The Constitution Act, 1982 and the Crown: Twenty-Five Years Later

Kenneth Munro


In a splendid ceremony on Parliament Hill on 17 April 1982, Her Majesty proclaimed the Constitution Act, 1982.1 When the Prime Min- ister and premiers had met in November 1981 to develop procedures for patriating and amend- ing our Constitution, they failed to propose any revisions with respect to the monarchy, except for section 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1982. Under this section, the unanimous agreement of the Governor General, Senate, House of Commons, and the legislative assembly of each province is required to amend the Constitution in relation to “the office of the Queen, the Gov- ernor General and the Lieutenant Governor of a province.”2 In effect, by entrenching the monar- chy in the Constitution, our leaders determined that Canada would remain a constitutional monarchy in perpetuity. The twenty-fifth anni- versary of the proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides an appropriate occasion to remind ourselves of the nature of our Canadian Crown and to ask whether this institution can evolve, or has evolved, to meet the needs of Ca- nadians.

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