Canada gained its full independence in 1982 but before then other events led to its full independency. Canada’s full independence was a gradual process. Canada’s independence is legally grouped into three main stages which include;
1. Passing of Constitutional Act 1867
The amalgamation of the four colonies that is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and province of Canada(which was split into Quebec and Ontario) they came together and formed a unified British North American colony. This was the first declaration of Canada independence. The colonies were able to form this union after the federal government passed a constitution Act of 1867. Through the passing of this Act, Canada was given the right to self –govern themselves. This Act formed the dominion of Canada, although the British still retained the ultimate control over everything. The British controlled the direction of foreign affairs and that of the military. The British government was still able to alter or void laws that were passed by the dominions since they were still the overall rulers. The British continued to claim sovereignty until 1931.
2. Passing of Statute of Westminster in 1931
The second stage that led to Canada independency was passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931. This was a declaration of Canada’s independence. Signing the statute devolved the foreign affairs and military to the dominions. In 1939 was the first time that Canadian showed their ability to self-govern themselves. During this time the British had declared war to Germany. The Canadian discussed internally among themselves and therefore exercising self-governance before going to war with the Germans. The dominions were given full autonomy in their legislations.
By the end of the 1970s, the word dominion which was used to refer to the Canadians was dropped and this was perceived as Canada’s independency by people both inside and outside Canada. The British government fully acknowledged Canada to be a co-equal with the British Empire. After the signing of the statute of Westminster, the dominions were able to make their laws without the British Empire altering of voiding them. The dominions also had the power to repeal and amend laws that were already in existence. The laws which were also made by the British no longer had any effect on the dominion unless they want to adapt to them.
3. Passing of constitutional Act 1982
Then Canada gained its full independence in 1982 after passing of the constitution Act 1982. The Act stated that the Canadian were given full power to amend their laws without the British government interfering. The Act also stated that no British law which will be passed would apply to Canada. This meant that the British parliament gave Canada complete autonomy which included amending of the Canadian constitution. However, Queen Elizabeth’s constitutional powers over Canada remained in place even after independence. The queen still has the power to counsel or even give suggestions but the Canadian government have the authority to control Canada.
Mainly Canada achieved its independency from implantation of new political arrangements which contributed to their judicial decisions which were used to interpret the constitution. Canadian independency was therefore achieved by minimally amending the laws.