. Mr. LEFURGEY asked :
1. Were any surveys or borings made with reference to putting a wharf at Howard's Cove, lot 7, Prince Edward Island ? [DOT]
2. Is it the intention of the government to construct a wharf there ? If so, when ?
House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.
Some few weeks ago, Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of the discussion on tills Bill, my hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor), Mr. GALLIHER
who is not now in his seat, I am sorry to say, was good enough to say that he would like to have an expression of opinion on this Bill from the member for North Ontario. In the course of his remarks on that occasion, my hon. friend referred to a by-election which took place in my riding some two or three years ago, the contestants in which were the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and myself. The hon. gentleman said that the Manitoba Remedial Bill was one of the issues, if not the principal issue, in that campaign. Now, I cannot let that statement go entirely unchallenged. Necessarily I took considerable interest in that by-election, and therefore must be supposed to know what the issues in it were, and I have this to say that not only was the Manitoba Remedial Bill and the action of the late Conservative government in reference thereto and the action of the ex-Finance Minister (Air. Foster), then a candidate, in the same connection- not only were all these matters not principal issues but they were not issues at all. Furthermore I do not think that the Manitoba Remedial Bill or the Manitoba school question has been at all an issue in the province of Ontario since the general election of 1896. I am much afraid, Mr. Speaker, that the memory of my hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor) is not at all dependable; I am afraid his memory plays pranks with him. And in this fear I am rather confirmed by what fell from the lips of his late leader, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, who spoke in another place on the 1st of March last. Speaking of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Taylor) in relation to another matter then under discussion, Sir Mackenzie Bowell said :
I am utterly at a loss to know or understand how Mr. Taylor could have given utterance to such a statement, unless it be that he talked it over so often with others that he finally believed it himself. That is an idiosyncrasy of some people, as we know.
Well, in the best of good nature, I rather think that in his recollection of what took place in the election in North Ontario that idiosyncrasy of my hon. friend from Leeds has shown itself.
The hon. member for St. Antoine, Montreal (Mr. Ames), who preceded me in this debate on Thursday last, made, in my judgment, a very moderate, calm and dignified statement of the case. He told how generously, how very well indeed, the Protestant minority of Quebec were treated by the Catholic majority of that province. But I rather think, in fact I am strongly of opinion, that the hon. gentleman marred it forceful and eloquent speech by the reference he made to the attitude of hon. members on this side of the House who support the government on this question. On more than one occasion, more frequently than was necessary to my mind, the hon. member for St. Antoine thanked ids
pleader for the freedom of action which bad been given to individual members of tbe opposition on this question. He seemed indeed very grateful that freedom of action bad been granted. In fact, he said, if not in so many words, yet in ,effect, that had it not been for that freedom of action given by tbe leader of tbe opposition to bis followers, be doubted whether be would take tbe position which be is taking upon the Bill. I have nothing to quarrel with in that attitude of tbe lion, gentleman. But be went on to express bis great sympathy for members on tbe government side who, be seemed to think, were bound to stand by the government-bound in what way I do not know-in its proposed legislation in regard to the Northwest. I must say to the bon. gentleman that we cannot accept his sympathy on this side-we do not want it. And I take strong exception to the innuendo in his remarks as to the attitude of government members iii supporting this Bill. I cannot understand him. Surely tbe bon. gentleman will not say that tbe same arguments for toleration, for respect for tbe rights of a minority, which appeal to him may not also appeal to individual members on tbe government side. Tbe boil, gentleman said-and I think it is not beside tbe question for me to refer to bis words and to clear up these points before entering upon the consideration of tbe main part of tbe issue-that bis leader-
has told them that they shall one and all
consult their constituents and their conscience and shall then vote as they see fit upon this Bill.
I want to tell tbe bon. gentleman that no instructions, no advice, different from that has emanated from the right bon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads tbe government to his followers.
Was tbe bon. member for North Ontario (Mr. Grant) in tbe House when tbe lion. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) said that if this Bill was not carried this government must resign ? That was tbe statement; and, of course, that declared the measure a government measure, and compelled tbe government's following to stand by them.
I agree with tbe Finance Minister to this extent-that tne resignation of this government and the advent to power of my boil, friend -from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) and bis friends would be a sad calamity for tbe Dominion of Canada.
That is not tbe question at all. I understood tbe bon. member (Mr. Grant) to say that nothing bad been given out on the government side that, in relation to this Bill, tbe government supporters were to do otherwise than consult
their consciences and their constituents, which was what was done on this side.
