March 22, 1905



Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) moved :


Motion agreed to.



Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) moved :

That the House do to-morrow go into Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolutions :

1. Resolved, that the following amounts shall be allowed as an annual subsidy to the province of Saskatchewan and shall be paid by the government of Canada, by half-yearly instalments in advance, to the said province, that is to say :-

(a) for the support of the government and legislature, fifty thousand dollars ;

(b) on an estimated population of two hundred and fifty thousand, at eighty cents per head, two hundred thousand dollars, subject to be increased as hereinafter mentioned, that is to say :-a census of the said province shall be taken in every fifth year reckoning from the general census of one thousand nine hundred and one, and an approximate estimate of the population shall be made at equal intervals of time between each quinquennial and decennial census ; and whenever the population, by any such census or estimate, exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand, which shall be the minimum on which the said allowance shall be calculated, the amount of the said allowance shall be increased accordingly, and so on until the population has reached eight hundred thousand souls.

2. Resolved, that inasmuch as the said province is not in debt, it shall be entitled to be paid and to receive from the government of Canada, by half-yearly payments in advance, interest at the rate of five per cent per annum on the sum of eight million one hundred and seven thousand five hundred dollars.

3. Resolved, that inasmuch as the public lands in the said province are to remain the property of Canada, there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually by way of compensation therefor a sum based upon the estimated value of such lands, namely, $37,500,000, the said lands being assumed to be of an area of 25,000,000 acres and to be of the value of $1.60 per acre, and upon the population of the said province, as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, such sum to be arrived at as follows :-

The population of the said province being assumed to be at present 250,000, the sum payable until such population reaches 400,000 is to be one per cent on such estimated value, or $375,000 ;

Thereafter, until such population reaches 800,000, the sum payable is to be one and one-half per cent on such estimated value, or $562,500 ;

Tlereafter, until such population reaches 1,200,000, the sum payable is to be two per cent on such estimated value, or $750,000 ;

And thereafter such payment is to be three per cent on such estimated value, or $1,125,000.

4. Resolved, that as additional compensation for such lands there shall be paid by Canada

to the said province annually for five years to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings, one-quarter of one per cent on such estimated value, or $93,750.

He said : I have to inform the House that His Excellency has approved of these resolutions, and consents to their submission to the House.


Motion agreed to.


Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LATJRIER (Prime Minister) moved second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish the government of the province of Alberta. (Mr. Speaker having put the motion, both Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. R. L. Borden rose at the same time.) Sir WILFRID LAURIER, If my lion friend wanted simply to put a question, I would certainly give way to him, but if it is his intention to address the chair on this measure, perhaps he will allow me the privi-ledge of a few remarks before he does so.


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I took it for granted from the right hon. gentleman inclining his head, that he meant he was not going to speak and that I was to go on.


Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



I am glad that this debate is starting in such an auspicious manner and that both sides are apparently in very good humor and in a very good frame of mind for the discussion. When some time ago I presented this Bill to the House, I stated that there were certain questions connected with it which were of paramount importance and which in fact were the essence of the whole measure. The first was the number of provinces to be created ; the second was the ownership of the land ; the third was the financial terms to be granted ; and the last was the education system. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden) rose immediately after me, but confined his remarks for the moment to two of those questions only- the ownership of the lands and the school question. With regard to the ownership of .the land, my hon. friend re-asserted the position he had often maintained on the floor of this House as elsewhere, namely, that the land should go to the provinces to be owned and managed by them. On the school question my hon. friend was reserved. He did not announce any policy, but very wisely said that, in his judgment, the subject was one which ought to be approached with calm and moderation. The press which follows and supports my hon. friend took, notwithstanding this advice of his, a very different attitude. On the land question it said very little, if it said anything at all, but upon the school question it offered a very violent opposition. Perhaps I may not be out of Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

the way in saying that the press which supports my hon. friend has spared no effort to inflame the public mind upon an ever delicate subject.

In the course of the years I have been in this House, many have been the occasions in which parliament has had to face and to solve questions, simple enough in themselves, but complicated and rendered difficult by sudden outbursts of passion. And here again I may repeat what I had the opportunity of saying some few days ago, that in using this word * passion.' I do not want to convey any offensive sense. I recognize, we all recognize, that passions are very often the outgrowth of noble sentiment ; but let this sentiment be ever so meritorious, if it goes beyond a certain line, it may become blind, unthinking, unreasoning passion. In 1875 on the New Brunswick school question, in 1889 on the Jesuit Estates questions, in 1896 on the Manitoba school question, several parts of the country-now one part, now another- were roused to a high pitch of excitement.

