House of Commons, 1 May 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan



House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed 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, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.
Mr. EDMUND BRISTOL (Centre Toronto). Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of diffidence that I rise for the first time to address this House, the more so as I have the misfortune to come into this important debate after some of the most eloquent and able speeches connected with these Bills have already been made. I have not had that opportunity for a full consideration of the remarks of hon. gentlemen in connection with the matter that I should like to have had, nor have I had the opportunity of either 5141 MAY 1, 1905 hearing or reading all that has been said by hon. gentlemen. I have, however, read with a great deal of care the speeches when the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has made in support of this measure, as well as the speeches of the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson), the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) and the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), and I would very much Indeed have desired to have read everything else that has been said on this very important subject, because, with the rest of the hon. members of this House and in common with them, I look upon it as the most important matter that has been before this House, as far as I know, since confederation. But, Sir, I am impressed by a further fact. This debate, in some measure, has drifted, I regret to say, into abuse. If there is one thing more than another that I admired in the speech of the right hon. First Minister in which he introduced this Bill, it was the suggestion that we should proceed to its consideration with calmness, with moderation and with some effort to conceive that others besides ourselves might have honest convictions in respect to this very important matter; but I deeply regret that some of the followers of the right hon. gentleman have not seen fit to approach this important question with that feeling which the right hon. gentleman so well expressed. Why, Sir. how can it be fairly or reasonably said for one moment that the city of Toronto, in which I happen to live is bigoted and intolerant? Were it a fact true, how disgraceful it would be to throw up to us that we were so ignorant, so far behind the rest of the people of this country in our knowledge of what is reasonable and just, how disgraceful that such language should be addresed to us rather than the language of kindness, consideration and conciliation ? I wish to say, Sir, that the constituency which I have the great honour to represent in this House, no later than the 25th of January last, gave a majority of 2,800 votes in favour of a Roman Catholic (Hon. J. J. Foy), and I want to say also that, bigoted as we are, or as we are said to be, we have the greatest affection and admiration for all our fellow- countrymen, whether they are Catholics or Protestants, whether they are of English, Irish, Scotch or French descent. We make and we endeavour to make no distinction, and I sincerely trust that no member of this House will in future feel constrained to use any such language as that to which I have referred towards any part of the province of Ontario. But, dealing for the moment with the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and for which I had the honour to be elected by acclamation, can it be said that this constituency, which, in 1896, sent a supporter of the right hon. gentleman to this House, and which at that time sent five opponents of the coercion of 5141 5142 Manitoba to this House, is a constituency which is guilty of bigotry and intolerance ? Of course as Orangemen and as Tories, people naturally expect abuse, but I did not think the Liberal party would be disposed to use any such epithets towards the leading Liberals of Ontario. Now, Sir, we have been told that there has been a compromise in respect to this Bill. I will deal with that later ; but, Sir, if there is any compromise in respect to this Bill, what has been the lever that has brought about this compromise? Has it been the argument of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden)? Not at all. If any compromise has taken place, it has taken place because of the vigorous, united and strong protests that have come to this House from nearly every Liberal constituency in Ontario. I venture to say that in 1896 no Liberal ever got a warmer, more enthusiastic, heartier or more cordial reception than that accorded to the right hon. First Minister, when he came to the city of Toronto. Mr. Speaker, if that was the feeling of the people in the city of Toronto, in 1896, since When have they suddenly become bigoted and intolerant? If their hearts and minds and feelings were stirred with admiration of the right hon. Prime Minister, then in a constituency which, in 1896, returned a Liberal candidate (the late Mr. Justice Lount), which, later on, returned a Liberal (Mr. Bertram), and which was barely wrested from the Liberal party in 1900, in a constituency which, in 1904, with the most popular candidate the Conservative party could put in the field, was barely won by such candidate (the late Mr. E. F. Clarke) by a majority of 200, how is it no Liberal candidate came forward in April last? What was the change? What facts had intervened ? The people were not bigoted in 1896. They objected to the coercion of Manitoba. What facts intervened between the election in November and the election by acclamation in April last ? Nothing assuredly but the introduction into parliament of these Bills. Now, Sir, I dare say it has been quoted to you, and I do not propose to dwell on this matter at length, but I do feel that some justice should be done to the people who honestly believe that this legislation is wrong, and that Liberal members of this House are misrepresenting the views and feelings of the Liberal party in this country. I wish to read a paragraph from what was once supposed to be the Liberal organ of this province, the ' Globe' of April 19. It says:
But the point of capital importance, and which cannot be disproved by shutting ones eyes to its undesired existence or by shouting bravely that it does not exist, is the unmistakeable fact that not in Toronto alone, but in scores of centres throughout this province the sanest and steadiest and most intelligent men cannot bring themselves to approve of the Dominion parliament, on any pretext whatsoever interfering in the educational affairs of the new 5143 COMMONS provinces. The men who make this objection are not Tories. They are not Orangemen. They are Liberals. They are, some of them, the men who give virility and prestige to Liberalism in their constituencies, and without whom there would be no Liberal party worthy of the name. To ignore the fact of their opposition, to minimize its significance, or to misunderstand its quality is to play the part of children in a situation which demands the wisdom and courage of men.
And what happened shortly before this editorial was written? At a meeting in Massey Hall, which was addressed not by Conservatives, but by some of the ablest Liberals in the province of Ontario if not in Canada, the same spirit was evidenced. Let me quote to you remarks which I take as typical of the whole, and which were addressed to that great assembly by a gen-   tleman who a short time before had been offered the nomination of the Liberal party in North Toronto and who had refused it.
An hon. MEMBER. Who was that?
Mr. BRISTOL. It was Mr. Stapleton Caldecott. He said :
What Sir Wilfrid Laurier proposes is open to most serious objection, and for myself, with my previous admiration for this man, giving him my hearty service as a model statesman, for the moment I have lost my respect for his judgment. (Hear, hear.) He has sought, almost in an indecent manner, to thrust upon this people a piece of legislation they will never submit to.  
That statement was received by Liberal cheers at that meeting, and speeches in the same vein were made there by men of the type of D. E. Thompson, K.C., a Liberal lawyer known throughout the whole country, and by Rev. Dr. Milligan, a man most highly respected throughout this land. On behalf of such men, if I may be permitted to do so, I desire to repudiate the suggestion that they are either bigoted or intolerant, on the contrary, I could more truly describe them as patriots, as men who put principle above party, as men who were not quite so able as others were to cheerfully cast aside the political principles which during the last thirty years they had been educated in, by Mackenzie, by Blake, by Mowat, by Davies and by the right hon. the Prime Minister himself. And, Sir, if the Liberals in this parliament believe what they say, how unkind, how ungracious it was of them not to come to the great city of Toronto to talk with these brothers who were so misled, and to endeavour to convince them of their wrong. How much more courageous it would have been for the gentlemen opposite to have come openly to that city, and standing on the platform say, as the Prime Minister says in this House: I am standing where I stood in 1896. I can assure the Prime Minister that had he done so he would have addressed men who would have felt in the kindliest way towards him,     5143 5144 and men whose minds and hearts were open to conviction. If the right hon. gentleman and those associated with him in the government of this country believe that they are standing where they stood in 1896, I can assure them that the leaders of the Liberal party who do not sit in this House have not been able to reach the same conclusion.
The subject under consideration seems to present itself in practically two ways; first, has the parliament of Canada the power to pass this legislation? and, second, if it has the power, is it good policy to do so? I would have thought, in view of the able, and so far as I have been able to read, unanswered argument of the leader of the opposition, that if it had been at all possible to have saved this country the unfortunate discussion which has taken place for the past two months, it would have been the part of wisdom, the part of good politics, and the part of good statesmanship to have endeavoured to do so. Assuredly, Sir, if the parliament of Canada has no power to pass this legislation, then all these extraordinary appeals, able as many of them have been, in favour of separate schools or in favour of the Bill before us are idle and useless, and the country has been unnecessarily aroused and the time of parliament unnecessarily wasted. I wish for a few moments to direct the attention of this House to the important question as to whether the parliament of Canada has the power to pass this legislation. When the British North America Act was passed in 1867, there was I venture to think, no power given to the parliament of Canada to carve out new provinces. The only section which deals with the admission of new provinces and with the admission of these new Territories—which by the way were then not part of Canada and are not possibly covered by the Act—the only section that deals with this at all is section 146, and I think the Minister of Justice will not endeavour to contend that under section 146 the parliament of Canada has the power to pass this legislation. I must confess that I would have considered it only fair to the members on this side of the House, if the Minister of Justice had been thoughtful enough at an early stage of this debate to have answered, if answer were possible the able argument of the hon. the leader of the opposition. His silence has placed us in the position that we are compelled in advance to criticise a proposition which should have been established beyond all doubt by the government. The onus does not lie on us to show that this parliament has not the power to pass this legislation; the onus lies on the government to show parliament that we have that power. And, after such an able answer as the leader of the opposition made to the argument of the Prime Minister, it was due to the House—if there was any 5145 MAY 1, 1905 further light to be thrown on this constitutional question—that we should have had an opportunity, as early as possible, or hearing a pronouncement from the Minister of Justice. I say, Sir, that there is no power contained in the British North America Act to carve out new provinces, but, there was a power given in that Act to admit these new Territories which were not then part of the union. They were therefore, not covered by section 93 of the British North America Act at that time, because they were not in the Dominion of Canada at all, they being under the Hudson Bay Company under the imperial parliament. It takes some further enactment to bring them under that section. Having got those Territories into the Dominion under the Act of 1870, the province of Manitoba, in advance of legislation by the imperial parliament, was carved out of these Territories by the parliament of Canada, but, it does not at all follow that if this parliament assumed jurisdiction to carve out the provinces, therefore the legislation was intra vires. The parliament of Canada evidently thought they had not the right to do so, and shortly afterwards there was legislation in this regard, passed by the imperial parliament, and the same imperial legislation which validated the Manitoba Act, for the first time gave the parliament of Canada the power to carve provinces out of these new Territories. I call the attention of the House to section 2 of the Act of 1871, which gives this power, because if this power is not in the British North America Act, there is no inherent power in the parliament of Canada to create these provinces; and for this reason, that any power the parliament of Canada has in respect to this legislation must of necessity come from the imperial parliament, and until the Act of 1871 was passed, the imperial parliament alone had the power to carve out these new provinces. So, Sir, it my argument is correct, the parliament of Canada as representing the imperial parliament, has just that power to carve out provinces, which the imperial parliament gave her. Let us look at what the power was that the imperial parliament gave to the parliament of Canada. Section 2 says :
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.
I call special attention to the clause:
The parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces, and may at the time of such establishment make provision for the constitution of each province.
5145 5146
It does not say any constitution which the parliament of Canada may think proper to establish; but it says that it may make provision for the constitution: and in 1886 was passed the Act which provided that this Act of 1871 and the Act of 1867 should be read together. Now, Sir, what happened? Simply this, that if the Act of 1871 is to be construed as part of the Act of 1867, then assuredly the parliament of Canada, in exercising the power to give a constitution, has only the right to give such a constitution as the earlier sections of the empowering Act permitted it to give. In other words, if the imperial parliament in the later section of the Act says, you may carve out a province and give it a constitution, in the earlier sections it says the constitution must be thus and so. Where, then, does the parliament of Canada get the power to vary that constitution ? The imperial parliament, in section 92 of the British North America Act, provides what shall be the exclusive powers of provincial legislatures, and in section 93, dealing with education, it says :
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions.
Then the subsections follow. What I desire to submit to the consideration of this House is that the power having been given by the imperial parliament to this parliament to make the constitution, the section which gives that power being part of the Act which provides the special constitution and powers of the province, the only power which this parliament has in this matter is to give these new provinces the constitution which the British North America Act has provided, and no other. Mr. Clement, in his work on the Canadian Constitution, confirms this opinion. The late Hon. David Mills expressed similar views. If this, then, is a correct interpretation of that Act, then I consider it a most unfortunate thing that we have had this unhappy discussion in this House and throughout the newspapers of the Dominion; and, Sir, if I may be permitted to offer a criticism of the right hon. the Prime Minister, I must confess that I felt that it was most unfortunate if he stood on the rock of the constitution, that he should have thought proper to have introduced this measure with a speech containing a eulogy of separate schools as against national schools, which he above any other man knew must stir up the strongest feelings and prejudices of every Protestant in this country. If there was one method of proceeding with the consideration of this matter which could have caused anything but calmness and moderation, the speech of the right hon. the Prime Minister was that method.
Now, assuming for the moment that parliament has the power to pass legislation 5147 COMMONS of this character, the speakers on the other side of the House who followed the hon. leader of the opposition, seemed to base their argument upon the idea of compromise and policy. I would like for a moment to consider whether there has been any compromise; and the best way to see whether there has been or not is to examine the sections of the Bill under discussion. Section 16 of the Bill as originally presented read as follows :
The provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, shall apply to the said province as if, at the date upon which this Act comes into force, the territory comprised therein were already a province, the expression 'the union' in the said section being taken to mean the said date.
If section 93 is applied to one of the new provinces as if it were a sovereign province which had come into the union on the 1st of July, 1905, it is beyond question that subsection 1 of that section would apply to it, that subsection being as follows:
Nothing in any such law shall prejudically affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
What follows ? It is quite plain that the laws that are given effect to by that subsection are the ordinances of 1901, chapters 29, 30 and 31, because these are precisely the laws relating to denominational schools which will be in existence in the new provinces on the 1st July, 1905. When I examine the amended clause, what do I find ? I find that that which is supposed to be a compromise reads as follows:
Nothing in any such law shall prejudically 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 chapter 29 and 30 of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories, passed in the year 1901.
Precisely the same as the other in every particular. But there is another clause of section 16, subsection 2, which the hon. the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) emphasized as introducing the law in relation to separate schools contained in the Act of 1875. If anybody should be acquainted with the provisions of the school law of the west, it is the hon. the ex-Minister of the Interior. But there is another authority whom we have had the good fortune of hearing on this subject, although the right hon. the Prime Minister apparently considered him a man of no importance when this matter was under discussion; that is, the hon. the premier of the Territories; and he has been good enough to give us some light on this question. He has pointed out that section 41 of chapter 29 of the ordinances of 1901, which is now being brought into force, is a provision creating separate schools in the 5147 5148 same words as those of subsection 2 of section 16 of this Bill. So, Sir, the introduction of this additional section was like putting up a straw man to knock him down, and then taking him out and saying, look what we have done ; because that statutory provision is not a mere regulation order in council which can be repealed, but is a statute law conferring the same right which the ex-Minister of the Interior said was conferred by the Act of 1875.
But that is not all. The third and final subsection of this much criticised section 16 provides as follows:
In the appropriation of public moneys by the legislature in aid of education, and in the distribution of 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 equable shares or proportion.
What does the new section say:
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.