I wish to repeat that, so far as I am aware-and I think I know pretty well what goes on-there has beef! no indication, either from tbe right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads tbe government or any member of the cabinet, to any private member supporting tbe government, as to the attitude be should take upon this Bill. Now, tbe bon. member for St. Antoine went on to say :
and, unless I am greatly mistaken, there
are many members on the other side of ttte House who would have been glad enough if their leader had made the same declaration. X think there are quite a few in that solidly united party of which we heard this afternoon, and of which we have heard on many previous occasions, who v'ould be glad enough if they might he allowed to vote as their own conscience dictated, and as their constituents demanded,-
Note tbe words-
at this time.
I want to tell my bon. friend that, at least so far as I am concerned, and so far iis my knowledge extends to other members oil this side, we are voting and acting upon this measure as our consciences dictate. And I regret that the bon. member for St. Antoine, who, I must say again, made a judicious, a moderate and a well-argued speech, saw fit to mar that speech by the reference that be has made to tbe attitude taken by government supporters in regard to this question. And again I ask if be supposes that the same principle of toleration and respect for the rights of the minor ity that appeal to himself do not appeal also to tbe members supporting tbe government ?
But on tbe same line, I read in tbe Ottawa ' Citizen,' the main organ of bis party in Eastern Ontario, as late as last Saturday, tbe following paragraph :-
There are several Conservative members voting for the Autonomy Bills not because they personally approve of the principle, but because they believe it to be their duty to represent the feeling of a majority of their constituents. On the Liberal benches the members do not appear to be afflicted with any concern as to how the majority of their constituents view the matter.
I think that was a very unkind, reflection for tlie chief organ of tbe Conservative party in Eastern Ontario to make upon gentlemen opposite who support this Bill. Boiled down, what does it mean ? It means, if it means anything, that these bon. gentlemen are trying to save their parliamentary hides by this vote. I think that a very jioor compliment to pay to these gentlemen. I do not believe that to be tbe reason actuating such members as tbe bon. and learned members for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), Beauliarnois (Mr. Bergeron) and Stormont (Mr. Pringle). I give it as my opin-
ion that these hon. gentlemen, in acting' as they are doing, while, in one sense, they may he acting against their own feelings, yet, in another, are acting according to the dictates of high duty. And, Sir, why cannot credit for acting from conviction and from a high sense of duty be given to hon. gentlemen on this side of the House who are supporting the same proposals ? I plead for nothing else than this, Mr. Speaker, both from the newspaper press and from hon. gentlemen on both sides of this House, that they shall not impute unworthy motives to any member of this House, no matter how he speaks or how he votes on this measure. It is, I hope, to be taken for granted that no matter what position a member may take in regard to these Northwest Autonomy Bills, he is actuated in taking that position by a sense of duty, both to his constituency and to the country at large.
It has occurred to me that if a citizen of some foreign country were visiting Canada and her capital now for the first time for the purpose of inquiring into our legislative methods and ascertaining how we conduct public business, he would be curiously impressed by our treatment of these autonomy Bills ; he would be curiously impressed not only by the course of the debate in this House but also by the newspaper discussion throughout the country. Two large provinces are to be added to this Dominion of Canada, two provinces mighty in area, rich in resource and rich in future promise. The enacting legislation is under advisement, the proposals of the government in reference thereto, the terms and conditions of the entry into confederation of these provinces are now before us. Surely our visitor from abroad would say : The members of the legislature considering this question will discuss large issues, such as the adjustment o'f the public lands, and the settlement of these mighty areas in the west. Surely such large questions as these, the conditions under which these new provinces shall enter the union, will be well pondered and considered. However, one topic alone to the exclusion of other topics in my judgment much more important, seems to be monopolizing the attention both of parliament and of the country. And what is that question ? Stripped of all legal and mystifying verbiage, that question is : Shall the' people of these territories, in entering. the confederation as provinces, be allowed to maintain a certain school system that has been in force for more than a quarter of a century and which they themselves have moulded and formed. 1 think I am putting the case fairly when I am putting it thus. I say, Sir, that our visitor from abroad would surely be surprised at what I might term this phenomenon, and if he were of an inquiring and observing turn of mind he would seek some reason for the same, and I think, Mr. Speaker, he would not have far to seek ; he Mr. GRANT.
would not need much knowledge of Cana-x dian history to answer this question, he would not need any profound insight into our institutions to satisfy his mind and his curiosity as to why this one issue was monopolizing attention in this debate. He would find by a very superficial knowledge of Canadian history that agitations such as this in the past history of Canada have almost rent our country asunder ; he would find that the progress and the growth of Canada has been retarded and stunted in times past by agitations arising from questions similar to this, and he would, I think, conclude and rightly conclude that those people are indeed poor friends of Canada who would lightly make a political football of an issue of this soi;t. And, Mr. Speaker, poor friends of Canada indeed they are.