Since my conduct on the present occasion has been assailed, perhaps I may be pardoned if I refer for one moment to myself, and say that upon every one of these questions, I have endeavoured, so far as I know-and successfully I think-to act on the very principle of the constitution under which we live. In 1875, being then a young man, I supported the government of Mr. Mackenzie which refused to interfere with certain legislation passed by the legislature of the provinces of Quebec of which the Roman Catholic minority complained. That minority complained that this legislation was an invasion of their rights and forced an intolerable burden upon them. But, as it was established that at the time of confederation New Brunswick had no system of separate schools, it followed as a consequence that this parliament had no jurisdiction in the matter, and the government of Mr. Mackenzie, very properly, I think, refused to interfere and disallow that Act it was asked to disallow. In 1889, having become leader of the party to which I belong, I supported the government of Sir John Macdonald when they refused to accede to the request of a section of our fellow countrymen to disallow the Act of the legislature of the province of Quebec to settle what was known as the Jesuit Estates question. In 1896, I opposed the government of Sir Mackenzie Bowell when they endeavoured to force upon the province of Manitoba a# system of schools which, according to high judicial authority, the province of Manitoba had a right to reject and which it had rejected by action within the scope of its legitimate authority. And in this year, 1905, when two provinces are to be brought into the Dominion, in which provinces there is a system of separate schools such as we have in the province of Quebec and Ontario, I stand again, as I believe, upon ' the rock of the constitution of Canada when

I say that this parliament should, according to that constitution, give to the minority in the new provinces the same rights and privileges that are given to the minorities in the new provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Sir, what seems to me this very proper legislation is opposed throughout the length and breadth of our country-no, I will not say that,-but in certain portions of our country-and in the name, I might almost say the sacred name, of provincial rights. But it is remarkable that the men who at this day, are insisting the most upon what they call provincial rights have taken no heed of the fact that, in the very letter of the constitution on which they rely there is an abbreviation of provincial rights wherever there exists in any province a system of separate schools. Provincial rights are the basis of our constitution. All parties now admit these rights and recognize them, whatever may have been their position in the past. But, Sir, it is an old saying that there is no rule without its exception; and, in the very letter of the constitution, an exception has been made concerning provincial rights wherever there is a system of separate schools in any province. Now here is the law upon this point. The words which I use now may grate upon the feelings of some, may7 seem harsh to the ears of others, may seem harsh to my own ears, but, Sir, here is the law. Section 93 of the constitution says : .

In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education-

If the law stopped there, if there were no other words to qualify this general provision, such legislation as is now before the House would never have been introduced. But the latv does not stop there ; there are words w'hich qualify the general proposition :

subject and according to the following provisions :-

1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.

Here you have the fact proclaimed, the principle laid down, that wherever there is, in any' province, a system of separate schools, the provincial rights are abbreviated and the legislature can do nothing to prejudicially affect the rights of the minority who have the benefit of tills clause. But, though these facts are plain, still, at the present moment, they seem to be ignored; and, even on the floor of this House the attempt is sometimes made to cast upon myself, who have always held these views, the imputation that at one time or other, I held different views. The other day my hon. friend from East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) quoted some words of

mine in this House spoken on this same subject, in which I gave due praise to the Liberal party, especially of the province of Ontario, for the stand they made in favour of provincial rights. These are the words of mine that he quoted :

Sir, I am to-day as firm a believer as I ever was in the doctrine of provincial rights. I take as much pride as ever I did in belonging to the great party which in the past carried that doctrine to a successful issue, an issue, indeed, so successful that we rank among the advocates of that doctrine to-day the most prominent of the men who opposed it in the past. And when the historian of the future shall refer to the first twenty years of confederation, the brightest page he will have to record will he the page in which he will trace the efforts of the Liberal party to maintain inviolate and intact the liberties and independence of the local legislatures. And I am proud to say that among the names which shall de revered in the hearts of their countrymen, as the names of those who stood foremost in the fight, will be the names of Edward Blake and Oliver Mowat.

