Newfoundland Act

The Newfoundland Act was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that confirmed and gave effect to the Terms of Union agreed to between the then-separate Dominions of Canada and Newfoundland on March 23, 1949. It was originally titled the British North America Act 1949, but was renamed in Canada on the patriation of the Canadian Constitution from the United Kingdom in 1982.

British North America Act 1949
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to confirm and give effect to Terms of Union agreed between Canada and Newfoundland.
Citation12, 13 & 14 Geo. 6 c. 22
Commencement23 March 1949
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

In exchange for Newfoundland becoming a province, the Canadian government took over the Newfoundland Railway, Newfoundland Airport (now Gander International Airport), public broadcasting, telegraph services and other services that fell under federal control. The federal government assumed responsibility for Newfoundland's debt.[1]

Newfoundland was also given statutory subsidies, a special subsidy of $1.1 million, the right to enter into tax rental agreements with the federal government and an additional transitional grant of $3.5 million, diminishing by 10 per cent per year for a total of 12 years. Also, as a safety net, it was agreed a Royal Commission would review finances.[2]

Previous Newfoundland Acts

Prior to the 1949 Act there were a handful of Acts with revisions to the Newfoundland's Constitution:[3]

  • Newfoundland Act 1699 - encourage and established trade (fisheries) links in the region; also called King William's Act
  • Newfoundland Act 1842 - established an appointed upper Legislative Council and elected lower House of Assembly
  • Newfoundland Act 1933 - suspended responsible government with the General Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador dissolved and established rule by Newfoundland Commission

See also


  1. Dominion Delegation, St. John's Telegram, December 11, 2005
  2. Dominion Delegation, St. John's Telegram, December 11, 2005
  3. "Newfoundland Acts | the Canadian Encyclopedia".
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