What are the schools described in the clauses of chapter 29 of the Northwest ordinances ? Why, they are the separate schools provided by section 41 of the statute of 1875 which I have just read. And if I understand the question at all, I venture to say that there is no difference in principle or substance between the amended clauses now presented and the clause originally introduced. What then becomes of this extraordinary much vaunted compromise ? But let us assume that what is now provided is the law as it is at present in the Northwest Territories. I would like to ask if anybody in this House is able to say what that law is. We are told that if this Bill be passed, everything will be lovely, there will he no litigation, and everybody will be happy. Well, Mr. Speaker, in view of the statement made by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) that the amended section 16 is a great compromise and practically introduces and makes permanent national schools in the new provinces—separate schools existing in name only—and in view of the contrary statement which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has made, namely, that there is no difference in substance or principle between the original and the amended clause 16, in view of the statement made by the First Minister of the Northwest Territories (Mr. Haultain) to the same effect, which statement I have just endeavoured to make plain by an examination and comparison of the original 5149 MAY 1, 1905 and amended clause 16, and in view of other statements we have had to the very opposite effect from other authorities in this House. I venture to say that no one can tell what this legislation we are asked to pass will eventually be found to mean. Let us consider for a moment what the effect of this measure is likely to be. The Act of 1875, which introduced separate schools into the Northwest, was very fully dealt with by the ex-Minister of the Interior. The hon. gentleman pointed out what, in his judgment, were the great defects of that systemwhat he calls the dual system of education. But if the ex-Minister of the Interior was correct in stating that this dual system and all the evil which he describes as following from it are embodied in the Act of 1875, section 14, and if the very section of the Act of 1875 establishing separate schools is to be reenacted by this parliament, word for word, for all time to come, how can he escape the conclusion that by this measure we will be planting irrevocably in the west this inefficient and useless system, for the weeding out of which in Manitoba he took so much credit ? But how has the change from the inefficient to the efficient system which the ex-minister describes to the one now existing in the Territories been brought about? That there is at present in the Territories what many people consider a good system is proved by the testimony of men who ought to know. Well, the change has been brought about in this way. In the Territories we have a Commissioner of Education whose position is similar to that of the Minister of Education in the province of Ontario, and the Territorial government assumed the responsibility of choosing the text-books and administering educational matters generally. That they did by virtue of certain regulations which were adopted from time to time and not by amendment to the statute of 1875. It is by virtue of these regulations which have been adopted from time to time, and which may be repealed from time to time that the present school system in the Territories has been established. But if these regulations have gone beyond the statute of 1875, if they have taken away any rights to which the minority are entitled, they were ultra vires, they were beyond the power of any Commissioner of Education of the Northwest Territories to pass. If that be the case, what will happen ? This will no doubt ensue. Once the measure before us becomes law, the minority will have the right to declare that they propose to have the statute of 1875 applied to their claims and privileges in its integrity. They will protest that their rights have been shamefully taken from them by regulations which have not the power of the statute law and are in contravention of the statute law, that the essential section of the statute of 1875 dealing with the right to separate schools 5149 5150 has been re-enacted by this parliament, and they have the absolute right to have any regulations made in contravention of that statute declared null and void. They will be entitled to decline to obey these regulations or to permit their enforcement and to demand their abrogation. The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) has declared that in 1892 a law was passed which swept away separate schools in the Northwest. Well, we have the statement of the Premier of the Northwest Territories that whatever change was made in the Territories was made by these very repealable regulations which were passed by the Commissioner of Education with the consent of Catholics and Protestants alike and not by changes in the statute. It is not, therefore, in virtue of any statute that the educational system for the Northwest is what it is today, but because of certain regulations passed by the Commissioner of Education for the Northwest Territories and against which so far no appeal has been taken by the Catholics, but which the Catholics could have appealed against if they chose and can later on appeal against and have abrogated if they in any way contravene the statute law giving the right to separate schools which law, if this clause 16 goes through, will be the same as it was in 1875.
Let us deal for a moment with the question of policy. It has been stated by hon. gentlemen opposite that if we should adopt this measure, there will be no more trouble, no litigation, no unpleasantness, and that the duty and obligation rests on this parliament to deal with this matter and settle it for all time. But I submit first of all that if the Dominion parliament has not the power to pass this legislation, then the only result of our passing it will be to provoke litigation in order to determine our jurisdiction. In the second place should the courts hold that this parliament has power, the people of the Territories—who, if this legislation were not passed, would no doubt treat with fairness and justice every class of the community– considering themselves oppressed by a law, in the passing of which they had no voice, would resent its application and decline to obey it. And then, in all probability, we would have the parliament of Canada again called upon to exercise its remedial power. In that connection I wish to say that, so far as I am able to appreciate the jurisdiction of this parliament, it has no power to deal with the subject of education except by virtue of subsection 4 of section 93, and there it has only power to deal with it in certain circumstances. Nowhere else in the Act is this parliament given the power to deal with that subject generally, and I would ask hon. gentlemen opposite whether they would consider for one moment that the Dominion parliament can have general power to deal with the subject of education when by the Confederation Act that parliament is only given the jurisdiction to 5151 COMMONS deal with it in one particular instance and the general power is given to the provinces. This is just the opposite when the Act deals with Dominion and provincial powers in all other matters ; then the general power is given to the Dominion and the special powers to the provinces.
But supposing that we should pass this legislation, assuredly, in view of the divergence of opinion that exists regarding the meaning of the law we propose to enact, whichever side considers itself entitled to something more would at once proceed to find out what its rights are and endeavour to obtain them. And if it should turn out that by this measure we are re-enacting the statute of 1875, and if an inefficient and useless system of education should be established by virtue of this measure in these Territories for all time, I am satisfied that the right hon. gentleman and those associated with him would not care to have any such state of affairs put in force for all time. But if the effect of this legislation is to establish national schools, then with equal force do I come to the conclusion, in view of the speech the right hon. gentleman made in introducing this Bill that it was no part of his intention to propose any such legislation — under these circumstances I for one am absolutely opposed to the parliament of Canada meddling in the educational affairs of this country. I do not believe that we have the power ; and if we had the power I do not believe it is good policy for this parliament to assume that it possesses the wisdom of all time and all the ages and that it is competent to give these people to-day the best system of education possible to last for centuries and without end.
Now it has been urged that if we apply the sections of the British North America Act, that matter will be left in uncertainty. Permit me to say that I dissent from that view. I dissent from it because I think, with all deference to those who differ, that were the educational clauses of the British North America Act to be given to these new provinces as their charter in this regard, subsection 1 would not apply to them, while subsection 3 would apply. And what would be the effect of it? Clearly the effect would be that these new provinces would start with full power to deal with all matters relating to education ; but if the minority, by agitation or by any other means, obtained separate schools, then the new provinces would be bound to maintain that system or else become subject to remedial legislation. That assuredly is taking the matter out of the possibility of litigation, because I venture to think that if we deal fairly and reasonably with the people of the Northwest, if we give them the same provincial charter as is possessed by British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, under which they have power to deal with their educational affairs, 5151 5152 I venture to think that there will be no injustice done to the minority, and that we will have no further trouble in this great country with discussions of this character, which are most regrettable and the sections of the British North America tend to cause discord and dissension. I for my part am a firm believer in the national school system, but I none the less believe it to be the part of wisdom, of good policy and of broad statesmanship to allow the people of those new provinces to determine that matter for themselves.
I for one would be glad to see the day when people would forget, in discussing political affairs in this country, that they were Catholics or Protestants, that they belonged to any religious sect whatever. I would be glad to see the day when the people of this country, while they might be proud of their origin, would forget, in discussing political questions, that they were of French descent, or English descent or Irish descent. I would like to see all these matters dealt with on their merits, always provided that every section of the people received fair play. I desire to see such a state of affairs as that no class can consider themselves as the only tolerant people in this country, and that all classes recognize each other as animated by a feeling of kindness and generosity. I for one most strongly object to this new country having forced upon it, or placed upon it, by the parliament of Canada, at this distance and at this time, a system of education which its people will not be able to change, except by imperial legislation, so long as the centuries last. Why, Sir, what has been the experience of legislation of this kind in the past? Take the effect of prohibition laws in this country. There is no more unsuccessful way of inducing a man to do right than to endeavour to coerce him to do right. There is this further argument that I have seen advanced with respect to this matter, and that is that we cannot trust the people of these new provinces to do what is fair. Sir, I for one am entirely out of sympathy with such an argument. The people of the great west have gone in there from all of our great provinces, they have certainly shown themselves up-to-date, intelligent, and very able. If the school system, which so far they have been permitted to enact and to carry out, if such legislation as they have been permitted to pass during their tutelage, is a sample of what they can do, then I think we may safely entrust to the people of those new provinces full power to deal with their educational affairs, such powers as every other province has been given since confederation.
Now, Sir, I desire to say in conclusion, that I deeply and sincerely regret the misfortune which has placed me in the position of member for Centre Toronto in this House. If there was one man for whom 5153 MAY 1, 1905 I had the highest possible admiration, both as a man and as a statesman, as a man who had the good of his country at heart, it was the late member for Centre Toronto. I am sure that no one regrets more than I do that he is not present at this time and on this occasion to lend the power of his great personality and of his great eloquence in dealing with these important matters, than which no one in this country was more qualified to do.
Mr. H. GUTHRIE (South Wellington). Mr. Speaker, in rising at this late stage of the debate, at a time when the chief point of controversy has been most thoroughly discussed from almost every point of view, namely, the educational clauses of this measure, one would almost require some excuse for trespassing further on the time of the House. I merely rise on this occasion to state, in as few words as possible, my own feeling and my own position in regard to this Bill, without entering into details or repeating arguments except in the most general way, in order to justify the faith which is in me with regard to this measure. When this Bill was before the House upon a former occasion, I stated that I was unalterably in favour of the measure as it was then before the House. So I say now, I was in favour of it, as I then understood it, so I am, as I understand it at the present time, to be a measure to continue in the Northwest provinces that school system which they now enjoy and which for many years past they have enjoyed. If the amendments which have been introduced to the Bill since I spoke on a former occasion, give more precision to the present state of affairs in regard to education in the Northwest Territories, than did the original draft, then I think they have been wisely introduced. I believe further that the measure as now before the House is acceptable to the vast majority of the people of the Northwest Territories; and if so, then, apart from my own convictions altogether on this subject — I may say that my convictions are entirely favourable to the measure — but apart from them altogether, I would feel it my duty to support the measure, always with this provision, that this House has the power, that this parliament has the constitutional authority, to pass this measure, and that in so doing we in no way hamper, or infringe upon, or deny any of those rights which we know under the general term of provincial rights. Now, Mr. Speaker, I affirm the constitutional right of this parliament to pass this measure, and I deny that in so doing we in any way infringe upon provincial rights properly so-called. I am well aware that in taking that stand and in discussing this measure from that point of view — which is the only point of view from which I intend to discuss it — I 5153 5154 find myself in direct conflict with the views and opinions of many hon. members opposite Who have opposed this measure, hon. members who have obtained in the legal profession a far greater eminence than I can ever hope to attain ; but, having the very highest respect and deference to the opinions of hon. members who differ from me, I still have to affirm my conviction upon this point, after a critical and careful examination of the whole case, that I believe the opinions offered upon the constitutional aspect of the question by the leader of the opposition and by those who have followed him, are erroneous, and it is only after very careful study that I have made up my mind to confront them and Oppose them.
In the first place I confess to some feeling of disappointment in respect to the constitutional objections urged against the measure by some hon. members opposite. They have been somewhat inclined to conjure up for themselves imaginary dificulties in connection with this measure. Possibly they may be able at some future time to shield themselves behind what one might call the somewhat in involved and somewhat refined doctrine of ultra vires, rather than that they should come out in the open and fight upon the merits of this measure. I am disappointed also to find, as I think I have found, a good many of those who have opposed this measure who have done so on the principle that it must be illegal and unconstitutional simply because it has been met with the disapproval of the hon. leader of the opposittion (Mr. R. L. Borden). That may be a very loyal course but it is not a very enlightened course to pursue ; it may be very complimentary to the hon. leader but it is hardly complimentary to those who blindly follow his lead.
Another matter which has caused me some trouble and not a little difficulty is that after many careful perusals of the speech of the hon. leader of the opposition and of those who have argued upon the same lines as he has done, I am unable definitely to ascertain whether it this measure be in fact constitutional and within the powers and jurisdiction of this parliament, if the constitutional question he conceded in favour of this measure, the leader of the opposition would support the Bill or withhold his support from it. I have failed in many careful perusals of his speech to find what his real attitude would be. I believe that the people of Canada, this House and the electors of the county of Carleton, would in their hearts like to know what the attitude of the leader of the opposition is upon the merits of the Bill, apart from the constitutional question. Of course that is merely a hypothetical proposition, and the hon. member need not give answer to it unless he sees fit. There is one thing further which I would point out, and I point that out per 5155 COMMONS haps more in view of an utterance of the last speaker than for any other reason. The last hon. member who addressed the House (Mr. Bristol) took occasion to remark that when this Bill was originally introduced by the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), he invoked moderation on the subject from all those who discussed the measure. The hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Bristol) Was inclined to praise the right hon. the leader of the House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) for having asked for moderation, and having himself set an example of moderation in his speech. But a few moments later, the hon. member for Centre Toronto changed his tone in this respect and said that the eulogy pronounced by the Prime Minister on separate schools stirred up the resentment of every Protestant in this House. What then does he think of the eulogy or complimentary apostrophe that was pronounced in respect to the minority, in respect to the Roman Catholic electors of this country by his own leader, the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden)? Now that hon. gentleman. I think, went a little out of his way in the course of his speech to eulogize the Roman Catholic minority. It was not necessary for him to do so for the purposes of his argument. However, I have no doubt that the Roman Catholic electors of the Dominion of Canada will be very much gratified by that eulogy, although it came to them in a sort of backhanded, apologetic manner, for at the same moment the opposition leader said that he could not support their claims, that he rested his case solely on the rock of the constitution, as he understood it, but he gave them not one single hint of what he would do provided this were a constitutional measure and this parliament had power to deal with this question of education in the Bills now before us.
Before entering upon an examination of the case, as one might put it, I might say that I listened with great care to the speech of the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Bristol), who has preceded me. I congratulate the hon. member on his maiden effort in this House. He certainly has succeeded a great man, who formerly represented that riding in this House, a man who had the affection of every member in this House, a man whose good judgment and whose ability were well recognized. The hon. member is the follower in Centre Toronto of a great man, and I might express the hope that at some day in the future the hon. member who has just resumed his seat may be able to fill the place formerly occupied by Mr. E. F. Clarke, now deceased.
In taking the stand I do on this measure. it becomes necessary to go into a somewhat critical analysis of the whole constitution or of the British North America Act, and the Acts which bear upon it. I do not desire, and I do not find it necessary, for my purpose, to make more than passing reference to conditions which existed prior to 5155 5156 confederation. There is no doubt that the British North America Act, 1867, was the outcome of a compact or agreement. It is not the outcome strictly speaking of imperial legislation or imperial will, but it is the result of agreement between representative men from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and in the Act of 1867 we find their agreement consolidated and put into legal shape by the imperial government. As I read that Act, I find in only two places reference of any kind made to any other provinces or territories. In the preamble of the Act it is true there is a slight reference to what might happen in the future. In the preamble we find this clause :
And whereas it is expedient that provision be made for the eventual admission to the union of other portions of British North America.
And in section 146 we find a direct reference to the provinces or colonies of British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, and a direct reference to Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories. Now, can it be argued for a minute that these colonies or provinces or territories, which had no part in the making of the British North America Act, were parties to the agreement or compact which it embodies ? I submit the Act was framed solely and exclusively on the agreement of the delegates from the provinces which were interested as the original provinces coming into confederation. Now, I think that the statement of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) in regard to the general purview of the British North America Act, 1867, contains a very fair analysis of what that Act was, and I think perhaps I might read that statement by the hon. leader of the opposition. found in his speech at page 3077 of 'Hansard.' He says there :
Analyse 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 in the next place you find the distribution of executive power between the Dominion parliament and the provincial legislature. This analysis is not exhaustive, but it covers all that is necessary for the present purpose.
I submit that that is a very fair analysis of the Act, and I would point out that in section 91 of the Act we find the subjects which are to be entirely dealt with by this parliament. In section 92 of the Act we find enumerated all the matters which are to form the subjects of provincial legislation. Now, Mr. Speaker, marking these two sections, examining them carefully, we find that section 91 distinctly applies to 5157 MAY 1, 1905 Dominion jurisdiction and that section 92 distinctly and exclusively applies to provincial jurisdiction, and we find in neither of these sections any mention of the question of education. That is a fact that may well be pointed to. Why is it so ? It is because education was not given exclusively either to the provinces or to the Dominion and it is wrong to say as many hon. members have said, that education is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislature. It it were so it would form part of section 92, but it is put in a section of the_ Act which we in this House are all familiar with, section 93, but in order that my statement on this point may be a complete one, I am going to incorporate that section with my remarks. Section 93 reads as follows :
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.
Subsection 2. I need not read as it applies exclusively to Ontario and Quebec.
3. 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 subjects in relation to education.
Section 4 is the remedial clause which I need not read. Now it is argued that the subsections following section 93, only applied to the original provinces coming into this union. Subsection 2 certainly covered the case of Ontario and Quebec. It is argued that subsections 1, 3 and 4 only applied to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Mr. Speaker, I do not think such an argument is tenable for one moment. The language of the section itself is clear enough upon that point. In the section and in each subsection the language is:
In and for each province-
Then in the subsection :
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.
In subsection 3 again reference is made to rights and privileges held in the provinces at the union. I do not take that to refer merely to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but to any province or colony of the Dominion coming within the four corners of the British North America Act, 1867. Can there be any doubt that when section 93 was framed it was framed in reference to Ontario and Quebec probably more particularly, because, in the Quebec resolutions, On 5157 5158tario and Quebec are the only provinces we find mentioned in regard to education and in regard to the right to have separate schools? But, in section 146 other provinces or colonies are enumerated, and as each of these Provinces or colonies would come into the union I submit that they would be entitled to all the benefit to be derived from subsections 1, 3 or 4 or section 93 of the British North America Act 1867.
Mr. SPROULE. May I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Guthrie) a question? He is dealing with the Act that was brought back from the imperial parliament and going back to the resolutions upon which that Act was based. The Act was to be in exact accordance with the resolutions. In these resolutions there is assigned to the provinces the power to legislate upon education saving the rights and privileges that the Protestant or Catholic minority of both Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools at the time the union comes into operation. That saving clause had reference only to Canada east and Canada west. Then, before that, when a motion was made by one of the members that this Act should not be accepted until it was brought back and assented to by the Canadian parliament, Sir George Cartier gave a strong assurance in the following words :
Mr. Speaker, in reply to what the hon. member for Hochelaga has just said, I shall merely tell hon. members of this House that they need not take alarm at the apprehensions and predictions of that hon. gentleman. I have already declared in my own name, and on behalf of the government, that the delegates who go to England will accept from the Imperial government no Act but one based on the resolutions adopted by this House, and they will not bring back any other.
They accepted that assurance. They gave that as a reason why it was not necessary to have that Act submitted to the Canadian parliament when it came back. Does that not show the intention of the delegates in regard to education in framing the original resolutions ?
Mr. GUTHRIE. What the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) says may be correct, but I have not to go back to pre- confederation days. I have to examine the case from the Imperial Act that we have and from the clauses which are in the Act. I have understood from some reading I have done on the subject that the original Quebec resolutions were altered in London, England, before the British North America Act, 1867, was actually passed, but we have to deal with the statute as it stands to-day and we have to endeavour to interpret this statute just as we would interpret any other statute known to the law of this country or the mother country.
Mr. SPROULE. Several hon. members on the other side of the House have gone back to the original discussion to show what 5159 COMMONS the intention was. I am only drawing attention to this because I think it shows clearly what the intention was.
Mr. GUTHRIE. The hon. members of this House who are of the legal profession will, I think, bear me out when I say that it is very questionable whether in the interpretation of a statute we have any right to go beyond the language of the statute itself. Sometimes it has been done, but the text writers on the construction of statutes are rather against allowing the language of debates in parliament or negotiations previous to the enactment, to influence them in any way in construing the enactment itself. I turn to section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867, and in this section, I submit, is to be found in seven words, the one single fact upon which the leader of the opposition or any of his followers who spoke after him, can hang an argument. These are the seven words :
Subject to the provisions of this Act.
For the purpose of my argument I desire to insert this section verbatim. Section 146 :
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 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 addresses from the Houses of the parliament of Canada to admit Rupert's Land and the Northwest 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 on that behalf shall have effect as if they had been enacted by the parliament of the United Kingdom. of Great Britain and Ireland.
What I submit in regard to section 146 is this : that it provides a distinct means for the provinces or colonies, and the territories, to become a part of this confederation. A colony is described by the imperial Act, known as the Colonial Laws Validity Act,    1865 :
To include all of Her Majesty's possessions abroad in which there shall exist a legislature as hereinafter defined.
I can find no definition of what a province is: there was no such thing as a British province strictly so called ; the term 'Colony' was applicable to them all. In section 146 of the British North America Act, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Newfoundland are described as ' colonies or provinces.' They had legislatures of their own and could enact laws of their own. It was provided in respect of these three colonies that they may come into confederation, and how? Simply as the original provinces had confederated themselves by agreement, or upon a joint address of the 5159 5160 Colonial House and of this parliament to Her Majesty she could pass an Order in Council admitting them into confederation. But not so with the Territories. The Territories had no voice in the matter whatever. They were, as described by the leader of the opposition, practically unpeopled portions of Canada, there were a few fur traders, numberless bands of uncivilized Indians and for the rest, herds of buffalo. My submission is this : that there is a distinction in section 146 which we must all recognize as the mode of admission. In one case colonies or provinces could come in by agreement on a joint address ; in the other case the Territories must come in on an address of this House approved by an Order in Council. The distinction is this : the colonial entities referred to in section 146 were to come in as provinces having rights subject to the terms of the British North America Act as stated in these seven words I have quoted. But for the Territories, it was provided that they should merely come in as a territorial enlargement of the country, an increased area for Canada ; that they should merely come within our boundaries and form a part of the Dominion of Canada, not subject to any agreement or compact they made but subject to our will approved by an imperial Order in Council. And that is the manner in which the provinces did come in. I notice that the leader of the opposition in one part of his speech takes grave objection to the proposal in section 2 of the present Bill, namely. that the British North America Act is made applicable to the new provinces with this exception:
Except in so far as varied by this Act.
These words seem to create indignation in the mind of the leader of the opposition if one may judge by the way he denounced them. He said : parliament has no right to alter the British North America Act of 1867, and the words in section 2 : except in so far as varied by this Act, have no place and there is no authority for inserting them. I mention this to show how other provinces came into the nation. Turn to the case of Manitoba. The Manitoba Act was passed in 1870 before the Territory out of which the province of Manitoba was created became a part of Canada, and in section 2 of the Manitoba Act you will find that the British North America Act 1867 was made to apply :
Except in so far as varied by this Act.
Was that wrong? was the Manitoba Act unconstitutional on that account? Let us iemember that these words were contained in the Manitoba Act and that they were ratified by the imperial parliament the following year. I take the case of British Columbia ; I take the joint address presented to Her Majesty in Council by the legislature of British Columbia and of this parliament, and I find that in section 10 of that joint 5161 MAY 1, 1905 address the British North America Act, 1867. is again expressly made to apply :
Except so far as varied by these resolutions.
Then I take the case of Prince Edward Island which came into confederation in 1873 upon joint address likewise, and I find that in one clause of that address the British North America Act is again made to apply :
Except so far as varied by these resolutions.
And turning to the Bill now under discussion. I find in section 2 of the Bill that same clause :
Except in so far as varied by this Act
Surely the leader of the opposition cannot argue, that Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia came into this union unconstitutionally. If it were proper in the Manitoba Act which was confirmed by imperial legislation ; if it were in the British Columbia Act which was approved by Order in Council having the force of an imperial Act ; if it were again proper in the Prince Edward Island case which was approved by Order in Council having the force of an imperial Act ; if it were proper and constitutional in these three cases to insert these words surely their insertion cannot be unconstitutional in this Act.
Now this clause is far reaching in its effect. If the clause is constitutional, and I argue it is constitutional, what does it mean ? It means that we have the right to vary the terms of the British North America Act, and it means more, because if we go beyond it we find we have varied the terms of confederation just as each of these provinces came in, and no one has challenged the constitutionality of these Acts, or, if it has been challenged the challenge has not been sustained. 1 turn once more to section 146 and referring to that part of the section which relates exclusively to the Territories, and I apply to the Territories these words :
Subject to the provisions of this Act.
What provision in the British North America Act of 1867 applies to Territories ? I challenge any hon. member in the House to answer that question—to point to one single clause or portion of a clause in the whole Act except section 146 which has any reference to territorial government. Section 93 does not apply ; it only applies in express terms to provinces. Subsection 1 of section 93 applies to rights in denominational schools which have existed, not in any territory, but in any province which had previously been a colony with its own government. You may search the British North America Act from its preamble to its last section, and you will not find a single clause applicable expressly or by implication to the case of Territories. I state that conclusion with a good deal of confidence, because I am aware that it has been confirmed.
5161 5162
As I have said, in 1870 we passed the Manitoba Act in anticipation of the entrance of the Territories into this Dominion. They did not as a matter of fact become a part of the Dominion until the 15th of July, 1870, three months after the Act had been passed ; and note the language of the Order in Council which admitted them ; that these Territories should form part of Canada—not as provinces or colonies, but territorially should form part of Canada, and that the parliament of Canada shall from the day aforesaid have full power and authority to legislate for the peace, welfare and good government thereof; these words being taken from the Imperial Order in Council passed on the 30th of June, 1870, to take effect on the 15th of July, 1870 ; clearly showing that all that transpired was that the Territories became part of the Dominion territorially at that date, and that the Dominion was authorized to legislate for those Territories so far as their peace, welfare and good government were concerned. Now, what happened under the Manitoba Act ? That Act was passed in May, 1870, and sought to form the province of Manitoba out of those very Territories which came into the Dominion in July, 1870. All the authority to form the province of Manitoba was contained in section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867; and when that Act was laid before the law officers of the Crown, they held it to be ultra vires. They held that there was no authority in section 146 to pass such an Act or to constitute a province—that the only authority there given was to bring those Territories territorially within the Dominion of Canada. Then it became necessary either to have a new Imperial Act or a new Imperial Order in Council to rectify matters, and the Imperial Act known as the British North America Act of 1871 was thereupon passed. It was mentioned in this House by the late Sir John Macdonald as an Act which was necessary to confirm the Manitoba Act, on account of doubts which had arisen as to its validity. Now, what did the Manitoba Act profess to do ? By section 2 it enacted that the British North America Act of 1867 should apply except in so far as varied by this Act ; and they varied it. The educational clause of the British North America Act, section 93. was varied ; but when it was confirmed by the imperial Act of 1871, the imperial Act went a little further than the Manitoba Act did. The imperial legislature no doubt thought that they would set at rest for ever the question of these Territories, and the greater question of their formation into provinces when the time to form them into provinces should arrive. Now, the British North America Act of 1871, in its preamble, reads 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 5163 COMMONS 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 to vest such powers in the said parliament -
—it is therefore enacted, &c. Section 2 of that Act is, I submit, the governing clause, the enabling power, under which the present Bill has been introduced into this parliament, and I desire to read it :
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.
This section is wide enough for all the enactments which we hope to make by the present Bill. It is true that a subsequent British North America Act, known as the Act of 1886, was passed, which says that the Acts must be read together, and it is on that point that the hon. leader of the opposition bases his argument. He says that we must read into that statute these words: 'Subject to the provisions of this Act.' I submit, with all deference to his opinion, that those words occurring in section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867 apply only to the provinces and colonies mentioned in that section. They can only apply where they can be applied ; and they cannot be applied to territories. We must construe all portions of a statute in such a way as to give them their true and reasonable meaning, and the only way in which we can give the words of this section a reasonable meaning is to apply them to the colonies or provinces enumerated in it ; because by no interpretation which I can imagine, or by nothing in the Act itself, can it he said that these words have any reference to territories. If there are any words about territories in that Act, will some hon. member point them out ? I will withdraw all I have said if it can be shown that within the four corners of the Act of 1867 there is anything expressed or implied regarding territorial legislation or the constitution of a province out of territories.
Now, reading the Acts together, what is the rule ? The rule is well established, that where there is a general enactment followed by a special enactment, the language of the special enactment shall govern the language of the general enactment. That is a cardinal rule in the interpretation of statutes. I can express it in the language of the textbooks better than I can in my own language. Here we have the general enactment in section 146 of the Act of 1867, and we have in section 2 of the Act of 1871 the precise special enactment drawn to meet the defective Act known as the Manitoba Act, drawn to cover the case of the Terri 5163 5164ories explicitly and implicitly, and for no other purpose ; and it says that the parliament of Canada ' 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.' Have we gone beyond that ? Is there any suggestion in the Bill that we are going beyond that ? Is not the question of education included in the constitution of the new province for which we are making provision? Is it not included in the language 'peace, welfare and good government of the province ' ? These terms have received judicial interpretation, and perhaps it is just as well to give them the interpretation they have received.
Mr. HAGGART. Would not every power to legislate come under the same terms ?
Mr. GUTHRIE. I should fancy it would.
Mr. HAGGART. Then you give them any powers you like?
Mr. GUTHRIE. I should fancy every power would come under that Act. I think that is the correct conclusion, with all deference to the opinion of the hon. gentle, man who apparently thinks otherwise? The language used is 'peace, order and good government'; and to give these words the interpretation which they have received at the hands of the Privy Council is to say that they authorize the exercise by the Dominion government 'of the utmost discretion of enactment for the attainment of the objects pointed to.' That is the opinion of the Privy Council expressed in the case of Riel vs. Regina, Vol. 10 of the appeal cases, page 675, and stated in Mr. Clement's work on the Canadian Constitution.
My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, says we cannot constitute a province on a different basis from that on which the other provinces are constituted. I do not know where he finds authority for such a statement, unless it be in a foot note in Mr. Clement's work on the Canadian Constitution, but that is only an editorial note, not supported by any authority. Yet it is relied upon in toto by the leader of the opposition. Can we constitute a province on a different basis from that on which any other province is constituted ? I should say certainly we can. There is ample power given in the Confederation Act, and what is more we have done so time and time again and our right has never been challenged. Why, take the province of British Columbia and take section 91 of the British North America Act of 1867, and what do we find ? We find that although by section 91 the question of marriage and divorce rests exclusively within the jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada. yet they have their divorce courts in British Columbia. Likewise in Nova Scotia and New-Brunswick. In Ontario and Quebec, 5165 MAY 1, 1905 however, the subject is one which is left to the jurisdiction of this parliament. It cannot be said that in that respect the provinces are on equal terms. And it must be borne in mind that that power was left to the province of British Columbia when it entered this union, three years after our Federal Act came into force. We allowed British Columbia to retain that power, either expressly or by implication, although the question is exclusively within the jurisdiction of this parliament, according to section 91 of the British North America Act.
Mr. STOCKTON. Is it not provided in the British North America Act that all laws in force in a province at the time that Act came into operation shall continue in force until repealed, and were not the divorce courts of Nova Scotiu and New Brunswick continued under that section of the Act?
Mr. GUTHRIE. It is quite possible that that clause to which the hon. member refers is the one under which these courts do exist ; but I am pointing out the inequality which does exist to-day between the legislative powers in the different pro~ vinces. Let me point to another matter with regard to British Columbia. By section 92 of the British North America Act, the lands of the provinces shall be exclusively under their own management. Yet the lands of the province of British Columbia were not left entirely to it. Large portions of those lands were transferred to the Dominion government. And when the province of Manitoba was carved out of the Territories, its lands, which would otherwise have become provincial lands, were expressly excepted and came under the management and control of the Dominion parliament, contrary to section 92 of the Confederation Act. Such cases might be multiplied. The case of the exemption from taxation of the Canadian Pacific Railway has already been mentioned, and you must not fail to mark that all municipal rights of taxation, belong exclusively, under section 92, to the provinces. And now that we are about to create these two new provinces, the right to tax those Canadian Pacific Railway lands, which otherwise they would have, we are not granting them. In Ontario the Canadian Pacific Railway lands could be taxed and I presume also in Quebec. All these go to show that in the different provinces which we have taken into the union, as well as in those which. originally came into the union, there has been no hard and fast line laid down at all, and no rule followed by which they would be all on the same basis and enjoy the same legislative power.
Another question presents itself with regard to this matter, and it is this. Is there any right on the part of the Territories to come here and demand from this parliament provincial autonomy as something we 5165 5166 cannot refuse? Has this parliament not the right to refuse to grant it? I submit that we have a perfect right either to grant or withhold autonomy, and if we have the right to grant it, cannot we limit it? Surely the one proposition is a corrollary of the other. Should we refuse to grant it altogether, what is there to prevent the people of those Territories appealing to the imperial parliament, which has a plenitude of power in the matter ? And if the imperial parliament saw fit to grant their petition and enact this legislation with regard to education which we wish to enact, would not that parliament have the power to enact it? I submit that if the imperial parliament has the power, so have we, because it is a matter beyond dispute that the powers of this parliament, in all that is granted to us under this British North America Act, are what we know as plenary powers. They are powers as ample and complete as those of the imperial parliament in this respect. They are not delegated powers. We are not acting as agents of the imperial government, but are acting by virtue of our plenary powers to pass this legislation; and in this respect our powers are as high as those of the imperial parliament itself. This view of the law has been given out by the very highest authority. It will be found in the Privy Council cases. and I submit that on that ground the Bill before us is strictly constitutional. For the sake of argument let me put this case. Let us suppose that there is no reference whatever in this Bill to the subject of education. Let the Bill go through without any educational clause whatever in it, what will be the position of the new provinces? They would come under the main part of section 93 which says that education shall remain exclusively within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislatures. The subsections would not apply because they only apply to provinces which have established rights regarding denominational schools. They would come in under the first clause of section 93 and there would be no right to have any denominational schools.
Then I take the case of the free colonial legislature of Newfoundland. I do not know whether there is a system of separate schools in that colony or not, but I will assume that it has by law such a system ; and I say that if Newfoundland should knock at the door of confederation for admission and we should admit her, that colony would come in subject to the provisions of section 93. subsections 1, 3 and 4, as it is a colony with a free legislature, able to enact its own laws, and higher than a territory governed from another source. It would therefore come in under section 93 while a territory would come in practically unrestricted. I submit then that a free colony is in a minor position to a 5167 COMMONS territory, which has no government in that respect. That can never have been the intention either of the framers of the constitution or of the Act that was the result of their labours.