I venture to remark that in no other country where representative institutions obtain, certainly in no other part of the British empire, would such an outcry and such a commotion over a matter so comparatively trifling ever occur. When I style the issue as unimportant, I do not wish to be taken to say that the matter of education in and for these new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan is at all a trifling matter, but I do say that the aspect of the education question as presented to us is not of paramount concern, and I deal now with the practical aspect of the matter. I find in fact existing in those western territories a school system built up practically by the people themselves. I find that the local council and the territorial legislature have perfected a system that seems1 to meet the requirements and conditions of the west. I find that the premier of these territories has said that it is a satisfactory system, he has said that his constituents, if they had the power, would not change it to-morrow. I find that a great majority of the representatives of that western territory in this House expressed themselves in unmistakable language, is favour of its perpetutation in these two territories. I find that public opinion in the west is overwhelmingly in favour of the present system.
I shall not trouble the House by reading any long quotations but I would like to quote from a gentleman who for many years was superintendent of education in these Territories, Dr. Goggin. On the 23rd of February, speaking to an interviewer in Toronto, Dr. Goggin made certain statements as to the schools of the Northwest. He said :
The separate school in the Territories, Catholic or Protestant, is a minority school. Its course of study till 3 o'clock is identical with that in the public school. Its text books-readers in the first two classes excepted-are identical. Its teachers have the same academic standing, have undergone the same professional training as the teachers in the public school. It is subject to the same inspection and examination. It receives legislative grants on the same basis as the public school.
In the course of the same interview lie says :
The Territories had arrived at a working arrangement, and should-be left in charge of the
Precisely what we propose doing by this Bill, Mr. Speaker. Later on he says :
That is, the experience of the Territories.
Referring to tbe attitude of tlie people of Regina.
towards the school question is similar.
Without exception all those I have spoken to have no apprehensions with regard to that feature of the settlement. They know by experience the system they have got. They are perfectly satisfied with it, and if its continuance is a part of the settlement there will be no objection from the /people of the Territories. The Catholic portion of the population have at times exhibited dissatisfaction, but it has never been very serious, and the general expression is that if the present system is continued, practically everybody will be satisfied.
That is a statement of tlie opinion of the citizens of Regina as gathered by the1' Globe' correspondent who, as I have said, is not favourable to this legislation. Furthermore this 1 Globe ' correspondent went to Medicine Hat, farther west, I believe, in the Territories and this, as far as be could gather, was the view o>f tbe citizens of that enterprising western town :
The separate school is sometimes inferior to the public school from the point of view of what is regarded as its main purpose, namely, to impart secular education. But this is regarded with some placidity for two reasons : first, because there is the feeling that those who prefer the separate school are getting what they want, and, in the next place, that the provincial authorities hold the master key to the situation in possessing the right to inspect and approve or disapprove of the way a school is fulfilling the great end of its existence__
If a separate school in Ontario is inferior in any way there is really no effective means of compelling it to come up to the requirements. It is not so with the western separate school. It is as completely within the control of the Department of Education as what are called public schools.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I regret to have occupied so much time in quoting these op-
.inions, but it occurred to me that it might relieve to a large extent the impression *which exists in the province of Ontario as to the nature of the schools which we propose by this Bill to perpetuate in the west. For days and weeks some of the members of this House, assisted by a section of the public press, have delayed the despatch of public business, and are promoting an injurious agitation throughout the Dominion over this educational question, and why ? What prompts them to do it ? Surely it cannot be anything else but the knowledge that in the past discussions on matters of this kind stirred up ill-feeling in this country have stirred up sectarian strife and commotion and that the stirring up of strife and commotion may bring about political results unobtainable by methods more honourable and more patriotic. In the main this commotion has been confined to the province of Ontario. I do not know that that should afford me, coming from that province, any very great satisfaction ; rather the reverse, but it is quite true that this commotion has been confined to Ontario and to one section of Ontario. It is also a fact that the head and front of this agitation is the newspaper press of the city of Toronto, and this very fact may induce lion, gentlemen here coming from