June 7, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)


He has the casting vote only, which is, of course, very rarely exercised. By that method of government you see that this the Dominion government always holds the power in the hollow of its baud', because it controls the five nominative members and the commissioner against the five elected members, so that should a division ever happen, as it did on oue memorable occasion, yvlien the five elected would be pitted against the five appointed, the decision would rest with the commissioner. You see, therefore, that that is not really a representative body. It is controlled from Ottawa, and the time has come when we may, without any fear, I believe, ask the Dominion government to give us greater power. The personnel of this council is composed of Mr. Sinclair, the Gold Commissioner, who is the head of our gold court and lias the standing somewhat of a lesser judge ; Major Wood, who is Commissioner of the Northwest Mounted Police, and is like the general of an army with Ills staff under him"; Mr. Girouard, who is registrar of titles ; Mr. Litligow, who is comptroller' of

finance, analogous to our Finance Minister ; and there is Judge Dugas, who is the senior judge of our territorial court, and whose position is analogous to that of the chief justice in a province. I know all these gentlemen personally very well, and I know them to be all estimable gentlemen. They are Canadians down to the ground and good citizens, and in the main have done goon work. But every one of these derives his sustenance directly from our federal government and, being human, must necessarily be biased at times and biased against the interests of the people. In saying that I am not uttering one word against these men personally, individually or officially, but I am simply pointing out that in the very nature of things they cannot be relied upon to advise always in the best interests of our people. What I ask is that we should give the people of the Yukon the right to elect the ten members of their council and let the commissioner preside as at present. In case the government should see lit to graut this reasonable request, I think they will not have) reason to regret their course. These people are not novices iu the art of self-government. Every man in that country went In there as an adept in that respect. Like myself and like you, Mr. Speaker, every man there has been accustomed from his boyhood to cast his vote for the representative he desired' in the legislative halls of his province, so) that you are not risking any experiment iu giving the people of the Yukon these rights. I have sat in that council, and I know that) the people there are quite well fitted to) select men to represent them in their little' local parliament, just as are the people in' the other provinces to elect their local* representatives.
They are the same race, they are of the same blood, they speak the same language, as the people of Quebec, Ontario, and the other provinces of Canada. I am not asking anything new, but simply that the same right that Canadians have Claimed, the right that our forefathers in Canada fought for. shall be conferred upon their sons who reside in the Yukon. You can see whatj the effect would be. Or, if the government will not grant full elective power, then the alternative would be-and it is only an alternative and can only be adhered to for a short time-to nominate men completely outside the ranks of those who derive their support in any way from the Dominion government. We want the whole number of them elected ; but if the government will not concede that, then we are prepared-I think I may say we are prepared-to accept for a time the nomination of men who are outside the government employ altogether.
At six o'clock, House took recess.
After Recess.
House resumed at eight o'clock.

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