March 28, 1905

CON

A. CARMAN.


Toronto, March 2, 1905. That is a letter to the Toronto ' News.' Now, that is the feeling of the church members of Canada. I hope my hon. friend the Minister of Customs is not more anxious to keep peace with his government than he is with his church. My hon. friend will have to take care of that himself. Now, the Liberal party had something to say about this. I take the following from the Toronto ' Globe ' of March 14, 1905 : At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Liberal Association of Centre Toronto held on Saturday the following resolution was unanimously passed :- * 3293 MARCH 28, 1905 3291 That whereas the Liberal party has always taken strong ground on the question of provincial rights ; and Whereas all matters pertaining to education are by the British North America Act delegated to the provinces ; Therefore, we, the Executive of the Liberal Association of Centre Toronto, desire to place ourselves on record as being of the opinion that the government should expunge entirely the clauses from the Autonomy Bills relating to education, and that all matters pertaining to education be left entirely to the new provinces. This is a voice from the right hon. gentleman's own party in the city of Toronto. The right hon. gentleman might issue the writ for an election in Centre Toronto and test the question. Then we would see whether or not this Reform Association expresses the views of the people regardless of politics in that great city. I am reading these extracts because I think they are stronger than any statement I could make to show why the people of this country were aroused when the right hon. gentleman introduced this measure. The Toronto * Globe ' of March 8, 1905, has a long article which I will not stop to read. It is well known throughout the country that the Toronto 1 Globe ' is very much opposed to the educational clauses in the Bill, and in this article it warns the government not to force them through parliament. Then, I have a heading of the Toronto ' News ' of March 14, and continued from day to day : ' A Free West, A Common School, Provincial Rights and Religious Equality.' With that I may give a statement from the editor of this important and valuable independent journal, who, I may say, is a personal friend of the right hon. Prime Minister. Indeed. I think he wrote his life some little time ago.


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An hon. MEMBER.

A part of it.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

A part of it, I mean. My hon, friend says he may not get out a second edition. The editor of the ' News,' Mr. J. S. Willison, speaking on the school question, made this statement:

He took the ground that nowhere was education provided by separate schools as efficient as the public schools, and many Roman Catholic citizens and lay Catholic educationists were gravely dissatisfied with the conditions of elementary Catholic education in this province. The future of Canada depended largely on the measure of success achieved in resolving the many nationalities which compose the population into common Canadian citizenship, and it was vain to argue that such a process could be served by a school system which tended for separation rather than union.

That is the statement of the editor of the independent Toronto 'News,' which is doing so much service for the people of Canada at the present time. I have here the authority of the Huntingdon ' Gleaner,' published in the province of Quebec, and which, if I am correctly informed, is one of the

leading English speaking journals of that province.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, no.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

My hon. friends say no, but I rather think I am correct in that state-' ment because in the earlier days, before my right hon. friend came into the House, it was quoted very often in the interest of the Reform party. Dealing with the statement of the First Minister that the Protestants in the province of Quebec have nothing to complain of, the editor writes as follows:

How does the premier reconcile this declaration of his with the fact that the Englishspeaking people outside of the island of Montreal have largely disappeared and are continuing to disappear ? Whole townships, settled by them and which prospered under them, are to-day French. Protestant churches are to be found in which no service is held and that the spot where Protestants were buried for three generations and more are now to be found in the corners of farms of French Canadians. In only one of the counties that compose the Eastern Townships have the Protestants a majority, yet once they had absolute control. Do men throw up their farms and leave a province where they have no cause of complaint ? Let Sir Wilfrid explain this-the extraordinary spectacle of a people abandoning the land of their birth, to which they are bound by every tie of affection and patriotism, to seek new homes in the United States, for the proportion has been trifling who have gone to our Northwest. What is it they find under an alien flag they could not in the province of Quebec ? We want no rhetorical generalities, no vapouring about justice and toleration. Here is a plain problem-Why are the Protestant farmers of ,the province of Quebec going away ? Do men flee a province where they have no cause of complaint ?

There is no more saddening aspect in the condition of our province than the groups of Protestant children to be found here and there all over it destitute of the means of acquiring the elements of education, and threatening us with a coming generation of Protestant farmers as ignorant as Russian moujiks. This is a fruit of separate schools. If we had national schools, instead of sectarian schools, no child in the province would be without opportunity to learn to read and write. Another consequence of these sectarian schools should never be lost sight of,-and that is, where Protestant farmers are too ijew to have a school, they are taxed to support Catholic schools, which, sometimes, have as their teachers nuns and Christian brothers. There are hundreds of Protestant farmers who are forced either to support Catholic schools or sell out.

