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British North America Act

1867. “Foundation charter” of the Dominion of Canada, passed by the British Parliament. The self-governing colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario, after a series of conferences, were joined together under a federal government. The Act preserved the monarchy in British North America while providing a bicameral legislature with a House of Commons elected by the people and a Senate appointed from the three basic regions in the nation. The Act also reflected the religious struggle between the two founding peoples, for certain powers were left to the provinces which safeguarded the rights of French Canada. Two key questions left to the provinces were property and education which allowed separate schools to continue and placated the French Canadians.