberg committee report, known by its more formal name of The Report on Certain Aspects of the Canadian Constitution, for the Senate of Canada, published in 1980.

20 August, 2011

Finally added the missing Speaker of the Senate Act, S-14, R.S.C. 1970, referenced in the footnotes to the Constitution Act, 1867.
The beginings of the Rowell-Sirois Commissionn of 1940 are online. This is a fairly huge tome, scanned as PDF. Due to the size, these will be broken into sections to make it more manageable.
Speaking of which, in a slight change of policy, more and more of these documents are going to be placed online as PDF. I find the scanning process to be much easier and as always to let the search engines index these, the PDFs have had OCR run internally on them to make searching easier. HTML is of course the lowest (and best) common denominator but older documents are exceedingly hard to scan and OCR directly into plain text. Might as well just type them in by hand, but those days are long over and it's time to let better technology have its way - a little bit.

12 August, 2011

A bunch of updates to the primary page as there are a number of out-dated links lying around.

10 August, 2011

The 1935 Report of the Special Committee on the British North America Act is finally online.

10 September, 2010

The Beaudoin-Edwards final report which dealt with an examination of various constitutional formulae proposed in Canada, including the current one, plus others in use around the world.

4 June, 2009

Fixed a minor typo in that Constitution Act, 1867.

12 January, 2006

Thanks to a pointer by Cyril P. Bagin, a link to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic has been placed on the home page.

10 May, 2004

Thanks to Jörgen Backelin of the University of Stockholm for pointing out a real dumb error: A link in the Schedule to the Consitution Act, 1982 pointed to the wrong document in item 1, column 3.
Updated the URL for the Canada Gazette.
Fixed a broken link to the Supreme Court of Canada rulings on the main page.

27 November, 2001

Newfoundland? It doesn't exist. But the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador does, at least according to a new amendment to the constitution changing the name of that province.
The Newfoundland Act has been updated as a consequence.

14 October, 2001

Made a link to Craig Walsh's web page about the creation of the province of New Brunswick.

8 January, 2001

Thanks to John L. Whelan for pointing out that the Newfoundland Act was lacking an amended Term 17.

19 October, 2000

The World Wide Web Consortium web site has some excellent HTML hacker tools to ferret-out subtle HTML and link errors. As a consequence, there were many fixes.
Changed a reference to the now defunct www.ontariospeaks.com web site.

15 December, 1999

Added a link to Chan Robles and Associates, which includes, among other things, "the full text of the Philippine Constitution, laws, statutes and codes,Supreme Court decisions."

18 October, 1999

Added the Constitution Act, 1999 (Nunavut) which made changes to the Constitution Act, 1867.
Added the Constitution Amendment, 1997 (Quebec) which allowed Quebec to reorganize its school system.

30 September, 1998

Added and updated the Mexican Constitution, plus fixed several outdated links related to Mexican Legislation and Laws on the home page.

25 September, 1998

Thanks to Wallace J. McClean for suggesting a slight change to the description of the Adjacent Territories Order on the main page. It was not made clear that Newfoundland was not included in the description.
Fixed a broken link on the Legal resources page regarding Israeli Law Links.

19 August, 1998

Added the Reference regarding the Secession of Quebec

10 August, 1998

Added the Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1998 (Newfoundland Act), which once again repeals and replaces Term 17 of the Newfoundland Act.

14 July, 1998

Added the Constitution Act, 1999 (Nunavut), which adds one Senator and one Member of the House of Commons to represent the new Territory of Nunavut.
Also increases the number of Senators from 112 to 113.
Updated the Constitution Act, 1867

13 April, 1998

Duh, duh, duh. Thanks to Joanne Stephenson, for pointing out that I had forgotten to build internal links to the footnotes of the Constitution Act, 1982. Also checked and repaired other internal links in the Constitution Act, 1867.

5 April, 1998

Decided to add some more explanations all over the place, far too many to list here.
Added Bill C-39, which includes the impending Constitution Act, 1999 (Nunavut) as Part II.
Moved the Bill which was passed last year that created a self-imposed Constitutional amending formula on the Canadian Parliament, under the Miscellaneous section of the Canadian Constitutional Documents section.

27 February, 1998

Added some more pointers to the UNAM InfoJus WWW server.
Created a special page to try to alleviate the amount of email I get.

18 February, 1998

Added the famous exchange between Former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard of 2 years ago in the Arguments section of the Canadian Constitutional Documents web site.

14 February, 1998

Thanks to Shauna Longstreet, for pointing out an error on the Constitution of Canada page regarding the year the last amendment was made (it was 1997, not 1993).

26 January, 1998

Got rid of some stale links and cleaned up the HTML a bit in the Canadian Constitution section. Removed the Table of documents to force people to read, not just blindly collect.

21 January, 1998

Added the Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory Order....actually it has been there for a long time, but for some reason didn't get put into the page....

20 January, 1998

Revised and added some prose to the site.
Revised the Manitoba Act, 1870, after some typos were discovered.
Added a bit to the Miscellaneous page of the Canadian Constitutional Documents section in relation to the Manitoba Boundaries Extension Act, 1881.
Rewrote many meta tags to ccomodate the use of abstracts under some search engines.

12 December, 1997

Added a blurb in the Canadian Constitution page about the existance of the office of Prime Minister under the Constitution Act, 1982.
Removed references to the search engine used by this site, since it is no longer available. It will return, one day.