My hon. friend stopped there. Had he read a little further, he would have found that I qualified the statement I made by saying that, in the matter of education, provincial rights were not supreme, but they are abbreviated by the very letter of the constitution. I continued as follows :

I agree with the Prime Minister In this view, that it would have been wiser for the fathers of confederation to have adopted the American principle of local independence. But such, after all, is not the principle which has been adopted. On the contrary, the principle of our constitution is this : that while in all

other matters the powers of the local legislature are almost independent, in the matter of education, a supervisory power has been given to this government, in so far as separate schools are concerned.

So that, in 1893 I held the views I now hold, and I am acting exactly in accordance with the opinions I proclaimed twelve years ago and which so far as I remember, I have always held. This being well established, this being I believe, impossible of denial- that the rights of a province are abbreviated whenever there is a system of separate schools-yet we are told that this cannot be adopted because the provinces referred to in this legislation are not now provinces, but are simply territories. If I understand that argument correctly it means that if the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan already existed and were to come to-day and ask to enter confederation, they would come with their system of schools, and that system would apply mechanically and parliament would be forced to give it to them; but as they come as territories, they are not to have the same privileges as they would have had, coming as provinces. Now, in the name of common sense, what does it matter, so far as law and order is concerned, whether these territories are now territories or are now provinces? If under the

law we gave them in 1875 they established a system of schools, is not that system of schools as dear to them as if they had been erected into provinces ? If they have acquired rights thereby, are not those rights as sacred as if they had been erected into provinces ?

Now Sir, it seems to me that this argument cannot bear examination. But if we are to take some of the newspaper articles and some of the speeches I have read, what is the supreme reason and argument that is advanced why this principle of the constitution should not apply to the Territories? It is because parliament is omnipotent, it is because parliament is not bound to respect the acts of a former parliament, it is because the parliament that was elected in November, 1904, is not to be bound by the parliament which sat in this House in 1S75. Well, Sir, if that view is to be taken, if we are to say that parliament is supreme, I have nothing more to say. Parliament is supreme indeed, parliament is supreme, and may even go to the length of disobeying the moral laws which bind all governments and all men. It is open to any man to break his word, it is open to any man to violate his engagement, it is open to any man to trample under foot his plighted troth. Now if it is open to any man to do that, it is also open to an assembly of men; and if it be the view that parliament is not .bound by the acts of any preceding parliament, that parliament may violate its plighted troth, then we have a double opportunity on this occasion to signalize ourselves, because not only can we remove from the minority the system of separate schools which they have had for many years, but we can correct another invasion of provincial rights which is far more reaching than the violation of provincial rights in the matter of education. If it be true that in 1875, parliament introduced separate schools into the Northwest Territories and gave to the minority the privilege of those schools, it is equally true that in the, year 1881 this parliament for ever abbreviated the powers of those new provinces in the matter of taxation ; it is equally true that in 1891 this parliament decreed by an Act passed here, passed against the protest of the minority in that parliament, decreeing for all time to come, not for one year only, or ten years, or one generation, but for all time to come, that the Canadian Pacific Railway and all stations, station grounds, workshops, buildings, yards and other, property, rolling stock and appurtenances required and used for the construction and working thereof, and the capital stock of the company, should for ever be free from the power of taxation by those provinces. It was decreed also that no municipal body created by the provinces could levy taxation upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, its stock, its buildings, its workshops and its Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

capital stock. Sir, is not that an invasion of provincial rights far more reaching in its consequences than the invasion of provincial rights which is complained of in the matter of education ? But does anybody in this House think of removing from the Canadian Pacific Railway the powers and immunities which have been granted to that company? Does anybody in this House think for a moment of giving to those new provinces the power to levy taxation upon the Canadian Pacific Railway? No. we respect our engagements. Then I ask if we respect our engagements in the one case, why should we not respect our engagements in the other case?

But Sir, that is not all. I find no better testimony in favour of the principle which is embodied in this Bill than the letter which was written to me some days ago by Mr. Haultain, Premier of the Northwest Territories ; I want no better testimony of the soundness of the position which we have taken than the ipsissima verba contained in Mr. Haultain's letter, and which I will read to the House.

The territory included within the boundaries of these proposed provinces was ' admitted into the union ' on July 15, 1870, and immediately upon the creation of these provinces the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867, become, as a matter of indefeasible right, a part of their constitution.

