Now, Sir we have had a great many speeches and I must say some of them were good ones, but I question the good judgment of an hon. member standing up and occupying the attention of this House for two hours and hardly touching the subject under discussion. To me, at least, it is most tiresome. I have sat here and I have heard these hon. gentlemen reading from all kinds of hooks and newspapers and hardly touching the question at issue. I think that is a great mistake providing we want to do business and it seems to me that we should come to this House with the object of doing the [DOT] business of the nation in the very best way possible.
What is this system of education ? The Ion. members from the Territories say that there is not in Canada to-day a school system better adapted to their needs than that established in the Northwest Territories. As has already been pointed out more than once, these ordinances make provision for a national school system from nine o'clock in the morning until half past three o'clock in the afternoon. There is not an essential element of a national school system that is not to be found in these ordinances. Let me again call the attention of the members of this House to the powers of the government in relation to these schools ; for I am satisfied that if the members of this House and the people of Canada had an accurate knowledge of the school laws of the Northwest Territories which parliament is being asked to confirm, we would not have had the agitation which
has been going on in the country for the last month. Nor would we have had parliament flooded with the number of petitions that have been presented to this House. These ordinances declare that the government shall control and manage all schools, kindergarten, public, separate and normal. The government have power to make regulations for the Inspection of schools, the licensing and grading of teachers and to authorize text-books and reference books for the use of pupils and teachers In all schools. In short, the schools of the Northwest Territories under these ordinances are organized under the direction of the government. The conduct of schools, ' separate as well as public, must be in accordance with the regulations laid down by the government, and that conduct is exactly the same both in separate and public schools from nine in the morning until halfpast three in the afternoon. From halfpast three until four o'clock religious instruction is allowed, but only such religious instruction may be given as is permitted or desired by the board of trustees. Not such religious instruction as any clergyman or priest may desire, but such as may be desired by the board of trustees, which shall be selected by the ratepayers of the district each year. The hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. L-amont) said in his excellent address the other evening that after nearly twenty-two years residence in the Northwest Territories, he believed firmly that the public school system as at present administered is the one best suited to the needs of the country. The people of the two new provinces are satisfied with it. Now, Sir, if this system of education, enacted by this parliament in 1875, and improved from time to time since by the people themselves, to meet their requirements, is satisfactory to the people, why should this House not confirm this law, which has given such general satisfaction. Bishop Worrell, who was a clergyman of the Church of England in the town of Brock-ville, and also at Kingston and Morrisburg, delivered an address the other evening to the St. George's Society of the city of Halifax. The report of his speech is headed ' Be Fair and Tolerant ' and is as follows : Bishop Worrell, patron o£ the society, who responded was greeted with applause. He esteemed it a great honour and privilege to speak as the representative of all Christian bodies. As he went through Nova Scotia his eyes had been opened as he saw her beautiful scenery and expanding industries. He humorously referred to the snow blockades and muddy streets. Best of all he had met the grand sons of Nova Scotia and he felt satisfied now that this little province does produce great men, and he only regretted that his parents did not permit him to be born in Nova Scotia. He eloquently referred to the growth of the Canadian spirit and the development of the imperial idea, looking to Mr. DERBYSHIRE. the time when we shall have an imperial federation. But we must remember that here in Canada our varying elements must be blended together in the common interests of the mother country. We have in Canada a composite race and, as in England, the Norman and Celtic blended, so in Canada the maple leaf will be the brightest when it is seen to grow not only from the rose, the thistle and the shamrock, but from the lily of France. (Applause.) Let us remember that we must have the spirit of give and take, the spirit of respecting the consciences and convictions of all Canadians and we would make a great mistake if we would cause friction to grow between the different nationalities of this great country. Referring to Empire Day he said we should teach our children in the Christian faith. The little churches have been the strength of England and have made British fair-play, which is after all the principle of Christ , known the world over. (Applause). I think these are grand sentiments. What is the trouble with the opposition anyway ? Shortly after this Bill was introduced, the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) moved the adjournment of this House from day to day, looking wild, and shouting, threatening the stopping of supplies, and winding up loudly by wanting a Minister of the Interior at once, and I am glad to inform the hon. gentleman that we have one, and he will be here tomorrow. The hon. member for South York also wanted the Minister of Public Works in his place. We all regret the cause of the hon. Minister of Public Works' absence, and trust that he will soon be