That is the statement of the Huntingdon 'Gleamer,' and I commend it to the consideration of my right hon. friend.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Before you left the ichair, Mr. Speaker, I was giving some quotations

from leading newspapers of Canada showing their opinion of the educational clauses of the Autonomy Bills. As there was some slight reference to the politics of the Huntingdon 'Gleaner,' from which I quoted, X thought I would produce a newspaper which will be acknowledged to be a supporter of the government. I turn to the Toronto ' Globe,' which is looked upon as the leading government organ of the province of Ontario, and a very creditable journal indeed. I quote from the issue of February 28, 1905:

Why not leave the question to him

Referring to Mr. Haultain, the premier of the Northwest Territories.

and his colleagues in the new provincial

government ? It belongs there by the terms of the Confederation Act. If it is dealt with at Ottawa there may develop opposition from the provincial governments, not because they would abolish separate schools, but because they would resent federal dictation in matters of provincial rights. If the people of Saskatchewan and Alberta want separate schools, let them have them on their own motion and in the way provided by the constitution. If they do not want them, any attempt at constitutional compulsion, even if it succeeds, would awaken antagonism which would embitter local politics and be disastrous to the separate schools themselves. And for that proposition we can ask the support of Catholics and Protestants alike. It involves the principles of provincial rights. On that ground all classes and creeds can stand together.

I have another opinion, which I regard as a very valuable one, objecting to the educational clauses. This is from Mr. Haultain, the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories. I quote from his letter addressed to the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), and bearing the date of March 11th, 1905 :

I must take strong exception to the way in which the subject of education has been treated both in the conferences and in the Bills. I must remind you of the fact that your proposition was not laid before my colleague or myself until noon of the day upon which you introduced the Bills. Up to that time the question had not received any attention beyond a casual reference to it on the previous Friday, and I certainly believe that we should have an opportunity of discussing your proposals before tw-elve o'clock on the day the Bills received their first reading. No such opportunity, however, was afforded.

He continues :

With regard to the question of education generally, you are, no doubt, aware that the pcsi-tion taken by us was that the provinces should be left to deal with the subject exclusively, subject to the provisions of the British North America Act, thus putting them on the same footing in this regard as all the other provinces in the Dominion, except Ontario and Quebce.

That I regard as a very valuable opinion indeed. It is the opinion of the duly authorized representative of the Territories, the man who has the right, and whose duty it is. to speak on behalf of the 500.000 people Mr. BLAIN.

there. Of course, it will be a little surprising to the people of Canada to know that, though the Prime Minister of that Territory was sent for by this government to consult with upon the clauses of the Autonomy Bills, yet the educational clauses, the allimportant clauses seemingly to the people of Canada, were not submitted to that hon. gentleman until noon of the very day when the Prime Minister introduced these Bills in the House. I will not make any comment upon that further than to ask the Canadian people to consider what it means. Perhaps they will be able to answer it to their own satisfaction.

I come now to the county I have the honour to represent, the county of Peel. I have presented some petitions from the county. I have here the resolution of the Brampton Ministerial Association, held at the residence of the Rev. W. S. McAlpine, B.A., on the 6th of March, 1905 :

Moved by the Rev. J. G. Bowles, B.D., and seconded by the Rev. R. N. Burns, B.A., and carried unanimously :

That the premier of the Dominion government has introduced a Bill by which separate schools are to be fastened on the Territories to be organized into new provinces ;

And whereas, we do not favour separate schools in principle and practice ;

And whereas, the matter should be left wholly to the new provinces to decide ;

Therefore be it resolved, that we, the members of the Brampton Ministerial Association, place ourselves on record as being unalterably opposed to the educational clause of the Bill, and that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to R. Blain, M.P., the representative of the county in the Commons.

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W. S. McALPINE,


President.


