The supreme Court of Canada was not a part of the 1867 BNA act but was an afterthought which was created and constituted by the government of Alexander Mackenzie, with the support of John A Macdonald in 1875. This was done based upon the BNA Act granting the Canadian Federal government the right to establish the court but the final curt of appeal for legal issues remained the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain. This remained the case until 1933 when criminal appeals restricted to the Supreme Court of Canada and then the same rule was applied in 1949 when civil appeals were also restricted.
Originally established with 6 justices, these was increased to 7 in 1927 and then 9 in 1949 when all appeals to Britain were eliminated. The rules of appoint require that 3 judges be appointed from Quebec, 3 from Ontario and traditionally 2 from the west and 1 from the Maritimes.
The current Supreme Court building was begun in 1939 during the Royal visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth who laid the corner stone of the of the courthouse and was opened in January 1946.
Many of the issues which came before the court over the history of Canada pertained to whether laws were within or without the rights of the Federal and Provincial governments to legislate on. Since 1982 and the entrenchment of the Charter of Freedom and Rights, the court has increasingly ruled on issues relating to the rights as guaranteed in the Charter.