other provinces in the Dominion to conclude that tlie population of Ontario as a whole is convulsed over this matter and that the people of Ontario are sitting up all night devising ways and means of combatting fliis legislation. By no means. Let me assure my fellow-members from other provinces that such is not the case. The only part of our population in the province of Ontario that is really excited over these Bills is the city of Toronto. Toronto newspaper-dom particularity is working overtime in the effort to create and fan into flame those slumbering passions that it might be well to let lie. But, let me assure my hou. friends, and particularly my hon. friends from the province of Quebec, that Toronto is not Ontario and that the voice of Toronto is not the voice of Ontario. It has been said in times of crises that Paris was accustomed to speak for all France. Toronto has no such authority to speak for the province of Ontario. We of the province of Ontario, let me say, are profoundly thankful too that such is the case. Let me assure my hon. friends from the province of Quebec" and from the maritime provinces that there is a large silent, solid section of the province of Ontario, particularly in the rural parts, who are not of the mind of Toronto in this matter and not only in this but in many other matters too. I say from positive knowledge having visited several parts of Ontario since this trouble, if I may so term it, began, that the thinking men and the sober minded citizens of the province, having been correctly informed of the facts-and it is Mr. GRANT.
very difficult to get the truth through our Toronto press-have come to the conclusion that the government have grappled in a wise and statesmanlike way with a very difficult and delicate subject. Therefore, I ask my hon. friends from other provinces not to do us the injustice of thinking that the blatant mob of Toronto speaks for the whole province of Ontario. The incendiary daily cartoons that appeared in the Toronto ' News ' and other sheets published in that city were at first deplored by the good people of the province of Ontario, and now, I may tell you they are laughed at. The editor of the Toronto ' News ' occupied at one time a very honourable place as a publicist in our province, but, Sir, since he apparently has come to the conclusion that to be strong in Ontario he must be unjust and offensive to his fellow-citizens in other parts of the Dominion, he has lost the esteem of the self-respecting and the thinking and the solid people of Ontario.
Now, the policy of the Toronto ' News ' as outlined day after day on its front page is for a common school ; for a national school. I say that these Bills when passed will give to the Northwest Territories a common, a national school in all its essential and integral features. The Toronto 'News' at the inception of this trouble made a great deal of the constitutional point ; spoke a great deal about the shackling of the West, as it termed the educational clauses. If ou reference to the Judicial Committee W the Privy Council it were held-and it might well he held-that the minority of the Territories is entitled to a full system of separate schools .under the legislation of 1875, and the British North America Act. what becomes then, I want to know, of the contention for a common and a national school ? Is it to be a national school, constitution or no constitution, judicial decision perhaps to the contrary notwithstanding ? Is that the position assumed by the Toronto ' News ' and assumed by other opponents of the government in this regard ? I can readily understand a member of this House taking this or that view of the legal question and taking his stand and casting his vote pursuant to his view, but I caunot understand n positive demand for a certain system of schools simply because that system recommends itself to that man's turn of mind and may not at all be, and whether or not at all it is, permissible under the law and the existing conditions. As an example, I find a reverend gentleman-lie comes from Toronto of course, Mr. Speaker-I find a reverend gentleman speaking in Toronto and reported in tlie Toronto press of the 20th of March last, using this language :
Separate schools in Ontario would be done away with.
Now, it would require only the most fragmentary knowledge of our constitution to
know Unit separate schools In Ontario are an inherent part of the confederation compact, and cannot be done away with. This quotation from this reverend gentleman illustrates my point, which is this : Whatever one's individual views as to a system of education may be such language as 1 have quoted can only lead to trouble, to misunderstanding and to friction. It in no manner whatever contributes to the solution of the problem in hand ; on the contrary, it constitutes only, and it is intended only to be a threat to the Ontario Catholics, and is as unwise as it is idle.
Sir, it had not been in my mind to discuss the constitutional aspect of this case, but. in relation to that I want to quote from this same paper, the Toronto ' News.' The Toronto ' Olobe ' had said : that it was not a question of separate schools versus national schools ; it was purely a question of provincial rights. That is to say, it was a dry constitutional subject, purely a matter of constitutional law, and on that principle the Toronto ' Globe ' took its stand. The Toronto 1 News ' however, was not able to, or did not care to take that view of the question, and in commenting on the ' Globe ' position said :
Nor would it be wise from their point of view
He is referring to the opponents of the measure.