That is to say, as a matter of 'indefeasible right ' the provision of section 93 of the British North America Act becomes part of the constitution of the Northwest Territories. Now, let me repeat, what is the disposition of section 93 of the British North America Act :

In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provision :-

1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at' the union.

Therefore, if I understand the English language, it means this, according to Mr. Haultain's own admission, that in this matter of education the rights and privileges of the minority are secured against any prejudicial legislation which might be passed.' Now, Sir, there is this difference between Mr. Haultain and myself with regard to this point. Mr. Haultain argues that this section 93 applies automatically, that this House has nothing to do but simply to admit the province and immediately it becomes subject to section 93 ; whereas the position we take is while the provision is embodied in section 93 it has to he introduced legislatively by this parliament into the constitution of the Northwest Territories.

Upon this point I might go further. On a previous occasion I spoke at some length on this point, ancl I will not go over the same ground again. However, it may not be inopportune on this occasion to inquire what is the history of clause 93 in the British North America Act. how did it become a part of the British North America Act ? Sir, we live in an age of such intense excitement, we are moving with, such rapidity, our lives are so much engaged in business occupations, that history is very soon forgotten, and what is the event of to-day is forgotten history to-morrow. It may not therefore be inopportune to look into the causes which led to the introduction of this section of 93 into the British North America Act. _ It was introduced at the suggestion of Mr. Galt, in the interest of the Protestant minority of the province of Quebec, at a time when he was champion and representative of that minority in the old parliament of Canada. I have quoted on a former occasion, and I may be permitted to quote again, the language of the Quebec resolutions which formed the embryo of section 93 of the British North America Act. We find that section 43 'of the Quebec resolutions, concludes as follows :

Education, saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minorities in both Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the union goes into operation.

That was section 43 which guaranteed separate schools both in Ontario and Quebec, but did not go further. Now, Sir, it is a matter of history that the Protestant minority in Quebec at that time was not altogether satisfied with their condition under the system of separate schools such as it was. They wanted the system extended and improved, and they wanted this to be done before confederation, so that under the new constitution the rights and privileges secured to the Protestant minority could not be interfered with by the new legislature of Quebec. Mr. Galt, who at that time as I said was the champion of the Protestant minority in the province of Quebec, and was also a member of the government of that day. spoke upon that subject at a meeting held in the town of Sherbrooke which he represented In parliament. In the month of October, 1864. just a few months after the Quebec resolutions had been adopted by the conference, Mr. Galt used the following language :

He would now endeavour to speak somewhat fully as to one of the most important questions, perhaps the most important that could be confined to the legislature, the question of education. This was a question in which, in Lower Canada, they must all feel the greatest interest, and in respect to which more misapprehension might be supposed to exist in the minds, at any rate of the Protestant population, than in regard to anything else connected with the whole scheme of confederation.

It must he clear that a measure would not be favourably entertained by the majority of Lower Canada which would place the education of their children and the provision for their schools, wholly in the hands of a majority of a different faith. It was clear that in confiding the general subject to the local legislatures it was absolutely necessary it should be accompanied with such restrictions as would prevent injustice in any respect from being done to the minority.

Now, this applied to Lower Canada, but it also applied, and with equal force, to Upper Canada and the other provinces ; for in Lower Canada there was a Protestant minority, and in the other provinces a Roman Catholic minority. The same privileges belong to the one of right here, as belonged to the other of right elsewhere. There could he no greater injustice to a population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their own religious belief.

It had been stipulated that the question was to be made subject to the rights and privileges which the minorities might have as to their separate and denominational schools. There had been grave difficulties surrounding the separate school question in Upper Canada, but they were all settled now, and with regard to the separate school system of Lower Canada, it was the determination of the government to bring down a measure for the amendment of the school laws before the confederation was allowed to go into force. He made this statement, because as the clause was worded in the printed resolution, it would appear that the school law, as it at present existed, was to be, continued.

