A federation of colonies in British North America - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario - joined together to become the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Under the
British North America Act, 1867, the Queen remained head of state, represented nationally in Canada by the Governor General and in each province by a
British North America Act provided the
constitutional framework for our current federal system by defining broad areas of federal and provincial
jurisdiction. Such national matters as
defence, postal service, criminal law, and banks are under federal authority. Education, health, and natural resources are primarily among the provinces’ responsibilities.
On March 30, 1867, just one day after the
British North America Act received Royal Assent in London, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia.