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House of Commons, 22 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

2913 MARCH 22, 1905

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 1905.
The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.

PROVINCE OF ALBERTA—FINANCIAL TERMS.

Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) moved :
That the House do to-morrow go into Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolutions :
1. Resolved, that the following amounts shall be allowed as an annual subsidy to the province of Alberta, and shall be paid by the government of Canada, by half-yearly instalments in advance, to the said province, that is to say :-
(a) for the support of the government and legislature, fifty thousand dollars ;
(b) on an estimated population of two hundred and fifty thousand, at eighty cents per head, two hundred thousand dollars, subject to be increased as hereinafter mentioned, that is to say :—a census of the said province shall be taken in every fifth year reckoning from the general census of one thousand nine hundred and one, and an approximate estimate of the population shall be made at equal intervals of time between each quinquennial and decennial census; and whenever the population, by any such census or estimate, exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand, which shall be the minimum on which the said allowance shall be calculated, the amount of the said allowance shall be increased accordingly, and so on until the population has reached eight hundred thousand souls.
2. Resolved, that inasmuch as the said province is not in debt, it, shall be entitled to be paid and to receive from the government of Canada, by half-yearly payments in advance, interest at the rate of five per cent, per annum on the sum of eight million one hundred and seven thousand five hundred dollars.
3. Resolved, that inasmuch as the public lands in the said province are to remain the property of Canada, there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually by way of compensation therefor a sum based upon the estimated value of such lands, namely, $37,500,000, the said lands being assumed to be of an area of 25,000,000 acres and to be of the value of. $1.50 per acre, and upon the populatiton of the said province, as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, such sum to be arrived at as follows :-
The population of. the said province being assumed to be at present 250,000, the sum payable until such population reaches 400.000 is to be one per cent on such estimated value, or $375,000 ;
Thereafter, until such population reaches 800,000, the sum payable is to be one and one-half per cent on such estimated value, or $562,500 ;
Thereafter, until such population reaches 1,200,000, the sum payable is to be two per cent on such estimated value, or $750,000;
And thereafter such payment is to be three per cent on such estimated value, or $1,125,000.
4. Resolved, that as additional compensation for such lands there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually for five years to provide for the construction of necessary pub 2914lic buildings, one-quarter of one per cent on such estimated value, or $93,750.
He said: I have to inform the House that His Excellency has approved of these resolutions, and consents to their submission to the House.
Motion agreed to.

PROVINCE OF SASKATCHEWAN—FINANCIAL TERMS.

Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) moved:
That the House do to-morrow go into Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolutions :
1. Resolved, that the following amounts shall be allowed as an annual subsidy to the province of Saskatchewan and shall be paid by the government of Canada, by half-yearly instalments in advance, to the said province, that is to say :-
(a) for the support of the government and legislature, fifty thousand dollars;
(b) on an estimated population of two hundred and fifty thousand, at eighty cents per head, two hundred thousand dollars, subject to be increased as hereinafter mentioned, that is to say :—a census of the said province shall be taken in every fifth year reckoning from the general census of one thousand nine hundred and one, and an approximate estimate of the population shall be made at equal intervals of time between each quinquennial and decennial census; and whenever the population, by any such census or estimate, exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand, which shall be the minimum on which the said allowance shall be calculated, the amount of the said allowance shall be increased accordingly, and so on until the population has reached eight hundred thousand souls.
2. Resolved, that inasmuch as the said province is not in debt, it shall be entitled to be paid and to receive from the government of Canada, by half-yearly payments in advance, interest at the rate of five per cent per annum on the sum of eight million one hundred and seven thousand five hundred dollars.
3. Resolved, that inasmuch as the public lands in the said province are to remain the property of Canada, there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually by way of compensation therefor a sum based upon the estimated value of such lands, namely, $37,500,000, the said lands being assumed to be of an area of 25,000,000 acres and to be of the value of $1.50 per acre, and upon the population of the said province, as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, such sum to be arrived at as follows :-
The population of the said province being assumed to be at present 250,000, the sum payable until such population reaches 400,000 is to be one per cent on such estimated value, or $375,000;
Thereafter, until such population reaches 800,000, the sum payable is to be one and one-half per cent on such estimated value, or $562,500 ;
Thereafter, until such population reaches 1,200,000, the sum payable is to be two per cent on such estimated value, or $750,000 ;
And thereafter such payment is to be three per cent on such estimated value, or $1,125,000.
4. Resolved, that as additional compensation for such lands there shall be paid by Canada 2915  COMMONS  to the said province annually for five years to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings, one—quarter of one per cent on such estimated value, or $93,750.
He said : I have to inform the House that His Excellency has approved of these resolutions, and consents to their submission to the House.
Motion agreed to.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.

Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) moved second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish the government of the province of Alberta.
(Mr. Speaker having put the motion, both Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. R. L. Borden rose at the same time.)
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. If my hon friend wanted simply to put a question, I would certainly give way to him, but if it is his intention to address the chair on this measure, perhaps he will allow me the priviledge of a few remarks before he does so.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I took it for granted from the right hon. gentleman inclining his head, that he meant he was not going to speak and that I was to go on.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I am glad that this debate is starting in such an auspicious manner and that both sides are apparently in very good humor and in a very good frame of mind for the discussion. When some time ago I presented this Bill to the House, I stated that there were certain questions connected with it which were of paramount importance and which in fact were the essence of the whole measure. The first was the number of provinces to be created ; the second was the ownership of the land; the third was the financial terms to be granted; and the last was the education system. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden) rose immediately after me, but confined his remarks for the moment to two of those questions only- the ownership of the lands and the school question. With regard to the ownership of the land, my hon. friend re-asserted the position he had often maintained on the floor of this House as elsewhere, namely, that the land should go to the provinces to be owned and managed by them. On the school question my hon. friend was reserved. He did not announce any policy, but very wisely said that, in his judgment, the subject was one which ought to be approached with calm and moderation. The press which follows and supports my hon. friend took, notwithstanding this advice of his, a very different attitude. On the land question it said very little, if it said anything at all, but upon the school question it offered a very violent opposition. Perhaps I may not be out of 2916 the way in saying that the press which supports my hon. friend has spared no effort to inflame the public mind upon an ever delicate subject.
In the course of the years I have been in this House, many have been the occasions in which parliament has had to face and to solve questions, simple enough in themselves, but complicated and rendered difficult by sudden outbursts of passion. And here again I may repeat what I had the opportunity of saying some few days ago, that in using this word 'passion.' I do not want to convey any offensive sense. I recognize, we all recognize, that passions are very often the outgrowth of noble sentiment; but let this sentiment be ever so meritorious, if it goes beyond a certain line, it may become blind, unthinking, unreasoning passion. In 1875 on the New Brunswick school question, in 1889 on the Jesuit Estates questions, in 1896 on the Manitoba school question, several parts of the country—now one part, now another- were roused to a high pitch of excitement.
Since my conduct on the present occasion has been assailed, perhaps I may be pardoned if I refer for one moment to myself, and say that upon every one of these questions, I have endeavoured, so far as I know—and successfully I think—to act on the very principle of the constitution under which we live. In 1875, being then a young man, I supported the government of Mr. Mackenzie which refused to interfere with certain legislation passed by the legislature of the provinces of Quebec of which the Roman Catholic minority complained. That minority complained that this legislation was an invasion of their rights and forced an intolerable burden upon them. But, as it was established that at the time of confederation New Brunswick had no system of separate schools, it followed as a consequence that this parliament had no jurisdiction in the matter, and the government of Mr. Mackenzie, very properly, I think, refused to interfere and disallow that Act it was asked to disallow. In 1889, having become leader of the party to which I belong, I supported the government of Sir John Macdonald when they refused to accede to the request of a section of our fellow countrymen to disallow the Act of the legislature of the province of Quebec to settle what was known as the Jesuit Estates question. In 1896, I opposed the government of Sir Mackenzie Bowell when they endeavoured to force upon the province of Manitoba a system of schools which, according to high judicial authority, the province of Manitoba had a right to reject and which it had rejected by action within the scope of its legitimate authority. And in this year, 1905, when two provinces are to be brought into the Dominion, in which provinces there is a system of separate schools such as we have in the province of Quebec and Ontario, I stand again, as I believe, upon the rock of the constitution of Canada when 2917 MARCH 22, 1905 I say that this parliament should, according to that constitution, give to the minority in the new provinces the same rights and privileges that are given to the minorities in the new provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Sir, what seems to me this very proper legislation is opposed throughout the length and breadth of our country—no, I will not say that,—but in certain portions of our country—and in the name, I might almost say the sacred name, of provincial rights. But it is remarkable that the men who at this day, are insisting the most upon what they call provincial rights have taken no heed of the fact that, in the very letter of the constitution on which they rely there is an abbreviation of provincial rights wherever there exists in any province a system of separate schools. Provincial rights are the basis of our constitution. All parties now admit these rights and recognize them, whatever may have been their position in the past. But, Sir, it is an old saying that there is no rule without its exception ; and, in the very letter of the constitution, an exception has been made concerning provincial rights wherever there is a system of separate schools in any province. Now here is the law upon this point. The words which I use now may grate upon the feelings of some, may seem harsh to the ears of others, may seem harsh to my own ears, but, Sir, here is the law. Section 93 of the constitution says:
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education--
If the law stopped there, if there were no other words to qualify this general provision, such legislation as is now before the House would never have been introduced. But the law does not stop there; there are words which qualify the general proposition :
--subject and according to the following provisions :-
1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
Here you have the fact proclaimed, the principle laid down, that wherever there is, in any province, a system of separate schools, the provincial rights are abbreviated and the legislature can do nothing to prejudicially affect the rights of the minority who have the benefit of this clause. But, though these facts are plain, still, at the present moment, they seem to be ignored ; and, even on the floor of this House the attempt is sometimes made to cast upon myself, who have always held these views, the imputation that at one time or other, I held different views. The other day my hon. friend from East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) quoted some words of 2918 mine in this House spoken on this same subject, in which I gave due praise to the Liberal party, especially of the province of Ontario, for the stand they made in favour of provincial rights. These are the words of mine that he quoted:
Sir, I am to-day as firm a believer as I ever was in the doctrine of provincial rights. I take as much pride as ever I did in belonging to the great party which in the past carried that doctrine to a successful issue, an issue, indeed, so successful that we rank among the advocates of that doctrine to-day the most prominent of the men who opposed it in the past. And when the historian of the future shall refer to the first twenty years of confederation, the brightest page he will have to record will be the page in which he will trace the efforts of the Liberal party to maintain inviolate and intact the liberties and independence of the local legislatures. And I am proud to say that among the names which shall de revered in the hearts of their countrymen, as the names of those who stood foremost in the fight, will be the names of Edward Blake and Oliver Mowat.
My hon. friend stopped there. Had he read a little further, he would have found that I qualified the statement I made by saying that, in the matter of education, provincial rights were not supreme, but they are abbreviated by the very letter of the constitution. I continued as follows:
I agree with the Prime Minister in this view, that it would have been wiser for the fathers of confederation to have adopted the American principle of local independence. But such, after all, is not the principle which has been adopted. On the contrary, the principle of our constitution is this : that while in all other matters the powers of the local legislature are almost independent, in the matter of education, a supervisory power has been given to this government, in so far as separate schools are concerned.
So that, in 1893 I held the views I now hold, and I am acting exactly in accordance with the opinions I proclaimed twelve years ago and which so far as I remember, I have always held. This being well established, this being I believe, impossible of denial- that the rights of a province are abbreviated whenever there is a system of separate schools—yet we are told that this cannot be adopted because the provinces referred to in this legislation are not now provinces, but are simply territories. If I understand that argument correctly it means that if the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan already existed and were to come to—day and ask to enter confederation, they would come with their system of schools, and that system would apply mechanically and parliament would be forced to give it to them; but as they come as territories, they are not to have the same privileges as they would have had. coming as provinces. Now, in the name of common sense, what does it matter, so far as law and order is concerned, whether these territories are now territories or are now provinces? If under the 2919 COMMONS law we gave them in 1875 they established a system of schools, is not that system of schools as dear to them as if they had been erected into provinces ?  If they have acquired rights thereby, are not those rights as sacred as if they had been erected into provinces ?
Now Sir, it seems to me that this argument cannot bear examination. But if we are to take some of the newspaper articles and some of the speeches I have read, what is the supreme reason and argument that is advanced why this principle of the constitution should not apply to the Territories? It is because parliament is omnipotent, it is because parliament is not bound to respect the acts of a former parliament, it is because the parliament that was elected in November, 1904, is not to be bound by the parliament which sat in this House in 1875. Well, Sir, if that view is to be taken, if we are to say that parliament is supreme, I have nothing more to say. Parliament is supreme indeed, parliament is supreme, and may even go to the length of disobeying the moral laws which bind all governments and all men. It is open to any man to break his word, it is open to any man to violate his engagement, it is open to any man to trample under foot his plighted troth. Now if it is open to any man to do that, it is also open to an assembly of men; and if it be the view that parliament is not bound by the acts of any preceding parliament, that parliament may violate its plighted troth, then we have a double opportunity on this occasion to signalize ourselves, because not only can we remove from the minority the system of separate schools which they have had for many years, but we can correct another invasion of provincial rights which is far more reaching than the violation of provincial rights in the matter of education.  If it be true that in 1875, parliament introduced separate schools into the Northwest Territories and gave to the minority the privilege of those schools, it is equally true that in the year 1881 this parliament for ever abbreviated the powers of those new provinces in the matter of taxation ; it is equally true that in 1891 this parliament decreed by an Act passed here, passed against the protest of the minority in that parliament, decreeing for all time to come, not for one year only, or ten years, or one generation, but for all time to come, that the Canadian Pacific Railway and all stations, station grounds, workshops, buildings, yards and other property, rolling stock and appurtenances required and used for the construction and working thereof, and the capital stock of the company, should for ever be free from the power of taxation by those provinces. It was decreed also that no municipal body created by the provinces could levy taxation upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, its stock, its buildings, its workshops and its 2920 capital stock. Sir, is not that an invasion of provincial rights far more reaching in its consequences than the invasion of provincial rights which is complained of in the matter of education ? But does anybody in this House think of removing from the Canadian Pacific Railway the powers and immunities which have been granted to that company? Does anybody in this House think for a moment of giving to those new provinces the power to levy taxation upon the Canadian Pacific Railway? No, we respect our engagements. Then I ask if we respect our engagements in the one case, why should we not respect our engagements in the other case?
But Sir, that is not all. I find no better testimony in favour of the principle which is embodied in this Bill than the letter which was written to me some days ago by Mr. Haultain, Premier of the Northwest Territories ; I want no better testimony of the soundness of the position which we have taken than the ipsissima verba contained in Mr. Haultain's letter, and which I will read to the House.
The territory included within the boundaries of these proposed provinces was ' admitted into the union ' on July 15, 1870, and immediately upon the creation of these provinces the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, become, as a matter of indefeasible right, a part of their constitution.
That is to say, as a matter of 'indefeasible right' the provision of section 93 of the British North America Act becomes part of the constitution of the Northwest Territories. Now, let me repeat, what is the disposition of section 93 of the British North America Act :
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provision :-
1.  Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
Therefore, if I understand the English language, it means this, according to Mr. Haultain's own admission, that in this matter of education the rights and privileges of the minority are secured against any prejudicial legislation which might be passed. Now, Sir, there is this difference between Mr. Haultain and myself with regard to this point. Mr. Haultain argues that this section 93 applies automatically, that this House has nothing to do but simply to admit the province and immediately it becomes subject to section 93 ; whereas the position we take is while the provision is embodied in section 93 it has to be introduced legislatively by this parliament into the constitution of the Northwest Territories.
2921 MARCH 22, 1905
Upon this point I might go further. On a previous occasion I spoke at some length on this point, and I will not go over the same ground again. However, it may not be inopportune on this occasion to inquire what is the history of clause 93 in the British North America Act, how did it become a part of the British North America Act ? Sir, we live in an age of such intense excitement, we are moving with such rapidity, our lives are so much engaged in business occupations, that history is very soon forgotten, and what is the event of to-day is forgotten history to-morrow. It may not therefore be inopportune to look into the causes which led to the introduction of this section of 93 into the British North America Act. It was introduced at the suggestion of Mr. Galt, in the interest of the Protestant minority of the province of Quebec, at a time when he was champion and representative of that minority in the old parliament of Canada. I have quoted on a former occasion, and I may be permitted to quote again, the language of the Quebec resolutions which formed the embryo of section 93 of the British North America Act. We find that section 43 of the Quebec resolutions, concludes as follows :
Education, saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minorities in both Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the union goes into operation.
That was section 43 which guaranteed separate schools both in Ontario and Quebec, but did not go further. Now, Sir, it is a matter of history that the Protestant minority in Quebec at that time was not altogether satisfied with their condition under the system of separate schools such as it was. They wanted the system extended and improved, and they wanted this to be done before confederation, so that under the new constitution the rights and privileges secured to the Protestant minority could not be interfered with by the new legislature of Quebec. Mr. Galt, who at that time as I said was the champion of the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec, and was also a member of the government of that day, spoke upon that subject at a meeting held in the town of Sherbrooke which he represented in parliament. In the month of October, 1864, just a few months after the Quebec resolutions had been adopted by the conference, Mr. Galt used the following language:
He would now endeavour to speak somewhat fully as to one of the most important questions, perhaps the most important that could be confined to the legislature, the question of education. This was a question in which, in Lower Canada, they must all feel the greatest interest, and in respect to which more misapprehension might be supposed to exist in the minds, at any rate of the Protestant population, than in regard to anything else connected with the whole scheme of confederation.
2922
It must be clear that a measure would not be favourably entertained by the majority of Lower Canada which would place the education of their children and the provision for their schools, wholly in the hands of a majority of a different faith. It was clear that in confiding the general subject to the local legislatures it was absolutely necessary it should be accompanied with such restrictions as would 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 ; for in Lower Canada there was a Protestant minority, and in the other provinces a Roman Catholic minority. The same privileges belong to the one of right here, as belonged to the other of right elsewhere. There could be no greater injustice to a population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their own religious belief. 
It had been stipulated that the question was to be made subject to the rights and privileges which the minorities might have as to their separate and denominational schools. There had been grave difficulties surrounding the separate school question in Upper Canada, but they were all settled now, and with regard to the separate school system of Lower Canada, it was the determination of the government to bring down a measure for the amendment of the school laws before the confederation was allowed to go into force. He made this statement, because as the clause was worded in the printed resolution, it would appear that the school law, as it at present existed, was to be continued.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Galt undertook that the school law would be amended in the following session. In the following session, that was the session of 1865, the resolutions of the Quebec conference were discussed in the legislature of Canada but no school Bill was introduced to amend the law of Lower Canada. Complaint was made to the House by Mr. Holton and others and a measure was promised the following year. In the following year, that was the year beforeconfederation, a school Bill was introduced giving to the Protestant minority much more power than they had then and giving to them the powers which they have now and which have been given them since by the legislature of the province of Quebec. Amongst the dispositions of that measure were the following :
The superior education will comprise the universities and the classical and industrial colleges or seminaries, and the provincial aid thereto, as well as that for academies, shall be annually divided between the Roman Catholic and Protestant institutions in proportion to the respective Roman Catholic and Protestant population according to the then last census.
Another section reads :
Whenever four of the Protestant members of the Council of Public Instruction for Lower Canada shall be of opinion that the management of the Protestant schools should be distinct and separate from that of the Catholic schools, they may make known that opinion under their respective signatures to the government through the Provincial Secretary.
2923 COMMONS
But a strange thing happened in the legislature of Canada. It was at the time when we had a representation from Lower Canada and a representation from Upper Canada. A similar Bill was introduced immediately for the province of Upper Canada. This was strongly resisted and so strongly was it resisted that the two Bills were withdrawn. Thereupon Mr. Galt resigned his position as a member of the government of the day because he had not been able to improve the situation of the minority to which he belonged by legislation before the Act of confederation came into operation. Then what took place ? Of course, there was a great deal of commotion at that time and the Protestant minority of Quebec felt disinclined to enter confederation unless their rights were secured as they thought they ought to be secured. Mr. Galt was appointed to go to England with Sir John Macdonald, Sir Geo. Cartier and others in order to frame the Act which was to be the Act of Confederation. At that time the 'Montreal Gazette' was the principal as today it is the most important organ of the Conservative party. It spoke for Mr. Galt and on the 24th October, 1866, the 'Montreal Gazette' contained the following article :
We have much pleasure in announcing that during the recent protracted sittings of the cabinet at Ottawa, the subject of the position of the Lower Canada education question was very fully considered. The ministry were, we understand. desirous that Mr. Galt should be appointed as a delegate to represent the interests of the British population, but that gentleman felt that he could not accept unless he was assured as to the views of the government on the points that so seriously concern his countrymen and co-religionists, and which so deeply roused their feelings. We are informed that the ministry entirely satisfied Mr. Galt of their determination to give practical effect to the pledges given in parliament, and the gentleman has in consequence accepted the appointment of delegate for the express purpose of watching over these important interests, as well as of lending his aid to the consummation of the measure of confederation.
We feel that our Protestant friends may rest assured that the man who resigned the honours and emoluments of office on this question will not, as a delegate, be found wanting to his trust as their representative. And we hail with great satisfaction the approaching settlement of a question which might have been fraught with so much danger to the kindly and cordial relations which have of late so happily subsisted between the people of different races and creeds in Canada.
Mr. Galt went to England as a delegate. We know as a matter of history that he contributed to the drafting of section 93 of the British North America Act, and those of us who have read Mr. Pope's book upon the debates preliminary to confederation know that as a matter of history the 3rd and 4th subsections of section 93, the subsections which give the right of appeal, are 2924 even in his own handwriting. Therefore it is to him that we have section 93 in its present form. As to that let me call the attention of the House to another extract from the 'Montreal Gazette' of March 2nd, 1867. Either that day or the day before the 'Montreal Gazette' had published the whole text of the Bill which afterwards bcame the Confederation Act and it accompanied this with the following comment:
Few questions have excited a more lively interest in this country than the education of children in public schools, or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say, the appropriation of taxation for that purpose. We need not repeat the particulars of the agitation on the subject, which commenced with the promulgation of the resolutions of the conference of Quebec, and resulted in Mr. Galt resigning his seat in the cabinet. The short of the story is, all this led to an agreement on the part of the Canadian government to advise Her Majesty's ministers to insert in the Union Bill the provisions with which the public are, undoubtedly, already aware. That was the agreement to which we referred, in October last, as having been satisfactory to Mr. Galt, and on the strength of which he consented to become a delegate to London. The public may find in these provisions in the Bill the proof of the statement made by us, which some of our contemporaries, without any evidence, undertook to call in question.
Before the question of confederation was mooted, the constant cry on the part of a portion of Lower Canada Protestant minority, was: give us the same privileges as those enjoyed by the Upper Canada minority. Well, the Bill as it stands, in terms, provides that the minority in Lower Canada shall have precisely the same privileges as the minority in Upper Canada.
And further, that the minorities in all the provinces shall have the right of appeal to the general parliament.
The Bill, in this form, undoubtedly, in our opinion, will become the fundamental law of the country, forming a part of its political constitution ; and that, as such, it must be accepted. It affords essential guarantees as well in immediate practice as in ultimate resort.
Well Sir, Mr. Galt was too great a man not to stipulate for other minorities that which he was stipulating for the minority to which he belonged. Mr. Galt was not satisfied to have these guarantees under the constitution simply for the minority of Quebec, but he put them in the terms which I read a monment ago so that they could apply to any minority in any province under any condition under which a system of separate schools exist. It is in obedience to that order of the constitution that we have inserted the clause which I read a moment ago.
Now, Sir, a word as to the changes we have made in that clause. I stated the other day that we proposed to make a change and we have given notice of an amendment which we intend to move to clause 16. What is the reason of this change ? It is a fair question to ask and a question to be answered.
2925 MARCH 22, 1905
Sir, we have taken the ground on more than one occasion, we again take this ground and it is the ground upon which we stand in dealing with the present case, that wherever a system of separate schools exists that system comes into force and is constitutionally entitled to the guarantees which are embodied in section 93 of the British North America Act. Be that system much, be it little, whatever it is, it is entitled to those guarantees. That is the position we take, and when we introduced section 16, as it is in the Bill, we had no other intention than to give to the minority the rights and privileges to which they are entitled under the law which they have today.
But, Sir, it has been objected to us that the language used in section 16 was too broad, too vague, and that if it were adopted, it would create trouble and confusion instead of certainty as to the rights of the minority. By the first paragraph of section 16 as it stands in the Bill, the Act of 1875 is reproduced in toto. But Sir, an event occurred some 14 or 15 years ago which has to some extent limited that Act. Some 14 years ago the legislature of the Territories passed a law which in the opinion of the minority abridged the rights conferred on them by the Act of 1875. They complained to the federal government at Ottawa. They made representations to the government of that day and asked the disallowance of that law as an infringement upon their privileges as secured to them by the law of 1875. Sir John Thompson, who was then Minister of Justice, examined the question and refused to disallow the Act. He admitted rather, that the Act was an infringement on the privileges conveyed to the minority, but he stated that as this was a consequence, only following a similar Act, or rather continuing a similar Act passed some three or four years before, as to which no complaint had been made, and which was therefore in force, he would not advise disallowance and he allowed the Act to go into force. Under such circumstances the law of the Territories has been in force now for 13 or 14 years. Section 16 thus restricted is now the law of the country which has been in force for 13 or 14 years and which has given general satisfaction. Under such circumstances it we were to reenact section 93 of the Act, it was possible that we would create confusion and that there would be lawsuits to determine the exact condition of the law. We therefore thought it was preferable to have the law made absolutely certain and in order to do that we have incorporated the ordinances under which the law as it is to-day has been established. It may be disappointing to some, but we believe that on the whole it is preferable to have a clear understanding on this subject so that the minority shall have the pri 2926vilege of exercising control over their schools as they have to-day, and so that the law shall be absolutely clear and pronounced as to what is intended by the parliament of Canada if it passes this legislation. That is the reason why we have done this. The law of the Territories on this question is established in three ordinances, chapter 29 of 1901, chapter 30 of 1901, and chapter 31 of 1901. Chapter 29 organized a system of schools and this organization retained to the minority the privileges which they have of separate schools. Chapter 30 regulates the power of assessments over the municipalities for contributions to education and chapter 31 regulates the aid and contributions to be made to the different schools conforming to the law. We have introduced into the amendment chapter 29 and chapter 30 ; we have not introduced chapter 31 which regulates the aid and grants to be given to schools because we have thought it preferable simply to lay down the principle, putting no burden upon the Territories, not saying how they are to dispose of their money, not telling them what they shall do but simply stating that when schools conform to the law, whether they are separate schools or public schools, all shall be treated equally and there shall be no discrimination between them. That is the reason of the legislation I have introduced.
Upon this occasion I have nothing more to say but in moving this Bill, as I now do, for the second reading, I want to impress on the House once more that we are acting strictly in accordance with the principles involved in the constitution of Canada. I want to impress once more the fact that the constitution of Canada has been and is a compromise between different elements in order to produce a great result. It is a compromise in order to unite different heterogeneous elements. There are differences of powers, there are exceptions, but all this diversity is intended to promote- unity.
Let me say one last word. We have done pretty well so far in the development of our national institutions, but we have not yet reached the maximum ; we have not yet reached the end. We may have a great deal still to do and I hold that we ought always to be ready for the task, and I am sure that it will not be too much to say that it will not injure any one, that it will not do any harm but on the contrary will do much good if, whenever we are called upon to apply the principles of the constitution, we apply them, not in any carping sense, but in a broad and generous spirit.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton, Ont). Mr. Speaker, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has spoken with his usual eloquence upon the second reading of this Bill. If I were inclined to use his own words under certain circumstances in the 2927 COMMONS past, I might term him a scrapbook orator to-day. Whenever I have endeavoured to gather up certain pearls of thought which he has distributed in days gone by and to contrast them with the utterances made in the immediate present, the right hon gentleman has been good enough to apply that appellation to myself and I trust that he will not resent my returning it to him on this occasion. The right hon. gentleman has told us that the measure which the government has introduced, and especially the educational clauses contained in section 16 of the Bill, as well as the provisions which have been now substituted for that section, make for unity. Well, Mr. Speaker, they may make for unity in the country if the right hon. gentleman's own words are to be taken at their face value to-day, but certainly they have not made for unity in the cabinet nor among the right hon. gentleman's followers. The Prime Minister has been good enough a few days ago to charge me with having treated this question in this House lightly. I desire, in terms as strong as the usage of this parliament will permit, to repudiate to the utmost that assertion, and to say that if any man in this House has treated that question lightly it has been the right hon. gentleman himself. When I brought this question up two years ago, not he, nor any one of his colleagues in the cabinet dared to rise in his place and say one word about it. They put up the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) who was then the member for Alberta, to say on behalf of the government that they were not going into any 'blind pool,' and when the right hon. gentleman tendered to this country and to the members of the Northwest the blindest kind of pool in the letter which he wrote in the heat of a general election, then hon. gentlemen on the other side were all too eager to accept it without one moment's question. That was the first occasion when he treated this question lightly. The next was when in this House he asserted, crying 'hear, hear' to the words of my hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. W. J. Roche) who interpreted the remarks of the Prime Minister as meaning that provincial autonomy could not be granted to the Territories of the Northwest for many years to come. And, in the next place, Mr. Speaker, he treated this question lightly when he brought this Bill down to parliament, telling parliament as plainly as if he had said so in express terms that this measure embodied the collective wisdom of the cabinet, when afterwards it transpired although the Bill had not even been submitted to the ex- Minister of the Interior or to the Minister of Finance, the most important members of the government. And, in the next place, Sir, my right hon. friend treated this question lightly when more than once I asked him across the floor of this House why it 'was that he, the leader of the House ventured 2928 to mislead it with regard to the attitude of two of his ministers. I asked him that question not once or twice, but three times, and the only answer I ever received from the right hon. gentleman was evasion and badinage. It does not lie in his mouth to charge me with having treated this question lightly in view of the fact that he has dealt with it after the fashion I have described. Further than that, the right hon. gentleman approaches the consideration of this question now without a minister in the Department of the Interior, although in the right hon. gentleman's correspondence the absence of the Minister of the Interior on former occasions has been put forward as a ground for delay. So much for that. I will leave the right hon. gentleman himself to judge whether under these circumstances he or I can most justly be charged with having treated this question lightly and not in the serious way in which it should be treated.
I do not agree, Sir, with some remarks which the right hon. gentleman made in his speech on the 21st of February. He then said :
A great deal has been done; in fact more has been done than we have to do to-day. We have to take the last step, but it is easy and comparatively unimportant in view of and in comparison with what has already been accomplished.
I do not know whether my right hon. friend is quite of the same opinion to-day with regard to the easy nature of the step, but I venture to say in all seriousness that the step which we are taking is the most important and momentous step that has ever been taken by this parliament in regard to our northwestern country. We are doing to-day what this parliament cannot undo in the future, because the constitution which we now propose to give to the territories of the Northwest can only be altered by the imperial parliament.
I agree absolutely with the principle of this Bill so far as it is designed to give a provincial status to these territories. As leader of the Conservative party, I laid down that principle when in the northwest more than two years ago. I have stood for that principle in this House in the sessions of 1903 and 1904, and that principle  I stand for today.
The mode in which the right hon. gentleman has brought down this measure has led to the expression of strong differences of opinion throughout this country. The educational clauses have been discussed almost exclusively in all parts of Canada. For the moment they overshadow other questions: they involve differences of race. When I addressed the House on the first reading of the Bill I said I did not desire to make this a political question. Perhaps the expression was not very happily chosen, because from whatever aspect considered, it must in the highest sense of 2929 MARCH 22, 1905 the term be a political question in the end. What I should have said was that I did not desire to make it a party political question, and I do not desire to make it a party political question today. I shall express my own opinion with regard to it; I shall express that opinion at the present time; I have not felt called upon to speak before. In some parts of the country I have been referred to as a fanatic; in other parts I have been referred to as a coward and entreated to speak out. The proper time for me to speak is to-day upon the second reading, and before I conclude I shall, I think, make my position absolutely clear. And I say, that in taking the position which I shall now take, I do not for one moment suggest that any hon. gentleman on this side of the House, following the dictates of his conscience and of his good judgment should feel himself in any way constrained by party ties to endeavour to agree with the views which I shall express.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. FOSTER. They do not seem to understand that principle over there.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The right hon. gentleman in his opening remarks adverted to five principal matters contained in the Bill: to the number of provinces, to the boundaries of the provinces, to the financial terms, to the control of public lands and to the provisions respecting education. It seems to me that so far as I desire to make any observations on the first three of these, I can better do that in committee. I will, therefore, in the remarks which I address to the House to-day deal solely with the questions which concern the control of public lands and the educational provisions of the Bill.
So far as the control of the lands is concerned, I adhere to the opinion I before expressed in this House: that the people of the northwest when they are granted provincial rights are fully capable of dealing with these lands; that they are entitled to the control of these lands just as much as the people of the eastern provinces of Canada are entitled to the control of their provincial domain. I see no distinction. One organ of the government published in the city of Montreal, an organ in which my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture is supposed to have a controlling interest, has given utterance to a delightful piece of information with regard to this matter. It declares that these lands should not be handed over to the control of the people of the northwest for fear of the danger which might be encountered from greedy land grabbers. Well, I am inclined to think—looking at the history of the past and looking forward a little to what may be expected in the future—that we are not likely to suffer any greater danger from land grabbers under the administration of the people of the Northwest Territories, than we have suffered in the past 2930 and are likely to suffer under the present administration. The right hon. gentleman argued that the control of these lands by the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan would probably interfere with the immigration policy of the government; he thought there might be interference with free homesteads and with the present low price of government lands. But, Mr. Speaker, may I not suggest with a great deal of force to hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House, that the people of the Northwest are more interested in attracting immigration to these splendid territories, which are their glorious heritage, than are the people of any other part of Canada.
Are they not the people chiefly interested? May we not rightly conclude that if these lands are handed over to them, they will so deal with them as to best conserve their own interests by forwarding and assisting a vigorous policy of immigration ? May I not further suggest that even if there were any danger—and I do not think there is—it would be the task of good statesmanship to have inserted, if necessary, a provision in this Bill with regard to free homesteads and the prices of those lands, and obtain to it the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories. I see no possible constitutional difficulty because after all the question of the lands is not a question of legislative power until the lands are handed over to the people and become the public property of the provinces. There are hundreds of millions of acres of public lands in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Are we not endeavouring now to promote immigration to those provinces ? And has the government of my right hon. friend found any difficulties interposed by any provincial administration which impede the carrying out of his immigration policy? Those lands are under the control of the provinces. The people of Ontario and Quebec go to their own provincial capitals and transact there all business relating to public lands. Why should not the people of the Northwest in the same way be entitled, when their own provincial capitals are established in the new provinces, to deal with their own public lands and exercise control over them in their own legislature? My right hon. friend has referred to the example of the United States. He found the example of that country very cogent in this instance; but when, a little later on, he came to deal with the question of education, he departed altogether from that example and presented it as one to be entirely avoided. But if the institutions of the two countries are so much alike that we may safely follow their example with regard to the lands, are not the characteristics and the religions of the two people so much of the same character that we might also grant to the people of the Northwest Territories exactly the same rights as are enjoyed by the states of the Union and by the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick?
My right hon. friend referred to his re 2931 COMMONScord in the past. He referred to his record with regard to the Manitoba school controversy. I do not desire to discuss this question from too controversial a standpoint, but does my right hon. friend really feel satisfied to-day with his record on that question, which so much disturbed public opinion ten years ago? If ever there was a question in this country calculated to arouse passion and prejudice, and if ever such a question was deliberately thrown into the political arena for the purpose of political gain, it was the Manitoba school question. That question was precipitated into the political arena by the right hon. gentleman and his friends then in opposition, and by his Liberal friends in the province of Manitoba. There can be no doubt about that. Let us look at the record for a moment or two as the hon. gentleman himself has called attention to it. There were difficulties surrounding the Conservative administration of that day. What was the attitude of my right hon. friend with regard to those difficulties ? When the Conservatives desired to investigate, he was impatient of delay. When they desired to conciliate, he accused them of weakness and cowardice. When they sought an interpretation of the constitution in the courts, he declared that they were exciting passion and discord. When they proposed the remedial order, he declared it was ineffective and insufficient. When they sought to enforce it by an Act of this parliament, he declared it was too strong and drastic in its terms. He denounced in violent language the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy in 1890, not only as an enemy of his creed, but of his race, and three years later he was content to accept Mr. McCarthy's aid on that question. On one side of him, he established a very able gentleman, who does not now occupy a seat in this House, but who then represented the constituency of L'Islet, in the province of Quebec—he used that gentleman to declare that the rights of the minority were being betrayed in Manitoba. And on the other side he accepted the aid of Mr. McCarthy, who denounced the action of the Conservative government as coercive and oppressive. He himself posed in the English speaking provinces as the champion of provincial rights, and in the province of Quebec as the heaven-constituted protector of the minority. The hon. gentleman thus addressed himself with great skill to both opposing elements, and eventually succeeded in utilizing that question as the means of putting himself and his party into power. And after they did attain office, I ask my right hon. friend, in all seriousness and earnestness, whether or not he carried out to the full, and according to the spirit, the promise he made his compatriots in the province of Quebec. Well, the election came on, and my right hon. friend secured support in the English speaking provinces as the upholder of provincial rights. He secured also even a greater measure of sup 2932port in the province of Quebec, and now he is face to face with the very same question to-day. Years ago Brougham, in the English House of parliament, addressed a cogent indictment against the gentleman who was then leading the English administration. There, he said, he sits to-day doing penance for the disingenuousness of years. Does my right hon. friend regard those words as having to-day some application to himself.
The prime minister first declared that this question is not one of separate schools, and then he proceeded to give us a long argument with regard to the value and necessity of such schools. I shall not follow him along that path. It is not, in my opinion, a question of separate schools, but a question of provincial rights. It is not a question of separate schools, but of provincial self- government. It is not a question of separate schools but of constitutionl home rule. It is a question of those privileges and liberties of which the right hon. gentleman, up to the present at least, has claimed to be the champion and exponent. No one appreciates or respects more highly than I do the moral and ethical training which the Roman Catholic Church bestows upon the youth of Canada who were born within the pale of that church. I esteem at the highest the value of the moral training of the children of this country ; and I am free further to confess that I appreciate more highly perhaps than some others the consistency and devotion of Roman Catholics, in this and other matters of their faith, wherein they give to the Protestants of this country an example from which the latter might well learn valuable lessons.
Perhaps in dealing with this question today I shall not make myself understood, as I would like to be understood, by many of my friends in the province of Quebec, whose esteem and friendship I value second to none of any of my fellow-citizens in Canada. I have met these gentlemen in friendly intercourse, both Conservatives and Liberals ; I have found among them men of broad, generous spirit, men of culture, men of wide reading, men able to look beyond the confines of their province and of Canada, men inspired not only with patriotism and devotion to this country. but with a broad and generous spirit in their regard for those who happened to differ from them in political opinions or in matters of religion. And I would desire to make myself understood not only by those who are within the sound of my voice, but by all my friends in the province of Quebec, all of those whom I have known long and intimately and whose opinion I highly regard ; I desire them to appreciate the fact that I, to-day, am standing on the rock of the constitution, as I understand that constitution : that I simply desire that the domination of this parliament shall not in any way destroy or undermine that foundation upon which the provincial rights of this country rest. And if there are any men in Canada 2933 MARCH 22, 1905 who should have a sacred regard for provincial rights, they are my friends from the province of Quebec, who of all men, have been in the past most jealous of the liberties of their province. It was in that school that my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) learned long ago the lesson which he seems to have somewhat forgotten to-day. In the province of Quebec, there is and there is rightly, a strong spirit in favour of provincial rights. And it is because I interpret the constitution in the light of that spirit that I take the stand upon this question which I take to-day. Let me illustrate my meaning by one further statement. If any hon. member of this House or any man in this country should seek to insert in this Bill a provision forbidding the establishment of separate schools in the Northwest, I would combat that proposal to the end, because I would consider it as absolutely in the conflict with the provincial rights which I desire to see maintained. I take this stand because I believe that not only in the light of the constitution, but in the light of the highest wisdom and statesmanship, education should be left absolutely to the control of the people of the new provinces.
Sir, in 1896—to refer again for one moment to the Manitoba school question—the constitution had been interpreted by the highest courts of the land. One decision had declared that Manitoba had absolute jurisdiction over education, except as controlled by section 22 of the Manitoba Act. (And, in referring to the Manitoba Act, let us remember that it has all the force of imperial legislation because it was found necessary, almost immediately to have it validated by imperial statute and it was validated by the British North America Act of 1871.) Another decision declared that parliament had power to enact remedial legislation. A remedial order was made by the Conservative government; and a remedial measure was introduced into this parliament by that government. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) fought against it. At his right hand he had Mr. Tarte, who then represented in this House the constituency of L'Islet, who I believe, expressed sincerely the strong views he entertained on this question. At his left, was Mr. Dalton McCarthy, to whom at least the same tribute is due. And between these was the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), willing to accept the support of both. Like the three Romans who went forth to hold the bridge, these gentlemen went forth to hold the breach. Mr. McCarthy had upon his shield the device, 'No coercion; provincial rights.' Mr. Tarte had upon his shield the device 'The rights of minorities; equal justice to all.' The right hon. gentleman had on one side of his shield the device of Mr. McCarthy, and on the other the device of Mr. Tarte,—I do not know which side he called the silvern and which side he called the golden; at all events the shield was thus exhibited. The 2934 general election came on, and, as I have said, the Conservative administration was defeated. In the maritime provinces a strong campaign was made, especially in the province of Nova Scotia, by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), with the war-cry 'provincial rights; no coercion of Manitoba.' In the west the same campaign was carried on by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton). In Haldimand, in Winnipeg and in many other places throughout the west, ' No coercion of Manitoba' was the battle cry of that hon. gentleman, the ally and friend of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). And, Sir, what was all the storm about at that time? Had there been any attempt to violate the constitution? No; it was simply a question of policy. The highest court of the realm had declared the right of this government to make a remedial order and of this parliament to enact remedial legislation. Undoubtedly, remedial legislation was within the terms of the constitution. Well, by an overwhelming majority, the people of Canada rendered this verdict, a verdict which has been twice confirmed, if confirmation were needed—in 1900 and in 1904. That verdict declared that even within the terms of the constitution there should be no coercion of a province in respect of its control over educational matters.
Sir, the Conservative party was not unanimous on the question at that time. It was in the very nature of things that it would not be unanimous. Nor was there absolute unanimity among the Liberals of that day. The great majority of the Conservatives believed in the constitutional rights of the minority, and they stood by those rights at great risk and great cost to themselves. Men supported that Remedial Bill who knew that their action in so doing would debar them from future participation in the public life of Canada. The sacrifice was great, but it was not too great for many members who sincerely believed in the wisdom of enacting that legislation, who even went further and believed it to be the absolute duty of parliament to enact that legislation as proposed by the Conservative administration. And there were equally sincere men in the ranks of the Conservative party who combated that proposal, and, in the end, their position was sustained by the verdict of the country, brought about, in very great measure I believe, by the eloquent addresses of my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in favour of provincial rights—addresses which were re-echoed in Ontario, in the maritime provinces and in the west by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) by the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), by the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) and many other gentlemen on that side of the House.
Well, after the elections my right hon. friend stood forth as the champion of the 2935 COMMONS liberties of the people, as the defender par excellence of provincial rights, as the conciliator who had dispersed by sunny smiles the mists of passion and prejudice. If he was rightly estimated by the people of Canada at that time, there is grave question in the minds of many whether he has not now abandoned the principles which he then professed. Under what conditions did be present this measure ? Without consulting his two ministers best qualified by their knowledge and experience, without really consulting the representatives of the people, the executive government of the Northwest, with regard to this particular clause, and moreover, if we may believe all that we now hear, without consulting the representatives in this House of the people of the Northwest. I have challenged him before to state to this House and to the people of this country the reasons which induced him to bring down that measure without exposing it to the ex-Minister of the Interior, then a member of his cabinet, or to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. I have thought this involved to some extent the self respect and even the honour of my right hon. friend. He has not so regarded it. He must be the guardian of his own honour, I admit that, and I do not press him further. But I venture to think that it was only due to parliament and to the country to declare to us why he saw fit to adopt that most extraordinary course.
Now I come to the arguments of my right hon. friend when introducing this measure. He put forward constitutional grounds, and he gave two reasons, which I must examine a little in detail, even if in doing so I trespass upon the indulgence of the House. The first reason he gave, so far as I was able to comprehend his argument, was this : That when parliament in 1875 enacted section 11 of the Northwest Territoires Act of that year, it imposed permanently upon those territories the provisions therein contained, so that they must necessarily become embodied in the constitution of such territories when created into provinces. To state that proposition seems to me to refute it. Parliament could at any time within the last thirty years have repealed section 11, or any other section of that Act ; parliament could repeal that section to-day. Parliament on many occasions during the past thirty years has amended and modified the provisions contained in that Act. In 1890 Sir John Thompson introduced and this House carried an amendment, to a resolution moved by Mr. McCarthy. That resolution so amended conferred upon the people of the Northwest Territories power to deal with the question of dual languages after the next general election. A similar provision could then have been made with regard to education. So that provision contained in section 11 of the Act of 1875 must be 2936 regarded not as a permanent measure, but, as a temporary provision which could at any moment be repealed by parliament so soon as it saw that the legislature of the Northwest might safely be entrusted with larger powers. It was absolutely within the power of parliament at any time during the past thirty years to have given to the people of the Northwest the same authority over education as was given by the measure to which I referred with respect to the use of the dual language. It was absolutely within the power of parliament at any time within the last thirty years to have given to the people of the Northwest Territories exactly the same power over education as that which is enjoyed to-day by the people of Nova Scotia, of New Brunswick and of Prince Edward Island. Now I challenge my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, my hon. friend the Minister of Justice, or any other gentleman on that side of the House to refute that statement, and to do so by any convincing or satisfactory argument.
My right hon. friend has referred to the opinion of the late George Brown. So far as matters of policy in this country are concerned, Mr. Brown's opinion would undoubtedly be of great weight, and should commend itself especially to hon. gentlemen on that side of the House who were brought up in that school of which Mr. Brown was the leader. Therefore when my right hon. friend, upon the first reading of this Bill, was obliged to quote the words of Mr. Brown condemning any attempt to create separate schools in the Northwest of Canada, he was giving to his followers a lessen read to them by the leader of that school in which they were brought up. But he was not content to deal with the opinion of Mr. George Brown upon a question of policy, he rather sought to use Mr. Brown as a constitutional authority. Well, we know that Mr. Brown was not dealing with the question from the standpoint of constitutional obligation; we know he was not well qualified to do so, because he had not the legal training and the constitutional knowledge which would cause him to be recognized as a great authority on a question of that kind. Now if my right hon. friend desired to quote Mr. Brown's views upon the constitution, he might well have read to the House these words from Mr. Brown as a constitutional authority :
The constitution was framed with a view to leaving this question to the settlement of the various provinces, and it would be folly in parliament to violate that arrangement.
But if my right hon. friend really desired constitutional authorities, he might have come down a little later. I will give to the House the authority upon that question of men versed in the law, men whose every word upon the meaning of the constitution must carry weight. In the first place, let 2937 MARCH 22, 1905 me cite the views of the late Sir John Thompson, a great lawyer, a great constitutional lawyer, which were uttered in this House in the year 1894 :
What the constitution of the future provinces shall be, in view of the pledges which have been referred to, or in view of any other set of circumstances, will be for parliament to decide when it decides to create those provinces.
There was another gentleman, a lawyer who devoted himself, almost all his great ability, to the consideration of the constitution of Canada, a gentleman who, after being a colleague of my right hon. friend in his cabinet, was elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada, and whose loss by death a few years ago we all deplore. I refer to the Hon. David Mills, who, speaking also in this House, in 1894, used this language:
When the people of the Territories or any portion of the Territories are sufficiently numerous to constitute a province, when, in fact, they attain their majority in regard to local matters, and when they propose to set up for themselves, this parliament has no right to exercise control over them, no right to exercise any authority; it can give good advice, but it has no right to give commands. But we are not dealing with the future. When the Territories have a sufficient population to entile them to become a province they must decide for themselves whether they will have separate schools or not.
Another gentleman, at one time a prominent member of this House, now elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada, recently dealt with the permanency of institutions in the Northwest Territories. I refer to a very distinguished judge, to Mr. Justice Girouard. In a case lately decided in the Supreme Court in which he pronounced judgment upon the claim of certain municipalities in the Northwest Territories to impose taxation on Canadian Pacific Railway lands, Mr. Justice Girouard said this:
I cannot conceive that until provincial autonomy be granted under the imperial statutes to the Territories, or any part thereof, that the Parliament of Canada cannot amend, alter, or even repeal in whole or in part any provision passed for its government.
Could any language be stronger ? Continuing the learned judge says :
The express orders of parliament were to be the supreme law as long as the Territories remain part of the public domains of Canada, without provincial autonomy, which has not been granted to this day.
A former colleague of the right hon. gentleman, a man of great experience in this House, a man who was a constitutional authority, a man whose abilities as a lawyer were so eminent that my right hon. friend parted with him as a colleague in order that he might give his services to this country as a jurist upon the Supreme Court 2938 —I refer to Sir Louis Davies—also dealt with this question. He said this:
The vast territory west of Manitoba through which the railway was to run was practically at the time uninhabited by white men. The provisions made for its future government were temporary, tentative and entirely subject to the control and guidance and supervision of the Dominion parliament and authorities.
Further on :
Most of the powers of the Territorial government were to be given in the discretion of the Governor General in Council from time to time and withdrawn when and as he thought fit.
And again :
The powers of legislation possessed by the Territorial council were delegated and not plenary powers. * * * *
All ordinances which the council had power to pass were to be subject to and not inconsistent with Dominion legislation especially relating to the Territories.
Mr. Clement, an eminent constitutional writer, at page 370 of the 2nd edition of his book has also dealt with this subject. I desire to make this question plain inasmuch as my right hon. friend has based his constitutional argument upon the permanence of those institutions upon the theory that, forsooth, because a certain enactment was passed in 1875 when there were only 500 people west of Manitoba, that provision must be, by the decree of this parliament, permanently impressed upon those territories although they now contain a population of 500,000. Here are the words of Mr. Clement :
From that time--
Speaking of the early history of the Territories--
—-to the present, the Dominion parliament has had the power to legislate for the Northwest Territories in reference to all matters within the ken of a colonial legislature; and although large powers of local self-government have been conceded to the inhabitants of these territories they are held at the will of the parliament of Canada. To what extent that parliament will interpose in reference to matters over which legislative power has been conferred on the Northwest Assembly, depends on 'conventions' not capable of accurate definition. No doubt before very long a new province or provinces will be formed out of these territories. The position, therefore, is so evidently temporary that it is difficult to decide to what extent of detail one should go in discussing the present position of the Northwest Territories.
Now, are not these authorities sufficient for my right hon. friend, or indeed sufficient for any hon. member of this House, to induce him to come to the conclusion that these provisions were absolutely temporary and tentative in their nature and that there exists nothing in the constitution which for one moment obliges us to impose this 2939 COMMONS provision for ever upon these Territories by an Act which we cannot repeal? If the authority to which I have referred is not sufficient let me cite one which occasionally irritates my right hon. friend when it is quoted, one which is often inconsistent with his views, but nevertheless, one which, if it does not command his respect, will at least, I am sure, attract his attention. My right hon. friend himself said in this House:
It is impossible to admit for instance that the institutions of the Northwest are permanent. On the contrary they are exceptionally temporary; they deal with a state of things which is exceptional in itself; they were devised at a time when there was no population and they must be modified from time to time as the necessities of the case require. But at this moment to say they are permanent is a thing in which I cannot agree except so far as they must be permanent in every particular, so long as we are not ready to give these people a more extended form of local authority.
Mr. Speaker, you do not observe in this opinion of my right hon. friend any especial reference to the permanence of this provision which he now seeks to impress for ever upon the people of the Northwest Territories. But, let me not forget one other authority which I should refer to, that is the authority of Sir John Thompson, whom I have already mentioned. These words were uttered in the year 1894. Mr. McCarthy, in the course of his speech on that occasion, used this language and Sir John Thompson gave the following answer :-
As I understood the First Minister in his answer to the hon. member for West Assiniboia—perhaps I was wrong, but Iwould like to be corrected if I was wrong—rather insisted upon the view I am putting which is that if separate schools are continued until the Northwest Territories are given provincial autonomy they will have the right of insisting upon that being continued when provincial autonomy is conferred upon them.
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. I did not say that.
Mr. McCARTHY. Then I fail to understand the views which the First Minister holds. He seems to be on both sides of the question.
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. Not at all. If I spoke amblguously before, I was not at all conscious of it; but I cannot be said to be ambiguous after the explanation I made to the hon. member for Assiniboia. I appealed to the House to continue the present system while the territorial system continued, and I declared that in my opinion the whole subject would be open and free to parliament as to what constitution we would give to the provinces when provinces were created.
Now, my right hon. friend took one other ground. He says that within the four corners of the British North America Act, 1867 to 1886, he has found justification for imposing upon the people of the Northwest this restriction. I take issue with him upon this ground as strongly as upon the other. Neither in the negotiations and resolutions 2940 which led up to the British North America Act, 1867, nor within the four corners of that Act, and of the Acts in amendment thereto, can any provision be found which obliges, or in my humble opinion even justifies parliament in imposing separate schools upon the new provinces. No doubt in this I may be in conflict with some hon. gentleman in this House, apparently with the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) for otherwise this provision would not be brought down. If anything would cause me to hesitate in my own opinion it would be that I differ from the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) whose legal ability I very highly esteem. I do not claim to be infallible, but I have given to this question a good deal of consideration and it is my duty to state the conclusion I have arrived at, and which I have just stated, that there is not any provision within the four corners of the Act which obliges or in my humble opinion even justifies parliament in imposing this restriction upon the legislative power of the proposed provinces.
Let us examine in the first place the negotiations upon which the British North America Act was passed. Do not forget that in the very outset the intention was to include in the confederation the very territories that are now being constituted into provinces. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has referred to the Quebec resolutions. Let me also refer to them. He has referred to the 43rd article and to the 6th sub-article. I shall read that because it is important to consider it in order to judge whether, outside the strict letter of the law and within the spirit of the constitution, within the lines of the negotiations which resulted in its formation, anything is to be found which justifies the present action of the government. The 43rd article enumerates subjects within the exclusive power of the provincial legislatures and the 6th sub- article is as follows :-
Education, saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both the Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools, at the time when the union goes into operation.
Not a word about Nova Scotia, not a word about New Brunswick, not a word about Prince Edward Island. Is there anything about the Northwest Territories in that resolution ? Not one word, not one syllable.
But in construing that article do not forget to read in connection with it article 10 of the same resolution, which is this :
The Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Vancouver, shall be admitted into the union on such terms and conditions as the parliament of the federated provinces shall deem equitable, and as shall receive the assent of Her Majesty ; and in the case of the provinces of British Columbia or Vancouver as shall be agreed to by the legislature of such province.
2941 MARCH 22, 1905
What do I argue from that ? There were resolutions passed with regard to the union of certain provinces, the 10th article of those resolutions contemplated the bringing into the confederation of the very territories with which we are dealing to-day, and when the question of education was dealt with under article 43, sub-article 6 of the resolutions no restriction was placed upon the powers of provinces which might be created in the future in the Northwest. Certainly, this is very significant. My right hon. friend in his speech upon the first reading of this Bill very frankly admitted this. He said :
I shall be told that that exception applies to Ontario and Quebec alone, and not to the other provinces. Sir, that is true. Amongst the four provinces then united, Ontario and Quebec alone had a system of separate schools.
Let us trace the history of this a little further. The British North America Act was passed and went into force on the first of July, 1867. Section 146 provided for the admission of other provinces upon a joint address of their legislatures and of the parliament of Canada. I shall read it.
It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, on addresses from the Houses of the parliament of Canada and from the Houses of the respective legislatures of the colonies or provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia to admit those colonies or provinces, or any of them into the union, and on address from the Houses of parliament of Canada. to admit Rupert's Land and the northwestern territory, or either of them into the union on such terms and conditions in each case as are in the addresses expressed, and as the Queen thinks fit to approve, subject to the provisions of this Act; and the provisions of any Order in Council in that behalf shall have effect as if they had been enacted by the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
I lay special stress upon the words 'subject to the provisions of this Act.' Under this provision the Territories became part of Canada on July 15, 1870, under an order of Her Majesty in council passed upon two addresses from the parliament of Canada. These addresses, did not, nor did the Order in Council founded upon them, nor did the Rupert's Land Act,1868, contain any provision which authorized, it seems to me, or justified, in my humble opinion, the imposition upon the people of the Northwest of the educational provisions contained in the present measure. Manitoba was included in the territory which became part of Canada under that Order in Council. The position of Manitoba was a little peculiar. An Act was passed by this parliament in anticipation of the Order in Council to which we have just referred. That Act was passed on May 12, 1870, a little more than two months before these territories became part of Canada, and therefore Manitoba was 2942 created into a province at the very moment that it became part of the Dominion of Canada. That is a circumstance which should never be lost sight of in dealing with any question relating to Manitoba, and I have already pointed out that so doubtful was parliament, so doubtful was the administration of the day of the validity of the Act creating Manitoba into a province. that recourse was almost immediately had to the parliament of Great Britain and the provisions of the Manitoba Act were validated by the parliament of Great Britain in 1871. Therefore, any question which might otherwise have arisen whether or not this parliament was justified in inserting certain provisions in the Manitoba Act became immaterial and never could arise after the passing of the British North America Act, 1871. Under these circumstances it seems to me that no constitutional obligation, and, in my humble opinion, with all deference to the views of those who think differently, no constitutional authority is found for the educational clauses. I am of that opinion because these educational clauses depart in terms from the provisions of the British North America Act which they purport to embody. If my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is correct in his contention that he is observing not only the letter but the spirit of the constitution, why is it that he has inserted in section 16 both as originally drafted and as amended provisions which purport to incorporate but which do more than that, which amend and change the terms of the British North America Act? The Prime Minister in his argument today declared that these Territories became entitled to the provisions of the British North America Act when they became part of this confederation. So they did, but 1875 is subsequent in date to 1870, and he is not seeking to-day to preserve any rights which existed at the time of the union in 1870. He attempts by this measure to perpetuate privileges which did not then exist, but which were created by this parliament in 1775. Is my right hon. friend willing to base his case upon the rights which existed in the Northwest Territories at the time of the union? What does my right hon. friend regard as the time of the union? I gathered from him to-day that the time of the union, is the time when these provinces became part of the Canadian confederation. If that is the meaning of the constitution let the constitution be so construed and acted upon without any attempt by this parliament to override or change its provisions. My right hon. friend says that under subsection one of section 93 of the British North America Act, laws imposed by this parliament upon the Territories in 1875, when those Territories had only 500 people must continue for ever to be the laws of these Territories, although they contain 500,000 people now and inside of twenty years they may con 2943 COMMONS tain 2,000,000 of people. That is my right hon. friend's argument when reduced to its essential terms. He quotes from section 93 of the British North America Act; let us look at that section :
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions :-
1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
Was it not decided in the Barrett case in 1892, that the inhabitants of the Northwest Territories comprised within the limits of the province of Manitoba had no right to separate schools either by law or practice at the time Manitoba became part of confederation. Was not that decided, and is not the date on which the Territories became part of confederation exactly the same date on which Manitoba became part of confederation and became a province of Canada ?
Subsection 2 of section 93 is not very material because it relates solely to Ontario and Quebec. Subsection 3 of 93 reads :
Where, in any province, a system of separate or dissenting schools exists by-law at the union or is thereafter established by the legislature of the province, an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education.
And section 4 provides :
In case any such provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is not made, or in case any decision of the Governor General in Council on any appeal under this section is not duly executed by the proper provincial authority in that behalf, then and in every such case, and as far only as the circumstances of each case require, the parliament of Canada may make remedial laws for the due execution of the provisions of this section, and of any decision of the Governor General in Council under this section.
It will be specially observed that in subsection 3 the word, 'prejudicially' is not found. It says :
—an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education.
In the letter to which the Prime Minister has called attention, Mr. Haultain has quoted certain words of Mr. Blake, which are very cogent in considering this question. Mr. Blake in 1869 said:
It is perfectly clear on great and obvious principles that the basis of union settled by 2944 the British North America Act is not capable of alteration by parliament.
To the same effect is the opinion of the well known and very able writer Mr. Clement in the second edition of his work on 'The Canadian Constitution,' page 352, where he says :
Can a new province be established with a smaller sphere of authority than that occupied by the provinces named in the British North America Act, 1867 ? By the British North America Act, 1886, the three Acts are to be read together and may be cited as the British North America Acts 1867 to 1886. And by section G of the British North America Act 1871, a Dominion Act establishing a province becomes, in effect, an Imperial Act—at all events an Act which cannot be altered by anything short of imperial legislation. It is submitted, therefore, that any new province created under this section must be given full provincial autonomy and powers as defined in the original British North America Act, 1867.
Analyze the British North America Act so far as analysis is necessary for the purpose of considering this question and what do you find ? In the first place you find the establishment of a federal parliament and a federal executive; in the next place you find the establishment of provincial legislatures and provincial executives; in the next place you find the distribution of executive power between the federal executive. and the provincial executive, and lastly you find the distribution of legislative power between the Dominion parliament and the provincial legislatures. This analysis is not exhaustive, but it covers all that is necessary for the present purpose. I submit, Sir, that the basis established by this distribution of legislative and executive power cannot be altered either under section 146 of the British North America Act or under section 2 of the British North America Act, 1871. In establishing a new province can this parliament wholly or partially alter the basis of confederation; can it change the distribution of legislative power? That, I submit can only be done by the imperial parliament. Surely it cannot be contended that in giving to a new province the constitutional rights conferred by the British North America Act we can reverse the scheme framed by the fathers of confederation and embodied in an imperial statute. Yet, that is what the right hon. gentleman seeks to do to-day by the provisions contained both in the original and amended section 16 of the Bill. In creating a new province under the British North America Act can this parliament so amend section 92 as to transfer to federal jurisdiction nine- tenths of the powers which by the express terms of that section are to be exercised exclusively by the provinces ? Can this parliament transfer to such a province any of the powers which under the provisions of section 91 come within the exclusive juris 2945 MARCH 22, 1905 diction of the federal parliament? If we can transfer any why not all and thus completely transpose and reverse the entire scheme and compact of confederation. I submit that we have no duty, nay, we have no right or power to shatter the foundations then laid, or to rewrite the compact into which we then entered.
But it may be said that the second section of the British North America Act, 1871, has the efect of enabling this parliament to alter the terms of the constitution created in 1867. I do not so read it. I have already quoted section 146 of the British North America Act, and attention must be especially called to the words in that section :
Subject to the provision of this Act.
Take in connection with that the words of the third section of the British North America Act, 1886. In the passage which I quoted from Mr. Clement he drew attention to these words, but I desire to emphasize them, and I shall read the third section of the British North America Act, 1886 :
This Act may be cited as the British North America Act 1886. This Act and the British North America Act 1867 and the British North America Act 1871, shall be construed together and may be cited together as the British North America Acts 1867 to 1886.
Well, with that light let us go to the British North America Act of 1871 and observe its terms. The British North America Act of 1871 in its preamble recites as follows :
Whereas doubts have been entertained respecting the powers of the parliament of Canada to establish provinces in territories admitted, or which may hereafter be admitted into the Dominion of Canada, and to provide for the representation of such provinces in the said parliament, and it is expedient to remove such doubts and vest such powers in the said parliament--
And after that preamble we have the words of section 2 of the Act, which are as follows :
The parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof, and may at the time of such establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province and for its representation in the said parliament.
In the first place, you must read into that the words of the Act of 1886, to which I have already referred. which declare that these three Acts must be construed together. In the next place, you must read into the Act of 1871 the words contained in section 146, 'subject to the provisions of this Act.' When you examine section 2 of the British North America Act of 1871 in the light of
2946
these provisions. I venture to submit that the imperial parliament did not intend by the Act of 1871 to authorize the parliament of Canada to alter the distribution of legislative power which is provided in the British North America Act of 1867. 
Let us examine then the basis of union with regard to education, because that still remains to be considered, and it is upon that point my hon. friend has rested a considerable portion of his argument. Would it not be well before doing so to observe how this question has been regarded by great constitutional lawyers in days gone by? There was no man in parliament for whose opinion in constitutional matters my right hon. friend had greater regard than the late Hon. David Mills. Speaking in this parliament in 1894, Mr. Mills said:
When you look at the subject of education prior to the union you will find not that any system was expressly imposed upon the province, not that the principle of separate schools was virtually established, but the rule was established that where separate schools were established and had been established before the union, they should remain, and where they were not established, the province should retain control over the subject to introduce them or prevent their introduction as seemed proper to the people. We have a practical illustration of this fact in the position of things in the maritime provinces and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. So far as the Territories were concerned—I do not at all admit that the introduction of separate schools there stands upon the same footing as the introduction of separate schools in the province of Ontario, or of dissentient schools in the province of Quebec. In these provinces they are protected under the constitution; they cannot be interfered with by the local legislature. But in the Northwest Territories, as the hon. minister has said, it has been a matter not of right, not of guarantee to any particular class of the population, but a matter of policy. They were introduced with the view of preventing conflict in this House upon the subject of separate schools and for the reason that they were introduced there they should be maintained as long as these Territories are under the control of this parliament. When this parliament has discharged its duties and the people of the Territories have received the population to entitle them to enter the union they must assume the responsibility for deciding for themselves under the British North America Act how far they should maintain the principle of separate schools or maintain the non-denominational system. Any attempt on our part, whatever our inclinations or feelings may be, to anticipate what ought to be done in that particular, by the province after its autonomy is established, instead of being a source of security to its institutions would be a source of great danger.
Mr. McCarthy, who was inclined to differ at one time a little from Mr. Mills in that regard, said in the same debate, speaking a little later on:
It may be that the view of. the hon. gentleman from Bothwell is right in that respect and that clause two of the Act of 1871 does not give to this parliament the power, in creating a 2947 COMMONS province to confer any constitutional rights other and different from those mentioned in the British North America Act.
And to the same effect, if I desired to heap up authorities, is the opinion of a gentleman who was elevated to the Supreme Court in Canada by my right hon. friendelevated to a court where these constitutional questions continually are presented. He was elevated no doubt for the reason that he was a student of constitutional law and a high authority on that subject. I refer again to Sir Louis Davies. That gentleman said, in 1891, in this parliament :
My opinion is now and has been for years that when that time comes you cannot withhold from the provinces so erected the right to determine for themselves the question of education in one way or the other. I would be the last to favour this parliament imposing upon the people there any system of education, either free or separate. I only claim that when a Bill is introduced to erect those Territories into provinces that Bill should contain a provision enabling the people of the different provinces so created to decide what system of education they shall have. I do not discuss that question now. I only express this view lest I might be supposed by my silence to give assent to some extreme doctrines which hon. gentlemen have propounded. In view of the remarks which have been made, I thought it necessary to disclaim that, in assenting to the passing of this Bill, I bound myself for all time on this question of education. I do not. Although we are giving powers almost equal to those conferred upon local legislatures, we are not erecting the Territories into separate provinces. When that is done I suppose it will be done by the Queen in Council under the 146th section of the British North America Act, and I simply claim the right when that time comes to determine for myself. In accordance with the view I have always held and hold now, I have no hesitation in expressing, respectfully, that the people of those new provinces should have the right to determine what system of education they shall have.
Is there anything in the terms of section 93, read in connection with section 2 of the Act of 1871, which authorizes or indeed justifies the imposing of restrictions on the legislative rights of the new provinces ? Let me once more read it, omitting what is immaterial in this regard :
The parliament of Canada may establish new provinces and may make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province and for its representation in parliament.
It is urged that when you read that in connection with section 93, you are to conclude for some reason that the schools which were established in 1875, or the law which was passed in 1875 and the ordinances which were enacted in pursuance of that law, are to be imposed and must indeed constitutionally be imposed upon the new provinces. What is the basis with regard to education ? The basis is that in and for each province the legislature may exclusive 2948ly make laws in relation to education, subject and according to certain provisions.
These provisions I have already adverted to ; and the question arises whether or not they have any relation to the creation of provinces from territories which became part of Canada in 1870—whether or not laws which were not in force in those territories at the time when they became part of Canada are or can be imposed upon the territories under the constitution by virtue of the provisions of section 93 coupled with the Act of 1871. With all deference to the opinion of those who differ from me in this regard, I submit that such is not the result. And it is perfectly clear that in their hearts the government believe that these provisions have no such effect. Otherwise they would not have attempted to change those provisions by the Bill now before the House. It the constitution is the rock upon which the right hon. Prime Minister stands, why does he not let that rock stand and why does he not build the superstructure of his legislation upon it ? Why does he seek first to undermine it as he is attempting to do ?
I submit that the first subsection of section 93 which affords the key to all the subsections, is only applicable to provinces already formed, already existing as separate sovereignties. The words of the section are: ' In the province at the union ' —contemplating, it seems to me, laws which had come into existence by the sovereign will of the people before they entered this confederation, and not laws imposed upon 500 people in the Northwest of Canada in 1875, at a time when their voice could not indeed be heard in this parliament because they had then no representative here. These territories do not come into the union as a province. The words of the section I have just read are not apt, nor were they intended to convey any such meaning as the right hon. Prime Minister has attempted to read into them. In making his argument in favour of withholding the lands from the province, the Prime Minister inadvertently made a very strong argument against these educational provisions; and I will tell him what it was. He said :
When the provinces which I have named came into confederation, they were already sovereignties. I use that term, because barring their dependence as colonies they were sovereignties in the sense of having the management of their affairs.
And a little further on:
But the case of these new provinces is not at all similar.
This is the right hon. gentleman's argument when he withholds from them control of their lands ; but when he wishes to withhold from them control in matters of education they are to be regarded as sovereign and exactly in the same light as the four provinces that originally entered confederation. Sir. I contend that that sec 2949 MARCH 22, 1905 tion was only designed to preserve rights created by the people themselves in their independent legislatures before the union. It was a matter of compact. Legislative sovereignty had already established certain rights. These were not to be prejudiced after union had taken place.
In the case of the Northwest, however, the people had never acted. A system imposed upon them in 1875, which has continued from that time to the present, is now sought to be made perpetual. The people did not freely establish separate schools in the Northwest, but these were established under the terms of a statute in framing which the people had no voice, but to which as good loyal subjects they have been absolutely obedient so long as they were in a territorial position. The territories have never had any complete legislative powers such as were originally enjoyed by the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia. Parliament, as I have pointed out over and over again could have revoked the power conferred first upon the territorial council and afterwards upon the territorial legislature. The right hon. Prime Minister sought to overcome this by a misuse of words—I say that in no offensive sense. He said:
So, Sir, now whenever a province comes here knocking at this door asking to be admitted into confederation, if in that province there exists a system of separate schools, the British North America Act has provided that the same guarantee we give to the minority in Quebec and Ontario shall also be given to the minority in that province.
In this case no province comes here knocking at the door asking for admission into confederation. The government is proposing a measure to parliament under which provinces are created; but these will not be provinces until after this Act is passed and has gone into effect. It is of no use to attempt to dispose of high constitutional rights by any such juggling with words as that. The Prime Minister deals with the question as if the people themselves had established their own system of separate schools by their own independent, sovereign action. They have not done anything of the kind. They established separate schools in the Northwest because the Act passed in 1875, when there were not more than five hundred people in the Northwest, imposed upon them the duty of establishing separate schools if they should establish any schools at all. Again the Prime Minister says :
If we were in the year 1867, and not in the year 1905, and if we had to introduce into this Dominion the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan--
Mark the language: 'The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan '—treating them 2950 as if they were already sovereign entities. Why did he resort to what I, without desire to offend call a misuse of words ? I will answer for him: It is because he was obliged to do so to give even a semblance of support to the measure which he introduced to the House on the 21st of February. Let me read again what I just now began to read : 
If we were in the year 1867, and not in the year 1905, and if we had to introduce into this Dominion the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, would my hon. friend tell me that these provinces would not have the same rights and privileges in regard to separate schools as were granted to Ontario and Quebec?
Did any one ever hear a more absolutely unfounded premise and a more absolutely false conclusion ? And it was cheered lustily some of these hon. gentlemen who since have been going about in sackcloth and ashes because of their difficulties upon this question.
At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

PRIVATE BILLS.

THIRD READINGS.

Bill (No. 82) to incorporate the Dominion Annuity Company.—Mr. Bole.
Bill (No. 105) to incorporate the Ontario Fire Insurance Company.—Mr. Boyce.

THE OTTAWA ELECTRIC COMPANY.

House in Committee on Bill (No. 12) respecting the Ottawa Electric Company. On the preamble,
Mr. ROBERT STEWART (Ottawa). Up to the present moment we have heard nothing from the promoter of the Bill as to the reasons why he asks this House to pass it. As one of the representatives of the city of Ottawa I would like to hear from him why he asks for this legislation, which, to my mind, is an invasion of the rights of the municipality. In such an important matter as this I really think that the promoter of the Bill ought to give us some reasons why he thinks we should pass it. I may say that since this Bill was in committee before a very numerously signed petition has been sent in protesting against the passing of the Bill, a petition signed by over 2,000 ratepayers of the city of Ottawa. I mention this as showing the very strong feeling that exists in the city against this Bill; and yet in face of this fact. and in face of the fact that this Bill seems to call for the abolition of the competition which exists to-day, we are still without any reasons given by the promoter of the Bill why it should pass.
2963 COMMONS
Regarding the amendment proposed by Mr. Birkett, then member for Ottawa, let me draw attention to the fact that the Bill went through committee in Mr. Birkett's absence. I am not making any charge or finding fault with him, but merely stating that he was not present when the Bill went through committee. When it came before the House and he saw that the Bill was likely to carry, the amendment he proposed was conceded by the city only because they thought they could not get better. But the point of the present Bill and the subject now really before the House, is whether this House shall pass a Bill to enable the Ottawa Electric Company to abolish competition. So far as the mayor's statement in the committee is concerned, it is well known that immediately after the meeting of that committee, the city council was called togther, and, by a vote of nineteen to five, decided to oppose the adoption of the maximum rate of the Consumers' Electric Company. So, we have to-day before us not the question whether this was acceptable to the mayor, or whether it was acceptable to the corporation of a previous year, but we have the statement of the corporation of Ottawa that they are opposed to the abolishing of competition, which is the principle underlying this Bill. And I think that the promoter or the Bill, if he would tell us all he knows about it, would say that the idea of increasing the capital is that the company may be able to absorb the Consumers' Electric Company and thereby destroy competition.
Mr. KEMP. Might I inquire from the hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) why it is necessary for this company to come here for legislation ? If they wish to override the city of Ottawa why do they not go to the provincial legislature of Ontario?
Mr. BELCOURT. The charter which it is proposed to amend is a Dominion charter. So, they must come here.
Preamble agreed to, yeas 82, nays 59.
The hour for private Bills having expired, the Speaker took the chair.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.

House resumed consideration of the 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.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton, Ont.) I have pointed out that it is not a question of introducing into the Dominion in this year, 1905, provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, but of creating out of the Northwest Territoiries of Canada these provinces under the Bills which have been introduced. And the right hon. gentleman continues as follows:
2964
Would he tell me that when you would say to Ontario and Quebec: You shall have your separate schools, Alberta and Saskatchewan would be denied that privilege ? The thing is preposterous. Let us rise above such considerations.
Well, I ask him why he conveniently leaves out of sight in that illustration, the cases of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island? He himself, has pointed out in an earlier passage of his speech—indeed to-day he has gone into the historical aspect of that matter—that these clauses, so far as Ontario and Quebec are concerned, were introduced into the British North American Act by virtue of a compact, and that no such compact existed in respect to the three maritime provinces. Well, if my right hon. friend will show me that the case of these proposed provinces—because they are not yet provinces—comes nearer to the case of Ontario and Quebec than it does to the case of the maritime provinces, if he is able to show me that there is in respect to these proposed provinces any such compact as that which was made before confederation between Ontario and Quebec, I will then readily and gladly accept his illustration; but until he does so I contend that his illustration is of not the slightest value.
Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to section 16, because it is opposed to the spirit and the letter of the constitution. I am opposed to the substituted section because it is not different in principle from that for which it is substituted; and indeed it is difficult to understand why there have been three weeks of delay, why there have been three weeks of negotiation, why there have been three weeks of turmoil, why this measure has been postponed from the 21st of February up to the present time, simply for the purpose of bringing down to parliament as a substitute that which is to all intents and purposes, in principle and for the most part in detail, exactly the same as the original section. Is this the result of the efforts of the ex-Minister of the Interior? Is it for this that he resigned office ? Is it to accomplish this that he laid down the seals of office and placed himself before the people of this country as the champion of provincial liberties ? Is this the result of the unceasing and untiring efforts of the seven hon. gentlemen from the Northwest Territories who sit on the other side of the House ? Sir, the mountains have been in labour, and a ridiculous mouse has been brought forth. What does section 16 as proposed to be amended accomplish? It sterotypes for ever the ordinances and laws of the Northwest Territories in a portion of the country where extraordinary progress and development must be expected. I venture to think that an Act of this kind will be productive of more harm in that portion of the country than anywhere else in 2465 MARCH 22, 1905 Canada, because it is into the Northwest that our immigration will largely flow, and it is there that we must expect development and progress to a very unusual degree in the immediate future.
Why, the very form of section 16 and of the substituted section show that the government are not serious in the contention which the right hon. gentleman has made. What had they inserted in this Bill before we came to section 16? They had inserted section 2, which I will read to the House :
2. The provisions of the British North America Acts 1867 to 1886, shall apply to the province of Alberta in the same way and to the like extent as they apply to the provinces heretofore comprised in the Dominion, as if the said province of Alberta had been one of the provinces originally united, except in so far as varied by this Act and except such provisions as are in terms made, or by reasonable intendment may be held to be, specially applicable to or only to affect one or more and not the whole of the said provinces.
Has not the right hon. gentleman over and over again in this House, both upon the first reading of this Bill and in the speech which he made this afternoon, told us that it is his intention solely and absolutely to apply to the Northwest Territories of Canada the provisions of that constitution under which all Canadians live. Now I ask him, and I ask every hon. gentleman on the other side of the House who proposes to deal with this question, why section 2 is not sufficient to apply to the Northwest Territories of Canada, every provision of the constitutional statutes which it enumerates ? If my right hon. friend proposes to stand on the rock of the constitution, what portion of the rock of the constitution is omitted from section 2? It goes further, I believe, in the direction in which the right hon. gentleman desires to persevere, than it should go having regard to the fact that this is not a province already constituted coming into the Dominion, but is a province to be created by the very Bill we are now discussing. I will have something more to say about that when this Bill is in committee. But putting aside for the moment that question, is or is not my right hon. friend sincere, are or are not his colleagues sincere, when they tell this House that they desire the control of education in the Northwest Territories to be regulated solely by the provisions of the constitution ? If they are sincere, then I say that they have everything in section 2 that can possibly be given —if they stand as the right hon. gentleman says he does stand, on the rock of the constitution. Why, the matter is not arguable. For what reason do they insert these words?
Except in so far as varied by this Act.
If you are to stand on the rock of the constitution if my right hon. friend and his colleagues are prepared to stand or fall by the provisions of the constitution, how 2966 is it that they desire to vary in one jot, tittle, or iota the provisions of the constitution ? My right hon. friend has accused the press of this country of fomenting discord, of arousing passion, and strife and prejudice.
An hon. MEMBER. Hear, hear.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I want to tell my right hon. friend, and I want to tell the hon. gentleman who is venturesome enough to say, 'hear, hear,' that what has agitated the people of this country is not so much what has been said by the press as the knowledge that the right hon. gentleman, in this Bill, has in express terms departed from the provisions of the constitution. The British North America Act, 1867 to 1886, is to apply to these two provinces, to apply absolutely and in their whole terms. Are they ? Let the right hon. gentleman answer in the terms of his own measure: No. they are only to apply 'except in so far as varied by this Act.' And yet with that provision staring him in the face, not only in section 2 but in section 16 of the Bill, he ventures, on his authority as a public man of long experience, on his responsibility as Prime Minister of Canada, on his honour as leader of this House, to stand here and tell us that he abides by the constitution, that he stands upon the rock upon which it is founded. Why, surely, the matter is not arguable. If the right hon. gentleman is sincere, let him strike out these words ' in so far as varied by this Act,' let him abolish section 16, and then you will have in truth and in their entirety those very provisions which are established upon the rock of the constitution. Let us look at the substituted section. It is worse, it seems to me—certainly it is no better than the original section:
Sir Wilfrid Laurier—In Committee of the Whole—On Bill No. 69—Will move that the following section be substituted for section 16 of the said Bill :
Section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, shall apply to the said province.
So far very good.
Shall apply to the said province.
How apply ? Absolutely, in its entirety, unamended. without variation ? No, Sir. Here again is the answer of my right hon. friend in the very words which he put upon the order paper of this House only the night before last :
Section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, shall apply to the said province, with the substitution for subsection 1 of said section 93, of the following subsection :
We are amending in this parliament section 93 of the British North America Act, which the right hon. gentleman says is applicable to the new territories. First. he lays it down in as distinct a way as ever I heard anything laid down in this parliament, 2967 COMMONS that the people of these Territories became entitled to the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act and every subsection contained in it. Then, when he comes to constitute these Territories into provinces, he takes away what he has already said is the birthright of the people of these Territories. Well, that may be argument and that may be logic, but I am bound to confess that it is argument and logic absolutely beyond my comprehension. What is the subsection which we are going to interpolate into the British North America Act passed by the imperial parliament in respect to these provinces ? What is it that we are going to substitute for the constitutional birthright of these people ?
Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to separate schools which any class of persons have at the date of the passing of this Act, under the terms of chapters 29 and 30 of the Ordinances of the Northwest Territories, passed in the year 1901.
We are amending the British North America Act of 1867 by inserting in it certain ordinances passed by the legislature of the Northwest Territories in 1901 under a delegated authority from this parliament. That is the position in which the right hon. gentleman places this matter before the House. Further, in the second subsection, it is declared that:
In the appropriation by the legislature or distribution by the government of the province of any moneys for the support of schools organized and carried on in accordance with said chapter 29 or any Act passed in amendment thereof, or in substitution therefor, there shall be no discrimination against schools of any class described in the said chapter 29.
And in the third:
Where the expression 'by law ' is employed in subsection 3 of the said section 93, it shall be held to mean the law as set out in said chapters 29 and 30, and where the expression ' at the union ' is employed, in said subsection 3, it shall be held to mean the date at which this Act comes into force.
And that, if you please, Mr. Speaker, is a strict adherence to the constitution, which is the birthright of the people of the Northwest Territories. I say, in all sincerity, and without the slightest desire to be offensive: Could absurdity go farther? You have applied the provisions of the British North America Act in section 2, and now, in section 16 of this Bill, you propose to abolish subsection 1 of section 93 of the British North America Act and to amend the third subsection by putting upon the terms of that section an interpretation which, I think, it could not otherwise bear. If the expression 'at the union' really means the date when the new provinces are tstablished, it requires no amendment for the Prime Minister's purpose. If it does not bear that meaning why and by what authority shall we amend it? If my hon. friends on the 2968 other side of the House differ from me there is one test to which we can both put our opinions. Strike out these words of interpretation, because, according to their view, they are absolutely necessary. Then we will stand by the constitution exactly as it was passed in 1867, and exactly as it should govern the people of Canada, including the people of the Northwest Territories, to-day.
I was under the impression that a great deal of the agitation and dissatisfaction said to prevail in certain quarters on the other side of the House, was occasioned by the provision contained in subsection 3 of section 16 of the Bill as originally drafted. That subsection reads as follows:
In the appropriation of public moneys by the legislature in aid of education, and in the distribution of any moneys paid to the government of the said province arising from the school fund established by the Dominion Lands Act, there shall be no discrimination between the public schools and the separate schools, and such moneys shall be applied to the support of public and separate schools in equitable shares or proportion.
It was murmured—I know not with what truth—that one of the special reasons advanced by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) for his disagreement with his colleagues was the circumstance that this amendment had been made, and that thereby the moneys set apart for a certain purpose under the provisions of the Dominion Lands Act were supposed to be diverted from the purpose for which they were originally intended. Has that been changed ? Let us read the provision which is now proposed to be substituted for it, and I will venture to say that there is a great deal less difference between the amended section and the original section proposed by the government than there is between either one or other of these sections and section 93 of the British North America Act. The amendment does not differ so much from the section as originally drafted as either one or the other of those sections departs from the terms of the British North America Act. Here is the amended section in regard to public moneys:
In the appropriation by the legislature or distribution by the government of the province of  any moneys for the support of schools organized and carried on in accordance with said chapter 29 or any Act passed in amendment thereof, or in substitution therefor, there shall be no discrimination against schools of any class described in the said chapter 29.
Almost ipsissimis verbis and certainly not in the slightest degree different in substance.
What, after all, is the position in which we find ourselves to-day under the proposal of the government ? Parliament undertakes to interpret some provisions and to amend others of a constitution which it has not power to alter. If the constitution is to be followed, and if parliament 2969 MARCH 22, 1905 is to keep within its terms, the proper course is simply to provide that the general provisions of the British North America Act shall apply, in so far as they are applicable to the new provinces. It is the only course to pursue, and I stated a moment ago, what I now repeat that if the government of this country, instead of embarking on their present course had simply confined themselves to a proposal of that kind, protecting the rights of all parties under the constitution, as it was originally framed, there would have been no arousing of passion, or prejudice, or strife, and this difficult and delicate question could, I think, have been settled without any such discord as that which we have unfortunately known in this country during the past few weeks. If the constitution imposes on the new provinces the restrictions which have been spoken of, why is it necessary to distort, to amend, to alter its language or to interpret the Acts referred to ? Sir, it is not wise to follow a course which arouses passion, discord and discontent. Let the rights of all be governed according to the constitution, and no injustice will be done; and, more than that, no injustice will be felt. The right hon. gentleman and his colleagues have been advocates of provincial rights, champions of conciliation, in the past, and after all conciliation is better than coercion. The Prime Minister has laid that principle down many times, and I am sorry he has been so forgetful of it on the present occasion. Let us listen to what he said in 1890 :
What I understand by provincial rights—and I suppose what my hon. friend must understand —is that the people of the Territories should decide for themselves whether or not they are to have the privilege or the onus of having two official languages.
And if he was willing then that the people of the Territories should have the right to determine what should be their language, whether they should have one official language or two, why should he be afraid now to entrust to the same people the rights of any man in those Territories in respect to education. Why should there be any fear ? Is not the question of language something to my friends in the province of Quebec? I am led to believe and I do believe that next to the faith to which they are attached and of which they are proud, they take a legitimate pride in their own language. And why should they not? I am English speaking and Protestant, I am not ashamed of the race from which I have sprung or of the faith to which I hold and it is for that very reason that I honour the French Canadians, because they are firmly attached to that faith which they learned at their mothers' knees, because they revere that language which they learned from their mothers' lips and because they are proud of the traditions of that splendid race to which they belong- and every one of us should honour them 2970 for that reason. Any man who has not some feeling of pride in his ancestry, who does not honour the traditions of the race from which he sprang, cannot be a good Canadian and it is well for the future of this country, it is well for the future of our people as a whole, that there should be in the two great races which dominate this country, a feeling on either side of attachment to language and of pride of race. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was willing in days gone by to entrust that great question to the fair play and justice of the people of the Northwest. May I not ask in all sincerity, Mr. Speaker, why it is that there should be any fear now ? But let me continue the quotation to which I just now referred.
If you remove that law, you take away from them the privilege which they now have of using two languages. I do not believe that is in the direction of provincial rights or provincial autonomy. The amendment of my hon. friend the Minister of Justice tends to uphold provincial rights and local autonomy, and I am happy to extent my congratulations to the Prime Minister and to his government that more and more and day by day the force of circumstances brings them over to this principle.
You will observe that the right hon. gentleman in view of his attachment to provincial institutions, and provincial autonomy was then actually congratulating the leader of the Conservative government of the day because he was disposed to leave, and did leave after the next general election the question of language entirely to the justice and fair play of the people of the Northwest Territories. Yet he takes an entirely opposite stand to-day and insists that restrictions not to be found in the British North America Act shall be imposed on the people of the Northwest Territories. Then he went on :
If the hon. member for Simcoe instead of placing as a basis of his Bill that there should be a community of language, and that this community of language should extend everywhere in the Dominion where French is spoken, had simply left it to the will and desire of the people of the Territories, we would not have one half or one-tenth part of the trouble we have over this question. 
And I will tell my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that (to use his own words), if he had simply left this question of education to the will and desire of the people of the Territories, constituted as they are about to be into provinces, we would not have one-tenth or one-hundredth part of the trouble that we are having in Canada to-day over this question.
The right hon. gentleman in 1896, when he stood as the champion of the liberties of the people, as the vindicator of provincial rights said :
Experience has taught us that this remedy of interference with local legislation has never been applied and probably never can be ap 2971 COMMONS plied without friction, disturbance and discontent ; that you cannot apply that remedy without causing as much dissatisfaction as satisfaction. It must be evident that while you redress the grievance of the minority by such act of interference you run great risk of creating a grievance on the part of the majority.
I commend that language of the right hon. gentleman in 1896 to his attention now and I ask him, whether or not he is pursuing a wise course in departing from that principle? And a trusted and valued colleague of his to whom I have already referred (Sir Louis Davies) speaking on a similar question at a little earlier date said this :
I desire to follow on the lines of the Liberal party laid down here years and years ago; in all local matters to refer the question to the people more immediately interested. I have never found that solution of the difficulty to fail; it has always proved equal to the occasion. Provinces have been driven almost to revolt; there has been discontent in Ontario and in Quebec; but when you apply the principle of provincial rights, when you allow the people to deal with their own local affairs as they please, the question is settled always in the way the people desire it to be settled. So it should be in the Northwest Territories. They have an equal right to speak with the people of the older provinces, and I for one will not be a party to taking away that right which if my own province were interested I would expect to have given to it.
These were regarded as wise utterances in days gone by and do they not meet with the approval of all reasonable and fair minded people and is there reason, is there justification, is there cause for departing today from that which was thought wise and right before ?
Why Mr. Speaker, in the very speech which the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) delivered on the first reading of this Bill, it seems to me that he uttered his own condemnation, and I shall leave it to the judgment of the House whether I shall not make good that observation. He was dealing with the boundary question in the early part of his speech and laid down the principle that it was absolutely essential in Canada, so far as possible, to have the provinces of about equal size, and he attached a special importance to that principle, indeed, we can all see that it is more especially important to carry out that principle, in the Northwest of Canada. He was giving a reason why the boundaries of Manitoba should not be extended westerly, though Manitoba with 73,000 square miles of territory adjoins Alberta and Saskatchewan, each having an area of about 250,000 square miles. What was the reason that he gave ? Let me read his own words.
But is there a member of this House who would advise us that we should carve out of the Territories which for thirty years have been under the jurisdiction of their own legislature, which are to-day represented by ten members in this House, any portion of what belongs to 2972 them and hand it over to the province of Manitoba, against the consent of the people of those Territories ? If they agreed to it, well and good; I would have nothing to say. But the legislature of the Territories has more than once declared that they would not under any circumstances consent to any portion of their territory westward of the province of Manitoba being taken from them.
Further on he continues in the same strain :
But even this I am not prepared for my part to grant at this moment, because members representing that section to-day sit on the floor of this House, and they and their people have the right to be heard on that question, and if they do not agree to it I do not think the parliament of Canada should make the grant against their wishes.
If the right hon. gentleman is not prepared to extend the boundaries of Manitoba because the people of the Territories are unwilling that any portion of their territory shall be attached to Manitoba, how is it that he is willing to impose these restrictions upon them in face of the strongest possible protest by their Prime Minister, and accredited representative, Mr. Haultain ? Is there one principle to be applied to the question, whether or not territory shall be added to Manitoba, and is another principle to be applied to a subject which the right hon. gentleman himself knows from long experience is liable to arouse feelings of discord and even of passion when the people think they are suffering any injustice? Why, any question as to the boundaries of the Northwest Territories would sink into insignificance, so far as sentiment goes, in comparison with that question which the right hon. gentleman has seen fit to fling abruptly into the poltical arena of Canada. There cannot be any doubt about that. What does the right hon. gentleman say, referring to the members from the Northwest Territories who sit on his side of the House. He says :
If they do not agree to it I do not think the parliament of Canada should make the grant against their wishes.
What does that mean ? If it means anything it means this: That the seven members from the Northwest Territories who sit on that side of the House, hold this situation within the palms of their hands, and that if they maintain a firm stand they can prevent these restrictions from being imposed on the Northwest Territories. That is what it means if it means anything; and I assume that when the Prime Minister from his place of responsibility on the floor of this parliament gives utterance to these words as a solemn reason why a principle which he declares good should not be carried out, we have a right to attach some importance to his words. May I read them again ?
If the members from the Northwest Territories do not agree to it, I do not think the 2973 MARCH 22, 1905 parliament of Canada should make the grant against their wishes.
And if the members from the Northwest Territories do not agree to this grant out of the liberties of the people of the new provinces, the Prime Minister will tell the parliament of Canada that they should not make that grant against the wishes of these members.
There is one other point upon which I shall dwell for a moment and which is, perhaps a little out of its place here. I refer to the argument which my right hon. friend made not only to-day, but also a month ago with regard to the tax exemption of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In triumphant tones on both occasions he likened this matter to an obligation upon parliament to observe the terms of a contract ; he has said : in establishing these Territories you cannot rid the people of the Northwest from that exemption which was imposed by a statute passed in 1880. He told us that no one would suggest any such thing, and that no one had ever attempted to suggest it. Well, the right hon. gentleman's memory is not very good. I myself had the temerity to suggest that very thing in this parliament. I said two years ago that I thought the government should seriously take into consideration the question of removing that exemption—and parliament can do it—but I said that parliament must strictly observe the terms of its obligation and that in such case it would be absolutely necessary for parliament to institute an inquiry and to make good to the Canadian Pacific Railway everything to which they were entitled by reason of the removal of the exemption.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK. Hear, hear.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The Postmaster General says ' hear, hear,' and when he and the Prime Minister can show me any contract by virtue of which this restriction must be placed upon the people of the Northwest, I will support the measure they have brought down. Why. Sir, the only contract which exists is in the terms of the constitution, and I have said over and over again to-day, that in this matter I myself, and I believe every hon. gentleman on this side of the House, is absolutely prepared to stand or fall by the constitution. But before I depart from the question whether or not this restriction shall be imposed on the people of the Northwest Territories against their will, I have one inquiry to make from my right hon. friend. The Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories said that he was not consulted with regard to the provisions of section 16 as originally drafted. He has stated in a letter—and I have not heard it contradicted—that there was only a casual reference made to the education question—one of the most important questions of all, surely—that there was only a casual reference to it on the Friday be 2974fore this Bill was introduced, and that at 12 o'clock on the very day on which the Prime Minister introduced the Bill a typewritten copy of this provision was handed to him across the table. Mr. Haultain has further stated, that the Prime Minister was not then present, that the Postmaster General was not present, that the Minister of Justice was present for a short time, but the only gentleman who remained present during the whole ot that interview, the only gentleman whom the Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories had any opportunity of consulting, (and that only three hours before the introduction of the Bill) was the Secretary of State. What was the answer of the right hon. gentleman to that assertion ? It was this, that Mr. Haultain—a gentleman, as he always ishad seen fit to express, in the conclusion of his letter, his appreciation of courtesy which had always been extended to his colleagues and himself. I would like to ask the right hon. gentleman at this stage whether or not the provisions of that amended section were at any time submitted to Mr. Haultain before they were submitted to this parliament? Has Mr. Haultain been consulted with regard to this amended section ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. No.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He has not. My right hon. friend has certainly abandoned most clearly his former role of advocate of the liberties of the people. Once he was ready to consult them. Once he was ready to meet their will. Once he was ready to bow to their will when constitutionally expressed. But when the Prime Minister of these Territories, which, according to the right hon. gentleman possess now almost complete rights of self-government, when the Prime Minister of these Territories and his colleagues come to Ottawa to consult with this government, and when a great question is raised, when passion and prejudice are being appealed to, the right hon. gentleman deliberately refuses to take the premier of the Northwest Territories into his confidence or seek his advice and assistance with regard to this measure. There were sunny ways in days gone by. There seem to be different ways now. I do not know for what reason the First Minister of the Territories was ignored. He and his colleagues are the accredited representatives of the Northwest Territories. They were summoned to Ottawa, and are here, for the very purpose of being consulted and of advising with regard to this measure. But although the situation is so serious, as the right hon. gentleman has depicted it, he ventures, in the face of public opinion in this country, to bring down this measure in its amended form without having given the Prime Minister of the Northwest Terri 2975 tories the right even to see it or examine it before it was finally decided upon.
Sir, the conclusion of the whole matter seems plain. The very basis of confederation, contemplating the eventual inclusion of all British North America, provided for separate schools in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec only. This provision was the result of compact and agreement. But no restrictions on provincial powers were contemplated in the Northwest. None are mentioned in the Quebec resolutions. The terms of the constitution, if applied in their integrity to the new provinces, do not, in my humble opinion, restrict the powers of the provincial legislature. The people of the Northwest are, I believe, opposed to any such restrictions. We have passed resolutions in this parliament in favour of home rule for Ireland. Shall five and a half millions of people of Canada deprive half a million of people in the Territories of that home rule which is theirs under the terms of the constitution? Shall we, despite the terms of our national charter, impose upon a small minority of the people of Canada a restriction which they will always resent and against which they will always struggle ? Are the people of the Northwest competent to receive the rights of self government ? Why then should they not receive the same rights which were conferred upon the people of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and which are now enjoyed by them ? In the provinces of Ontario and Quebec there is, it is true, a compact which is embodied in our constitution and which has always been—and must always beobserved for that very reason. But at the same time let us not forget that, if I am correctly informed, the rights of the minority in Ontario to-day are greater than they were at the time of confederation in respect of separate schools. That does not look like any desire or intention to coerce. Is there any oppression of the minority in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island? I can speak best for my own province, and I do not know that such question very much agitates its people. There is a modus vivendi, an understanding, an arrangement arrived at. Let no man suppose that I do not respect the attitude of Catholics with regard to this matter. No one can for a moment fail to realize the position, so far as they are concerned. They say: It is a matter of our faith that our children should be under instructors of their own faith, that they should receive religious instruction at school; and so strongly do we adhere to that principle that we would rather pay the state tax and also support our own schools than submit to any other system. I find no fault with that view. I only desire that such matters should be left to the people of the respec 2976tive provinces and not be placed in the wide area of Dominion politics. Is there any reason to mistrust the people of the Northwest Territories? Are they disposed to be less generous than the people of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island? What does my right hon. friend himself say on that question? I have already pointed out what he has said with regard to the use of the French language as an official language of the Northwest of Canada. He was ready to trust that to the good sense of the people to their instinct of justice and fair play, and I venture to think to-day that if this question had not been hurled into the political arena by the right hon. gentleman, there would never have been the slightest hesitation in the Northwest of Canada about continuing those privileges to the Catholics which they now enjoy. One of my hon. friends on the other side smiles at the idea. Well, he is at liberty to enjoy his own opinion; but I venture to say that there is no reason why we should suspect the honesty, good faith and fair play of these people. I have never heard very much complaint in my own province, and while I respect the people of that province as highly as those of any other in Canada—although they did not treat me very well at the last election—I am not disposed to admit that there would be in the Northwest less generosity, less fair play, less sense of what is right and due to the minority than there is in the province of Nova Scotia. W'hat did my right hon. friend himself say on this question? May I not appeal from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier of today to the plain Wilfrid Laurier of years ago? He said in 1890 :-
I have no reason to suppose, and I do not for one moment suppose, that the people of the Northwest Territories would act unjustly or unfairly towards the French minority.
Well, my hon. friend may smile at my words, but he will surely admit that his leader is as well qualiïŹed to express an opinion on that subject as he is himself. And further on the Prime Minister says:
The smallest measure of conciliation is far preferable to any measure of coercion.
And did he not in his speech the other day appeal to that Canadian spirit of tolerance and charity of which confederation is the essence ? And he went on to say, on another occasion, referring to the treatment of the minority in his own fair province of Quebec by those who are his fellow countrymen :
I am glad to say, and perhaps it would be permitted if in this matter, being myself a son of the province of Quebec, I indulged in what may not be an altogether unpardonable pride when I say that I am not aware that the Protestant minority ever had any cause of complaint of the treatment they had received at the hands of the majority.
2977 MARCH 22, 1905
Sir, we are always ready and willing to acknowledge the sense of justice, the sense of what is right, which exists in the bosoms of the French-speaking citizens of Canada. But may I not, on behalf of my fellow countrymen in the Northwest of Canada, claim that they are animated by as just a spirit of what is right and fair ? If the record is good in one case, it seems to me that some consideration at least should be given it in the other. I can appeal to the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), because I have in my hand an expression of similar sentiments uttered by him.
I shall cast my vote to have this matter settled by the people's representatives in the Northwest who are best able to settle it, or by such other tribunal as may be suggested after they shall have the fullest opportunity of inquiring into all the conditions of the country, believing, as I do, that neither the Northwest Council nor any other tribunal to which it might be relegated by this House will betray the trust reposed in it, but will act justly towards all the people without fear, favour or affection.
May I not ask my hon. friend the Postmaster General to believe that if this troublesome question is kept out of the arena of Dominion politics and is relegated by this House to the people of the Northwest Territories, the people of those Territories, through their representatives in parliament will not betray the trust reposed in them, 'but will act justly towards all the people, without fear, favour or affection.'
Mr. Speaker, education was assigned to the provinces. Let any necessary agitation in respect to education, in respect to the rights and powers of legislatures with regard to education, be confined to provincial limits. That is the true solution of the question. Let the Dominion interfere and the agitation will be widespread. My proposition is to let the people settle the question for themselves, and the agitation if any—and I do not believe there will be any considerable agitation—will be confined within narrow limits, and, in the end, will be settled by some reasonable compromise, because, after all, we can always safely trust to the good sense of the people in this regard. As I said before, I firmly believe that if this question had been left to the people of the new provinces, they would have dealt, and they will deal, fairly with the minority. But we must not oppress or coerce any part of the people to provide safeguards that have not a warrant in the constitution. The constitution of Canada does not always protect minorities by any definite safeguards. There are nearly 50,000 Nova Scotian electors who, at the last general election, voted for Conservative or independent candidates, and about 55,000 or 56.000 who voted for candidates supporting the government. There are today in parliament 18 men representing the 55,000 or 50,000 electors, and the 50,000 men who voted 2978 for other candidates have not one single representative in parliament. What about the rights of that minority? Have these rights been safeguarded?
Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Have they been safeguarded in the sense which hon. gentlemen intend by this Bill? It is true that in one sense the eighteen men who have been elected represent the whole people of Nova Scotia ; but in another sense these 50,000 electors to whom I refer have no representative in this parliament,
One further word I would like to say and it is this: That restrictions of this character imposed upon the majority for the benefit of the minority do not always work out in the way intended. For example subsection 3 of section 93 of the British North America Act provides:
Where in any province a system of separate or dissentient schools exists by law at the union, or is thereafter established by the legislature of the province an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subject in relation to education.
If the people of Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick, or Prince Edward Island, tomorrow were to establish separate schools by law, they would at once bring themselves within the purview of Dominion interference. Because, it is not only from any act or decision prejudicially affecting these rights established before confederation that the appeal would lie, but from any act or decision of a provincial authority in any wise affecting such rights or privileges that the appeal will lie. And the very fact that there is a restriction of that kind may possibly act as a deterrent in these three provinces to which I have called attention.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I apologize for having so long detained the House; I had hoped to conclude in a very much shorter time. I trust that I shall not be misunderstood by any of my fellow-countrymen with regard to the position II have taken in this matter. I base my case and my contention upon the terms of the constitution. I do not argue against separate schools ; I do not argue for separate schools. It is not for me to determine that question for the people of the Northwest; it is for the people of the Northwest, under the terms of the constitution, to determine that matter for themselves. I shall always endeavour to respect the opinions of my fellow-countrymen, of whatever race and of whatever creed. But I do not think it is wise to attempt to step outside of the limits of the constitution to provide remedies which have no warrant within the terms of our national charter. The battle cry of hon. gentlemen opposite in 1896 was 'Hands off 2979 COMMONS Manitoba.' 'There will be no coercion Act under Laurier.' The slogan of that day raised against the exercise of coercion under a perfectly constitutional power, should ring to-day in thunder tones in the ears of those from whose lips it then resounded. Let there be no domination of provincial liberties by the federal power, let no violent hands he laid upon the charter in which those liberties are enshrined.
Mr. Speaker, it remains for me to state to the House what action I shall take at the present time, holding the views and convictions which I have expressed. Upon the second reading of any public Bill the question of principle is discussed. So far as this Bill grants provincial autonomy, I am heartily in suport of it ; in so far as this Bill withholds from the new provinces any rights to which I think they are justly entitled under the terms of the constitution, I am not in favour of it. I shall, therefore, adapt a course which has in the past been adopted by hon. gentlemen opposite on more than one occasion, a course for which there is ample precedent, both in the parliament of Great Britain and in the parliament of this country ; I shall adopt the course of moving that :
All the words after the word ' that ' to the end of the question he left out and the following substituted therefor :-
Upon the establishment of a province in the Northwest Territories of Canada as proposed by Bill (No. 69), the legislature of such province, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts 1867 to 1886, is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of provincial self government including power to exclusively make laws in relation to education.
The effect of this amendment is not to defeat the Bill.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Hear, hear.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. My right hon. friend says ' hear, hear.' I do not want the Bill defeated ; I want the Bill amended so that it shall give to the people of the Northwest Territories the full measure of self-government to which they are entitled under the terms of the constitution. It is for that reason that I have made my motion in amendment, in order that I may embody therein the principle which I think should be applied to this Bill. If carried, it will not defeat the Bill ; if carried, the result will simply be that the Bill is placed on the order paper on a subsequent day, and it will go to committee with the opinion of this House in favour of the principle which I have advocated. That is the position which I think I ought to assume under the circumstances ; at all events, that is the position which I do assume, and by which I am prepared to stand.
Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance). Mr. Speaker, I do not quite understand the procedure under which my hon. 2980 friend the leader of the opposition has proposed this amendment and, so far as I do understand it, I do not agree with him as to the effect which it may have upon the measure that is now before the House. The motion now before the House is that this Bill be now read a second time.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. ' Be now read.'
Mr. FIELDING. That is the motion which has been placed in your hands. The motion is that this Bill be read a second time. My hon. friend moves to strike out all the words after 'that,' and express a pious opinion on one portion of the Bill. It seems to me that after you have struck out all the words of the motion that the Bill be now read a second time, there is no Bill left. It is certainly not the usual method whereby anybody moves an amendment. If an hon. member regards the main purpose of a Bill—whatever he may be pleased to consider its main purpose—with favour and disapproves of some minor part of it, his obvious duty is to support the second reading of that Bill, and when in committee we reach the clause to which he objects, then is the proper moment to move that that clause be struck out and something else be substituted. 1 think the method of my hon. friend is a mistaken one ; however, I do not attach much importance to that, and I prefer to proceed with the discussion.
I need hardly say, Sir, that I do not rise for the purpose of following my hon. friend in the very lengthy argument, he has addressed to this House on what he is pleased to regard as the constitutional questions involved in the consideration of this measure. If I felt, as he appears to feel, that the constitutional questions involved are the overshadowing questions, I need hardly say that I would not presume to address the House at this moment, but I would leave the question to be dealt with by hon. members of the legal profession, who are supposed to understand such matters better than those of us who are laymen. But it is because I do not agree with my hon. friend that the constitutional question is the overshadowing question that I venture to discuss the matter at the present stage. I do not believe that the people of Canada will consent that any one of us shall shelter himself behind the fence of an alleged constitutional question. This school question is a vexed question, a troublesome question. We can all say with the fullest sincerity that it is a misfortune that we have to deal with it. But once we have it here, my belief is that our constituents, the people of Canada, will expect us not to evade it, but to meet it fairly, boldly, to discuss it openly, discuss it in a generous spirit, and endeavour to find some solution of the difficult problem. I do not agree with my hon. friend that we are not called upon to discuss the question of separate schools or common schools. I believe that the people of the Dominion today are not occupying their minds with an elaborate analysis of constitutional questions 2981 MARCH 22, 1905 which nine out of ten of them will never read, and which the whole ten will fail to understand. I believe that the people of Canada, since this unpleasant question is brought before us, will expect us to meet it plainly and openly, and discuss it with the hope of finding a happy solution. So I put aside the constitutional question, not for a moment under-valuing it--
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The right hon. Prime Minister did not put it aside.
Mr. FIELDING. The Prime Minister did not discuss it in the sense that was attributed to him by the hon. gentleman.
Some hon. MEMBERS. No.
Mr. FIELDING. I do not propose to go into that constitutional question, not because I say it should not receive any consideration, but because I say it is not the great question involved, and I prefer to go on and deal with the practical questions which are before us. If it is a constitutional question above all others, then, perhaps the best thing we can do will be to request the legal members of this House to adjourn to the Railway Committee room and thresh it out, while we who have not the good fortune to belong to that learned profession will stay down here and discuss the practical questions involved, or proceed with the ordinary business of the House. But, if it is the case that there are questions other than the constitutional question and greater than the constitutional question involved, these are the matters that I may venture to proceed to discuss before this House. Now. the first question to be considered. only for a moment, because, happily, there is no division of opinion upon it, is whether or not the time has come when we shall give a provincial constitution to these new Territories in the west. Happily, I say, there is no difference of opinion on that. It is now thirty- five years since these lands were acquired and brought under the control of the Canadian authorities. From the beginning, governments and legislatures have gone on preparing the people for the work of self- government. At an early stage the province of Manitoba was carved out and set up in housekeeping. At a later stage the Northwest Territories were given another form of organization. That form was developed from time to time and at this moment they have in the Northwest Territories a very considerable measure of self-government, but inasmuch as it falls short of the ordinary powers, privileges and authority of a province, we all agree that the time has come when we shall give a provincial constitution to the people who inhabit those lands.
Then, we come to the question whether these Territories shall come under the operation of one government, as at present, or whether they shall be divided into two or 2982 more provinces. There is not much dispute on that point, happily. I think my hon. friend the leader of the opposition had previously entertained the view that one province was sufficient.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I never expressed any opinion on the subject.
Mr. FIELDING. I think some opinions have come from the other side of the House on that point. However, I am not saying that for the purpose of arguing it but I am only mentioning it incidentally. When we consider the question of the population of the Northwest Territories to-day we can readily agree that the population of the Territories is not too much for one province. The population in the Territories to-day is about the same as the population of one of our smaller provinces, or of the greatest of the maritime provinces. But, we are well aware of the fact that the population of the Territories will increase very rapidly, and inasmuch as there is a vast area of land to be occupied it has been deemed wise to divide the Territories into two portions and establish a separate government for each. There may be some difference of opinion on that point. but it is not a very serious difference and we may say that we are happily agreed that there shall be two provinces.
The next question to which we come is the question as to what shall be done with the Dominion lands. My hon. friend, (Mr. R. L. Borden) in the small portion of his speech in which he did not deal with the constitutional question, devoted himself to the question of Dominion lands. We have provided in this Bill that the Dominion lands shall be retained by the Dominion. My hon. friend takes very strong ground in favour of these lands being given over to the provinces. He argues that inasmuch as by the British North America Act the lands were left to the possession of the original provinces we should apply the same principle and leave these lands to the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. That argument is by no means conclusive. We know that there are strong reasons why these lands should be retained within the control of the Dominion. We have not the slightest doubt that during the development of the Northwest Territories it is a wise provision that the Dominion and not the provinces should retain the management and control of the public lands. My hon. friend can see no reason why a distinction should be made between our dealing with the land question in the case of the Northwest Territories and dealing with the land question in the case of the older provinces. Let me say to my hon. friend that we think there are strong reasons. The question of immigration is one which is properly assigned to the Dominion government. The question of immi 2983 gration and the question of the settlement of the public lands are closely associated. In most of the older provinces the amount of available land is not very great ; at all events the land which is likely to attract settlers immediately is not very great—not so great as it is in the far west. Then, if we expect population to flow rapidly into the west, if we are to control the immigration policy, if we are to be able to carry out that vigorous policy which during the past few years has been converting that land into busy hives of industry in many sections, if, I say, we are to be able to carry on that vigorous policy which has built up the Northwest Territories in the last eight years, it is necessary that there shall be a retention of those lands in the hands of the Dominion government. But, if we make a mistake at this point we, at all events, have the comfort of knowing that we err in good company, in company which my hon. friends opposite will be bound to consider very good company. My hon. friend did not note the fact that when the province of Manitoba was created, just as we are to-day creating these two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the land question was considered and that for the very reasons which I have ventured to advance to-night the government of Sir John Macdonald decided that it would not be wise to give the province of Manitoba control of its own lands. If for good and sufficient reasons, the same reasons as those which have been advanced by this government, it was deemed well that in the case of the province of Manitoba, the lands should remain under the control of the Dominion, why is it not an equally sound argument to-day to say that the lands in the case of these new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan shall remain in the hands of the Dominion? But, that did not settle the question. After the lapse of some years the province of Manitoba revived the question. The province of Manitoba advanced the very reasons which my hon. friend has advanced in favour of having control of these lands. They were not content to rest under the constitution which had been given to them. They came to Ottawa and they asked the government, on more than one occasion if I am not mistaken, to change that provision of the constitution and to give the province of Manitoba control of the lands. I have in my hand the decision of the government of Sir John Macdonald in the usual form of a certified copy of a report of a committee of the honourable the Privy Council approved by His Excellency the Governor General in Council on the 22nd May, 1884. The memorandum says :
The Committee of the Privy Council have named a sub-committee to confer with Hon. Messsr. Murray, Norquay and Miller, duly accredited delegates from the legislature of Man 2984itoba, upon the subjects embraced in the memorandum of instructions given by the said legislature of Manitoba to the delegates, as well as many other matters affecting the province.
The report deals with a number of matters. It is quite lengthy and I shall only be justified in detaining the House with the part of it which comes immediately in connection with the land question. After hearing these delegates, after hearing the very strongest arguments that could possibly be advanced, no doubt the very same arguments that my hon. friend has advanced today, why these lands should be placed under the control of the province, the government of Sir John Macdonald came to the following conclusion :
The lands of Manitoba hold a very different position in relation to the Dominion government from the lands of the other provinces. Shortly after the union of the old provinces, the governent formed from that union purchased at a large price in cash, all the rights, title and interest of the Hudson Bay Company, in and to the territory out of which the province of Manitoba has been formed.
It incurred further a very large expenditure to obtain and hold this territory in peaceable possession, and at a still further cost which is continuous and perpetual is extinguishing Indian titles and maintaining the Indians so that the Dominion government has a very large pecuniary interest in the soil, which does not exist in respect to any other of the confederated provinces.
The purpose expressed in the memorandum of instructions--
That is in the memorandum of the Manitoba government--
—for which lands are sought, is that they may be applied to the public uses of Manitoba.
This purpose seems to be most fully met by the federal government already, viz.: in providing railway communication to and through Manitoba, in aiding the settlement of vacant lands, and in public works of utility to the province.
Further on the same report says :
The great attraction which the Canadian government now offers, the impressive fact to the mind of the men contemplating immigration, is that a well known and recognized government holds unfettered in its own hand the lands which it offers free, and that that government has its agencies and organizations for directing, receiving, transporting and placing the immigrant upon the homestead which he may select. And if the immigration operations of the Dominion, which involve so large a cost, are to have continued success and to be of advantage to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories your sub-committee deem it to be of the utmost importance that the Dominion government shall retain and control the lands which it has proclaimed free to all comers. W'ere there other considerations of sufficient force to induce them to recommend their transfer to Manitoba, and as a consequence and by precedent the surrender to the provinces to be created from the Northwest Territory, all the lands within their boundaries, then they would advise that the 2985 MARCH 22, 1905 provinces holding the lands should conduct their own immigration operations at their own expense.
And so against the contention of my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) to-day that it is a wise policy to surrender these lands to the local authorities we have the deliberate conclusion of the Dominion government of earlier days, the government of that distinguished statesman, whose name is always so warmly honoured by hon. gen[tle]men on the other side, we have the decision of Sir John Macdonald at the time of the creation of the province of Manitoba and afterwards when the question was revived by the provincial government, we have the decision of that eminent statesman that in the true interests of this Dominion the lands of Manitoba and the Northwest should remain under the control of the Dominion government.
Next, Sir, we may come briefly to the question of the financial arrangements. At the time of confederation it was agreed that the various provinces which form the union should surrender their customs and excise duties to the common treasury at Ottawa. But they required as a condition of confederation that some portion of these moneys should be returned to the provinces to assist in the maintenance of the provincial government, and thus there was established the system of provincial subsidies. The principles governing the distribution of money to the provinces are pretty well laid down. As the first step we give a certain fixed sum, having due regard to the responsibilities of the various provinces, in the way of allowance for government. Then there is a sum of 80 cents per head on the population, and finally there is an adjustment of the debt account whereby in some cases an allowance is made to the province in the form of interest on a public debt which that province might owe but which in the particular case does not happen to exist. So far the principles under which these subsidies and aids to provinces may be granted are pretty well understood, and they are applied in this case to the new provinces to be created, taking an estimated population which is probably a fair and liberal one upon which they shall receive the sums set down in the Bill.
One other financial question remains and it is one which arises out of the retention of the lands by the Dominion government. Since we have allowed the other provinces to retain the lands, and since they have them as a source of revenue, and since in the case of the Northwest Provinces we withhold the lands from them and they are deprived of that source of revenue, it follows that we must make some allowance to them. and it will be admitted that we should make a reasonable and generous allowance. 1 have seen comparisons made in criticism of this measure between the sums which 2986 will be received by these provinces in the west from the Dominion treasury and the sums which are received by some of the other provinces. I have seen a comparison made in the case of my own province particularly. Comparisons of that nature are very unfair and may easily be misleading. If I turn to the latest returns which I have at hand 1 find that in the case of Ontario the province receives about $1,500,000 a year of revenue from its lands. The Northwest Provinces will receive nothing to correspond with that and therefore we must make a liberal allowance to them. Quebec receives about $1,300,000 per annum, according to a recent report, in the way of revenue from lands, forests and minerals. My own province, Nova Scotia, received last year over $600,000 from its lands, mines and minerals. We deprive the new provinces in the west of these sources of revenue, and of course we should make up the sum to them by liberal allowances. I do not think that, on the whole, we can complain much of the financial terms. It may be that when we come to deal with the Bill in committee seine questions may arise that may require further consideration. but speaking generally I think the most that can be said about the financial terms is that they are liberaland I am sure that on both sides of the House we would desire to be liberal as respects these two provinces which will have a large territory and will begin with a comparatively sparse population. We all realize that a population scattered over a wide territory requires man for man more money for the expenses of government than a population which is closely settled together. I think therefore on the whole, reserving any discussion of details until we go into committee on the Bill, that the terms are liberal to these two provinces, they are generous. but not more generous than hon. gentlemen on both sides would desire we should make them.
But I know that all these questions, important though they may be, are overshadowed in the public mind by this great question of education. I believe that to—day most of the people of Canada are not thinking very much about the financial terms, the lands or anything of that sort, but they are very must disturbed in many quarters in consequence of reports that have gone abroad as to the nature and effect of the resolutions proposed in relation to the public schools. Now this belongs to a class of questions that at any time should be approached with all possible deliberation, especially in a country like Canada. with our diversity of race and creed. He would be a rash man who would plunge into a discussion of this question without a disposition to be considerate with regard not only to the opinions and convictions. but possibly even to the prejudices of his fellow men. It is in that spirit that we should approach the question. 2987 We should be prepared to listen to all that may be said and to make an honest effort to meet the views of those who differ from us in opinion. We should aim as far as possible to have a system brought about which would come as nearly as possible to our own particular views : yet surely each of us must realize that if we are to carry on the government of the country we must not insist on our individual views, but must try to meet the views of those who may differ from us, must try to find common ground of action. For myself I do not like the principle of separate schools. I regret that such a large number of my fellow citizens in Canada are obliged to take the view, conscientiously as they say and as I believe, that they cannot support a system of free common schools. I think it would be a great thing for our country if in the growth that is now coming so rapidly upon us, our children of all races and sections and creeds could meet from day to day and mingle together in work and in play, in the school room and on the play-ground, and if we could happily agree upon such a policy it would do much for the grander upbuilding of the country of which we are so proud. I say unhesitatingly that if 1 were to have my own way only, if one could afford to insist that his opinion must prevail regardless of the wishes of his brethren, I would like to see a school law which did not call for this word 'separate.' But we must take things as they are. We have to recognize the fact that forty one per cent of the people of this Dominion do not think as I think on that question ; do not think as the majority of Protestants think. What then ? Shall we say that they are in the minority and that therefore we shall have no regard for them ? Shall we say that they are but forty-one per cent and we are fifty-nine per cent, and therefore, we will be indifferent to them ? No, Mr. Speaker, you cannot govern Canada by any such rule as that. Let us remember that the Roman Catholics are not in a minority everywhere ; there is one great province in which our Roman Catholic brethren are in the majority, overwhelmingly in the majority. Suppose we insisted upon this doctrine of provincial rights right down to the last point as was argued to-night, what would be the condition of our Protestant brethren in the province of Quebec ? Suppose that under the sacred name of provincial rights an effort were made to do away with the separate school system and with the rights of the minority in the province of Quebec, what would we find ? We would find the table of this House and the table of the greater parliament at Westminster—because the law would have to pass the imperial parliament—we would find the table of this parliament and the table of the imperial parliament loaded down with petitions, not of the character of so many that come to 2988 us now insisting upon the doctrine of provincial rights, but with petitions demanding that the name of provincial rights should not be used for such a purpose, demanding that the majority should not have the right to control, demanding that the rights of the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec should prevail instead of the wish of the majority. Let us not forget that, as my hon. friend the Prime Minister has shown, in preparing the constitution of confederation, the strongest advocates of separate schools were the representatives of the Protestant minority in Quebec. And, Sir, if it was necessary then to make an arrangement to protect the minority in that province, is it a dreadful thing that the minority elsewhere should ask to receive consideration ? I venture to say that in the minds of the Protestants of Quebec that thought will sink deep to-day, and that they will be influenced by the Golden Rule ; 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.'
There are three great lines of thought today on the question of public education. One, held by a great many people, is that the secular system of education is the only system which we should have in the public schools. There are many people, altogether Protestants I think, who claim that it is useless to introduce anything like religion into the schools, and that all we can do is to devote ourselves to secular education. The second line of thought is that which is held by a large number of the advocates of what may be called national schools. These people think that with secular education you may associate a certain degree of what may be properly called religious instruction ; that you may say to the teacher : thou shalt not teach the 'isms' of any denomination, but you may and you should—in the words of the Nova Scotia school law-
inculcate by precept and example a respect for religion and the principles of Christian morality and the highest regard for truth, justice, love of country, loyalty, humanity, benevolence, sobrity, industry, frugality, chastity, temperance and all other virtues.
Well, Mr. Speaker, if under a system of public schools the teacher by precept and example inculcates those virtues, I do not know whether all will call it religion, but in my view the pupils of those schools will receive a very considerable amount or the very best kind of religion. However that may be, many think that it is quite possible to associate with secular instruction a certain amount of instruction—you may call it moral instruction if you like or you may call it religious instruction—and an effort is made in some provinces of the Dominion to do that. The citation I have made is from the Nova Scotia school law and I think it will be found to be substantially 2989 MARCH 22, 1905 the same in the law and regulations of the other maritime provinces.
Then we come to the third line of thought. It is that which is held by our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens, it is also held by many Protestants, and it is: that you cannot have education and religion separated. A great writer has expressed the thought in this sentence:
So natural is the union between religion and education that you may justly assume neither is where both are not.
Our Roman Catholic brethren attach more importance than our Protestant friends as a rule do (though many Protestants agree with them) to this question of religious education. They say that with them it is a matter of conscience; they say they must have their children taught by persons of their own faith who can give instructions in their own creed, and they would be very much pleased if we could adopt their views. They say—and who shall contend that there is not much truth in their assertion—they say that you cannot rely upon children receiving proper religious instruction in the home. I fear there is something in that statement ; a little more to—day than there was in the good old times. Who shall say that to-day religious instruction receives as much attention in the homes of Canada as it did in the days of our grandparents ? We are living in a very rapid age, and I am afraid there is some room for the contention of our Roman Catholic brethren that religion will not be taught to the children of Canada unless the foundation of it is given to them in the schools. We who form the Protestant majority may not be able to agree with them on that point, but it is not because we object to religious instruction ; most of us I think, would be pleased that our children should receive some measure of religious instruction in the schools ; but the trouble is that you cannot unite the people of any community in an agreement as to what is religion. Religion to many is creed and dogma and there will be differences of creed and dogma, and inasmuch as it is not possible to bring the people of a community to a common line of thought and action on that subject, we who form the Protestant majority say that we see difficulty in teaching any special form of religion in the schools. But while we may not agree with our Roman Catholic brethren on that question. we. I think, can agree that their view of the matter~that is as to the need of religious instruction in the schools—is entitled to our profound respect, and that it is held to-day, not by Roman Catholics only, but to a very large extent also by Protestants.
It is argued by some persons that we cannot make any change in the conditions with respect to these Northwest Territories. I am not referring to anything particularly said in this House. My right hon. 2990 friend the First Minister has not declared that it is not within the power of this parliament to make a change. He has not declared that there is any legal or binding obligation resting on the parliament of Canada to reenact the clauses of the Act of 1875.
Mr. SPROULE. I think the First Minister expressly claimed that it was binding.
Mr. FIELDING. The point of difference is this. The First Minister does not, as I understand it, deny the absolute right and freedom of every member of this parliament to vote on this question as his conscience and intelligence shall direct him. I, at all events, take that view, and that is what I understood to be the view of my right hon. friend ; but what my right hon. friend does say is that if you read the whole history of the question, you will come to the Conclusion that though, as a matter of law, there may be no binding obligation —though in that sense you may not be able to produce a written contract, signed, sealed and delivered, as my hon. friend the leader of the opposition demanded a few moments ago—there may arise out of the whole history of this matter an obligation which the parliament, of Canada should consider, and which many men regard as a moral obligation which this House should fulfil.
Mr. SPROULE. The right hon. the First Minister went much further than to speak of it as a moral obligation, because he used the expression that the constitution provides that we must do it.
Mr. FIELDING. I do not think he said that the constitution provides that we must do it. I do not think my right hon. colleague is aware of any method by which any member of this parliament can be compelled to vote in any other way than his intelligence and conscience dictates. But what I understood him to say is that the spirit of the constitution created an obligation, and there he will be supported by very many men on both sides of the House. For the purpose of record let me read the section in the Act of 1875—section 11, chapter 49, Act 1875 :
When and so soon as any system of taxation shall he adopted in any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, the lieutenant governor, by and with the consent of the council or assembly as the case may he, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect to education; but it shall therein be always provided, that a majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, or any lesser portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same may be known, may establish such schools therein as they may think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor ; and further, that the minority or the ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein. and that, in such latter case, the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate schools shall be liable only to assessments of such rates as they may impose upon themselves in respect thereof.
2991
That is the clause in the Act of 1875, and with the change of a few words, which in no way disturbs its substance, that is the clause we find to-day in the Northwest Territories Act. It is curious, in view of the wide discussion and agitation which are taking place to-day, that when this Act of 1875 was passed, there was practically no discussion of it in this House. There was certainly no adverse discussion. It is remarkable that the parliament of Canada passed that clause and put it upon the statute-book by a unanimous vote of the House of Commons. Again I say I do not for a moment contend, and I do not understand that my right hon. friend contended, that, as a matter of constitutional right fixed by the words of the statute, we are obliged to re-enact that clause. I go further. I do not hesitate to say that in my view, at any time since 1875, it was within the power —I do not say the moral right—but undoubtedly within the power of this parliament to repeal the Act of 1875. Therefore, I am not claiming that there is any binding legal obligation, but I do say that we are obliged to look carefully into the circumstances under which that Act was passed ; and if we find that at the time it was regarded by its friends and supporters, and parliament generally, as an Act which was passed, not only for the present but the future, that creates a moral obligation which this House may well take into consideration. The Bill was introduced in 1875 and carried with practically no opposition. It is worth while remembering that the government of the late Mr. Mackenzie was then in power. The Bill, as first introduced, did not contain any provision respecting education. Attention was drawn to that omission, and a provision was made a little later. The chief speaker on that occasion was the Hon. Edward Blake—a very eminent member of this parliament, a very able constitutional lawyer, and a gentleman whose Protestantism, I believe, is beyond question. Mr. Blake, speaking on that Bill. 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, was one of the noblest undertakings that could be entered upon by any legislative body, and it was no small indication of the power and true position of this Dominion that parliament should be engaged to-day in that important task. He agreed with the hon. member for Kingston (Sir John A. Macdonald) that the task was one that required time, consideration and deliberation, and they must take care that no false steps were made in such a work. He did not agree with that right hon. gentleman that the government ought to repeal his errors. The right hon. gentleman had tried the institutions for the Northwest Territories which he now asked the House to frame, and for the same reason as he had given to-day—that it would be better for the Dominion government to keep matters in their own hands and 2992 decide what was best for the future. He (Mr. Blake) believed that it was essential to our obtaining a large immigration to the Northwest 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 deliberation during the last 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 heartburnings and difficulties with which certain other portions of the Dominion and other countries had been afflicted. It seemed to him, having regard to the fact 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-government and the settling of the question of public instruction seemed to him ought to be the cardinal principles of the measure.
Is it not evident that at that time, in advancing that view as to the necessity of settling the education question, Mr. Blake had the idea that it should be settled, not for that day only, not as a temporary matter, but settled then and for ever ?
Other members spoke at that time. I find that, in this House, as I have stated, there was no objection—the Bill passed without any division. The Bill went to the Senate, and was discussed there by several gentlemen, among others by Hon. Mr. Scott, then as now Secretary of State, who was in charge of the Bill. Whatever he said might fairly be assumed to express the view of the government of the day, the view of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie and his colleagues. Mr. Scott in the course of the discussion said :-
Any gentleman would have to admit that it was the greatest possible relief to the people of Ontario that this question was settled for them, and was not, as in some of the other provinces, a source of constant discord. He was one of those who maintained that parents had a right to educate their children as they pleased, and that they ought not to be taxed to maintain schools to which they could not conscientiously send their children. Our whole system of government was based upon that sound principle, and how long could we have happiness and peace in this country if we were to abolish that safeguard, which was now recognized in both the large provinces ? Would not every gentleman in this chamber gladly see the New Brunswick trouble removed ? Now was the proper time to establish in the new territory a principle that ought years ago to have been established in this Dominion.
We may not feel called upon to agree with Mr. Scott as to how widely that principle ought to have been established in former years, but surely we cannot read the remarks he made on behalf of the gov 2993 MARCH 22, 1905 ernment of Mr. Mackenzie without reaching the conclusion that what they meant to do was to establish the system of separate schools, not for the moment, not for a short period, but as a part of the government of that country for all future time. Mr. Scott is a lawyer; but I do not present his views as part of a legal argument. I am not presenting a legal argument; I quote these words simply to show that Mr. Scott, representing the government of the day, judged by the language he used, must have contemplated that the clause which they then adopted was intended, even though we might have the power to repeal it, to continue in force for ever in the Northwest Territories. Then I find also that the distinguished leader of the Conservative opposition in the Senate at that time, Sir Alexander Campbell, also discussed the question. Sir Alexander Campbell was a lawyer, and for a time was Minister of Justice. He refers to an amendment which had been removed by Mr. Aikins, to strike out the separate school clause, and this is what he said :
It would be much to be regretted if the amendment passed. The object of the Bill was to establish and perpetuate in the Northwest Territories the same system as prevailed in Ontario and Quebec, and which had worked so well in the interest of peace and harmony with the different populations of these provinces. He thought the fairer course, and the better one, for all races and creeds, was to adopt the suggestion of the government and enable the people to establish separate schools in the territory, and thus prevent the introduction of evils from which Ontario and Quebec had suffered, but had judiciously rid themselves.
Is it possible to attach to that language any other meaning than that Sir Alexander Campbell desired to settle this troublesome question by adopting the separate school clause then and for all future time? Is it conceivable that he meant : We will settle this question up to a certain day and then we will throw the door open to discord and strife? His language cannot be subject to such interpretation. What could be stronger than these words : ' To establish and perpetuate in the Northwest Territories the same system as prevailed in Ontario and Quebec ?' Not only to establish but to 'perpetuate.' Did that mean a temporary arrangement? Surely, if the English language means anything, Sir Alexander Campbell meant when he spoke that day that the Bill he was supporting, though leader of the opposition, was meant to establish and perpetuate in some way a system of separate schools in the Northwest Territories. Then the Hon. George Brown spoke. Reference has already been made to his part in this debate ; but the words he used may be quoted again. In the course of the discussion he supported the amendment that was moved by Mr. Aikins to strike out the separate school clause and he used these words:
2994
The moment this Act passed and the Northwest became part of the union, they came under the Union Act and under the provisions with regard to separate schools.
Mr. Brown was not a lawyer. I am not quoting his words as expressing an opinion which is worthy of any consideration as part of a constitutional argument : I am speaking entirely with a view to establishing the intention that existed in the minds of the men who passed the legislation—the government who proposed it and the men in the opposition who supported it. There is one sentence in the speech of Hon. Edward Blake in this House that I would like to repeat :
He (Mr. Blake) believed that it was essential to our obtaining a large immigration to the Northwest Territories that we should tell the people beforehand what these rights were to be in the country to which they were invited.
I have no doubt, from information that has reached me, that many immigrants have come into the Northwest Territories upon representations that the schools there would he conducted in accordance with their religious views. I believe this to be correct. I may mention a little incident bearing on that point. I had occasion recently to come into official contact with the representative of one of the continental nations. I was discussing with him the question of immigration—we wished to have immigrants come to Canada from his country. In the course of our conversation he said : If you are to get immigrants from our country, this school question that is coming up becomes one of very great importance to us. I have no doubt therefore that it can be shown that some of the immigrants who have come to the Northwest Territories have come—for we have many Roman Catholic settlers in that country—on the faith of representations that their schools were to be conducted in accordance with the views of the Roman Catholic minority.
I find that not only is there the evidence I have referred to, showing the intention at the time this Act was passed, but later on there were further discussions which may be cited in the same direction. I find that some years afterwards, in 1894, there was a discussion in this House with regard to some amendments of the Northwest Act that were proposed. I find that the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy, who desired that the separate school clause should be repealed, who was an opponent of separate schools as hon. gentlemen well remember, in a speech at that time laid down the principle that if you should continue to allow that separate school clause to remain on the statute-book, if you should go on year after year allowing the Northwest people to possess this system of sep[er]ate schools up to the moment at which they would be brought in as a province, then they would be in a position to come to us and say : It is too late for you to change that 2995 COMMONS system ; you must now give us a continuation of it.
Mr. McCarthy, course, was desirous that the system should be changed, but in the meantime he did not shrink from the responsibility of saying that if the parliament of Canada desired to change it. it must act quickly, and not wait until the time arrived for the creation of the provinces. I find the words of Mr. McCarthy in ' Hansard ' of 1894, page 6085 :
Now we insist by the clause of the Act of 1875 which has been included in the various consolidations of the legislative powers of the Northwest Territories which have been made from time to time, that they shall have separate schools ; and if we continue insisting that that system shall prevail up to the time we create provinces in the Northwest, then the application of this clause of the first subsection of section 93 of the British North America Act to which I have referred, rivets for all time upon the new provinces the system of separate schools. Create a province there now, enact the usual clauses of the British North America Act. and the result will be that in the new province those who have enjoyed what is spoken of as a right or privilege with respect to denominational schools, would be able to say : The constitution given to this province by the Dominion parliament does not permit any interference with any right or privilege which we enjoyed prior to the time of the creation of this province. That I think is a most important consideration.
Mr. McCarthy, it will be observed, as all opponent of the system of separate schools, took the ground that if the parliament of Canada wished to destroy that system it must not wait until it undertook to create a province. His argument is that if you leave these Northwest people in possession of the separate school system, if you go on year after year permitting it, encouraging it ; if you allow them to pass ordinances in accordance with it, if you have these ordinances sent to Ottawa year after year and you approve of them and allow them to go into operation, then you are confirming the system of separate schools to those provinces ; and when the moment shall arrive that these lands shall pass from the status of territories into the larger status of provinces. it will then be too late for you to come in and say ; we will deprive you of this system of separate schools. Mr. McCarthy and Sir John Thompson had some little discussion, and he (Mr. McCarthy) again emphasized his views on that subject.
I am very glad the right hon gentleman--
Referring to Sir John Thompson.
-—has explained it in that way, and perhaps I was wrong in my understanding of his remarks. Of course it is an important declaration from the First Minister.
That was the declaration which Sir John Thompson made, and which was quoted by the leader of the opposition today. in which he said that the parliament of Canada would 2996 be free to give to the provinces of the Northwest such a constitution as it might see fit. Mr. McCarthy was answering that declaration, and he went on to add :
Now the House will have to use its own judgment on this question. What I say is this : That if this question of separate schools is to remain in its present position until we grant provincial autonomy to any portion of the Northwest, it will be practically impossible, unless there is an enormous change in public opinion, to deny them what every other province that has joined the confederation has been entitled to, what Manitoba was entitled to, and what I submit under the circumstances every province would be entitled to. Now, let me draw attention to the constitution conferred upon Manitoba in that regard. I have not got it under my hand, but it will be found on consulting it that when we conferred autonomy upon the province of Manitoba, we did it by reference to the British North America Act. What we declared was that where not otherwise provided for in the Act, all the provisions of the British North America Act should apply to the province of Manitoba, and I think the very same words were contained in the resolutions which were passed at the time British Columbia and the province of Prince Edward Island came into the union. So that we have got that precedent before us ; that was the promise upon which we admitted Manitoba, and looking at the character of the legislation. I do not think that there can be any doubt that the same rule must apply when we come to admit the provinces to be created out of the Northwest Territories.
My hon. friend. in quoting to-day from Sir John Thompson, almost gave me the impression—he will probably say that he certainly did not so intend—that Sir John Thompson had expressed no opinion favourable to the continuance of separate schools in the Northwest Territories. Sir John Thompson, in answer to Mr. McCarthy, did state that the parliament of Canada could give to the Northwest Territories such a constitution as it might see fit; but in doing so Sir John Thompson used words which unmistakably show that in his mind that moral obligation would exist. Sir John Thompson said :
What the constitution of the future provinces shall be. in view of the pledges which have been referred to, or in view of any other set of circumstances, will be for parliament to decide when it decides to create those provinces.
Sir John Thompson recognized as a lawyer the power of the parliament of Canada to give to the new provinces such constitution as parliament might see fit, but in doing so he carefully inserted the words:
What the constitution of the future provinces shall be in view of the pledges which have been referred to.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Could the hon. gentleman state what were the pledges he referred to ?
2997 March 22, 1905
Mr. FIELDING. I take it he referred to the general legislation as to separate schools in the Northwest. That is what I take it to mean. Again I quote from Sir John Thompson in the same debate. I will quote a clause which my hon. friend read to-day, but I want to quote it in an enlarged form :
We claim therefore that the constitutional system which was established with regard to schools and with regard to language in 1875 ought to be maintained for the same reasons as those which dictated its creation, and that this condition of affairs should last, at least, while the affairs of the Territories are under the control of this parliament.
That language seems to imply that the matter might be further considered when they ceased to be territories. Then he goes on to say what I read just previously :
What the constitution of the future provinces shall be, in view of the pledges which have been referred to, or in view of any other set of circumstances, will be for parliament to decide when it decides to create those provinces. I hope therefore that the House will be careful to-day not to disturb the arrangement so wisely made in 1875, and which is as useful to the Territories now, as it was then.
Now can anybody point out wherein there will be a difference in the educational needs of the Northwest on the 1st day July, 1905, as compared with the conditions on the 30th June in the same year? You will have passed from the status of a territory to the status of a province, but will that in the slightest degree alter the needs or conditions of the Northwest with respect to education ? If the schools which they have are working happily and satisfactorily on the 30th day of June in this year 1905, what reason will there be for making any change in the legislation on the lst day of July following ? Aside from the constitutional question, surely we have to admit there is the practical question of the needs of the people of the Northwest Territories, and in that respect they will not be different on the morning of the 1st day of July from their needs on the morning or the 30th day of June. A clause of that kind, Sir John Thompson said, is as useful to the Territories to-day as it was in 1875, and surely the same words may be repeated and we may say that this clause and the conditions which the clause has created will be just as useful to the people of the Northwest Territories on the lst day of July as they will be on the 30th day of June.
Now, I have not been discussing the constitutional question as my hon. friend will observe. I have been discussing entirely what I may call the practical side of the question, and I do that with the firm conviction that most of the people of this country will not bother themselves very much about this constitutional question but they will want to get at the actual facts of 2998 this very important subject. We are proposing by this legislation to confirm certain Acts of the Northwest Territories. We are proposing to continue certain legislation, to continue for a further time and for ever the school system which now exists. We are met with the statement that the position of the Liberal party in that respect is different to-day from the position which it held in the case of Manitoba. We have heard that from the hon. leader of the opposition to-day. I think it will have to be admitted, after a careful examination of the situation, that the conditions in respect to the Northwest Territories are widely and entirely different from the conditions that existed in connection with the proposed legislation for the province of Manitoba. It was proposed by the Remedial Bill of 1896 to override an Act of the legislature of Manitoba, passed by the voice of the people of that province, and, as subsequently was maintained, entirely within the legislative authority of that province. We do not propose to override any Act of any legislature. What we propose to-day is to confirm and continue for all future time a measure which the free voice of the Northwest legislature has placed upon the statute- book of the Territories. So that, on that point, there is a wide difference between the condition of affairs in respect to Manitoba and the condition of affairs in respect to the Northwest Territories. Then again it was said and with some justice that an effort was made to coerce the province of Manitoba, because it was proposed to pass an Act against which the government of Manitoba entered a solemn protest. There is no protest from the government of the Northwest Territories against this measure. I make that statement advisedly. The premier of the Northwest Territories, an estimable gentleman who has been taking part in this discussion, as properly he should, has written a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, but I am informed and believe that that letter expresses his individual opinion and it is not authorized by the government of the Northwest Territonies. So, in the case of Manitoba I repeat that the proposition was to do something against which the government of Manitoba protested. In this case we are doing something against which the government of the Northwest Territories have entered no protest whatever. Then, there is a further consideration. I suppose the people in the Northwest Territories have the best right to speak through their acknowledged representatives. I have no right to say what will be the views expressed by my hon. friends from the Northwest Territories on the other side of the House, but it is understood—I do not state it from direct communication with my hon. friends from the Northwest Territories—but it is understood and believed that this legislation is accepted and will be supported by seven out of ten members from the Northwest. Well, if there is no great matter of 2999 COMMONS principle involved. and I hope to be able to show in the few remarks with which I propose to detain the House before I close that there is no great matter of principle involved in this measure, and if seven out of ten representatives from the Northwest Territories are satisfied that thist is a good law for the people, who shall dare to say that we are coercing the people of the Northwest Territories ? I would say, Sir, that any argument which is designed to prove that we are dealing in this matter in the way of coercion is entirely unjustifiable. What is this law which we are going to confirm and to continue in the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan? We are told that this provides for a system of separate schools. Well, a system of separate schools may mean one thing in one quarter and another thing in another quarter. It is. in a measure, a system of separatc schools. That expression in the minds of many people means a great deal. I do not think I am mistaken when I say that in the minds of a great many Protestant people in the country when you talk about separate schools immediately understand that you are talking about schools that come under the control of some religious body, and particularly schools which come under the control of the Roman Catholic church. That is the common idea of separate schools in many quaters. Whatever may be said as respects other countries, or other provinces, it would be utterly mistaken to say that we are giving to the Northwest Province separate schools in that sense of the words. I submit to this House that the system of schools which we have to-day in the Northwest Territories is national school system, and if it has all the elements of a national school system then I say there is no principle involved in this discussion which would justify us in having a quarrel over it. What is this system ? One would suppose from the frequent references that are made to it that it is some iniquitous system, something which if continued would prejudice the interests of the people in these Territories for all time to come. The system of schoosl which prevails to-day in the Northwest Territories exists by virtue of chapters 29, 30 and 31 of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories. So far as the principle of separate schools is concerned, of course, that principle was to be found in the Act of 1875 and the ordinances adapted themselves to it. But if you read these three ordinances of the Northwest Territories you will rise from the perusal of them with the conviction that in that country they have a system of national schools which may well challenge the administration of the people in other portions of this country. What then are the essential elements of national schools ? I take it for granted that if you have a school which is established by the public authorities, if the management 3000 of the school derives all its authority and privileges from a regulation of the government of the state, if you have a system of schools under which the proper authorities of the state, or the province, or territory as the case may be, themselves specify the school books, establish the course of study, provide for the inspection of the schools and for the distribution of the money, if you have all those elements, then, I say you have a system of state-created, state-managed and state- supported public schools. Every one of these conditions exists to-day in the public school system of the Northwest Territories. A member of teh government of the Territories becomes commissioner of education and the powers of the commissioner are set forth in detail. I shall only read the clause under the heading of ' Regulations of the Department.' These regulations are to be made by the commissioner himself, a member of the government, with the approval of the Governor in Council. Section 6 of chapter 29 says:
The commissioner, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, shall have power : 1. To make regulations of the department-
(a) For the classification, organization, government, examination and inspection of all schools hereinbefore mentioned ;
(b) For the construction, furnishing and care of school buildings and the arrangement of school premises ;
(c) For the examination, licensing and grading of teachers and for the examination of persons who may desire to enter professions or who may wish certificates of having completed courses of study in any school ;
(d) For a teachers' reading course and teachers' institutes and conventions ;
2. To authorize text and reference books for the use of the pupils and teachers in all schools hereinbefore mentine as well as such maps, globes, charts and other apparatus or equipment as may be required for giving proper instruction in such schools ;
3. To prepare a list of books suitable for school libraries and to make regulations for the management of such libraries.  
4. To make due provision for the training of teachers
What is there, Sir, in all this to which anybody can take exception ? These details constitute the essential elements of a national school system. That system prevails to-day in the Northwest Territories, and that system we propose to constinue by the legislation which we have presented in this House. The difference between a minority school and a majority school in the Northwest Territories is so exceedingly small that he who would attempt to make a definition of it would find himself in difficulty. The difference is with respect to one half hour's instruction in religious matters at the close of the school. The school laws of the Northwest Territories provide for religious instruction, not as a matter of obligation ; they empower the trustees to   authorize religious instructions within cer 3001 MARCH 22, 1905 tain limits. That authority for religious instruction is not confined to separate schools; it applies to all schools in the Territories. It is provided that wherever the trustees so wish, wherever the local conditions permit, there shall be religious instruction in all schools in the Northwest Territories, not in the minority schools only. Then there is a further provision that all schools may be opened with the reciting of the Lord's Prayer. Does anybody object to that ? I hope not ; I trust that in any case where the trustees of a school authorized that, it is not objectionable. But then there is this half hour of religious education. From the hour at which these schools open in the morning up to half-past three in the afternoon they are absolutely alike ; there is no difference ; the teachers have the same duties, the same qualifications; the same examinations, the same course of study, the same books are prescribed by the government, the regulations are made by the government, the inspector is appointed by the government. I repeat that from the hour of opening in the morning up to half-past three in the afternoon there is no shade of difference in all these schools in the Northwest Territories. So it has come to this, that we have a shade of difference as respects the half hour of re- religious instruction, from 3.30 to 4 o'clock. I submit, Mr. Speaker, to this House that on a question like this that half hour of religious instruction is not and should not be a cause of conflict. Where the majority of the people and the trustees are of the Protestant faith, that half hour of religious instruction will, of course, take the form of the faith of the majority ; it will be Protestant religious instruction. Where the majority of the people and the trustees are Roman Catholics, that half hour of religious instruction will follow the faith of the Roman Catholic majority. In each of these cases the minority, if they wish, may have a separate school. I am firmly persuaded that the difference is so slight that if we reach a wise decision now, if we refrain from fanning the flame of political passion—I withdraw that word political, I am not discussing this from a party standpoint, and I did not intend to use that word, and I withdraw it—if we refrain from doing or saying anything which can fan the flame of religious excitement in the Northwest Territories now, my honest conviction is that the separate schools will diminish, and the free common public schools will increase. I am persuaded that the difference is so small that the mass of the people in the Northwest Territories will hardly find it to their advantage to keep it up except in a few instances. I am reminded of one point : I had forgotten to state that even with respect to that half hour, it is not a matter of obligation, but if the parents of any child disapprove of that religious instruction for that half hour, the child may withdraw. There is, therefore, liberty of conscience in the highest degree. I do not hesitate to 3002 say, Protestant that I am, that I do not think that half hour of religious instruction given by a Roman Catholic teacher will hurt the children ; I think that half hour of instruction given by a Catholic teacher to Catholic children—I think that we may reasonably feel that if there is enough of it to have any influence on the life of the child, it will make a boy a better citizen, a better Canadian. I want the House to consider seriously, I submit the proposition again, that if it be true as I say, and I believe I am correct beyond the power of contradiction, that from the moment that the school opens in the morning up to half-past three in the afternoon there is no difference between a separate school and a free national school, and if the only point of difference between them is that half hour of religious instruction, is there enough in it to quarrel about, and to have public meetings and agitation throughout the length and breadth of this land ? I believe that the great mass of the people today who are joining in petitions and holding meetings have not had time to understand this question. I believe that they have an erroneous view as to what the condition in the Northwest Territories is and as to what is the condition which we propose to perpetuate. When they discover, as they will, in the light of the debate which will take place in this House now and in the next few days, when the people of Canada shall learn that we have in the west to-day a system which is practically a national school system, and that the only point of difference between us is with respect to the small matter of a half hour of religious instruction, I think the great mass of the Protestant people of Canada will say that they regret that there has been any agitation on the subject.
My hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) referred to-day to the conditions of education in the province of Nova Scotia. We are proud to-day. Sir, of the national school system in that province. We rejoice that from time to time we hear our public men of all parties and all creeds cite the province of Nova Scotia as an example of toleration and good will. The happy conditions which exist in that province have many a time been referred to by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, who has held the people of Nova Scotia up as examples of moderation and toleration. We have a free common national system of education in the province of Nova Scotia. The principle of that system is, as I stated at an earlier stage of my speech : Thou shalt not teach any 'ism' but thou shalt teach by precept and example, the Christian virtues. This is the essential point, and happily we have got along very well. But do not make any mistake. Let no man imagine that that happy condition has been brought about without conciliation and compromise. We have no separate schools by law in Nova Scotia, but I say that we could not 3003 COMMONS have brought about that happy condition if we had not been disposed to meet our Roman Catholic brethren in a generous spirit, with due regard to their religious convictions. There is no separate school system by law in the province of Nova Scotia, but I tell this House to-night that the principle of separate schools is more emphatically recognized in the province of Nova Scotia than it is to-day in the Northwest Territories.
Come with me down to the fair city of Halifax and what will you find? The Roman Cahtolic Archbishop builds the school and leases it to the school trustees. What would they say to that in the Northwest ? The Roman Catholic authorities receive consideration and this is one of the means whereby we bring about the happy condition which obtains down there. The sister of charity teaches in our schools wearing the garb of her order, and many of the sisters are among the best teachers in our provinces. There are schools in the city of Halifax which will be pointed out to you as Roman Catholic schools, and so they are. The Prime Minister once when in Halifax visited one of these schools and he alluded to it as a separate school, and one of the sisters interrupted him and said : no, Sir, it is a public school of the province of Nova Scotia. And so it was, but it was a school which was recognized as a Roman Catholic school and it was attended only by Roman Catholic pupils, and it was taught by the Roman Catholic sister of charity wearing the garb of her order and the crossu upon her breast. We have made concessions for our Roman Catholic brethren in the province of Nova Scotia. Why, if a vacancy occurs in the teaching staff of one of the Catholic schools of Halifax, the Protestant commissioners have no vote in the selection of a successor ; the Catholic Commissioners only have the right to vote. Such is the system in the city of Halifax, and substantially the same system exists in many of the larger communities in the province, because it is only in a large community that this condition can be brought about. I am less familiar with the conditions in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, but I think I am right in saying that they are substantially the same.
Mr. EMMERSON. The same in New Brunswick.
Mr. FIELDING. While we have no separate schools established by law, we have in practice in all these provinces separate schools, and I hesitate not to make the statement that in my own province of Nova Scotia the principle of separate schools is recognized more emphatically than it is recognized in the Northwest Territories today. I would have this paraliament bear in mind that if we have that happy condition of things in that fair province, if we can be quoted from time to time as models of good citizenship and toleration and modera 3004tion, it is not because we have allowed principles to be carried to dangerous extremes, but it is because we have recognized the rights and feelings and even the prejudices of our Roman Catholic brethren. What interest has suffered ? There was a little friction years ago, but there is none to-day. The sensible people of Nova Scotia have made up their minds that this is a matter in which we can please our Roman Catholic brethren without hurting ourselves, and when we can do tht why should we not make an effort to do it? I repeat then, that the happy condition in the province of Nova Scotia which is so often referred to —which I myself have again and again spoken of with pride—has been brought about by paying due regard to the rights, and the feelings of the Roman Catholic minority.
Mr. SPROULE. Does the minister think that the people of the Northwest Territories would be less liberal or less generous than the people of Nova Scotia ?
Mr. FIELDING. Perhaps they would not, but if forty-one per cent of the people of Canada think that there is a danger, we might well see if some compromise, some arrangement could not be made. We have to-day before us perhapsthe most important measures that have ever engaged the attention of the parliament of Canada. They are measures which are wide-reaching in their effect. Whether we have regard to the interest which is manifested by the people throughout the country to-day or whether we have regard to the future welfare of this Dominion which all, irrespective of party, are so anxious to advance, we may feel, I am sure, that these are great measures, and that we should approach them with the utmost care, with the utmost deliberation, with a desire to find a happy settlement of any differences that may arise. Let us not conceal from ourselves certain facts ; let us be frank with one another. Let us say that the gravity of this situation is even more serious than many think. If my right hon. friend the Prime Minister is to retire from office, as he would be obliged to do, if this Bill were defeated, what then ? Under ordinary circumstances the retirement of a minister or the retirement of a government means very little after all. The public adapt themselves to new conditions ; one government goes out and another comes in. Party interest may suffer. But that is not the situation today. There are interests involved in this question which far outweigh any mere party consideration. What matters it if one government should go out and another come in ? But think for a moment of what would happen under the present state of affairs. Some one will say : what matter if the Prime Minister goes out, somebody else will come in. Sir, no government could be formed under such circumstances 3005 MARCH 22, 1905 which would command the confidence of this parliament. I make that statement after due deliberation. But, somebody will say: What of that ; if you Liberals cannot form a government we Conservatives will take charge. Will you? I doubt it. I have no right to speak for my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, but if I know him at all I venture to remark that he would shrink from the formation of a government in which he would be obliged to draw religious lines. As a high-minded man, with due regard for the future of his country, he would shrink from the formation of a government under which he would be obliged to exclude from office and vote and power forty-one per cent of the people of this Dominion. The leader of the opposition has acknowledged to-day that there is no union among his party on that question. He chaffed the Prime Minister for a moment; he said this question was not making for the unity of the government. May I venture to suggest that it is not making for the unity of the opposition ? The leader of the opposition acknowledged to-day—it was right that he should acknowledge it—that he and some of the men with whom he sits were not able to see eye to eye. He warned us that he spoke to—day for himself only and that he did not presume to speak in the name of his party. What does that show us ? Does it not prove that if my right hon. friend shall be obliged to retire from office on this question, my hon. friend the leader of the opposition would shrink from the formation of a government under such conditions? The matter is too grave to permit of its being treated lightly for a single moment, but I venture to say that it will be impossible to repress a smile on both sides of the House when I suggest the picture that would be presented of my hon. friends from East Grey (Mr. Sproule), Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron), and Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) sitting down to prepare a resolution with respect to separate schools.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. We could not make a much worse mess of it than the government has up to the present.
Mr. FIELDING. I think my hon. friend is entirely wrong. He will find, when the vote is taken, that we have a united government and a united party, and he will find, according to his own confession, that he will not have a united party supporting him. My hon. friend made merry at our differences a few days ago, but I suspect he has been having a few bad quarters of an hour himself. Let us not, in our momentary good nature. fail to see the gravity of the situation presented to the House. I say deliberately—and every hon. gentleman who listens to me knows it—that if this Bill be not passed, if we should be unable to carry a measure on this subject. then my right 3006 hon. friend will be obliged to retire and no other government can be formed which will command the confidence of this parliament.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. Is that the reason why the Finance Minister is back into line ?
Mr. FIELDING. The only way a government could be formed by hon. gentlemen opposite would be by the hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) coming forward to sit cheek by jowl with the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) as an advocate for separate schools, and I do not think that my hon. friends would care for the combination. I am speaking in all seriousness. This is no matter for levity. I repeat that there is in a certain sense a crisis. There is no party crisis, but there is a crisis with regard to the administration of public business in Canada by any government and any party. If my right hon. friend should retire on an issue like this, then the only thing that could possibly happen, if my hon. friend the leader of the opposition should agree to form a government at such a time, would be that he must form a Protestant government and he must have a general election.
An hon. MEMBER. Shame.
Mr. FIELDING. Who says shame ?
Mr. OSLER. This is the first time that the religious question has been introduced.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Order ; sit down.
Mr. FIELDING. I do not think that the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osler) has paid me the compliment of trying to understand what I was presenting to the House. Again I repeat—and I want to guard against any misapprehension, I want to give the hon. gentleman who said 'shame' an opportunity to say it again, because I want to state the situation as it actually exists. I say this is becoming a religious question. Who denies it? My hon. friend the leader of the opposition said as much to-day.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I beg my hon. friend's pardon, I said nothing of the kind. If so understood, I desire to disclaim any such intention. I argued this question, as my right hon. friend the First Minister did in the first instance, on the constitutional ground because in his remarks to this House, both on the 21st February and again to-day, he put the question solely on that ground.
Mr. FIELDING. The point is not important. I understood my hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, to have spoken, in the course of his speech to-day, of the religious differences which unhappily would arise in this matter. I think that will be found somewhere in 'Hansard'; but it is 3007 COMMONS not important, and if he says he made no allusion of the kind, I Withdraw the remark. But I say that it is in the minds of a large portion of the people of Canada a religious question. I take the responsibility of saying—and every man opposite knows itthat this question today is largely shaping itself as a religious question. We have on the one side the Roman Catholic body, largely united, and on the other side a large portion of the Protestant body who are agitating against this Bill on what may be called religious lines. I am not discussing their motive or purpose, but the line of separation is religion, and no one can contest that. I say that inevitably if the right hon. the First Minister had to retire from office on this question and my hon. friend the leader of the opposition were called on to form a government to settle this school question in the Northwest, he could not unite the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) and the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) and the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron). There is nothing wrong in saying that. We all know that these gentlemen have their differences on this question and could not agree. I say that the government then would have to be formed on religious lines, and that would be the greatest calamity that could occur to the Dominion of Canada. Surely in the presence of such a condition of things, we would all do well to see if it be not possible to find some solution of this great question. This is a time of great promise for our country. Canada united, happy and harmonious. will present a picture which will command the admiration and the confidence of the civilized world. Canada. in that happy condition, may hope to receive immigrants, may hope to move forward with even more rapid strides on that splendid march of progress and prosperity with which she has entered the twentieth century. We have had great progress in the Northwest. but after all it is but the beginning of better and greater things.
We hear the tread of pioneers, Of nations yet to be ; The first low wash of waves when soon Shall roll a human sea.
Let it be our happy privilege in this parliament to do all that we can to continue that picture of the condition of Canada. Let us be careful, lest by a mistaken step today, another picture may have to be presented. showing our people divided along religious lines, our country riven and distracted by religious strife. Canada then would no longer present that happy picture; the tide of immigration would be turned back, capital would take alarm, business men would lose confidence, we would no longer be able to enjoy the prosperity we are now enjoying. nor could we reasonably hope for that 3008 magnificent future which today opens to our vision. Let us realize the danger of religious strife in this matter. Let us try to avoid it. Let us have peace in Canada if possible—not an ignoble peace, not peace at any price, but peace with honour; peace on the terms of this honourable compromise which meets the religious prejudices. as some see fit to call them, which meets the religious convictions of two and a quarter millions of our people, and yet at the same time secures to the people of the Northwest Territories now and for ever every essential element of a system of national schoolspeace on the terms of this modified Bill which we submit to the House with the sincere conviction that we offer a measure which high minded and patriotic men may honourably accept, regardless of party, race, class or creed.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE. Mr. Speaker, it is now within a few minutes of twelve o'clock, and we have put in a good faithful day's work. I move the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.

