House of Commons, 11 March 1875, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

MARCH 11, 1875. 638


Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE introduced a Bill to amend and consolidate the laws respecting the North-West Territories. As he intimated on a former occasion the Government decided some time ago to establish an entirely independent Government in those territories. To a certain extent it would have been advisable, before such an Act was passed, if it could be done, to have the boundary of Manitoba rectified, but that was a matter which it was difficult to deal with at the present moment. He thought it would be advisable as soon as the boundary between the Province of Ontario and the North-West Territories was established, that that boundary should become the boundary of the Province of Manitoba. At present the 96th degree off longitude was the eastern boundary of that Province, and the contention of the Ontario Government was that they owned the territory to the centre of the Lake of the Woods, and to a line running directly north from Lake Itaska, in Minnesota, to the head waters of the Mississippi. It was known from the returns laid before Parliament that the Government of the Dominion, and the Ontario Government, had decided upon an arbitration to define this boundary ; and the Dominion Government had nominated ex-Lieutenant Governor WILMOT, of New Brunswick, while the Ontario Government had nominated Chief Justice RICHARDS. These gentlemen were to choose a third arbitrator, and both parties to the arrangement were to abide by the decision arrived at. The hon. member for Kingston, when leader of the Government, made a proposal to the Ontario Government two years ago, to have this matter referred to the Privy Council for settlement. While there was no particular objection to that course, it was thought advisable by the present Government that it should be settled in the way he had explained. Until that settlement had been reached, which he hoped it would be in a short time, as each side had prepared its case, and the two arbitrators would shortly have a meeting, it was difficult to define the bound.


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



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