February 27, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


Mr. Speaker, the right hon. gentleman is trying to draw a red herring across the track. This newspaper which declares it is his organ, and he has not repudiated it, says that the province of Manitoba is to be chastised because of its pretentious school law, it is to be chastised by the right hon. gentleman and his party, and the chastisement is in evidence now before all the people. Manitoba expected that her boundaries would be extended, and she expected that the Minister of the interior would be here to see that her boundaries were extended, but Manitoba is being chastised to-day, as the organ of the right hon. gentleman says, because of her pretentious school laws. They are not pretentious, they are constitutional, she had a right to make them, yet she is to be chastised to-day. The right hon. gentleman said practically the other day that the province was entitled to have its boundaries enlarged, it was entitled to be put on an equality with the other provinces. All over the country the statement has been published that Manitoba is being chastised because of her manliness in connection with public schools. The right hon. gentleman says he does not propose to interfere with the Dominion Lands Act. He does in substance, he does in a certain measure which I know of, where it is all outlined that the public school lands and the public funds in relation to education are to be interfered with. It may be in a special Bill, but the intention is to make laws in that direction. What follows then is this, that in the way the right hon. gentleman aproaches this question he is making flesh of one and fish of the other ; certain provinces are to enjoy certain school lands and others are to be denied them. If that is not an injustice and an interference with the lands of the province, I do not know what it is. The right hon. gentleman is trying to get away from this question in saying that he does not propose to introduce remedial legislation. He is bound to introduce it if there is anything in the constitutional argument he made here the other day. There is nothing in that constitutional argument, but there is a great deal in the constitutional argument tli at Manitoba is entitled to remedial legislation. If that is true, I will have to put up for the present with the trivial reply of the right hon. gentleman; but before two weeks are over, before another week is over, he will sing on the other side of his face. He will find that the people of Canada are in favour of the maintenance of provincial rights; they are not in favour of Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
a paternalized autonomy like that which the hon. gentleman proposes. The people of this country believe in provincial rights as they have been defined and won out by the province of Manitoba. Again I say that the hon. gentleman is attempting a revolution, and the Minister of the Interior ought to be in his place here to-day, since these things are being done in the department over which he presides. The hon. gentleman asks why I did not notify the Minister of the Interior? Am I the Minister of the Interior's keeper? If he is not in his place, where shall I have to go to find him? It is not for the right hon. gentleman to say to me that I should notify this man or notify that man; let them be here to look after themselves.

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