Autonomy Timeline of Canada

Events

Paris Peace Conference

June 28th 1919

The Paris Peace Conference was an international meeting held in Versailles, France during 1919. The purpose of the meeting was to establish peace after WW1. At the time, Canada was still seen as part of Britain. Prime Minister Borden had fought successfully for Canada to have its own seat at the conference which meant that Canada was no longer represented by Britain. Borden had also insisted the he be included among the leaders to sign the Treaty of Versailles.

The Chanak Crisis

September 1922

The Chanak Crisis was a war scare in September between Britain and the Republic of Turkey. Turkish forces were threatening Britain troops stationed in Turkey after the first world war. The prime minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King, stated that Canada would not automatically go to war if Britain was attacked. It was the first occasion where the Canadian government used its affirmation of diplomatic independence from Great Britain. It also was the first signal that Canada no longer had to automatically be at war under Britain’s demands.

The Halibut Treaty

1923

The Halibut Treaty was a Canadian-American agreement concerning fishing rights in the northern Pacific Ocean. It was the first treaty independently negotiated without Britain at its side and signed by the Canadian government. The Canadian prime minister refused Britain’s wishes to the treaty alongside.

The King Byng Crisis

1925

The Canadian constitutional crisis putting the powers of a Prime Minister against the powers of a Governor General. Byng was the governor general at the time and the Canadian prime minster, Mackenzie King had asked for him to dissolve the parliament and call and election. Byng had refused the request. The crisis ended with King winning an eventual election. Since then, the rights of the governor general have been clarified and ultimately, granted each dominion political independence.

Balfour Report

1926

The Balfour Report said that Britain and its Dominions were constitutionally equal to each other. It made it so that Canada was a fully independent country that had no ties to Britain or its Dominions through the common wealth. although Britain still had control over Canada as well they also had some control over other semi-autonomous parts of the Empire.

The Statute of Westminister

1931

On December 11th 1931 Britain gave the powers of Canada's Parliament to Canada through the Statue of Westminster. Canada was granted full legal freedom from Britain, except where Canada Chose to give up legal freedom and remain subordinate to Britain.