Now, I noticed in the amendment which, was moved by the leader of the opposition that he has seen fit to stop short of the, subsections of section 93. He has framed his amendment in such a way that by no possibility could a minority claim any rights whatever. He has transposed the whole meaning of section 93, which says :
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education —
And he stops there. New section 93 is broader than the amendment of the hon. member. Section 93 continues :
—subject and according to the following provisions :
And it does make provisions for the rights of the minority. May we gather from the amendment as drawn and as presented to this House the real feelings of the leader of the opposition upon the merits of this question? May we assume from the manner and the language he has employed in drawing up his amendment that he is distinctly opposed to any claims of minorities in this matter ? Were his amendment to carry, and were section 93 to stop as it stops in the amendment which he has placed before the House, there never could be a claim by a minority for separate schools in any way, shape or form, in the new provinces. Is that what the hon. member means ? and is that a fair indication of his real feelings upon the merits of this question, apart from the highly technical argument which he placed before the House, and in regard to which he said he stood upon the rock of the constitution ?
Now, Mr. Speaker, I do not desire to detain the House any longer. I have tried to place before you as clearly as I could the reasons which impel me, which force me, to the conclusion that this parliament has the power, the constitutional right, to pass this law : and if it has, and if it does pass it, then I submit that no other tribunal or no other legislative body has that power. We have, I submit, the constitutional right, and we should exercise it. It is said that it will create turmoil, confusion, prejudice and bad feeling. The educational question in Canada has done so from about the year 1840 or 1850, in the old provinces, and will do so probably for all eternity, unless it is settled by some legislation emanating from an authorized source. We have the right, and I submit that we should exercise it. Why leave this question to cmbitter the people in those new provinces when this is the proper tribunal to settle the matter? I agree that if we have the pow 5167 5168er to settle it under the British North America Act of 1871, we have the right also to leave it unsettled and refer it to the provinces. Would it be wise to do that ? Would it be manly to do it ? I know there is a disposition on the part of many members in this House to shirk, or to shrink from the question. I know also that there is a disposition on the part of many hon. members opposite to fall in behind their leader on the constitutional question, and to satisfy themselves on the pure technicality which he raised on the letter rather than on the spirit of the law—and I submit the letter is against them—rather than come out in the open and vote upon the merits of the question. Has anybody challenged our right to pass the Act of 1875? Was that a constitutional Act ? Has it ever been challenged ? I submit it was constitutional, and came within the powers granted by that Order in Council passed in June, 1870, an Order in Council which had the same force and effect as an imperial statute. Under that Act what do we find? After the Act had gone into operation, an elective body was formed in those Territories with power to make laws, subject to the assent of this parliament. We have acted upon the educational clauses of the Act of 1875, we have changed them time and again, we have restricted their application. We have been the representatives of the people of the Territories. and it is not fair to say that the Territories had no representation in this House in 1875 ; this parliament represented the Territories. Surely the members of parliament of that day felt their obligation towards that part of Canada, as towards any other part of Canada. I think that from the year 1888 they had direct representation in this House, and also in the Senate. They amended their school law by ordinances passed in 1890 and 1891, and this government has assented to them. For thirty years the people have had a guarantee, with the consent of this House, that the system of schools in operation there would be perpetuated. Shall we place these new provinces on a lower plane than we would place the colony of Newfoundland ? Shall we say to these new provinces : If you come in you must come in without the benefit of subsections 1, 3 and 4 of section 93 of the British North America Act, while Newfoundland would come in subject to those subsections ? I submit that, from the point of justice, of equity, of fair dealing with the minority in this country, as a pure matter of expediency, if on no higher ground, for the purpose of taking this matter out of provincial politics—as a pure matter of expediency, as well as a matter of justice, the educational clauses of the Bill as now framed should be passed.
At six o'clock, House took recess.
5169 MAY 1, 1905

After Recess.

House resumed at Eight o'clock.
Mr. G. BOYER (Vaudreuill). (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, it is with some emotion and fear that I rise to take part in the discussion which has been going on for several weeks between a number of leading hon. members on both sides of the House. Following in the footstepts of the hon. member for Haldimand, I trust my hearers will not lose sight of the fact that I am fighting my first battle on the floor of the House, within whose precincts racial and religious passions have waxed warm of late, amidst, on the one hand, the noble accents of legitimate vindications and, on the other, dangerous and foolish appeals to prejudice, the whinings of deceptive and chimerical fears.
I have listened, Mr. Speaker, to the two leaders and to followers of each one of them. One of these is at the head of the party which has been governing this country in such an admirable way for nearly nine years. The other is heir to an enfeebled party, the leader of a loyal opposition but, it is time it should be stated, of an opposition unsettled in its aim and framing its policy on a basis of unpardonable intolerance.
The issue between these two leaders and their followers is, Mr. Speaker, a most important one. You have, Sir, listened to the discussion which has been going on and you are in a position to decide whether the parallel which I am about to draw as to the respective merits of the stand taken by them is acceptable and reasonable.
The hon. leader of the government has the almost unanimous support, under the circumstances, of hon. members on this side of the House, while the hon. leader of the opposition, finding differences of opinion among his followers has thought fit to leave them free to vote as they please. I quote his own words: (See Hansard, page 2929).
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.
Now, we have observed, Mr. Speaker, that several of that hon. gentleman's followers have taken advantage of the privilege thus granted them, since we see rising against the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition such men as the hon. members for Jacques-Cartier, Beauharnois, Cornwall, L'Islet and others.
It is not my intention to enter into a detailed discussion of the Bill, the provisions of which have been already fully debated. I lack the boldness to do so, and besides, I may be permitted to state that I have come too late to shed new light on the subject, all available material having been al 5169 5170ready utilized. On the other hand, I see before me in this House quite a number of leading gentlemen, supporters of the government, who will carry on the discussion with ability, and who will succeed no doubt, in enlivening it more than once. That difficult task, I shall leave to them to perform.
I shall confine myself, Mr. Speaker, to a very few remarks. In the first place, on the organization of these provinces ; in the second place, on the educational clause of the Bill ; in the third place, on the spirit of intolerance of certain hon. members, and fourthly, I shall conclude with some general remarks.
Canada is progressing faster than any other country. Our export trade, within recent years, has increased in greater ratio than that of any other country in the world ; and the output of the Northwest Territories, makes up a large proportion of our total trade returns.
I shall merely state the value of the output of cereals in the Northwest : In 1903, it was valued at $55,000,000, not to speak of other agricultural commodities, dairy products and live stock. The following statistics give us an idea of the possibilities of the Northwest Territories as regards three leading cereals :-
1898. 1903.
Wheat. . . . 5,542,478 bush. 16,629,149 bush.
Oats.. . . . . .. .. 3,040,307 bush. 14,179,705 bush.
Barley........ 449,512 bush. 1,741,209 bush.
The population of these Territories, which in 1891 numbered only 98,967, rose in 1901 to 211,649, and reaches just now 500,000. In those prairies, formerly, a few huts were strewn here and there ; to—day, houses are closer, sturdy farmers have built their homes all over this once desert land. Villages, large communities have sprung up here and there over these great and fertile plains.
These localities have their banking houses, their business firms, their lawyers, their doctors, their brokers, in a word all the essentials of commerce and progress.
Bold, ambitious and industrious settlers have come there from all parts to make their homes. A goodly number come from the United States, others from Europe, from the mother country and other parts of the old continent ; then the older provinces of the Dominion, and more especially Ontario and Quebec, has sent a good many. That influx of immigrants which I am referring to just now, has been constantly increasing of late years, and we are forced to admit that, through the ingress of these thousands of settlers, through their daily work, through their unsparing efforts, the axis of the Dominion will be displaced towards the west. For the Northwest, with its magnificent farming areas, its grazing lands, which are the richest in America, is generally recognized as the greatest field open to settlement; and the best proof in 5171 COMMONS support of this statemenms to be found in the addition of these 500,000 settlers to the population of the west within the last seven years.
The government, therefore, are justified in establishing the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. In so doing, they are only following in the wake of the marvellous progress which has been the result of their own efforts. I am proud, Mr. Speaker, to have a seat in this parliament which, by carving out these new provinces, is turning a new leaf in the history of Canada. These two new sister provinces, entering confederation, will strengthen the bounds which unite old and new Canada, and bind more firmly together, through mutual interest, all the provinces of Canada.
Mr. Speaker, hon. members of both sides of the House seem to agree as regards almost every clause of this Bill. One single clause, besides that relative to the lands, has. therefore, taken up the time of the House: I mean the clause relative to education.
Before proceeding any further, I may be allowed, Mr. Speaker, to quote some statistics as to the number of schools, teachers, &c., for 1903:
1891. 1903.
Number of schools.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 213 640
Number of teachers. .. .. .. .. .. 248 783
Number of pupils.. .. .. .. .. .. 5,652 27,741
Ten, of these, Mr. Speaker, are separate schools. The right hon. leader of the government has thought fit to add to clause 16 of the Autonomy Bill, an amendment which, practically, cannot give any but good and favourable results.
Conservative newspapers of the province of Quebec,—I may be pardoned for not stating the exact number, for it is not large,—taunt the right hon. Prime Minister for sacrificing, as they allege, the minority by this amendment. They speak disparagingly of the Prime Minister and rebuke him for having altered the original clause. The clause, in its present form, they say, does not grant to Catholics the rights they are entitled to .
I quote the following from the 'Evenement,' a Conservative newspaper of Quebec. The article is under the heading: 'Cain, where is thy brother?'
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Dominion Act, the legislative assembly of the Territories pass ordinances forbidding religious teaching and the use of the French language in the schools of the majority.
The majority no longer have schools of their choice.
What does Mr. Laurier do ?
Instead of enforcing the existing Dominion Act, he introduces a Bill which deprives the Catholic and French majority of their most sacred rights.
For a moment, Mr. Laurier thought of maintaining the existing legislation by repeating it 5171 5172 word for word in the new Bill, but Sifton showed fight and Mr. Laurier knuckled down.
Instead of basing the new legislation on the old, Mr. Laurier endorsed the grievances contained in the ordinances passed contrary to the law, and his new legislation sanctions these in turn.
French will no longer be taught in the school's.
Religious teaching will no longer be given to Catholics in the N.W.T.
In localities where our fellow-countrymen are in the majority, they are to be deprived of the school of their choice, which will be replaced by the public school, the neutral school.
Such is Mr. Sifton's dictum.
Such is Mr. Laurier's compromise.
Cain,—that name becomes you all,—what have you done with your brethren ?
On the other hand, what do the hon. gentlemen of the opposition say, what does the hon. member for Carleton and his organs say ? I quote in the first place the words of the hon. leader of the opposition as regards that amendment, page 2964 of Hansard :
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.
Then I may quote the following extracts from Ontario Tory newspapers. From the 'World ' :
The Quebec hierarchy again victorious.—Separate school will be enforced.—The original clause will not be altered.—No concession whatever to Protestant feeling.
From the ' Mail and Empire' :
The provinces obliged to accept the system.— The educational clause, as amended, enforces the recognition of separate schools.
From the ' News ' :
Betrayed ! Western members give in to coercion.—A compromise which is not a compromise.—A shameful surrender to Quebec's demand that the West be chained.
From the ' Citizen ' :
The principle unaltered—The provinces taken by the throat.—Sir Wilfrid's concessions do not alter the principes of his Autonomy Bill ; the wording only is modified.
We have here, Mr. Speaker, the two extremes ; those who complain that the government are not doing justice to the Catholic minority, and those who complain that the government are granting them too much, and, odd to say, these extremists all belong to the same party. That would be puzzling, were it not apparent, at first sight, that these various protests are inspired, in some cases, by bad faith, in others by lack of fairness, and in every one of them by partisanship, all uniting in one common object: the overthrow of the eminent states. man who has been administering so gloriously the country for the last eight years.
If exception is taken to the terms of the settlement, if blame is to be cast on any 5173 MAY 1, 1905 party or on any man, if the minorities in the Northwest Territories are not receiving all that they should receive, let us find out who is responsible for this state of things. Let us glance over the history of educational institutions in the Territories we are about to organize.
In 1875, when the Dominion parliament passed the Northwest Territories Act was provided that the minorities, whether Catholic or Protestant, would have the right to establish separate schools and would not be called upon to pay taxes for any others but such schools. That was the only provision contained in that Act. In 1884, the legislature organized a system of education, similar, or almost similar, to that of the province of Quebec, and comprising, more particularly, a council divided into two boards, the one Catholic and the other Protestant. In 1888, the ordinances of 1884 were consolidated by the legislature.
However, in 1892, these ordinances of 1884-88, were repealed by the Northwest Territories legislature. The council of education was to be no longer divided into a Catholic and Protestant board, and was reduced to the mere rank of a consulting body. The new ordinance provided at the same time that teaching in the said schools would be given in English : but subsection 1 of section 83 provided that school commissioners might have elementary courses taught in the French language. Catholics endeavoured to have that ordinance disallowed by the Dominion government, who had authority to do so ; however, the latter, by Order in Council dated February 5th, 1894, on the recommendation of Sir John Thompson, then Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, refussed to disallow the ordinances of 1892 and 1893. Sir John Thompson's recommendation stated that the facts brought to the knowledge of the Governor in Council were not such as to warrant the disallowance of these ordinances. The latter provided that the council of education would no longer be divided into two boards and put the whole school system under the control of a single member of the government, who was to appoint inspectors, decide upon text books to be used, &c. The then government decided that the Northwest Territories legislature had the right to make these changes and to pass these ordinances. The ministers present at the sitting of council at which the order of February 5 was passed. were Sir John Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Sir Adolphe Caron, Sir Charles Tupper. Hon. Messrs. Costigan. Haggart, Ouimet, Patterson, Daly and Angers.
Now, at these various stages, what was the part taken by the right hon. present Prime Minister, who is now being accused of sacrificing the rights of the minority? Was is not the Northwest Territories legislature that passed those ordinances in 1884. and repealed them in 1892 ? Was it not the 5173 5174 party whose present leader is the hon. member for Carleton, that refused, in 1894, when it had the power to do so, to disallow those ordinances of 1892 ? How can the present government be fairly called upon to disallow ordinances which have been sanctioned by a previous government ? Let us for a moment view the question from the standpoint of the majority in those Territories under whose unrestricted control these schools have been for thirteen years past. Would they willingly allow that control to be interfered with ? How is it that the then government, under the leadership of a Catholic, Sir John Thompson, has been spared the aspersions of those good Catholics who are at the same time out- and-out Tories ?
The government, through its leader, introduces two Bills for the provincial organization of two districts, that of Saskatchewan and that of Alberta. These two Bills are similar, and both contain a clause which, even taking into account the amendment which has been inserted since, ensures to the minorities those rights and privileges enjoyed by them since the passing of the 1892 ordinances. Once those provinces have been organized, the system of education in force at present will become for ever the lawful system of the country. The legislatures of the new provinces, should they desire to do so, will not be in a position to repeal it. Were they not sanctioned and guaranteed by the constitution, these rights of the minorities would be left entirely in the hands of immigrants who are coming to us from all parts of the world. Thanks to that provision contained in the Bill, minorities will retain separate schools to the extent they have them to-day. Without that guarantee, those rights might be taken away to-morrow at a mere whim of the legislatures.
The Autonomy Act and its amendments, now before the House, will render further interference impossible. The following are the advantages ensured to the minority by the said Act, under various circumstances and subject to the various provinces contained in the educational Acts:
A Separate school house, a Catholic teacher, Catholic trustees to superintend the school, the asurance that text books on history, geography, arithmetic, grammar, will not contain anything objectionable from the standpoint of the Catholic church, a half hour per day of religious teaching, exemption from taxation for the support of public schools, their share of public grants from the provincial government, an elementary course in French, at least two out of five members of the board of education to be Catholics.
Such are, Mr. Speaker, the indisputable rights which the Autonomy Bill ensures to the Catholic minority in the northwest. Thanks to the Autonomy Act these rights become sacred and indisputable.
I have had the honour, Sir, to be elected to represent my constituency by voters belonging to various races and various creeds; and I am proud to state, in this House, that none of these electors, whether Catholic or Protestant, French or English, have laid down terms or suggested a policy for me to follow on religious or racial issues, such as that now being discussed. And I may add this, to the credit of the English-speaking section of my electors, who are quite numerous, that they have not sent me one single petition or protest such as those which have rejoiced the hearts of some hon. members on the other side. As a further proof of what I say, I may invite the hon. members for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), for Victoria, (Mr. Sam. Hughes) and for South York (Mr. Maclean), to come and spend a few days in the English-speaking section of Vaudreuil, in order to judge for themselves what a happy and contented life lead those whose digestion is not troubled by the heartburnings of bigotry. These hon. members would find there inspiring examples and unfailing recipes to restore tranquillity to their unsettled minds. There would they find pure- blooded Englishmen; Scotchmen, who are the direct descendants of those proud Highlanders; Irishmen, from the Emerald Isle, living in close neighbourhood with people of pure French Canadian stock, all in perfect peace and harmony.
