In these pages, you will find legal documents of great historic value, some of which helped shape language laws in Canada and, consequently, the status of English and French. Except for the Manitoba Act, 1870, all of these texts are now obsolete or repealed, but they are worth consulting because they reflect a key period in Canadian history.

Chronological table of historic documents

For each of the following documents, you can view remarks, the linguistic significancelinguistic provisions, and the full text.

YearTitleAffected Legal Entities
1763Treaty of Paris [†]France and Great Britain
1763Royal Proclamation [†]Great Britain and Province of Quebec
1774Quebec Act [†]Great Britain and Province of Quebec
1791Constitution Act, 1791 [†]Great Britain and Upper Canada/Lower Canada
1840Union Act [†]Great Britain and United Canada
1848Amendment to the 1840 Union Act [†]Great Britain and United Canada
1870Manitoba Act (in force)Canada and Manitoba
1877Northwest Territories Act [†]Canada and NWT
1890Official Language Act [†]Manitoba
1896Laurier-Greenway Compromise [†]Manitoba
1910Lavergne Law [†]Quebec
1912Regulation 17 [†]Ontario
1969Official Languages Act [†]Canadian federal government
1969Official Languages of New Brunswick Act [†]New Brunswick
1969Act to Promote the French Language in Quebec [†]Quebec
1974Official Language Act [†]Quebec