Monday March 8, 2021’s Smile of the Day: The British North American Act

On this Day:

In 1867, the first British North America Act was passed in the British House of Commons. The series of BNA Acts served as Canada’s constitution for more than 100 years.

Canada dates its history as a country to the British North America Act, 1867, which came into effect on July 1, 1867. However, Canada was not established as fully independent, since the United Kingdom retained legislative control over Canada and full control over Canadian foreign policy. Canada did not have any foreign embassies until its first one was established in Washington, D.C., in 1931. Until 1949, changes to the British North America Acts could be made only by the British Parliament.

The British North America (No. 2) Act, 1949, gave the Parliament of Canada the power to make limited constitutional amendments, but full Canadian control over the constitution was not achieved until the passage of the Canada Act 1982. This long delay was in large part due to the inability to agree upon a procedure for making constitutional amendments that was acceptable to all of the provinces, in particular the Province of Quebec.

Because of this, all British North America Acts dated before 1949 were passed by the British Parliament, while some of those dated after 1949 were passed by the Canadian Parliament. When Canada patriated its constitution with the passage of the Canada Act 1982, most of the British North America Acts were renamed as “Constitution Acts” in Canada, while a few of the Acts were repealed as no longer having any relevance. The Acts are collectively called the Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982.

The fifteen BNA Acts enacted by the United Kingdom Parliament do not have official French-language versions. Only the English version is official. The five BNA Acts enacted by the Canadian Parliament do have official French-language versions, and the English-language and French-language versions are equally authoritative (as with all legislation enacted by the Canadian Parliament).

The French Constitutional Drafting Committee produced translations of all the British North America Acts, pursuant to section 55 of the Constitution Act, 1982, but these were never enacted by the federal and provincial governments through the constitutional amending process to make them official.

The different Acts of this series are distinguished by appending the year of their enactment. BNA Acts were passed in 1867, 1871, 1886, 1907, 1915, 1916*, 1930, 1940, 1943*, 1946*, 1949, 1949 (No. 2)*, 1951*, 1952*, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1974, 1975 and 1975 (No. 2). Those marked with (*) have since been repealed. Five of the British North America Acts were enacted by the Parliament of Canada; namely those of 1952, 1965, 1974, 1975, and 1975 (No. 2). The other fifteen were enacted by the Imperial Parliament in London.

The first Act, the British North America Act, 1867, created the self-governing (internally) Dominion of Canada.

The remaining acts dealt with a variety of topics, though the majority were concerned with modifying the representation in Parliament or in the Senate of Canada as the country enlarged and changed (1886, 1915, 1943, 1946, 1952, 1974, 1975, 1975 (No. 2)), adding the newer Provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland. Other topics include modifying the country’s boundaries (1871, 1949), transfer payments (1907), temporary changes due to two world wars (1916, 1943), federal-provincial powers (1930, 1964), power over changes in the constitution (1949 (No. 2)), the creation of new social programs (1951, 1964), and mandatory retirement ages in the Canadian government (1960, 1965)

The British North America Act, 1867, also known as the BNA Act, comprises a major part of the Constitution of Canada. The Act entails the original creation of a federal dominion and sets the framework for much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons of Canada, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system. In 1982, this Act was renamed the Constitution Act, 1867, with the patriation of the constitution (having originally been enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom). Amendments were also made at this time: section 92A was added, giving the Provinces greater control over non-renewable natural resources (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

While staying at a nudist colony in Canada, I went to their “all you can eat” restaurant. It was called In the Buff-eh!

Second, a Song:

CLARK W.  – The Man, the Myth, The Mullet (from 

Born and raised in the greater Moose Jaw, SK area in the mid 1980s, Clark’s upbringing all but guaranteed a future life of Country Mega Stardom.  With a father who only allowed country music to be played through the single family radio, and a mother who taught Clark and the local children the fundamentals of piano, it wasn’t long before Clark started coming up with some of his own musical ideas. As much as he enjoyed playing the trumpet in elementary and high school, Clark eventually noticed that the ladies were much more akin to a man who could play the guitar.  So Clark traded in his trumpet for an acoustic guitar at the only pawn shop in town, and immediately had much more success in the romance department. 

Tying the knot sometime in the mid to late 2000’s (you’d have to ask his wife for an exact date), Clark and Mrs. W. spent their first few years in the greater Calgary, AB area, poppin’ out a couple of kids along the way, and have since settled in the beautiful Okanagan Valley where the wine flows like beer. 

Writing his very first song in 2017, ‘Marriage is Always Sexy’ was well received by friends, family and a few others, but it wasn’t until the release of ‘Up Here, in Canada’ in late April of 2020 that Clark’s star really began to shine.  People all across the nation shared, like, and commented (even the Nickelback folk) on the video to such a degree that even Clark’s Dad told him that he was proud of him for the very first time. 

With his debut album ‘Clark W. – THE HITS – That Few Have Heard’, fans have come to enjoy other hits such as ‘My Mom’s Hot’, ‘Farmer’s Tan’, ‘Sports Guy’, and the anthem for marriages the world-wide ‘Marriage is Always Sexy’.

Here is Clark W. performing his song “Up Here, in Canada”.  I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.” – Robin Williams

Have a great day!

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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