restored to his usual good health and resume his usual place, which he has filled with so much acceptance. But in the meantime no loss is sustained to this House or the country when we have such an able acting minister doing the work ; and if anything should happen that the city of London is opened, you will find the intelligent electors returning Mr. Hyman by a larger majority than he ever had before. In fact, I am prepared to bet that he would be. The hon. member for South York wound up by imploring the hon. the Postmaster General to resign his place, and run him a race in North York or challenging the acting Minister of Public Works to resign, or the government to open any constituency in- the west in order that the renowned editor of the 'World' might bare his scalping knife and wound the government by politically killing any opponent that might rashly stand before him. We find, however, that this John Alexander Dowie, of the House of Commons, is brave only in words, and that his most brilliant efforts are for flaming headlines in his little paper, which after all exerts no greater influence in the moulding of thought of the intelligent people of Ontario, than the hon. member himself, exerts in this House. Another remarkable address was delivered in this House, that delivered by my hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor). No one, I think, will accuse my hon. friend of modesty after having listened as carefully as I did to the speech he made. But I wish to say, lest some hon. member should he led astray, that my esteemed friend is an honest business man of more than ordinary ability, who has been and is now successful in commercial matters, but politically I think he is warped. In fact, as one gentleman told me, our friend is so politically bent that rain coming down straight will not touch him. His story about the Hon. Mr. Tarte going to Winnipeg in 1S98 to settle the school question with the Greenway government, getting Joe Martin a $10,000 job, appointing the Hon. Mr. Prendergast to the Supreme Court Bench, getting the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) to fix all these fellows up and giving him as compensation the management of the Department of the Interior free from all restraint, and having it so arranged that he could make two million dollars ih eight years-all this was possibly one of my hon. friend's greatest efforts and shows what a fruitful imagination he enjoys. But he made one great omission in that address of 1 is. He forgot to state-and I find it difficult to account for the omission-that the educational clauses of this Bill were prepared in Rome, and that the Pope's representative was sent with them to this country with instructions to have the right hon. the leader of the government introduce them into this House. If those details had been added to his speech, it would have been complete and have been a most wonderful piece of fiction. The hon. member for North Cape Breton and Victoria, N.S. (Mr. D. D. McKenzie) and the hon. member for Cornwall and Stormont (Mr. Pringle) delivered carefully prepared speeches from a legal standpoint. I was very much impressed with their addresses and also with that of my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). From a legal standpoint, I think they were possibly the best addresses I have heard; and after studying all these, I feel prouder than ever of my right hon. friend, the leader of this House. I believe that he was standing on the rock of the constitution in 1896 when he wojild not allow Manitoba to be coerced, and I think he is standing on the same firm ground in continuing to the new provinces the school system which is so satisfactory to the people interested. In conclusion I feel it my duty to state here clearly why I am going to vote for this Bill. I do so because I believe that the boundaries of the new provnces are wisely marked out and that the government showed great judgment in leaving the nothern extension of Saskatchewan unsettled and allowing Manitoba and the other provinces interested to have a final say in the adjustment of this great question. I do so because I am convinced that the action of the government on the land question is a wise one and that their action on the school question is in no 1651 . way contrary to the spirit and intention of the British North America Act of 1867. I approve of the government's policy because the financial clauses are in my opinion just, generous and satisfactory to these young giants of the west. I approve of this Bill because it is in the best interests of Canada as a whole that the public lands of the new provinces should remain the property of Canada. I endorse this measure because the rights of the minority are protected by it and because I believe that the school clauses, over which there has been so much bitter debate, will in the end be found beneficial to Canadian unity, to which, as my hon. friend from Shefford (Mr. Parmelee) pointed out the other day, the First Minister has consecrated his life. This Bill, in my opinion, is the crowning glory of the right hon. gentleman's political career. At length Canada is a united country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and we have now from end to end of this great Dominion a confederation of practically self-governing provinces. The cope stone has been placed on our union, and the last provinces admitted are coming in under the most favourable circumstances, because we know, from the reports daily coming to us from the west, that the people of these new provinces will appreciate the generous treatment they are receiving at the hands of this government, and the name of Sir Wilfrid Laurier will shine as one of the very brightest in Canadian history. It will go down to posterity as the name of a man revered, trusted and loved for his courage, wisdom and integrity and who stands to-day, as he has always stood, for everything that is in the best interests of the Canadian people.
Mr. RUDOLPHE FORGET (Charlevoix).