18 November, 1997

Added "The Calgary Framework", an effort by the English-based provinces to create discussion on Canadian Unity. Interesting I should get this today, while the threat of a Postal Strike looms. There's a bit of irony here though. Canada Post was regarded in the same way as CBC was before CBC's creation: A national institution vital for ensuring Canada's unity and identity. What symmetry!

22 October, 1997

Added the proposed amemdment from Quebec that would allow it to abolish denominational schools and create schoolboards based on linguistic divisions.

3 October, 1997

Added an Arguments page, listing a few documents that have been made for or against constitutional proposals over time.

25 August, 1997

Added the latest wording of the proposed replacement for Term 17 of the Newfoundland Act, as found in the Nefoundland and Labrador government's news release.

24 August, 1997

Updated the Legal Resources Page.

10 August, 1997

Added a Committee Report page to some of the reports available here. (That section had always been there, and was being referred to by other sections of the archive, but until now wasn't public.)

July 14, 1997

Added a link to Wallace J. McLean's very nice Newfoundland and Labrador Documents page to a new page devoted to provincial legal documents.
Vive La France!

July 6, 1997

Increased verbosity on some of the pages.

July 1, 1997

Added the Charter establishing the Hudson's Bay Company.
Added Treaty No. 8 to the Canadian Aboriginal legal materials section. (Both documents courtesy of David Chapman.)

June 24, 1997

Added the Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1997 (Newfoundland Act), updated the Newfoundland Act, the Table of Constitutional Documents, the footnotes of the Constitution Act, 1867, the Proposals page and the Home Page. It's a wonder they didn't amend something else.
Fixed another handful of typos.

June 19, 1997

Updated the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Constitution Act, 1982 to include newer references to other Acts.

June 5, 1997

Cleaned the Archive's home page of any dead links and such.

April 27, 1997

Finally, the complete version of the Treaty of Paris, 1763 is now online.

April 23, 1997

It seems that there's a popular (albeit silent, but it's there in the logs) demand to have the NAFTA and GATT documents searchable. So they're back. The GATT documents are also available in Adobe pdf format.

April 12, 1997

Added "A Time for Action", a 1978 government paper tabled by Pierre E. Trudeau outlining the importance of patriation and laying out its process and timetable.
Updated the Table of Constitutional Documents.

April 11, 1997

Added the proposed amendment to the Constitution Act, 1867, by Quebec to create school boards based on linguistic difference. English and French.
Cleaned the Constitution Act, 1867 file. Also continued marking up the footnotes to that Act, and added a few other annotations.
Fixed a technical error in the title of Rupert's Land and North-Western Territory Order.
Hmmmm.....I wonder what happened to the other copy of the Constitution Act, 1985 (Representation) that I had....it's back anyway.
Spruced-up the Constitution Act, 1982 and added extra markup to the footnotes.

March 22, 1997

Sigh. It wasn't until I started to use the Codigo Civil de Mexico that I started to find more and more errors. Started a major clean-up of this now....
Started updating and cleaning up my legal resources page.

February 7, 1997

February 4, 1997

July 11, 1996

June 6, 1996

June 4, 1996

May 12, 1996

May 10, 1996

May 9, 1996

April 22, 1996

April 18, 1996

April 15, 1996

April 1, 1996

March 22, 1996

March 5, 1996

February 21, 1996

February 20, 1996

February 11, 1996

February 9, 1996

February 6, 1996

January 17, 1996

January 10, 1996

January 1, 1996

December 12, 1995

December 8, 1995

December 6, 1995

November 30, 1995

November 23, 1995

November 21, 1995

November 15, 1995

November 13, 1995

November 7, 1995

November 6, 1995

November 5, 1995

November 1, 1995

October 31, 1995

October 30, 1995

October 11, 1995

October 1, 1995

September 23, 1995

September 20, 1995

September 18, 1995

September 16, 1995

September 7, 1995

September 6, 1995

September 5, 1995

August 30, 1995

August 28, 1995

August 23, 1995

August 17, 1995

August 16, 1995

August 9, 1995

August 5, 1995

August 2, 1995

July 23, 1995

July 21, 1995

July 18, 1995

June 18, 1995

Before then....

This Archive has actually been around since 4 July, 1994. The first bits and pieces ever in place were the BNA Act 1867 and the resources page. The Codigo Civil de Mexico, as of 1994, was put in place around May 1995. After that, the archive really expanded to its present state.

In fact, here's more on that, from a recent reply to a query:

The site started off with one document, back in 1994. The document in question was the British North America Act [1867] (Canada's early 'constitution'). I wanted to do this because copies were circulating that were either incomplete or incorrect.

After that, the site took on a life of its own, and it has been an on-going hobby of mine. (I actually work in the data-communications/computer field.)

As for the selections, it wasn't deliberate. I started to centralize, very early in the site's life, what was available on WWW (again around 1994, early 1995) as well as make available documents I had come accross personally (por exemplo, El Codigo Civil de Mexico - de que edad, yo no sabe).

Anyways, I think people began to independently discover the idea that many documents like these could become available, freely. Over time, other sites sprang up and devoted their energies to specific areas of international and constitutional law - better than I could. So my efforts have gradually evolved to concentrate on the Canadian Constitution, and bits and pieces of Canadian aboriginal law, plus a couple of things related to Mexico - the choice of the NAFTA generation.

William F. Maton