Nor would it be wise from their point of view to narrow discussion down to the interpretation and application of constitutional documents.
Oh, no, that would not suit the firebrand press.
That is an important matter no doubt, but it is one that interests only a small proportion of the people. The study of the constitution is a useful and interesting pursuit, but not in that way can a formidable public opinion be aroused and brought to hear upon the government.
What does that mean? If the English language can be made to convey any meaning it means, that you cannot excite the people about a constitutional point; you must import into the controversy 'Something of a semi-religious tinge in order to excite them, and the Toronto 'News' and those who stand with it on this question propose to import that tinge into the discussion.
The article continues :
In laying down the rule, therefore, the ' Globe ' is asking that Hamlet be played with the part of Hamlet omitted.
It has been said in criticism of the government and its supporters, that diverse attitudes have been assumed by the advocates of this measure. Well, I will not say whether that is true or not, but it certainly strikes me that very diverse attitudes are being assumed both by lion, gentlemen here and by their press in opposition to this measure. \\ hat was the one note ringing through the speech of the leader of the opposition in this House ; how many times did he repeat it; these were the words, we all know them by heart:
I argue not for separate schools ; I argue not
against separate schools.
And the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. II. S. McCarthy) said : With the merits or demerits of separate schools I have no concern, I do not know anything about it. And the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cock-shutt) entered into a long, able, discursive theological discussion on the demerits oif separate schools-the only part of his speech I could agree with was the peroration in which he quoted a part of the Lord's Prayer. The hon. member for Souris (Mr. Scha finer) also made an onslaught upon separate schools; he said they tended to disunite the people, that they tended to all manner of evils, and he thinks the merits of separate schools enter Into this discussion although his leader does uot think so. I instance these only to show how very wide apart and on what different views gentlemen who are opposing this measure take their stand.
I said a moment ago that it was not my intention to discuss the constitutional bearings of this Bill. Other men of the legal profession, very much better fitted than I am, of very much more authority than myself, have done so, and I feel that it would be bold indeed for me to touch that question. But in a broad way, Mr. Speaker, what was the spirit of the union compact? What was the spirit that guided the fathers of confederation in 1866 and 1867 ? Surely it was the spirit of toleration ; more than that, it was the spirit of solicitude for the conscientious convictions, not to say the undoubted rights, of minorities; and the same spirit which actuated the fathers of confederation in 1867 should actuate us in 1905 when we are extending confederation-because it is really one and the same thing. In organizing these Territories into provinces, we find that the minority has been for over a quarter of a century in possession of certain school privileges. I say we should respect these rights. Nay, more, we should put it beyond peradventure that these rights shall be maintained to them. It has become the fashion to say that these minority rights amount to very little, that they are very trifling, and, therefore, we may leave them. While such may be the fact, I do not think that in itself would constitute a ground for perpetuating those rights. The ground is broader and deeper than that. It has its root and being in a great and generous principle, and that is, respect and care that the weaker party be protected and be treated with consideration, so that its confidence may be won and retained. I would not seek to make this Bill palatable by saying that it is nothing. I would say that by law and by right the minority have certain educational privileges in the Northwest, and
when they enter the confederation, as they are doing In this year of grace 1905, we feel bound to protect and respect those privileges. I happened lately to he reading the life of ihe late revered Principal Grant, written by his son. He was the principal of Queen's University, and a man whose name and memory stands hallowed, not only in the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a foremost divine, but by all classes and creeds throughout Canada. Principal Grant was referring to an agitation similar to this, which was gotten up for the purpose of ousting Sir Oliver Mowat from power in Ontario a few years ago, but which, by the way, was singularly unsuccessful.
There can be no doubt that Sir Oliver Mowat stands now for the fair treatment of minorities, and that is the only way to make possible a united Canadian people. Some Protestants seem to be scared now, and they will he ashamed of themselves by-and-by. We Protestants used to be fearless ; we used to say that the truth is great and would prevail ; that truth needs only a fair field and no favour ; but now some of us seem afraid of the rustling of a leaf. The forms that this thing takes are so extreme that it is impossible for the thing to last any time.