However, I fear it may grate on the rather sensitive ears of the hon. member for East Grey, that faithful interpreter of the ' Huntingdon Gleaner,' if I state that, in those same English sections of the county, the French population is usually not very wealthy, but that, there as elsewhere, they have the love of religious ceremonies and have built for themselves unpretentious churches where they congregate to pray to God after their fashion and in accordance with the tenets of their church. Now, much of the material which has been used in the construction of these buildings, has been paid for out of the generous donations of Protestants. A resident in one of these localities, and its mayor, an Englishman - and one that I only wish hon. gentlemen who oppose us would resemble in some little degree—donated the sum of one hundred dollars towards the building of one of these modest chapels.
The Protestant populations in my county have schools fully equipped, wherein children receive a complete education. Besides these Protestant schools there are Catholic schools. In some of the schools, the teaching is given in English, in others it is given in French. The English population speaks English and the French speaks French, whenever it suits or pleases them. In that way, all enjoy equal rights and live in harmony. And on Sundays, all, English as well as French, Protestants as well as Catholics, enjoy rest under the eye of the 5175 5176 same Master whom they all serve and honour, although in various ways.
The state of things which I have just described is not special to the county I represent, it is to be found in all the counties of Quebec wherein Englishmen and Scotchmen are to he found.
I wonder at times whether the hon. members for East Grey. Victoria and South York are sincere in their intolerant warfare: I will do them the kindness of believeing they are. However, I cannot help calling to mind, just now, inflammatory editorials against French Canadians, and more especially Catholics, which appeared, some nine years ago, in the Morrisburg 'Courier,' the leading organ of the ' P.P.A.' That paper was, at the time, under the control of an ally of hon. gentlemen opposite who was then, the leader, or about to become the leader, of the Opposition in the province of Ontario, and who is to-day the head of the government in that province. And to, that wrathful opponent of the French Canadians and of our fellow-believers in the province of Ontario, unexpectedly touched by heavenly grace, and no doubt, also by the expectation of some future reward, mellowed, little by little, into a kindlier feeling towards us. And soon the political sky of his province cleared up, brighter days shone for him; he emerged from the cold shades, or rather from the warm purgatory, of opposition : he won a great battle and became Prime Minister of his province. And then what did he do, but take into his cabinet, two Catholics, and one of them a French Canadian. With one stroke of that pencil which made up the list of his future colleagues, the new Prime Minister made amends for his past record and won the consideration of the whole Catholic and French population of Ontario.
I wonder whether the hon. members for South York, East Grey and Victoria will not some day imitate such conduct and get converted. It is high time they do so, for should they delay until they become ministers of the Crown to atone for their intolerant warfare of to-day, I fear they will die. impenitent; and for the information and edification of the future generation, we might inscribe on their tombs: under this barren soil lies the unwholsome seed of hateful principles which have never germinated in this beautiful country. Allow me, Sir, to call the attention of those hon. gentlemen on the other side to whom I have referred several times to what has occurred in the provincial legislature of Quebec, not later than last week, when the Hon. Mr. Weir, a Scotch Protestant, was elected Speaker of the House, it being the first time that an English-speaking Protestant was elected to fill such a position in the province. In the meantime, the French population of that province are witnesses of outbreaks of feeling in Ottawa 5177 MAY 1, 1905 which are not of a nature to induce a spirit of toleration. But, in Quebec, as well as in Ottawa, the French-speaking members are swayed solely by principles of justice and fair play.
Now what do we hear from parties most concerned in the matter ? What is the stand taken by the majority, what is the stand taken by the minority in these Northwest provinces ? Of the various minorities to be found in the western country the Catholic minority is the most deeply concerned; they it is who we should consult, they it is who will protest if protests are in order. Have they not done so in 1893 and 1894? There also do we find leading men who, of course, are better informed as to the needs of the people of the west than can possibly be the firebrands at work in the province of Quebec and elsewhere. And what do we find ? We find that they express satisfaction at the present state of things. Should not their views prevail over those of outsiders who point out to treachery and surrender of the rights of the minority ?
I for one, Mr. Speaker, am of opinion that our fellow countrymen and fellow-believers in the west have not been granted all the rights and privileges to which they are fairly entitled. But, in a country with a mixed population, honourable compromises should not be spurned, especialy when, on looking back into the past I find that the present government in not responsible for the existing condition of things, and that the reasons which induced the late government to ratify the ordinances of the Northwest Territories legislature in 1892 still exist. Is not compromise, is not conciliation the best way out of the difliculty, when other means fail and the majority are against us ? In 1892, the minority had a feeling that they were downtrodden, and that they could not get along under the new ordinances. However, subsequent events showed that their fears had been exaggerated, and it seems as if things had been going on pretty smoothly as regards educational matters in those great western plains.
Another very striking circumstance was the return of the member for Alberta, the Hon. Mr. Oliver, on the occasion of his promotion to the position of Minister of the Interior. The minority had there a unique opportunity for asserting their rights; on the other hand Protestants were given the same opportunity of making known their views, of carrying on the holy crusade begun by the hon. members for East Grey, for South York and for Victoria. Now, there was no agitation carried on. neither on the one side or on the other, Is not this unanimity of opinion a proof that people in the west live in a state of peace and these people more deeply concerned in the question than the members for East Grey, for Victoria and for South York, who 5177 5178 though strangers to that province would fain make us believe that they are better acquainted with the needs of the people out there than the very parties concerned.
The leader of the opposition, in his amendment, contends that we are invading the rights of the new provinces, and insists that we should leave to them the exclusive right of legislature in reference to educational matters, as well as in reference to all others. Residents in the west do not seem to worry as to that either, and the return by acclamation of the Hon. Mr. Oliver, in one of the Western constituencies, is clear evidence of the state of peace which prevails in those quarters.
Let me give here, Mr. Speaker, a further proof of what I have just stated. The following is an extract of the Edmonton 'Journal,' a Conservative organ, regarding the Bills now before us :-
It seems as though the educational clauses of the Autonomy Bills were to give occasion to inflammatory appeals to racial and religious prejudices. In the interest of Western Canada, such a contingency is to be deeply deplored. Heretofore the main object of western people has been to build up a free and united province, to profit by the experience of old Canada to reduce to a minimum the occasions of friction between followers of various creeds, to insist with calm on the necessity of equal rights for all citizens, without vainly clamouring for provincial rights, but resting our confidence in the wise decision of the western members and in the breadth of mind of the political leaders, for the settlement of that question.
Two new provinces will be added to the Dominion of Canada, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Within these two new provinces, there are Catholics and French Canadians. Their numbers, already large, will always go on increasing, and they will be there, along the banks of the Saskatchewan. What they have been along the shores of the St. Lawrence; loyal citizens, respectful of law, lovers of peace and harmony; and if that race proves as prolific in those great western plains as it is in the province of Quebec, we will have before long the spectacle of a compact body of these sturdy settlers advancing hand in hand along the path of progress, not only as regards agriculture, but as regards industry, and worthily playing their part in public affairs. And do we know what the future has in store for us? Possibly, some day to come, our English speaking and other fellow- citizens may witness with admiration, a second battle of Chateauguay in that country, which, perhaps, has in store for us in the near future, surprises as great as its agricultural wealth. For who can say that those French Canadians, whom a few bigots are anxious to injure to-day, will not be the last to remain loyal to the Canadian government, and to the British Crown? I believe it was Lord Elgin who wrote that the last man to uphold the 5179 COMMONS British flag in Canada would be a French Canadian. That compliment paid by one of our governors to the inhabitants of Quebec, might properly, to my mind, be applied to their worthy and loyal descendants who have made their homes in the plains of the great west.
I appeal to my English speaking colleagues in this House ; I appeal to their good will and to their spirit of fairness, I beg of them to help in putting a stop to this racial and religious strife which breeds nothing but evil for the country. I ask them, why should we not all, hand in hand, work together towards the aggrandisement of our common country; why should we not, by our common efforts, build up, in this great country, which extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a great, strong and united nation ?
Mr. G. H. McINTYRE (South Perth). Mr. Speaker, the debate on this important question which has been prolonged for such a great length of time is now in its last stages and as a new member, if I found myself seeing eye to eye in every particular with the party to which I belong, with my Liberal friends generally, it is not likely that I would have felt called upon to make any remarks upon the matter, but as I see somewhat differently from some of my friends, I have thought it wise and proper to put on record the reasons for my action. I have noticed that some speakers, especially in the later stages of the debate. have as it were apologized for speaking owing to the fact that the matter has been so thoroughly threshed out, and all arguments from the various points of view so fully presented to the House that there seemed little left for them to do except to present them again with perhaps a little local colouring from the Speaker's own individuality, and they seemed to regret that it was impossible for them to make their speeches interesting. But as I listened to their speeches I found that they did make them interesting, even in spite of the familiarity of any of the arguments. Not only so, but they made them exceedingly interesting for some of their opponents. I have no such desire or intention in addressing the House tonight. My intention is rather to give an explanation of my position nor will I need, I think, to speak at any length. Many of the speeches, if I may use a little criticism, have been of considerable length and possibly this debate would have been much shorter if each speaker had confined himself very closely to the question at issue. It seems to have been the natural inclination of many to rather criticise the immediately preceding speech. Many speeches have dealt with matters not strictly pertinent to this question, matters such as the boundaries of Manitoba and many matters of that nature entirely outside the question have been discussed at great length. I shall 5179 5180 endeavour to adhere to the question as closely as possible and I intend no criticism of those who preceded me or who take different views from those which I take. The question itself is certainly an important one. The educational clauses, have been the features of the Bill principally debated. These clauses are not the only nor may we say the principal item in the Bill. They are, however, the features that have caused the greatest antagonism and discussion. In itself the matter of education does necessarily bring about friction of any kind. It so happens, however, that a portion of our people have conscientious views in the matter of the necessity of associating religious teaching with the education of the young and when that happens and it will always happen when a religious turn is given to any question there is the greatest necessity for prudence and moderation of speech. Many gentlemen who have spoken in this debate have been careful and prudent. Some of them I have admired very much; others I am afraid have handled the matter unwisely and in some cases if I may proceed that iength in criticism have handled it almost recklessly. It is unfortunate that this should be the case, but I think that the consensus of opinion is that when the matter is handled with any exaggeration of statement the intention of the member is lost, that is the effect of his argument is lost. The occasion of this Bill is certainly a great event in the history of Canada, an event which you might almost call a national epoch; we have reached a time in the history of our country when we can carve out from these Territories two large and important provinces, and such an occasion ought to be one of great rejoicing. It should be an occasion on which we should all unite together with pride in inaugurating these provinces ; it should be such an occasion as one would have in his family say for the coming out party of a daughter or a marriage or the coming of age of a son in whom he has pride, in whom he has great hope and confidence, and it is natural on such an occasion that if it were at all possible all parties should unite together in making it an occasion in which we can drop politics. Unfortunately this event has been marked by a good deal of friction, especially over the educational clauses. In considering such an event it is very natural that the mind should be turned to quite an extent to the progress of our country, that we should turn with pride to the progress we have made, and note how rapidly we are progressing, note to what an extent the commerce and the population of the country have grown, note especially as we listen to the speeches of the various members in this debate the unanimity with which every man speaks with glowing confidence of the future of the country. There is not and has not been a pessimistic note in regard to the future of our country dur 5181 MAY 1, 1905 ing the whole of this discussion. The growth of Canada, while not always in the past satisfactory, has of recent years been quite up to our expectations and fully warrants all the optimism that has been shown, and we have not only grown in resources and population, but I think we have grown in intellgence, in richness, and in all other marks of progress. And yet, as I consider the treatment of some public questions, it has been a question in my mind whether with all that progress we have quite held our own — I shall not say progressed — but quite held our own in matters requiring deliberation and self-restraint. Possibly it may be a passing phase in our career, but I regret that at the moment there is some evidence of at least a standing still in that respect. In a country like ours, that is new and young, that has immense territories, that has a sparse population spread over a great area, it is exceedingly necessary that care should be used in all the legislation we bring forward. The cohesion between the difierent portions of the country is not yet strong ; the national feeling has not grown possibly, to the extent it should; we have been so busy in many other respects. Our country is divided in various ways; we have in the east a fine set of provinces speaking one language. They are partially divided from the next province by a territory which possibly is not fertile or fit for agriculture, and then we come to a province in which another language is spoken. Then we pass on to Ontario and there again we have the English language. Between Ontario and Manitoba there is a portion of territory almost unsettled and so we find breaks as we continue through our country and necessarily that leads to a lack of cohesion between the various parts of it, and it is necessary in all our legislation that we should be particularly careful to avoid anything that would break or strain or separate. This is particularly applicable to questions of the kind that is at present under discussion. The educational features of this Bill are the ones that have aroused the greatest friction, but there are many other important questions involved in it and some of them may have untoward results if they are not carefully handled. In all new proposals that come before one it is natural that some special features in them should first take pre-eminence, that you would first find your mind coming to a decision on certain points, and this has been most strikingly so in the consideration of this question. It sometimes happens that you find that the point on which you first come to a decision is not the point that you should have first decided; the sequence is not always of importance. It was natural when this Bill was brought in for the formation of two new provinces out of those Territories that our minds should revert to the history of our country, to the time at which those lands became either in the union of 5181 5182 Canada or in the possession of Canada, which ever term one may use, to the years 1870 when, by a certain class of purchase from the Hudson Bay Company we obtained possession of them, not I think, as I have heard it stated, by a purchase of these lands from the Hudson Bay Company, but by the purchase of their rights, whatever they were, and by the grant of that country from the Crown to Canada. That country contained a very small population and, by the Act of 1871 we were entrusted with the government of it. In the Act, I think, we will agree, that while they were territories we were entrusted with the power to govern them as we saw fit. They were governed under that Act by a lieutenant governor and council. Later on, when the population had grown larger and when the needs of the country were greater, they were given a certain amount of legislative control of their own affairs, and in the Mackenzie Act of 1875. that was carried to a considerable extent, and they had, even before they became a province, representatives and have representatives in this parliament. Under the Act of 1875, a legislature with certain powers was created there and while full powers were not given, comparatively large powers were given although certain limitations were placed upon the powers granted. Under that legislative power these Territories enacted certain ordinances and among them were those relating to education, and it so happened that in the Mackenzie Act there was a specific reference made to the privileges of minorities in regard to denominational schools and it was under that that these schools were first established. Later on this legislature, acting, perhaps, not under the law of 1875, but it seems to me rather acting beyond that law, or taking power not granted to them by the law of 1875, passed ordinances which appeared to restrict the privileges given in regard to denominational schools in that territory. Later on it made other changes and we find by the record that the Roman Catholic minority in the Territories made an appeal to the government here at Ottawa, of which Sir John Thompson was then a member, for redress or for the veto of those ordinances. This was not granted, but these ordinances remained in force and certain regulations also passed by their educational council. That state of affairs has continued down to the present time. We are told that on the whole these ordinances have been fairly acceptable. We realize, however, that the Law of 1875 has not been fully carried out by the ordinances and the regulations now in force. We realize also that we cannot say positively that the schools or the educational regulations are entirely acceptable to the Roman Catholic minority in these Territories. But such of the privileges as under the law of 1875 and these ordinances and regulations have re5183COMMONSmained to them are existing at the present day, and claim is made and made with great force and I think with a force that should be given proper consideration that it is impossible to grant privileges of this kind, to allow them to remain in force for many years, to allow the people in the country to grow up with them and then to arbitrarily or unnecessarily remove them without grave cause. I know that it is claimed that the law of 1875 was a temporary law, that it could have been abrogated or repealed by this parliament at any time and that this parliament could do so to-day. That is true, but this parliament has not done so and the law has remained in force. I know also that it is impossible to bind future generations by an Act of the present. I know that the present generation, if it found any special law or even bargain, passed by our great grandfathers, to be particularly irksome would feel bound to honour it. If it had to be so, if we were positively bound by every bargain. possibly entered into in good faith by our great grandfathers. there would be no progress made in this world, nothing could be changed. But on the present occasion, I do not feel that there have been any special changes in the situation that would warrant us in departing from the policy which has been followed in the past in regard to the privileges of the minority in the Northwest Territories. I feel that if I were in a legislative body that was properly empowered to deal with the matter and I felt assured of the power of that legislative body to deal with it, and this question coming before me, it would be impossible to pass over the vested rights, if I may call them so, and the customs of thirty years unless there could be shown the very gravest reasons of state for doing so. I was interested a short time ago in a discussion which I had with a Roman Catholic friend in regard to these schools, to hear him say that although there had been a great deal of legislation from time to time and although apparently privileges were given to Roman Catholic minorities in regard to schools they had failed to get what they expected or what they thought the law gave them and that it was the shadow and not the substance which they had obtained. I was rather surprised at that declaration and I endeavoured to look into the events in regard to education in the various provinces and see if they would substantiate it. In looking over the legislation in regard to education, first, in the province of Ontario, I felt that the claim was not a good one. In the province of Ontario I believe that the compact of confederation in regard to separate schools has been honourably kept. More than that I find that the law in that respect has been amended in such a way as to increase the usefulness and proper working of the Act in regard to separate schools. When I look into the Question as it affects the province of Que 5183 5184bec, and when I listened to speeches such as we have heard from the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) and others, I realize that the compact there has been honourably kept in regard to minorities. When I look into the question in regard to the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, in which no special provision had been made and in which at one time there appeared to have been a little friction I realize that a modus vivendi has been found, that, as far as we can judge is satisfactory ; so that in all these provinces there appears to be no ground for this complaint that I refer to. But, when I come to Manitoba and the west the question takes on a different appearance. Our Roman Catholic friends claims, and I am afraid they claim with a considerable amount of force, that they have not received entirely what they are entitled to, and I cannot say that the record in the province is satisfactory in regard to the form assumed by the legislation, or in regard to the reasonable way in which the legislation has been introduced, or in regard to the way in which the compacts of legislation have been adhered to. And when I come to the Northwest Territories that are in question now and consider the privileges given by the law of 1875 and the infringements, if I may call them so. of these privileges by the later ordinances, I say again there is some ground for the complaint. In the consideration of the question it struck me that there is a reason and that reason. I think, is largely found in this fact that the provinces coming together and specifically entering into a bargain as provinces, knowing what they had to do, have honourably kept that bargain, but when you come to provinces such as Manitoba and the Territories of the Northwest who, themselves, have not been parties to the bargain, and who have been legislated for rather than legislating for themselves, there is a difference in their attitude. There is an antagonism against any restraints we may put upon them, and I think in the very action of this province and these Territories, there is a warning to us as to the manner in which we shall be wise to deal with them and with this question.
