May 2, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Inland Revenue)



There is one fact which cannot be disputed,-that the Catholics had their schools which they controlled, and the Protestants had their 'schools which they controlled. The people in the west were afraid that these rights would be taken away from them, and so they showed hesitation in accepting the terms of union. At last there was a promise made by the imperial government and by the Canadian government, and by Lord Strathcona, who had been sent out there to settle the difficulty, that these rights and privileges would be continued ;-that is to say, Catholics would have the right to their schools and Protestants to their schools. My hon. friend (.or. Sproule) will not deny, I suppose, that the delegates who came from the west were recognized by the Dominion government. In fact, the cable which was sent by Sir John Young, to Lord Granville, the Secretary of State for the colonies, recognizes them as such ; and more than that, I am informed that the expenses of these delegates on their journey to Ottawa were paid by the Canadian government. So, Mr. Speaker, there was a formal agreement, a formal compact by which these rights and privileges, should continue to be exercised by the Protestants and Catholics of the Northwest. There is no doubt about that. And, now that we are called upon to give autonomy to the Northwest Territories, some elements in this country would have the government and parliament not carry out the promise which was made to the minority by the imperial government, by the Canadian government and by Lord Strathcona. Sir, the government of this country will not commit such an injustice ; we will not go back on the promise which was made in 1809-70. The government of this country will give the minority their rights which were guaranteed to them by the promise then made, the rights which they enjoy under the constitution.
While on the subject of compacts, and before dealing with the constitutional aspect of the question, I would like to say a word or two with regard to the compact with the other provinces. I noticed a few days ago in the Toronto ' News,' a statement which has been made time and again in the course of this controversy. The Toronto ' News ' is a newspaper of great importance, but one which, perhaps, in this agitation, has not done its duty to the country as it should have done. The Toronto ' News ' has said that the compact with regard to separate schools was one which affected only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario ancf not the others. Mr. Speaker, I am here to as-Mr. SPROULE.
sert that there was a compact with regard to separate schools not only in connection with Ontario and Quebec but in connection with the other provinces which formed the union or might later enter the union. Now, what is the history of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867 ? There was a conference at Quebec in 1864, attended by representatives of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. After discussing the question of confederation for several days, the delegates came to the conclusion that the educational laws should be under the control of the legislatures of the several provinces, saving the rights and privileges which the minority in Upper and Lower Canada might enjoy. It is true that the compact then applied only to those two provinces, it is true that the compact then simply embraced Quebec and Ontario. But I am going to show, and I am going to put before this House conclusive evidence, that the compact later on was extended to all the provinces, not only to those which had entered into confederation, but to those which would come in later on. What have we then ? Immediately after the Quebec conference, Mr. Galt, then representing the Protestant minority of Quebec, made a speech in Sherbrooke in which he said :
It is clear that in confiding the general subject of education to the local legislatures, it is absolutely necessary that it should be accompanied with such restrictions as shall prevent injustice in any respect from, being done to the minority.
Now this applied to Lower Canada, but it also applied and with equal force to Upper Canada and the other provinces.
The same privileges belong to the one of right here as belong to the other of right elsewhere. There could not be greater injustice to a population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their own religious belief.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we find this gentleman representing the Protestant minority of Quebec, saying that the compact should* not only cover the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, but should cover also the other provinces, and especially the provinces of New Bruns-to a population than to compel them to have wick and Nova Scotia. But the negotiations did not stop there, there was something more. What was done! After the conference at Quebec, the negotiations went to London, they had a conference in Loudon, and my hon. friend will find at page 98 of Pope's Confederation Documents, that the following provinces were represented in London : Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. They discussed the question of confederation, and the way in which the Bill which was to be introduced into the imperial parliament should be drafted. What occurred then ? When they came to discuss section 43 of the Quebec conference, we find

that Mr. Galt moved an amendment, which Is to be found in the same book at page 112 ; we And this amendment moved, not by a Catholic, but by the representative Protestant of the minority of Quebec :
And in any province where a system of separate or dissentient schools by law obtains, or where the local legislature may hereafter adopt

Notice that, Mr. Speaker, not in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario alone, as we liave so often heard it declared in this House and outside.
Where a system of separate or dissentient schools by law. obtains, or where the local legislature may hereafter adopt a system of separate or dissentient schools, an appeal shall lie to the Governor in Council of the general government from, the Acts and decisions of the local authorities which may affect the rights or privileges of the Protestant or Catholic minority in the matter of education. And the general parliament shall have power in the last resort to legislate on the subject.
Now, Mr. Speaker, we find in the same book and on the same page a facsimile of the motion which was made by Mr. Galt, in the handwriting of Mr. Galt, which motion proves that Mr. Galt wanted the compact with regard to separate schools extended so as to apply not only to Quebec and Ontario, but to all the provinces, not only to the provinces which were then in existence, not only to Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but also to those provinces which might come in later and form part of the confederation. What then happened, Mr. Speaker ? We are told that the compact existed only between Quebec aud Ontario. Well, Sir, we find in the handwriting of Sir .Tohn A. Macdonald, in the same facsimile to which I have just alluded, that there was a vote taken on the question whether these powers with regard to separate schools should be extended to all the provinces, that is to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and others which might come in ; there was a vote taken, and we find the result stated in the handwriting of Sir John A. Macdonald, a document which was found among his papers after his death, by his then secretary, Mr. Joseph Pope, and this is how it reads :
Nova Scotia votes, yes ; New Brunswick votes, yes ; Canada votes, yes.
So, Mr. Speaker, the agreement did not cover only the two provinces but it covered all the provinces which then entered into the union, and the provinces which should be created in the future.

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