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Constitution Act, 1867

Canadian parliamentary institutions took shape well over two hundred years ago. A series of British statutes, adopted specifically for the colonies that came to be known as Canada, include a number of basic procedural provisions. Many of these provisions were later included in the Constitution Act, 1867.

Sections of the Constitution Act, 1867 provide that:

Other sections of the Constitution Act, 1867 date back even further to the Constitutional Act, 1791, including provisions stipulating that:

Perhaps the most procedurally significant part of the Constitution Act, 1867 is section 18, which provides for the privileges enjoyed by the House. Section 18 states that “the privileges, immunities, and powers to be held, enjoyed and exercised” by the House and its Members are to be “defined by Act of the Parliament of Canada”, with the provision that such privileges, immunities and powers may not exceed those enjoyed by the British House of Commons and its Members.

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