I do not intend, Mr. Speaker, to detain the attention of the House more than a few minutes, because I think the discussion on this Bill has been already too long for the good it has done in the country. In fact it has done much harm. The bad feeling which was created some ten years ago, when somewhat similar legislation was introduced into this House, had all been forgotten, but I am sorry to say it has all been revived by some members of the government who initiated the agitation which has since been kept up by hon. members on this side. This agitation has done no good to our country but considerable harm. [DOT] By some members it has been kept up, I believe, through fanaticism. Others have been inspired, I think, by ignorance. Some others have been moved both by ignorance and fanaticism, but I think the majority of them were actuated by the idea of ousting the government from office and getting in themselves. Such political tactics I cannot approve. I was not elected to this parliament to support any such policy ; and rather than do so I would prefer to remain in opposition all my life. I was sent here,
like all the other members, with the view of working for the progress, prosperity and advantage of our country and of thereby making a nation of our people ; and it is not by talking religion for eight weeks or by exciting French against English or Catholics against Protestants or province against province that we can do this. In my opinion, the best way to promote unify and harmony and good feeling and everything that goes to make a strong, prosperous and united nation is to respect each others honest convictions both in religion and polities. Much has been said here of the imaginary bigotry and fanaticism of the province of Quebec. Well, Mr. Speaker, I was born in the province of Quebec, I have lived there all my life, and I have come in daily contact with English Protestants for the last thirty years in all kinds of business. And I can say sincerely that in all my relations with my fellow citizens and theirs with me, difference in religion has never entered as an element and has never interfered within our good understanding of each other. In the province of Quebec we have iu that sense no nationality and no religion and we never talk of religion.
My hon. friend may laugh, but I repeat what I say. We are there all Canadians in spirit as well as in fact. In the city of Montreal, where seventy-five per cent of the population are French speaking and seven-eights Catholics, we elect an English Protestant mayor every two years. In the legislature of the province of Quebec we have an English Protestant speaker and our provincial treasurer, whose portfolio is the most important in the cabinet from my point of view, is an English-speaking man. I have seen as many as three English Protestant ministers out of seven in the Quebec cabinet. More than that, there is at present in the Quebec legislature an English Protestant, a resident of Nova Scotia, representing a French Canadian constituency in that province. I see on this side of the House and on the other side, English-speaking Protestants of Ontario representing French Canadian counties in the province of Quebec. In the legislative council of Quebec the English Protestants again have more than they are entitled to. It is so in the city council of Montreal, it is so in the house of assembly of Quebec. So far as education is concerned, if you go into our Catholic schools, our Catholic convents, our Catholic universities, you will find a great number of English Protestant children being educated there.
I said I would not detain the House very long. But before sitting down I have to announce that it is my intention to vote against the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition. I have a great admiration for that hon. gentleman, but I am afraid he has made a mistake this time. Not only Mr. FORGET.
shall I vote against the amendment, but I shall vote in favour of the Bill. I approve of the creation of these two new provinces. Some hon. members have said they would prefer to see only one province. I think that in creating only one province we would have been creating a Dominion within the Dominion, because that province would be unduly large. I also approve of the settlement of the land question, because those Territories were purchased by the money of the Dominion, they wrere developed by the money of the wThole Dominion. The Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed by the aid of money from the whole Dominion for the purpose of developing those Territories. The present government is doing the same thing with regard to the Grand Trunk Pacific, borrowing money on the credit of all the provinces in order to develop those Territories. Millions have been spent on immigration, money that was taken from the Dominion treasury in order to develop those Territories. They are now without any debt, they are getting a good subsidy to set them going. The federal government, by keeping control of the lands, wrill be able to idemnify, directly or indirectly, the other provinces for their expenditure in developing the Northwest. These lands will constitute the finest asset of the Dominion of Canada. Within 'ten years, probably, these lands will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why should we leave them to these provinces which have been developed with the money of the whole country?
So far as the school question is concerned, I would like to have seen the same system established in the Northwest as we have in Ontario and Quebec. I would have liked to see that system in every province in the Dominion of Canada. But as our Catholic minority cannot expect to get that from the generosity of the majority, we must take what we can get. I have no doubt the Prime Minister and some of his colleagues have got all they could out of the majority of the cabinet. I have no doubt they worked very hard to get more. I am willing to accept what they have got, trusting tjiat in the near future one of those provinces will have a majority of Catholics. That time may come in ten years, and then we shall see in which of those two provinces the rights of the minority will he best respected. I trust that the spirit of British fair play which is now being stifled by a portion of the Ontario press and some of the Ontario members will assert itself some day and give justice to the minorities in the Northwest.
Mr. BRODEFR moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to. On motion of Mr. Fielding, House adjourned at 10.40 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2nd, 1905.