ADJOURNMENT—INQUIRY FOR RETURN.

Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved the adjournment of the House.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The Prime Minister will observe by referring to the remarks which I made on the first reading of this Bill, that certain information was asked for which, he was good enough to say, would be brought down at the earliest possible moment and put in such form as would make it available for the use of the members of the House in the discussion of this Bill on the second reading and in committee. Some portion of it I believe, has been brought down, but only a small portion. May I be permitted to direct the attention of the right hon. gentleman to the importance of having this request complied with at the earliest possible moment, for we are now in the midst of a discussion on the second reading, and, if the information is to be of any value, it must be available at the earliest possible moment.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L Borden) tell me to what information he particularly refers?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN If the Prime Minister will refer to pages 1464 and 1465 of the revised ' Hansard'--
Sir WILFRLD LAURIER. I am familiar with that, and I gave orders that that information should be prepared.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Then, it is in progress ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Certainly because special instructions were given--
3009 MARCH 23, 1905 3010
Mr. FOSTER. ' In progress ' will not do us much good while we are right in the middle of the debate.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I understand from the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) that he has ordered everything available to be brought down. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) has in mind anything particular, and if he will tell me either to-night or to-morrow, I will try to have it ready.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I will examine the papers that have been brought down and will communicate with the right hon. gentleman.
Mr. J. G. H. BERGERON. I would remind the Prime Minister of a circular, a manuscript copy of which I have, but which I have not found among the papers. It is dated Regina, 30th of September, 1893, and is signed by Thomas Brown, Secretary of the Council of Public Instruction. I would like to know if it can be found printed among the ordinances or Orders in Councils of the Northwest Territories ? I shall be glad to place this manuscript copy in the hands of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) that, if possible, a printed copy may be found and brought down.
Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 12 o'clock, midnight.

Source:

Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.

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