In the past, Canadian constitutional reform has been marked by surprising successes and resounding failures. Indeed, the failures were such that constitutional amendment itself, along with the word “Constitution”, became taboo in the eyes of a large part of the Canadian population. This chapter will commence with a brief history of constitutional reform in Canada from the Constitution Act, 1867 to the patriation of 1982, followed by an analysis of the post-patriation constitutional amendment procedures. It will then discuss the political and legal frameworks which further complicate the already strict requirements of modern constitutional amendment in Canada, and will conclude with an overview of the phenomena favouring paraconstitutional adaptation of the Constitution. Finally, it will point out that the full restoration of the word “Constitution” is of utmost importance in ensuring that constitutional reform itself does not simply become a matter of wishful thinking.
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