Tliis is an expression of opinion by the late Principal Grant on a similar agitation that took place in Ontario. I leave it with the House, feeling sure it will have great influence upon the hon. gentlemen in the consideration of this aspect of the case.
Now, I would like to point out that the giving of autonomy to these Territories will work no radical or revolutionary change up there. These Territories have gradually been growing up to a provincial status. On tbe 1st of July next, wheu, despite tbe threats of the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and one or two others, these Bills will become law, things will be very much the same in those Territories as they were on the 30th of June, the day preceding. The enactment of these Bills will not change the face of nature. It will not make the prairies any more productive; it will not add a dollar's worth to the assets or the natural wealth of the Territories. One would imagine that some revolutionary changes were about to take place ; but should the rights of the minority, small though they be, change or rest on any less secure footing because autonomy, full and complete, has been granted to these Territories ? For instance, would those rights not indubitably continue if for some reason we postponed giving autonomy to those Territories for the next ten, "fifteen or twenty-five years. Would any hon. member of this House deny that statement ? The Act of 1875 under which the minority hold their rights have been in force nearly thirty Mr. GRANT.
years, and in that time there have been many opportunities to repeal that Act. Time and time again the Northwest Territories Act has been before this House for consolidation or consideration, and I think that on two occasions it was proposed by some hon. member of this House to repeal tlie educational clauses of that Act and hand over the entire charge of education to the territorial authorities. This House lias had the opportunity to repeal them on many occasions.
It could do it now, as the hon. member for Ottawa says. My point is tliis, that if the granting of autonomy were put off for some indefinite period, undoubtedly these educational rights or privileges of the minority would continue. Then, should tlie fact that we are admitting those Territories to full provincial status militate against the continuance of these rights and privileges ? That is to say, the minority may enjoy these rights and privileges according to their conscientious convictions while those Territories remain in a state of tutelage merely as Territories ; but when they become autonomous provinces are we then to put that minority in a less secure and less beneficial position by reason of our own act ? Supposing autonomy were not granted at tbe present time, the rights enjoyed by tlie minority under tlie Act of 1875 would continue. If those rights were infringed, this parliament would be appealed to, as it was in 1894 when the representatives of tlie Catholics of the Northwest Territories came down here and asked Sir John Thompson to disallow the Northwest Ordinances.
But it is said: Leave it to the provinces to say what system of education shall be established. In reply to that X say we are leaving this question of education to the provinces, because we are adopting their own approved and valued system. Moreover I would point out that the practical working out, the practical control of all matters of education, will be left with the Northwest legislatures themselves, and in the end it will be the power which has the practical every day working out of the educational system which will be the all controlling element in the matter.
I have already stated that I did not propose entering into a discussion of the constitutional bearings of the case, but some allusion thereto is absolutely necessary to a proper presentation of tlie facts. Very much difference of opinion has been expressed by legal gentlemen and laymen as to the real meaning and significance of the word ' province ' and particularly the words, ' at the union ' occurring in subsection 1 of section 93 of the British North America Act, which we all know by heart and which, if we go on discussing much longer, we will be all dreaming about at night. I cannot think-and I give my opinion in great fear aud trembling and
with all possible diffidence-that the union, the real union, in the fullest and proper sense of the term of those districts with the Dominion of Canada, occurred in 1870. The proceedings of 1809-70 merely incorporated those areas with the Dominion. That was not a union in the broad full sense of the word. Why, Sir, at that time these Territories were unpeopled. They had not even institutions of the most primitive sort. In my humble judgment, the real consummation of union will take place on the passage and going into force of these Bills. It would seem to me a matter of grave doubt whether, under the British North America Act of 1807, we' had the power to admit these districts into the Dominion, except on a provincial status. The Imperial Act of 1871, called the doubt removing Act, took away, however, any doubt on that point, and these regions in the west were incorporated with the Dominion, not as provinces, but as Territories. In my judgment, I believe that in legislating as we did in 1870, we exhausted the powers given us in that regard by section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867. But those powers were amplified or extended by the Imperial legislation of 1871.
