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The joining together of territories with separate political systems into a political union that establishes a Federal government. The Federal government is constitutionally permitted to exercise specific powers, while others are reserved for the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial or state governments. Canadian Confederation was established by the Constitution Act of 1867 (originally the British North America Act, 1867) which joined Ontario and Quebec (the ‘Province of Canada’) with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Six provinces later joined Confederation, Manitoba (1870) , British Columbia (1871) , Prince Edward Island (1873), Alberta and Saskatchewan (1905) and Newfoundland (1949). The Yukon , Northwest Territories and the territory of Nunavut do not have provincial status and exercise limited powers of government under the authority of the government of Canada. Within confederation can be found three distinct visions of the nation of Canada. One sees Canada with a strong federal or central government and weaker provincial governments; the second sees Canada with a weak federal government and strong provincial government; and the third sees Canada as the federation of a French speaking nation and an English speaking nation. These three visions have created tensions within Canada that continue to influence Canadian politics. See: NATIONAL POLICY / .

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names