When this Bill was first brought forward in the very able speech by the Prime Minister, I thought possibly from the remarks of the leader of the opposition that it might not lead to much political antagonism, but that hope was not borne out by subsequent happenings. Some striking events followed the introduction of the Bill. There was in a portion of our country quite an agitation against it, and perhaps the most remarkable thing that happened was the resignation of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) on account of his objection to the first draft of the Bill. That was even a more marked event than would have been on the resignation of some other member of the government, because of Mr. 5185 MAY 1, 1905 Sifton's close connection with the new provinces and his previous record on educational matters in that part of the country. Naturally we watched events with a very great deal of interest indeed, and I have been almost amused at the reasons advanced by many Conservative speakers for that resignation; reasons which showed a very great versatility of imagination. We were even told by these gentlemen that the whole matter of the resignation and of his ultimate support of the Bill was prearranged for effect. I cannot conceive that this could possibly have been the case, but it did strike me that if these gentlemen had said that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), who very naturally was interested in that country and who had done much to encourage large immigration into it, had taken the course he did with the object of advertising that country, these gentlemen might have been using their imagination very freely, but they would have recognized at all events the result that has actually occurred. One thing at least has come out of this unfortunate trouble and that is, that these new provinces have had a more magnificent series of advertisements than any part of Canada has ever had before. Every hon. member who has spoken has dwelt on the magnificent resources of that territory, its scope for development and progress, and out of our tribulation has resulted this good, that the minds and thoughts of all people will be directed towards the development of this rich portion of our heritage. But, Sir, while the resignation of the minister (Mr. Sifton) caused us anxiety we still were in hopes that some means would be found by which the apparent divergent interests would come together. I do not say that we felt that the decision on this question must stand between the ex-minister and the government and that we must not think for ourselves, but it was very natural that we should consider that the minister (Mr. Sifton represented very largely one view, and that the government represented the other. And so, Sir, we waited for the outcome. At that time I presume the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) did not stand alone, but that there were many other Liberals who felt more or less doubtful about the Bill, or possibly who were not sure as to the extent to which it went in giving privileges to the minority. I may say that at that time in whatever opposition I myself felt towards the Bill I did not feel so much alone among the Liberal members as I do to-night. My misfortune is that in the changes that have been made the government has rather pleased those who felt with the ex-Minister of the Interior and has overlooked that particular obiection that stands in my way. However, Sir, I listened with great interest to the explanation made by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sifton) when he eventually supported the amended Bill and I have listened with great interest to the 5185 5186 various speeches of members from the Northwest with regard to the character of the schools. I will not take up the time of the House in reading extracts from their speeches, although I had thought of doing so, but you will all agree with me that their speeches as a rule pointed out how almost completely national these schools were and how exceedingly limited was the time devoted to religious training, or, if I may put it in another way, how exceedingly   small were the privileges granted to the minority. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the general colouring of the speeches delivered along that line, and indeed I may say that from the evidence presented it does appear to me that they are very largely national schools, and that the amount of religious teaching that is available in the last half hour is not very great. As I listened to very many of these speeches I could not but think again of my Roman Catholic friend, of whom I have already spoken, and whether after all it was not the shadow rather than the substance which the Roman Catholics were getting. I would rather think that the claim in support of this Bill should be based, as it is based of course in part, on the actual justice of the case rather than on the small amount of the privilege given. Of course I realize that one must take some of these speeches with a proper degree of care. We know that in all bargains, if you listen to the conversation, you will think that the man who is buying is not getting very much, and yet he eventually buys. So it is like that in this case, as in the case spoken of in the good book in which we read of the bargainer: it is naught; it is naught saith the buyer and when he goeth his way he boasteth. And so I am afraid that in this case the parties on the one side speak to a certain audience and the parties on the other side speak to another audience. But if the settlement itself is good that would be satisfactory, and if the people who make the settlement have the right to do so that would be also satisfactory. The more the hon. gentlemen minimize the privileges that are given to the Roman Catholic minority in these schools, the loss interest would there appear to he to take any risk with regard to the constitutionality of the proceeding. Personally I have no desire to accept the present Bill just because it gives little to the Roman Catholic minority. If the present arrangement is a compromise which gives justice that would be well, for a compromise is not necessarily wrong so long as it is not an actual compromise of principle. However, it is necessary that the proper people should enter into a compromise, or do whatever justice may be necessary. In this case we do not positively know that this Bill is acceptable to all. We find at least that the Roman Catholic archbishop, who is nearest, as I understand, to that portion of the country, objects 5187 COMMONS that sufficient is not given to his people, and in this case we do not know who, in the negotiations that went forward, represented the Roman Catholic people. If we are going to do justice we should be sure indeed that we have the right to do it. We may go abroad and see a quarrel between two persons on the street and we may actually know what is the right settlement between them, but it does not necessarily follow we are empowered to enforce that settlement. We must be sure not only that our settlement is just, but we must be also sure that we are the right authority to make that settlement. And when we consider that phase of the question it brings us up against a fact we must all realize: that there is a constitutional and a legal feature of this question that has to be settled before we determine whether a particular compromise is a fair and just one and should be enforced. We must know that we are properly empowered to make that compromise, to make that settlement and to pass an enactment legalizing it. Other questions such as the merits of the schools and the justice of the settlement may follow. I claim that it is not quibbling on a point of law to say that it is essential in this case to know that we should be first sure of our ground ; that we should be first sure we are actually on the rock of the constitution before we undertake to pass a law of this kind.
It is not enough to say that the end will justify the means. that the settlement we believe is just, and therefore we will put it through in any case. I am not afraid to face the constitution lest it should give more to Roman Catholic minorities than the present Bill. To say to me that the Bill gives little to Roman Catholic minorities is not in itself a recommendation. I am not seeking to find how little I can give to the minority in this case, but I am urging on the government the desirability of ascertaining exactly what the constitution does give. If the constitution itself, according to the decision of the courts should give more to the minority than the present Bill gives why should we seek to deny that to them ? If it should be found that, owing to the special circumstances of the case the constitution did not apply, and that possibly nothing was given to the minority, then would be the time for us, or whatever body was properly constituted to consider what the merits and the justice of the case might demand.
What is this constitution, then, which I claim should govern in the case, and not merely our ideas of what is abstract justice? It is embodied in the British North America Acts from 1867 to 1886, and when one up proaches that constitution at the present time. he finds the path very well worn indeed by those who have recently been there. Those old Acts have been awakened from their slumbers in the library, and have been 5187 5188 brought forward at the most unexpected moments. And what do the seekers get ? Very often they simply get what they go to seek for, and they only bring away, I am afraid, what suits or pleases them. There is in them very much of what is definite for the provinces that entered into the confederation compact, but there is a lack of definiteness for territories which are to be made into provinces. As a layman approaches the constitution, the natural question he asks himself is what should be his attitude and what is his duty under such circumstances ? When he is brought face to face with legal and constitutional questions in this House, and when these questions have, as he believes, to be decided upon before he can proceed to decide on other or further stops, it is very natural that he should hesitate, that he should approach these questions with diffidence. He realizes that he is untrained in that class of work ; he realizes that he does not know the law, that he does not know where the law is, that he does not know whether he has the whole of the law or not when he reaches it. He knows that in all lines of work practice makes perfect, and he lacks practice. But he knows also that he has to make a decision of some kind ; he has either to make a decision of his own, or he has to entrust that decision to some one else ; and if there is one fault more than another that has in this country been found with politicians, I think it is that instead of trying to decide for themselves, they have always allowed their party leaders to do the thinking for them. It may be that, with the greater wisdom and ability of that party leader, that is a wise course, but it is one that is open to reproach. However, while all that is true with regard to the laymen, it is also true that there are certain advantages that come to him in the consideration of such a question. It is usually conceded by the legal men that the ordinary layman has suflicient intelligence to grasp a legal point if it is properly explained to him ; and in this case we have not only the explanation, but we have a full and able debate from the legal men in this House. We have their views on every point argued out very carefully. We have not only the law supplied to us, but we have all the law. We do not need to ask, is there any more that is not quoted to us ? We find that these Acts are in the language which we speak. When we examine them, we find that they are not highly technical in their wording, and as we read we realize that there has been an intention to make them clear. In addition, there is the fact that we are forced to judge in the case. and, as far as the law will allow, to make a decision. We cannot depute that duty to any one else. I may also say, as an encouragement to any Liberal who chooses to think for himself in the case, that we have a good example before US. In the year 1896 the people of this country undertook in a wonderful manner the study 5189 MAY 1, 1905 of constitutional law. The Liberal party as a whole studied very carefully indeed, not only constitutional law generally, but constitutional law as it related to education in provinces. They studied and discussed and debated, and formed very strong opinions on that question ; and I may say that my own feelings and views on that question to-night are largely coloured by the debates and the feeling of that time. I have noticed also that the speakers who have discussed this matter, the laymen if not the legal men, have announced that they had no intention of discussing the legal question; and yet they have not been speaking for more than ten or fifteen minutes before they have been led into the temptation, and have been discussing the constitutional features of the question. While the legal question is discussed by legal men, we laymen have also to consider it as judges. We do not approach the matter as advocates but rather as jurymen, and we have the benefit, in all the arguments which have been presented by the legal men, of what I may call pre- digested food. I may say also that if legal minds only are capable of arguing and debating and coming to a decision on these questions, it naturally follows that they will reach the same conclusion; and yet in this instance we find legal men differing just as much as laymen could possibly differ. So that there is no absolute certainty of a proper result from the fact that legal men happen to be arguing the case. However, it is not a matter of preference on the part of laymen. I myself would have preferred very much if this matter had not been left to a decision in this way. I would have preferred that a decision of the courts on these questions had been obtained before the government proceeded to act. I would not claim that a decision of the Privy Council would be necessarily better than a decision of this government or of the Supreme Court of Canada. But it would be a decision of the final court of appeal, and it would be acceptable even by those who did not favour it, and action based on a decision of that kind would not be attacked—those attacking it would be undermined by the very quotation of such a decision. I regret exceedingly that before this legislation was introduced such a decision was not obtained. To assume that we have the power to act is, I think, unwise in the face of the opposition; but if we are forced to face it, where then does the battle lie ? We can trust the legal men at least to produce everything in that way. We have sections 93 and 146 of the Act of 1867 brought forward ; we have the Imperial Acts of 1871 and 1886 and the Mackenzie Act of 1875 ; we have the ordinances and the regulations : and we have such questions as: does section 93 act automatically, and if so when ? Has it been modified, and if so, what is the date of the modification ? Has this parliament power to act, and if so, how is it to exercise that power, and must 5189 5190 it exercise it ? We have also the fact that almost all the speakers declare that they are on the ground of the constitution, a very good place indeed to be ; and I must believe that the Act of 1867 is the real rock of the constitution, that.wherever it is applicable it should be the foundation, that at all events the spirit of the Act of 1867 is actually the spirit of the confederation of the provinces which make up this Dominion.
The Act of 1867 was a special bargain between certain provinces which came together to form confederation; and like all bargains it was made with an eye to the special circumstances immediately before them, each province looking to its own particular interests and safeguarding what it valued the most—refusing to concede anything likely to injure it. When this bargain was completed, then—and then only—was provision made for future additions to confederation—for the addition of Newfoundland, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Ruperts Land, and the Northwest Territories. They did not make a very specific provision for these additions. They saw that they might come. They knew the bargain that they had made for themselves, and they thought it would be sufficient to provide that any additions of these other provinces and Territories would be subject to the provisions of the Act they had agreed to. That, I think was the whole spirit of the Act. I doubt if any one of these provinces would have gone into confederation had they been told: We will make this bargain with you to-day as it stands, but we may to-morrow introduce another element into confederation and deal with it in an entirely different manner and spirit. They evidently considered that the provision ' subject to the provisions of this Act' was to be the spirit which would govern all future additions to confederation. It is not likely that the different parties then entering confederation had any specific thought in their minds of a territorial form of government in any part of the country before it became a province. That is one of the misfortunes in the case. The law itself is, I think, a very creditable law for the purposes which they had in view; but like all other laws, it will not at all suit other circumstances and conditions to the same extent, and it is but imperfectly fitted to the present set of circumstances. The trouble with us now is that we are literally trying to bring into this law certain meanings and applications that perhaps were not foreseen or intended at all ; and it is probably a defect of the legal mind that it insists that because this is the law it must be made applicable in some way. It might easily happen that such a law will not in any one case fit the circumstances. The first question we have to decide is   whether this parliament has the requisite authority to pass such a law. The question may afterwards follow : Is it impera5191tive on us to pass it ? It is evidently conceded that if this parliament has the power to adopt such a law, it it has the power to enact these educational clauses, that power mustbe found either in section 146 of the Act or 1867 or section 2 of the Act of 1871. Section 146 of the Act of 1867, which has been so often quoted, I may take the liberty of quoting again:
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 parliament of Canada and from the houses of the respective legislatures of the colonies or provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island or British Columbia, to admit those colonies or provinces, or any of them, into the union, and on address from the Houses of the parliament of Canada to admit Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories, 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.
It seems to me that while this is not very definite with regard to the procedure, the words 'subject to the provisions of this. Act ' shows so clearly the intent that in all future considerations they should not be forgotten or overlooked. I do not think that in any future or subsequent additions to confederation, it was intended or expected that a new or different class of bargain, a new or different class of constitution, should be given, compared with what the different provinces confederated had at that time. That is strongly impressed on my view. Of course I know it is open to discussion, and other clauses come in that must be considered. Section 2 of the Act of 1871, which is known to you all as probably the main clause and which is regarded as giving the powers to enact the present educational clauses of the Bill before us, reads 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.