WM. HERRIDGE,


Secretary. I have, in addition to that, the names of several leading gentlemen in my own county who have signed the petition that was circulated and afterwards presented to the House. Among the others, I find the following : George A. Robinson, Claude; John McEachrine, merchant, Englewood ; Alex. Dick, manufacturer, Alton ; Rev. G. C. Balfour, Inglewood ; David Graham, Inglewood, David McGregor, Inglewood ; T. H. Graham, Inglewood; and H. H. Shaver, Cooksville. These are the names of some of the leading Reformers whom I have the honour to reprensent, who willingly signed a petition to this government protesting against the educational clauses of the Autonomy Bills. And I may say that, while I have had the honour of sitting in this House since 1900, no question has ever arisen on which I represent so large a proportion of the electorate of my county as I do in protesting against the educational clauses of this Bill. Some very unfair criticism was offered this afternoon by the hon. member for LabeDe (Mr. Bourassa) against the Orange Association of Canada. That association does not require any defence at my hands. But when that lion, gentleman thought it his duty to cast reflection upon the Orange Association, already numbering about 400,000 members, and those not now affiliated, I thought that some slight reference "to the association, though it may seem a -littly beside the question. may be in order. I turn up the Act to incorporate the Grand Orange Lodge of British America, which was assented to on April 24th, 1890. Among the names of the corporators are those of the late Hon. N. Clarke Wallace, the late Edward F. Clarke and other leading men. I have looked very briefly over the clauses of this Act of incorporation of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America to see if any special favours had been given to the association by this parliament. I find that no special favours were given-this is simply a Bill permitting the members of the association to organize, to hold property and to take care of their own rights, and to extend those rights to every other loyal citizen in Canada, whatever his creed may be. And I have here a copy of the Orange constitution, which I will be glad to send to my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), for evidently he has not looked into this ddcument before venturing upon the statements which he made this afternoon. This constitution is open to every man in Canada, and from beginning to end there is no clause in it that interferes with the rights and privileges of any class of people in this country. I think it does not come with a good grace from the hon. gentleman to cast reflection upon this important body. Other references were made to the Orange Association a few days ago, one by the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). I thought I would try to learn what part the Orange Association has taken in the agitation since this Bill was introduced on the 21st of February last. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), who holds the highest position in the gift of the Orange Association in Canada, felt it to be his duty to sound a note of warning to the Canadian people, and he issued this letter and sent it to the different Orange Associations throughout the Dominion : Ottawa, February 16th, 1905. Dear Sir and Brother,- We believe an effort is about to be made to impose separate schools for all time on the people of the new provinces, now being established in the Northwest Territories. It behooves every lover of liberty, and especially every Orangeman, to lend a helping hand, to prevent this injustice being perpetrated on a liberty-loving people. Being comparatively weak and. helpless they must largely depend on others to fight their battles for them. The effort made in 1896 to compel Manitoba to grant separate schools nearly drove the people of that province into rebellion, and had it not been abandoned, would doubtless have resulted in serious consequences. In view of this, is it not little short of criminal folly to attempt to deprive the people of these new provinces of the right to control their own educational affairs as to them seems best. I would suggest that every member of our order lend a helping hand to prevent this outrage by writing or wiring and getting others to do so as well, the member for his constituency to oppose any legislation or enactment for that purpose. If we speak out freely and do our duty no government would dare to disobey our request. Brethren, let us do our duty ; also get accompanying blank petitions signed by all friendly to our cause, giving name and occupation in every case, and forward to me to House of Commons post office, Ottawa, at earliest possible date.


T. S. SPROULE.


I shall also read the petition sent out which is referred to in this letter : To the Honourable the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled : We, the undei signed electors of the electoral division of do pray that in granting provincial autonomy to the Northwest Territories the Dominion parliament will not by any enactment or otherwise withhold from the newly -created provinces full and unrestricted freedom of action in all matters affecting the establishment, maintenance and administration of schools- That is the document sent out by the hon. gentleman who holds a distinguished position as head of the Orange Association, and I would like to ask any hon. gentleman on either side of the House what objection he could take to the statements either in the letter or in the petition. These petitions have been returned, signed not by Orangemen altogether, but by hundreds and thousands of electors of Canada not all Liberal-Conservatives, but very many of them Reformers who supported this government at the last election. The petitions have been presented from both sides of the House entering protest against the educational clauses contained in the Bill. Leaving the educational question for a moment, clause 20 of the Bill reads thus : The Dominion lands in the said province shall continue to be vested in the Crown and administered by the government of Canada for the purposes of Canada. I was wondering what the hon. gentlemen! representing western constituencies would think about that clause, a clause which says that the provincial governments of these two territories cannot control their lands, but that the lands shall be controlled by the parliament sitting at Ottawa. 1 therefore looked up the records of some of these hon. gentlemen. The hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) speaking in the debate of October 13, 1903, on a resolution moved in this House by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) for provincial autonomy for the Northwest Territories made this statement at page 13892 of ' Hansard ' of 1903 :



