1982: Charter of Rights and Freedoms and The Canada Act
An extremely important part of the Canada Act was the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians. Although Canada's commitment to "human rights" had been spelled out in our former Canadian Bill of Rights, it was rightly felt that we needed something that was part of our actual constitution and not just a law.
Similar to the American Bill of Rights, Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets down 34 rights to be observed in Canada such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005.
Canada may have become a country in 1867, but until 1982 was still considered part of Britain. The Canada Act, also called Constitution Act of 1982, changed that. The Act, proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II on April 17, 1982 stated that Canada at last was wholly independent, with our own sovereignty over all matters in Canada.