This is the clause upon which those who favour the present Bill, on constitutional grounds base their claim as to the power of this parliament to enact ; and there is no doubt that, looking at it in a certain way and from a certain standpoint, it is possible to read such a power within it. We have very different opinions, however, given by very able men upon that question. I shall not read them at length, but we have the opinion of Sir Louis Davies which does not 5191 5192 concede that power as being granted by section 2 of the Act of 1871. We have the same opinion given by the late Mr. Justice Mills, of the Supreme Court, and we have a contrary one from the late Sir John Thompson. All these are interesting and valuable ; but considering the circumstances under which they were delivered, I do not think we can consider them as specifically definite or convincing. They were very likely political arguments delivered in the course of political speeches and not possibly evidencing as much care as had been recently given this question. We have likewise opinions from very able men indeed at the present time. The Prime Minister of this country no doubt thinks that the Dominion parliament has the power, under this section of the British North America Act of 1871, and should exercise it, or he would not have submitted to us the measure we are now considering. The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) thinks also the Dominion has the power, but he prefers that we should not use it. He thinks it should be left to the new provinces ; and he suggests that, in the event of our using it, it would be well to get a confirming Act. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) thinks this parliament has only the power to create a province or call it into existence and to enact all the necessary details in that connection, and that after our powers in that respect are fully exercised, the province comes automatically under the control, of the British North America Act of 1867. We find further that that very able lawyer, Mr. Christopher Robinson, is doubtful whether the Dominion has the power. We find the leader of the opposition saying that we have no constitutional authority to pass the educational clauses. All these conclusions are arrived at from consideration of the same clause, and no doubt all these men have conscientiously come to these different conclusions through a desire to arrive at what is true and correct in the case. If that be so, it necessarily causes some anxiety to one who approaches the question for himself. I have watched with some interest the methods by which, as far as I can judge, these gentlemen arrived at their conclusions. If there be anything specially legal or constitutional in their methods that is shut out from ordinary laymen, then we must leave the question entirely to these legal gentlemen. We admire and cannot equal their very skilful method of presenting their arguments, but as far as I have been able to judge their methods of interpretation, I find they make selection of clauses hearing on the subject, I find that each one groups together the features that bear out his contention and draws comparison between the importance of those features and others that are antagonistic to it. There is a certain amount of inquiry as to the spirit of the law there is an examination of certain words and phrases, and an examina5193MAY 1, 1905tion of the special circumstances of the present case and how far the law is applicable to them, and if I may say it without offence, there is alway an appearance of wisdom, and an impressive appearance of impartiality. Then while you are still waiting to see the constltutional or mental machinery put to work, there is suddenly the announcement of a decision which is usually prefaced by 'It seems to me,' 'I am of the opinion,' or ' There is no doubt.'
Now, while one has been waiting for something mysterious in the manner of reaching this decision, I think it is abundantly evident that the methods by which these gentlemen reach their decision is just the ordinary mental process by which one would reach a decision on such points. I say there is nothing mysterious, there is nothing that, when properly explained, a business man or a literary man who is accustomed to measure and weigh the meaning of words, could not understand and reach a decision upon although he could not put the argument with the skill of the lawyer. I find, however, nothing unusual in the manner in which they reach these decisions, and we have not found cases cited, or judgments or precedents cited. Acting in that way, and after listening carefully to the debate, one naturally reaches conclusions of his own. Acting so far as possible as a juror and not as an advocate, I must say that I cannot follow those who find in section 2 of the Act of 1871 plenary power to do any thing in making a constitution Without having regard to the circumstances in that country. I cannot conceive that it is the intent and purpose, the spirit of the Act, that this parliament should be allowed entirely to abrogate the law of 1867, as they would be capable of doing, or that they should make any kind of a constitution different from that proposed by the Act of 1867. They might if possessed of plenary power establish an autocracy, they might make a government up there under one man. It has been said that there is some indefinite kind of an obligation, that the constitution must be in some way analogous to that of other provinces. As you have plenary power, then you may do as you like, and if plenary power had been intended, I think it would have been put in very much more explicit language than it is put in this section. If it had been intended, it could have been put in such a way that we would not have required all this argument to prove it. For myself I have been unable to accept the reasoning of those who claim that section 2 of the Act, 1871, gives this plenary power. If I could, I would not be at a loss as to my position on this question. If I felt that plenary power existed in section 2 of 1871, I would heartily support the present Bill. But after looking at section 2 of 1871. listening to all these arguments, considering 5193 5194 it from all the points of view from which it has been presented and reading it in connection with 146 and 93, I feel it is utterly impossible for me to support that contention. It may be said that 146 does not give the power. It may be a question as to whether power that exists in 146 has already been used. These also are questions that I would like very much if they had been referred to the courts, and that a necessity did not exist for laymen to endeavour to judge of them. We are asked him to consider whether 93 acts automatically. We find the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) declaring that it does; we find others declaring to the contrary. I believe that 93, like any other class of machinery, works when you supply the proper material. You may invent a machine that will put clothing on a man, but it is necessary in all cases that you bring both the clothing and the man to the machine ; 93 might act automatically in a special case. If 93 acts automatically, why should we put it in the Bill? If it does not, I think the spirit of 93 should control. It might be that a reference to the courts would not satisfy all; but it would have the value that its decision would be respected. If by such a reference we found that greater privileges were due the minorities, then I am willing for one leges should be given. I am willing for one to give all the privileges that the constitution provides for. In considering this section there are certain principles that appear to be stated rather strongly. and the decision on the main point will be guided by the degree of importance which you attach to one or other of these principles. Now, in looking at 93 I find it provides for the exclusive right of legislating on education to the provinces, and also provides for the rights of minorities, with certain exceptions. It reads as follows:
In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions :
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.
I noticed that when the Minister of Agriculture was speaking on that question he said that the preservation of the privileges to minorities was there as strongly as the exclusive right to legislate on education. It is indeed a question which many minds will look at in different ways. To my mind the chief principle underlying section 93 is the exclusive right over education granted to the provinces, and that exclusive right is I think the real point at issue when provinces enter the confederation. At all events we find that no other body has concurrent right with the provinces. It has been said that this is an exclusive right. It is possibly an exclusive right within a circuit, but no other power has a concurrent right to 5195 legislate either in or out of that circle, and no body has power to make that circle larger or smaller than was prescribed by the Act of '67. The restrictions that are made to this section 93 I do not think take away from the exclusiveness, but rather limit distance. There is another principle in section 93 which I would put before that giving privileges to minorities, and that is that the initial right of legislation on matters of legislation lies with the provinces, that the Dominion parliament never under any circumstances legislates with regard to educational matters in the provinces until the provincial legislature has gone beyond its powers and then only does the Dominion interfere in order to provide a remedy.
The principle of the preservation to minorities of their rights also exists, but I think in a subordinate degree to these others, If I were to ask myself what particular training or what colouring to my mind, or what influence caused me to place such an interpretation upon section 93, I think that on careful examination I would very likely find that the campaign of 1896 with the various cries used in that campaign of, I shall not say 'Hands off Manitoba,' but certainly 'Let the provinces attend to their own educational affairs, would have a large bearing on it. I may be right or I may be wrong, but with all due deference to many gentlemen whose opinions I would value and perhaps defer to in many other cases, I am inclined to think that in my present attitude I am nearer to the position of the Liberal party who swept the county in 1896 on 'provincial rights' than they are at the present moment. I realize of course how very subtle is the dividing line that will at a certain point separate minds that have been examining various arguments and that have been up to that time in agreement. It you take section 93 which gives exclusive rights of legislation in regard to education to provinces and at the same time makes an exception in favour of minorities, it is easy to ask what is the dominant idea. Reading it with the whole case in view and remembering the struggles that led up to confederation, one mind is struck with the thought that the preservation to minorities of any privileges they enjoyed was the most prominent feature, the principle to be most conserved and safeguarded even to the extent of providing for remedial legislation if infringed upon, To another mind the setting apart to provinces of the exclusive right to make laws on education is the prominent oneand that mind is impressed with the thought that exclusiveness is the real essencethe exceptions being only limitations to the distance to which such exclusive legislation may go. According as you give pre-eminence to one or other of these views, will not your whole course of thought leading up to your final decision on the present 5195 5196 question he settled ? I can readily see how others may take the other view. I have followed the arguments advanced with as much care as I can and with all the ability that has been given me, and my course appears to be clear. I think that the proper course in a case of this kind would have been when it was known beforehand that these questions would be debated as we had fought them out on previous occasions, to have ascertained exactly what the constitution was in the case and to have adhered to it, and then we would not have had a Bill brought in that would cause almost a mutiny in a party, that would make it necessary to have reconsideration and a change. A decision on an appeal to the Privy Council would have obivated all or a great portion of the opposition that has arisen. Our constitution being a written one can be interpreted and it has not the elasticity of an unwritten constitution. The only elasticity that I think our constitution has is found in such amendments as may be made by a vote of the people on certain actions of the government and it has been claimed that the remedial portion of our Act of 1867 has been abrogated by the elections following 1896 which may be true. There are other questions in regard to which we may well consider. If these new provinces are not satisfied with the legislation we give will they obey ? If they do not obey what will follow? The west is impatient of restraint; it is unwise, I think, to try to bind them too closely. It may be that they will accept, I hope they will. It may be these Bils will work out well, I hope they will, but I have a fear that possibly we are not at the end of the trouble, but only at the beginning. It has been urged over and over again by members of the opposition in this House that it would be well even yet for the government to take the step of appealing to the Privy Council before they put this Bill in force. I notice in the 'Sunday World' which is not a very good authority to quote to the government, a statement that there were rumours in the corridors that such a course would be taken, that the government would yet before putting the Act in force submit certain questions to the Privy Council in regard to these educational clauses. I may say that while my vote is of no importance to the government on the present occasion, if such a step was taken it would enable me with very great pleasure to vote for the government on both of these Bills. As I said the vote of a single member in such a case is not of very much value and importance to them, and it of itself would not be sufiicient reason for the government taking such action but it might easily happen that such a course would be of value to them in the future, throughout the country at large and it might happen that numbers of the Conservatives who now feel somewhat disinclined on the constitutional 5197 MAY 1, 1905 point to support these Bills, would see their way clear to do so.
There is an alternative presented to us, the amendment of the leader of the oppostion (Mr. R. L. Borden). It is a question always with a member, to what extent he should accept an amendment, even if certain portions or it are satisfactory. There are portions of that amendment with which I shall not say I find fault, but the closing portion of it leaves some doubt as to its actual meaning; whether the closing words are simply a repetition of the idea conveyed by the earlier ones or whether they are intended to be a distinct addition to the powers given to the provisions, it is not easy to state; it is possibly left to the members to decide each for himself. Owing to that indefiniteness in the matter, I feel it would be unwise on my part to support it, and therefore I shall not support the amendment of the leader of the opposition, but I would again urge on the government, in view of all the danger that may come from pressing this Bill through, to consider well and carefully the wisdom of getting a decision of the Privy Council on these questions.
Mr. D. DERBYSHIRE (Brockville). Mr. Speaker, in beginning to speak on this Autonomy Bill, I feel it my duty to express my sympathy with you who have sat through these long weary weeks listening to this debate. It must have been a torture to you to listen to some of these long drawn out addresses that have hardly touched the question under discussion, listening to quotations day after day, none of which dealt with the business under discussion, the same attack made on both sides of the House, the same hairsplitting, the same twisting of language to suit the object of the different speakers. I had intended to save you the pain of listening to me on this question on which there is now but little left to be said. After the able speech of the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) very little new can be said on the question. It was natural that hon. members from the west should be heard from as they were the people most particularly interested in this Bill and they have expressed themselves most freely. I have been struck with the remarkable unanimity amongst these members as to the position they take in regard to the school question. They seem to think that the law as it now stands is all right, that it is the best possible system that could be inaugurated for the Northwest. I think in such a case it would be right to incorporate this in the constitution of the new provinces. One thing has impressed me, Sir, very much, and that is that this discussion, although weary, has not been in vain. We are learning more of Canada, we are realizing that every part of this Dominion is dear to us and we are more hopeful for Canadian 5197 5198 unity than ever before. I have always thought provincially. Ontario, to me, has been the brightest jewel in this whole country, but after hearing some of my hon. friends from the province of Quebec, it has amazed me how these men can speak so eloquently in a language which is foreign to them. It has broadened my patriotism and increased my admiration of my fellow countrymen of the province of Quebec to know that they have elected an English speaking Protestant as the speaker of their legislative assembly in a province which is largely composed of French Canadians. Nova Scotia is particularly to be envied. Solid eighteen! What a Liberal paradise this must be and such a bunch of fine representatives! I have had to admire a great many of the men from the west as well. Nearly all the speakers have said that this was the most important Bill that was ever presented to this House. Possibly it is true, but I think, if it is not one of the most important since confederation, it is the most remarkable. It gives to the two new provinces a constitution. It deals with the diffcult matter of boundaries and it makes financial arrangements for the conduct of the business of these new provinces. It makes provision for education, and yet such judgment has been exercised in the drafting of this Bill and so carefully has it been worded that there has practically been no discussion on any of the points of this Bill save on that in regard to education. The new provinces have accepted this Bill in its entirety. The school clauses have been endorsed by public opinion and the reception given to the newly appointed Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) in the most important constituency between Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains is a most significant evidence of the feeling of the people in the west. The receptions which have been accorded him after his election at Calgary and Winnipeg have shown the unanimity of the western people in connection with this Bill. I am sure everybody will rejoice on July 1st, when these Bills are brought into operation and the new provinces are allowed to take their places in confederation. Let us look for a few moments at the details. The boundaries have been marked out in a way to meet with the general approval of the people in the west. It is true that the hon. ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) raised some objection and that the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) thought that possibly something could be done to assist the farming and ranching interest in that section of the country. Great discretion has been shown in leaving the northern boundaries of Saskatchewan unsettled. Had the northern extension been made at this time endless trouble might have ensued. As it was for political capital the Roblin—Rogers gang have plotted to make trouble for the government in the west. They dragged the Papal ablegate's name into the Autonomy 5199 COMMONS Bill discussion in a way that was most diabolical. The facts have already been fully given by the right hon. First Minister, but they will bear repeating. Mr. Rogers begged an interview of the government on the boundary question and afterwards published a statement intended to lead the public to believe that he came to Ottawa at the solicitation of the right hon. First Minister. He and Mr. Campbell urged on the premier and his associates the extension of Manitoba's boundaries to the westward and to Hudson bay. Naturally they were informed that it could not possibly be done unless the other provinces were consulted in regard to the question. The hon. the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) was very emphatic in the statement that no extension of their territory should take place, and that Ontario must be heard on this important question as it had rights in this matter. The hon. Postmaster General insisted upon this province being heard while Mr. Rogers, in the meantime, insisted that Ontario had no rights in the matter. But the hon. Postmaster General, as the representative of this province, stood firm on this question, as he always stands on every question which is for the benefit of the country. He withdrew from the conference and the matter was at an end. Now, the plotting began. The Manitoba delegate waited on the Papal ablegate and got him, no doubt at his suggestion, to put into writing his wishes in regard to the education of the minority in the province of Manitoba. This private document, of which the government had no knowledge until it was made public by Mr. Rogers, was used to make political capital in the interests of Dominion Conservatives and they made a useless effort to lead the public to believe that they were promised that if they would grant the wish of the ablegate their boundaries would be extended. While all this was taking place no doubt the delegates were thinking of the words of the Postmaster General that no extension could take place, and also of the words of the right hon. First Minister in introducing the Bill on February 21st when he said that no extension could take place until the sister provinces were consulted on this matter. The right hon. Prime Minister at this time said that he had the authority of his colleagues to make that announcement. The provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan must meet here and decide on the important question of the division of this particular territory in the interests of all the people connected with the question. Yet, in the light of these statements made to the Manitoba delegates in private conference and from the floor of this House, they had the stupid impudence to insinuate that the government were prepared to make a crooked deal with them. Their plot had not even the merit of cleverness.