I may say that I have had a long acquaintance with Mr Haultain, and I am quite satisfied that he is able to protect himself ; and from my more brief acquaintance with the members of the present government, I believe they are able to take their own part, and that we can leave that matter to be settled between them The House will bear in mind that Mr. Haultain had submitted a proposition for provincial autonomy to the right hon. gentleman who leads the government, and in that proposition he said he would ask that the lands be retained to the provincial government and the hon. member for Alberta said that he had entire confidence in Mr. Haul-tain, that he would take care of himself and his provinces. I was a little surprised the other evening when the lion, gentleman addressed the House on these Bills that he should say nothing or almost nothing about the land. It is a well known fact that the gentlemen who have been representing the western constituencies in this House for several years stated in this House on more than one occasion that the lands should be vested in the provincial governments. I shall read from the remarks of Mr. Davis, an hon. gentleman who represented Saskatchewan in the last parliament, but who has now gone to the Senate. At page 13896 of the ' Hansard ' 1903, he made this statement: I have taken the liberty of boiling down the demands, and I think I can give in brief just what Mr. Haultain asks this House to give him, If we are prepared to give provincial autonomy. He wants first all the public lands. The leader of the opposition said he was prepared to support that part of the proposition. X am glad to see that he has approached the matter in that spirit. We in the west would like to see the lands given to the government of the Northwest Territories. That was the statement of an hon. gentleman who represented a western constituency. We have another statement from an hon. gentleman who represented West As-siniboia in the last parliament and who is also in this parliament (Mr. Scott). Indeed it is said by some Ottawa newspapers, that the hon. gentleman is about to go into the position lately given up by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) and to become Minister of the Interior in the government. 1 shall read to the House what he said on this land question, because he has been bubbling over in support of these Bills. On October 13, 1903, at page 13926 of ' Hansard ' the hon. member said : I wish to take occasion to thank the hon. leader of the opposition for the expression of opinion which he gave in favour of the view which we in that country unanimously take, that when a province is formed it is only fair, just and proper that the lands, timber and mineral resources in that province should be handed over to the people dwelling there to be managed and owned by them. This should be done in the Northwest Territories.


CON
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Only?

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Not only, because I am opposed to the land clauses and I believe that the people of western Canada can take care of their own lands better than the federal government. I would vote to postpone provincial autonomy for five or even ten years rather than fasten for all time on the new provinces a dual school system, both systems receiving public aid and sharing in the revenue from the public school lands. That is my position. I would rather vote for an increased subsidy from this government to western Canada for five or ten years yet to come than I would record my vote to take away the rights of the people of that western country to deal with their education as they see fit. That is my policy and I have nothing to add to and nothing to detract from what I have said. I am in favour of absolute provincial rights for western Canada in all matters. The people of that country are the sons and daughters of the people of older Canada, living there with the people who are coming from foreign countries, and X am anxious that their children shall have the best education that can be given them. I do not believe in dividing the school money (part of it going to the separate school system and part of it to the national school system.) I do not believe they can perfect these two educational systems in that way. If the people of the west wish to do so then let them be responsible for it themselves. For my part I do not wish to take the responsibility of recording my vote to fasten Mr. BLAIN.

this separate school system upon them. I have, therefore, much pleasure in supporting the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition which reads :

Upon the establishment of a province in the Northwest Territories of Canada as proposed by Bill (69), the legislature of such province, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts 1867 to 1886, is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of provincial self-government including power to exclusively make laws in relation to education.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUN (Solicitor General).

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with much pleasure to the able speech delivered by my hon. friend from Peel (Mr. Blain), and if I had not been within the precincts of parliament when he was reciting all the protests which have been sent from the province of Ontario and elsewhere, I would have thought that I was present at a church meeting and not in a legislative chamber. Listening to my hon. friend reciting the protests from the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Congregationalists and the Methodists, uttered as they were in his own sweet voice, I thought we were listening to a preacher and not to a parliamentarian. The thought crossed my mind, that if we in the province of Quebec are to be accused of being priest-ridden, my hon. friend (Mr. Blain, well deserves the compliment of being himself ridden by some of the ministers of the dissenting sects. Let me tell my hon. friend further, that if there came from the pulpits and from religious bodies in Ontario and other provinces protests against the educational clauses of this Bill, I can appeal to him to point to one speech, one word, one sentence delivered by a member of that fearful Quebec hierarchy. Not one word, not one phrase, not one sentence of protest was uttered in the province of Quebec for or against the educational clauses.

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An hon. MEMBER.

What about the petitions?

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March 28, 1905