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  1. An Act of British Parliament in 1791 which divided the colony of Canada into Upper and Lower Canada, roughly dividing French and English settlers and giving each area an elected legislature.
  2. An Act of British Parliament on Mar. 25, 1982 (proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II on Apr. 17, 1982) giving Canada the ability to make constitutional amendments without the assent of the British Parliament. Also called the Constitutional Act of 1982.

Work on the latter-day Canada Act was spearheaded by Canada's then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, exhorting Canadians to join him in "repatriating the constitution." The federal government and every province except Quebec agreed on this new document that established the rules by which the Canadian constitution could be changed. It combined the previous Act, the British North America Act with all subsequent amendments thereto and extensive changes suggested by the federal and provincial governments. The Province of Quebec has never signed on, despite repeated efforts such as the Meech Lake Accord. Key elements of the agreement include the infamous Notwithstanding clause and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Constitution of the United States of America is a single document encompassing the rules of governance of that nation. In contrast, the Constitutional Act of 1982 is one element of a network of documents forming the full Canadian Constitution. Its key contribution was the removal of Britain's involvement in changes, allowing the people and government of Canada to make changes to the Canadian Constitution themselves.

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