Saskatchewan has been heard from. The 5199 5200 western members who have been indifferent in regard to the school clauses, have expressed themselves with great indignation at the suggestion of having any part of their territory annexed to Manitoba. In nothing is the Autonomy Bill wiser than in the boundary clause. Manitoba can rest assured that justice will be done her. The boundaries of the new provinces have been honestly marked out; Manitoba and Ontario will both have their boundaries extended, and in such a way that the harmony that has been in Canada since 1896 will continue to reign under the Liberal government for the balance of the twentieth century. The action of the government in regard to the lands of the Northwest shows equally good judgment, and the decision that the Dominion lands shall continue to be invested in the Crown and administered by the government of Canada for the benefit and for the purpose of Canada must meet with universal approval. The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) and the hon. member from West Assiniboia, all of whom are best capable of expressing themselves on this question have given their unreserved approval to this proposal. What Canada needs most is men and women. Anything that will tend to check immigration of the desirable class that is now rushing into the Northwest would be a serious misfortune to this country. The federal government has built up a fine immigration policy and it is best qualified to carry it on ; any break or change in its management might have disastrous results. Great railways are being constructed with the expectation that within the next ten years the new provinces will have several millions of people ; factories and wholesale establishments in the east have been increased and enlarged to meet the present demands, and in future they expect vastly greater results. Under the proposed arrangement, capital can rest assured that the country will continue to grow under the wise immigration policy that was inaugurated by the Hon. Mr. Sifton ; a policy with which the new Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is thoroughly in accord. If the lands of the other provinces had been controlled by the federal government with a wide awake Minister of the Interior in charge, instead of an increase of the population of one half million or so for the last twenty years, the population of the country would have increased several millions. The older provinces are now beginning to wake up to imitate the policy of the federal government and a bright day is dawning. The tramp of the host of willing workers of the right class in all the provinces will be heard. The action of the government with regard to the lands of the new provinces necessitated the making of special financial arrangements, and criticism might have been expected with regard to this provision 5201 MAY 1, 1905 but there has been none. It is, as the Prime Minister has said in introducing this Bill, an extraordinary provision. It is a sound principle of finance, he said, and a still sounder principle of government that those Who have the duty of expending the revenue of the country should also be saddled with the responsibility of levying and of providing for it. The right hon. gentleman deliberately departed from this principle, but so just and reasonable are the financial provisions for Saskatchewan and Alberta that all criticism has been silenced. The financial provisions have been dealt wilth at length by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) by the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) and by the Minister of Finance, and any words of mine would be mere useless repetition in connection with this question. I fully endorsed the words of the member for West Assinaboia when he said:
I think that as a whole, the terms which have been granted the people of the Northwest Territories, while not over generous, are fair. They simply place the people of the Northwest Territories, judging by the condition of the other provinces, in a fair and equitable position to carry on their affairs of local self-government.
I have touched on the question of the boundaries, the question of the lands and the financial provisions because I believe it is necessary to emphasize the remarkable character of a Bill, that even according to its antagonists has but one vulnerable point.
And now I come to a matter of all absorbing interest: the question that has raised so much discussion in this House, and in Toronto—the educational clauses. Mr. Speaker, you have heard a good deal about section 93 of the British North America Act; everybody has read and everybody has heard it read many hundreds of times in this debate. Section 93 reads:
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.
This certainly means that these new provinces are entitled to the law as it now stands.
Mr. HENDERSON. Hear, hear.
Mr. DERBYSHIRE. Do you think so brother Henderson ?
Mr. HENDERSON. I do not.
Mr. DERBYSHIRE. Well, if it means anything in the world it means that it will leave these people in exactly the same position they are in now with regard to education, and which position is satisfactory to them. They are not yet formed into provinces, but in what position will these people 5201 5202 be in two weeks from now when this Bill becomes law. Will they not have the same law they have to-day? Will they not have the same privileges and the same rights that they have had for years past? Have you ever before heard a word of complaint from any one in this Dominion in connection with this educational law in the Northwest Territories ? Not a word. It is done now for political purposes. The clauses in this Bill make provision for confirming and continuing the present school laws in the Northwest Territories. But. Sir, section 93 of the British North America Act seems to get mystified the moment some of our legal friends on the opposition benches attempt to interpret it. Darkness seems to cover the face of the earth ; and it reminds me of the story of the Dutchman who was traveling on the prairies when all at once it turned awfully dark and commenced to thunder and rain as he had never before experienced. In his dire distress he got down on his knees and commenced to pray : O Lord, if it is all the same to you I would like a little more light and a good deal less noise. That is just what we want in this House of Commons to-day. We want more light and less noise.
Some hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.
Mr. DERBYSHIRE. Now, Sir we have had a great many speeches and I must say some of them were good ones, but I question the good judgment of an hon. member standing up and occupyng the attention of this House for two hours and hardly touching the subject under discussion. To me, at least, it is most tiresome. I have sat here and I have heard these hon. gentlemen reading from all kinds of books and newspapers and hardly touching the question at issue. I think that is a great mistake providing we want to do business and it seems to me that we should come to this House with the object of doing the business of the nation in the very best way possible.
What is this system of education ? The hon. members from the Territories say that there is not in Canada to-day a school system better adapted to their needs than that established in the Northwest Territories. As has already been pointed out more than once, these ordinances make provision for a national school system from nine o'clock in the morning until half past three o'clock in the afternoon. There is not an essential element of a national school system that is not to be found in these ordinances. Let me again call the attention of the members of this House to the powers of the government in relation to these schools; for I am satisfied that if the members of this House and the people or Canada had an accurate knowledge of the school laws of the Northwest Territories which parliament is being asked to confirm, we would not have had the agitation which 5203 COMMONS has been going on in the country for the last month. Nor would we have had parliament flooded with the number of petitions that have been presented to this House. These ordinances declare that the government shall control and manage all schools, kindergarten, public, separate and normal. The government have power to make regulations for the inspection of schools, the licensing and grading of teachers and to authorize text-books and reference books for the use of pupils and teachers in all schools. In short, the schools of the Northwest Territories under these ordinances are organized under the direction of the government. The conduct of schools, separate as well as public, must be in accordance with the regulations laid down by the government, and that conduct is exactly the same both in separate and public schools from nine in the morning until half- past three in the afternoon. From half- past three until four o'clock religious instruction is allowed, but only such religious instruction may be given as is permitted or desired by the board of trustees. Not such religious instruction as any clergyman or priest may desire, but such as may be desired by the board of trustees, which shall be selected by the ratepayers of the district each year.
The hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Lamont) said in his excellent address the other evening that after nearly twenty-two years residence in the Northwest Territories, he believed firmly that the public school system as at present administered is the one best suited to the needs of the country. The people of the two new provinces are satisfied with it.
Now, Sir, if this system of education, enacted by this parliament in 1875, and improved from time to time since by the people themselves, to meet their requirements, is satisfactory to the people, why should this House not confirm this law, which has given such general satisfaction.
Bishop Worrell, who was a clergyman of the Church of England in the town of Brockville, and also at Kingston and Morrisburg, delivered an address the other evening to the St. George's Society of the city of Halifax. The report of his speech is headed ' Be Fair and Tolerant ' and is as follows :
Bishop Worrell, patron of the society, who responded was greeted with applause. He esteemed it a great honour and privilege to speak as the representative of all Christian bodies. As he went through Nova Scotia his eyes had been opened as he saw her beautiful scenery and expanding industries. He humorously referred to the snow blockades and muddy streets. Best of all he had met the grand sons of Nova Scotia and he felt satisfied now that this little province does produce great men, and he only regretted that his parents did not permit him to be born in Nova Scotia. He eloquently referred to the growth of the Canadian spirit and the development of the imperial idea, looking to 5203 5204 the time when we shall have an imperial federation. But we must remember that here in Canada our varying elements must be blended together in the common interests of the mother country.
We have in Canada a composite race and, as in England, the Norman and Celtic blended, so in Canada the maple leaf will be the brightest when it is seen to grow not only from the rose, the thistle and the shamrock, but from the lily of France. (Applause.) Let us remember that we must have the spirit of give and take, the spirit of respecting the consciences and convictions of all Canadians and we would make a great mistake if we would cause friction to grow between the different nationalities of this great country. Referring to Empire Day he said we should teach our children in the Christian faith. The little churches have been the strength of England and have made British fair- play, which is after all the principle of Christ known the world over. (Applause).
I think these are grand sentiments.
What is the trouble with the opposition anyway ? Shortly after this Bill was introduced, the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) moved the adjournment of this House from day to day, looking wild, and shouting, threatening the stopping of supplies, and winding up loudly by wanting a Minister of the Interior at once, and I am glad to inform the hon. gentleman that we have one, and he will be here tomorrow. The hon. member for South York also wanted the Minister of Public Works in his place. We all regret the cause of the hon. Minister of Public Works' absence, and trust that he will soon be restored to his usual good health and resume his usual place, which he has filled with so much acceptance. But in the meantime no loss is sustained to this House or the country when we have such an able acting minister doing the work ; and if anything should happen that the city of London is opened, you will find the intelligent electors returning Mr. Hyman by a larger majority than he ever had before. In fact, I am prepared to bet that he would be. The hon. member for South York wound up by imploring the hon. the Postmaster General to resign his place, and run him a race in North York or challenging the acting Minister of Public Works to resign, or the government to open any constituency in the west in order that the renowned editor of the ' World ' might bare his scalping knife and wound the government by politically killing any opponent that might rashly stand before him. We find, however, that this John Alexander Dowie, of the House of Commons, is brave only in words, and that his most brilliant efforts are for flaming headlines in his little paper, which after all exerts no greater influence in the moulding of thought of the intelligent people of Ontario, than the hon. member himself, exerts in this House.
Another remarkable address was delivered in this House, that delivered by my hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor). No one, I 5205 MAY 1, 1905 think, will accuse my hon. friend of modesty after having listened as carefully as I did to the speech he made. But I wish to say, lest some hon. member should be led astray, that my esteemed friend is an honest business man of more than ordinary ability, who has been and is now successful in commercial matters, but politically I think he is warped. In fact, as one gentleman told me, our friend is so politically bent that rain coming down straight will not touch him. His story about the Hon. Mr. Tarte going to Winnipeg in 1896 to settle the school question with the Greenway government, getting Joe Martin a $10,000 job, appointing the Hon. Mr. Preudergast to the Supreme Court Bench, getting the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) to fix all these fellows up and giving him as compensation the management of the Department of the Interior free from all restraint, and having it so arranged that he could make two million dollars in eight years—all this was possibly one of my hon. friend's greatest efforts and shows what a fruitful imagination he enjoys. But he made one great omission in that address of his. He forgot to state—and I find it difficult to account for the omission—that the educational clauses of this Bill were prepared in Rome, and that the Pope's representative was sent with them to this country with instructions to have the right hon. the leader of the government introduce them into this House. If those details had been added to his speech, it would have been complete and have been a most wonderful piece of fiction.
The hon. member for North Cape Breton and Victoria, N.S. (Mr. D. D. McKenzie) and the hon. member for Cornwall and Stormont (Mr. Pringle) delivered carefully prepared speeches from a legal standpoint. I was very much impressed with their addresses and also with that of my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). From a legal standpoint, I think they were possibly the best addresses I have heard; and after studying all these, I feel prouder than ever of my right hon. friend, the leader of this House. I believe that he was standing on the rock of the constitution in 1896 when he would not allow Manitoba to be coerced, and I think he is standing on the same firm ground in continuing to the new provinces the school system which is so satisfactory to the people interested.
In conclusion I feel it my duty to state here clearly why I am going to vote for this Bill. I do so because I believe that the boundaries of the new provnces are wisely marked out and that the government showed great judgment in leaving the nothern extension of Saskatchewan unsettled and allowing Manitoba and the other provinces interested to have a final say in the adjustment of this great question. I do so because I am convinced that the action of the government on the land question is a wise one and that their action on the school question is in no 5205 5206 way contrary to the spirit and intention of the British North America Act of 1867. I approve of the government's policy because the financial clauses are in my opinion just, generous and satisfactory to these young giants of the west. I approve of this Bill because it is in the best interests of Canada as a whole that the public lands of the new provinces should remain the property of Canada. I endorse this measure because the rights of the minority are protected by it and because I believe that the school clauses, over which there has been so much bitter debate, will in the end be found beneficial to Canadian unity, to which, as my hon. friend from Shefford (Mr. Parmelee) pointed out the other day, the First Minister has consecrated his life. This Bill, in my opinion, is the crowning glory of the right hon. gentleman's political career. At length Canada is a united country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and we have now from end to end of this great Dominion a confederation of practically self-governing provinces. The cope stone has been placed on our union, and the last provinces admitted are coming in under the most favourable circumstances, because we know, from the reports daily coming to us from the west, that the people of these new provinces will appreciate the generous treatment they are receiving at the hands of this government, and the name of Sir Wilfrid Laurier will shine as one of the very brightest in Canadian history. It will go down to posterity as the name of a man revered, trusted and loved for his courage, wisdom and integrity and who stands to-day, as he has always stood, for everything that is in the best interests of the Canadian people.
Mr. RUDOLPHE FORGET (Charlevoix). I do not intend, Mr. Speaker, to detain the attention of the House more than a few minutes, because I think the discussion on this Bill has been already too long for the good it has done in the country. In fact it has done much harm. The bad feeling which was created some ten years ago, when somewhat similar legislation was introduced into this House, had all been forgotten, but I am sorry to say it has all been revived by some members of the government who initiated the agitation which has since been kept up by hon. members on this side. This agitation has done no good to our country but considerable harm. By some members it has been kept up, I believe, through fanaticism. Others have been inspired, I think, by ignorance. Some others have been moved both by ignorance and fanaticism, but I think the majority of them were actuated by the idea of ousting the government from office and getting in themselves. Such political tactics I cannot approve. I was not elected to this parliament to support any such policy : and rather than do so I would prefer to remain in opposition all my life. I was sent here, 5207 COMMONS like all the other members, with the view of working for the progress, prosperity and advantage of our country and of thereby making a nation of our people ; and it is not by talking religion for eight weeks or by exciting French against English or Catholics against Protestants or province against province that we can do this. In my opinion, the best way to promote unity and harmony and good feeling and everything that goes to make a strong, prosperous and united nation is to respect each others honest convictions both in religion and politics. Much has been said here of the imaginary bigotry and fanaticism of the province of Quebec. Well, Mr. Speaker, I was born in the province of Quebec, I have lived there all my life, and I have come in daily contact with English Protestants for the last thirty years in all kinds of business. And I can say sincerely that in all my relations with my fellow citizens and theirs with me, difference in religion has never entered as an element and has never interfered within our good understanding of each other. In the province of Quebec we have in that sense no nationality and no religion and we never talk of religion.
Mr. BARR. Oh, oh.
Mr. FORGET. My hon. friend may laugh, but I repeat what I say. We are there all Canadians in spirit as well as in fact. In the city of Montreal, where seventy-five per cent of the population are French speaking and seven-eights Catholics, we elect an English Protestant mayor every two years. In the legislature of the province of Quebec we have an English Protestant speaker and our provincial treasurer, whose portfolio is the most important in the cabinet from my point of view, is an English-speaking man. I have seen as many as three English Protestant ministers out of seven in the Quebec cabinet. More than that, there is at present in the Quebec legislature an English Protestant, a resident of Nova Scotia, representing a French Canadian constituency in that province. I see on this side of the House and on the other side, English-speaking Protestants of Ontario representing French Canadian counties in the province of Quebec. In the legislative council of Quebec the English Protestants again have more than they are entitled to. It is so in the city council of Montreal, it is so in the house of assembly of Quebec. So far as education is concerned, if you go into our Catholic schools, our Catholic convents, our Catholic universities, you will find a great number of English Protestant children being educated there.
I said I would not detain the House very long. But before sitting down I have to announce that it is my intention to vote against the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition. I have a great admiration for that hon. gentleman, but I am afraid he has made a mistake this time. Not only 5207 5208 shall I vote against the amendment, but I shall vote in favour of the Bill. I approve of the creation of these two new provinces. Some hon. members have said they would prefer to see only one province. I think that in creating only one province we would have been creating a Dominion within the Dominion, because that province would be unduly large. I also approve of the settlement of the land question, because those Territories were purchased by the money of the Dominion, they were developed by the money of the whole Dominion. The Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed by the aid of money from the whole Dominion for the purpose of developing those Territories. The present government is doing the same thing with regard to the Grand Trunk Pacific, borrowing money on the credit of all the provinces in order to develop those Territories. Millions have been spent on immigration, money that was taken from the Dominion treasury in order to develop those Territories. They are now without any debt, they are getting a good subsidy to set them going. The federal government, by keeping control of the lands, will be able to idemnify, directly or indirectly, the other provinces for their expenditure in developing the Northwest. These lands will constitute the finest asset of the Dominion of Canada. Within ten years, probably, these lands will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why should we leave them to these provinces which have been developed with the money of the whole country?
So far as the school question is concerned, I would like to have seen the same system established in the Northwest as we have in Ontario and Quebec. I would have liked to see that system in every province in the Dominion of Canada. But as our Catholic minority cannot expect to get that from the generosity of the majority, we must take what we can get. I have no doubt the Prime Minister and some of his colleagues have got all they could out of the majority of the cabinet. I have no doubt they worked very hard to get more. I am willing to accept what they have got, trusting that in the near future one of those provinces will have a majority of Catholics. That time may come in ten years, and then we shall see in which of those two provinces the rights of the minority will be best respected. I trust that the spirit of British fair play which is now being stifled by a portion of the Ontario press and some of the Ontario members will assert itself some day and give justice to the minorities in the Northwest.
Mr. BRODEUR moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Fielding, House adjourned at 10.40 p.m.


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



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