It has been a matter of wonder to me that the Imperial House did not, in its Act of 1871, content itself with simply validating the Manitoba Act ; but it did not stop there. It went on to treat of the admission of further Territories west of Manitoba, and gave us power to constitute them into provinces, and in the meantime to make provision for their peace, order and good government. Had it been the intention of the Imperial parliament merely to validate our legislation admitting Manitoba into the union, surely that parliament would have stopped there, but instead it went on to add to our power ; and in my judgment we are to-day properly acting under clause section 2 of the Imperial Act of 1871 in constituting these provinces. Acting under the power given by that Act of 1871 this Dominion parliament undertook to provide for the administration of those Territories and for the maintenance of peace, order and good government therein. The most important piece of legislation in that regard was Mr. Mackenzie's Northwest Territorial Act of 1875. In the exercise of our powers, we granted a constitution to these Territories. The educational enactment of that Act of 1875 has been so often referred to that I shall spare the House a repetition of it. Suffice to say that a system of separate schools was instituted, and on that system was based the Territorial school system such as we know it to-day. Take up the debate which took place in 1875 on that measure, and you will find the utterances of the Diberal leaders-and they were Ontario men too-very instructive. Particularly instructive are the words by the Hon. Edward Blake. To an Ontario liberal-and I claim to be one-the words of Hon. Edward Blake ought to carry weight and authority. They have been quoted two or three times in this debate, but I am sure the House will bear with me whilst I quote them again. Discussing the Bill of 1875, Mr. Blake said :
The task which the ministry had set for itself was the most important it was possible to conceive. To found primary institutions under which we hope to see hundreds of thousands, and the more sanguine of us think, millions of men and families settled and flourishing
Bet me break off here to say that Mr. Blake evidently did not regard this legislation at all as of a temporary, fleeting character, because he was looking forward to the great future when millions of people would be settled in the Territories. He regarded the provisions of that Bill, not as temporary or fleeting in their character, I say, but as permanent and lasting.
He agreed with the hon. member for Kingston (Sir John A. Macdonald) that the task was one which required time, consideration and deliberation.
Further on he said :
He believed that it was essential, to our obtaining a large immigration to the Northwest, Territories, that we should tell the people beforehand what those rights were to be in the country in which we invited them to settle.
He regarded it as essential, under the circumstances of the country, and in view of the deliberations during the past few days, that a general principle should be laid down in the Bill with respect to public instruction. He did believe that we ought not to introduce Into that territory the heart-burnings and difficulties with which certain other portions of the Dominion and other countries had been afflicted. It seemed to him, having regard to the faetl that as far as we could expect at present, the general character of that population would be somewhat analogous to the population of Ontario, that there should be some provision in the constitution by which they should have conferred upon them the same rights and privileges in regard to religious instruction as those possessed by the people of the province of Ontario. The principles of local self-igovernment and the settling of the questions of public instruction, it seemed to him, ought to be the cardinal principles of the measure.
Surely no reasonable man can read Mr. Blake's remarks- and not be struck by -the fact that, in bis opinion the parliament of Canada was engaged in passing legislation, particularly with regard to the school system, which should obtain in the Territories, not for a few years, not simply while they remained as Territories, but so long as the Northwest Territories themselves lasted. That seems to me to lie tlie legitimate deductions from Mr. Blake's remarks. Need I go on and quote what the Hon. David Mills, also an Ontario Liberal-a name which we in Ontario, in Canada in fact, honour and revere-said. Here is the opinion of Mr. Mills :
There was another matter it seemed to him ought not to be disregarded ; and that -was the
That is, the law of 1875.
otherwise we should be as I say riveting
the system of separate schools upon them.
And further on he says :
What I say is this, that if this question of separate schools is to remain in its present position until w-e grant provincial autonomy to any parts of the Northwest, it will be practically impossible unless there is an enormous change in public opinion to deny them w-hat every other province that has joined confederation has been entitled to, what Manitoba was entitled to and what under the circumstances every province would be entitled to.
The inference from these quotations is clear, that so eminent a jurist as the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy gave it as his opinion tnat if the separate school system, or the right of the minority to enjoy their educational privileges, call it what you may, obtained in these Territories until the time when they came to us seeking admission as provinces into confederation, then we would be bound to perpetuate the existing state of affairs in regard to education. I want to point out how remarkably consonant this opinion of Mr. McCarthy was with the opinions expressed in 1875 by Hon. Edward Blake and Hon. David Mills, and consonant also with the opinion-not, of course, the opinion of a lawyer-expressed by Hon. George Brown in the Senate when the Bill of 1875 was under advisement. We hear very much about these proposals as regards education being an invasion of provincial rights. And, strange to say, this cry of provincial rights comes from a quarter that did not, in the old days, hold provincial rights in very high esteem. Why, Sir, the province of Ontario, whence I come, has on many occasions had to do battle and strenuous battle for provincial rights. And who constituted the enemy on those occasions ? The Conservative party in the Dominion who sat on these government benches and supported Sir John Macdonald when provincial rights were as-
sailed, as I say, on more occasions than one. And it was to the late Sir Oliver Mowat, that great advocate of provincial rights, that we in Ontario owe it that the assaults of that enemy were not successful. The Conservative party supporting Sir John Macdonald on these occasions had very little respect for provincial rights. Now, the doctrine of provincial rights is a good doctrine, an excellent doctrine. But it is not a doctrine, to be invoked in defence of the perpetration of a great national wrong. These estimable people in the province of Ontario who are so much concerned at the so-called invasion of provincial rights seem to confine their attention in that respect altogether to the educational clauses of this Bill. They have nothing to say, in their petitions and resolutions sent here to parliament, about the lands ; they have nothing to say about the Canadian Pacific Railway exemption. If the government proposals in regard to education be an infraction of provincial rights, how much more so are their proposals in regard to the lands ? And yet, do we find these very excellent people complaining or memorializing the government about the land clause of the Bill ? Nor do we find them complaining as to the Canadian Pacific Railway exemption. I am of opinion that in future years the matter of that exemption will bear very heavily and very harshly upon the people of the Northwest Territories. But do wo find any sympathy expressed by the province of Ontario with these new provinces either on the ground that they will not have their lands, or on the ground of the Canadian Pacific Railway exemption from taxation for all time to come ? No sympathy on that score is expressed at all.
Is the hon. member not aware of the fact that many petitions have been presented to this House from the people of Ontario praying that the people of these Territories be allowed their land and that there are also petitions from the west expressing regret declaring that they regard that as one of the provincial rights they should enjoy V
I can readily understand the people of the west petitioning to have their lands placed under provincial control ; that is a natural thing ; but I have been pretty constantly in my place in the House and I do not think that one in 500 of the petitions from the province of Ontario made any mention of the lands at all ; they referred only to the educational part of the Autonomy Bill. I say if these excellent, estimable people were sincere in their regard for provincial rights, if they were solicitous for the future welfare of these provinces, they would not confine their attention and solicitude to the educational clauses of these Bills alone but would take up the points I. have mentioned. What does that convince me of, Mr. Speaker ? I am sorry 150
to believe it but I must believe that all this commotion and concern is manifested largely because clause 16 of the Bill relates in a measure to the religious convictions of a minority of our people. I am forced to that conclusion and any reasonable man must be forced to that conclusion because there are at least two other great matters that are of paramount concern to the people of the Northwest Territories, that they may have a right to complain of, in reference to which these people in Ontario who are stirring up an agitation are absolutely and entirely silent. It is said that the Liberal party is historically the defender of provincial rights. I am glad to acknowledge that; I heard the hon. member for East Grey say that in his place in the House the other day. The hon. member (Mr. Sproule) is quite correct in making that statement and 1 may say that the Liberal party were defending provincial rights from 1878 to 1890 when my hon. friend was supporting the late Sir John Macdonald in this House in six or seven struggles with regard to provincial rights, but my hon. friend if I mistake not was not on the side of the provinces in these struggles. It is charged that the Liberal party has changed its front with regard to provincial rights, and the leader of that party is also charged with a departure from his record, and it is vehemently charged that the Liberal party is false to its position and to the principles enunciated in connection with the Manitoba school difficulty of 1896. I take issue directly with those who charged the Liberal party with inconsistency, viewing their actions in 1896 in regard to the Manitoba school question and their actions in 1905 in regard to the Bills now under consideration. There is no parallel between the Manitoba school case and the case under discussion. Manitoba, in the exercise of her undoubted powers, altered a school system which she herself had brought into being. I am not saying whether that system was good or bad, I have no expression of opinion to make in that regard, but that system, at least according to the judgment of a great majority of Manitobans, had outlived its usefulness. The late Conservative government sought in the dying hours of a parliament to coerce an unwilling province to return to that abandoned system and we all know the result that followed that attempt. In the present case the Territories adopted their own system of schools and brought it to a state satisfactory to the * people of the Territories. The man who cannot see the difference between tin -\se of 1S96 and the case of to-day is either wiJfully blind or his perceptive faculties are. I think, very very weak.