Now, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Galt undertook that the school law would be amended in the following session. In the following session, that was the session of 1865, the resolutions of the Quebec conference were discussed in the legislature of Canada but no school Bill was introduced to amend the law of Lower Canada. Complaint was made to the House by Mr. Holton and others and a measure was promised the following year. In the following year, that was the year before .confederation, a school Bill was introduced giving to the Protestant minority much more power than they had then and giving to them the powers which they have now and which have been given them since by the legislature of the province of Quebec. Amongst the dispositions of that measure were the following :

The superior education will comprise the universities and the classical and industrial colleges or seminaries, and the provincial aid thereto, as well as that for academies, shall be annually divided between the Roman Catholic and Protestant institutions in proportion to the respective Roman Catholic and Protestant population according to the then last census.

Another section reads :

Whenever four of the Protestant members of the Council of Public Instruction for Lower Canada shall be of opinion that the management of the Protestant schools should be distinct and separate from that of the Catholic schools, they may make known that opinion under their respective signatures to the government through the Provincial Secretary.

But a strange thing happened in the legislature of Canada. It was at the time when we had a representation from Lower Canada and a representation from Upper Canada. A similar Bill was introduced immediately for the province of Upper Canada. This was strongly resisted and so strongly was it resisted that the two Bills were withdrawn. Thereupon Mr. Gait resigned his position as a member of the government of the day because he had not been able to improve the situation of the minority to which he belonged by legislation before the Act of confederation came into operation. Then what took place ? Of course, there was a great deal of commotion at that time and the Protestant' minority of Quebec felt disinclined to enter confederation unless their rights were secured as they thought they ought to be secured. Mr. Galt was appointed to go to England with Sir John Macdonald, Sir Geo. Cartier and others in order to frame the Act which was to be the Act of Confederation. At that time the ' Montreal Gazette ' was the principal as today it is the most important organ of the Conservative party. It spoke for Mr. Galt and on the 21th October, 1866, the ' Montreal Gazette ' contained the following article :

We have much pleasure in announcing that during the recent protracted sittings o{ the cabinet at Ottawa, the subject of the position of the Lower Canada education question was very fully considered. Thd ministry were, we understand, desirous that Mr. Galt should be appointed as a delegate to represent the interests of the British population, but that gentleman felt that he could not accept unless he was assured as to the views of the government on the points that so seriously concern his countrymen and co-religionistS, and which so deeply roused their feelings. We are informed that the ministry entirely satisfied Mr. Galt of their determination to give practical effect to the pledges given in parliament, and the gentleman has in consequence accepted the appointment of delegate for the express purpose of watching over these important interests, as well as of lending his aid to the consummation of the measure of confederation.

We feel that our Protestant friends may rest assured that the man who resigned the honours and emoluments of office on this question will not, as a delegate, be found wanting to his trust as their representative. And we hail with great satisfaction the approaching settlement of a question which might have been fraught with so much danger to the kindly and cordial relations which have of late so happily subsisted between the people of different races and creeds in Canada. .

Mr. Galt went to England as a delegate. We know as a matter of history that be contributed to the drafting of section 93 of the British North America Act, and those of us who have read Mr. Pope's book upon the debates preliminary to confederation know that as a matter of history the 3rd and 4tli subsections of section 93, the subsections which give the right of appeal, are Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

even in his own handwriting. Therefore it is to him that we have section 93 in its present form. As to that let me call the attention of the House to another extract from the ' Montreal Gazette ' of March 2nd, 1867. Either that day or the day before the ' Montreal Gazette ' had published the whole text of the Bill which afterwards bcame the Confederation Act and it accompanied this with the following comment:

Few questions have excited a more lively interest in this country than the education of children in public schools, or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say, the appropriation of taxation for that purpose. We need not repeat the particulars of the agitation on the subject, which commenced with the promulgation of the resolutions of the conference of Quebec, and resulted in Mr. Galt resigning his seat in the cabinet. The short of the story is, all this led to an agreement on the part of the Canadian government to advise Her Majesty's ministers to insert in the Union Bill the provisions with which the public are, undoubtedly, already aware. That was the agreement to which we referred, in October last, as having been satisfactory to Mr. Galt, and on the strength of which he consented to become a delegate to London. The public may find in these provisions in the Bill the proof of the statement made by us, which some of our contemporaries, without any evidence, undertook to call in question.

Before the question of confederation was mooted, the constant cry on the part of a portion of Lower Canada Protestant minority, was: give us the same privileges as those enjoyed by the Upper Canada minority. Well, the Bill as it stands, in terms, provides that the minority in Lower Canada shall have precisely the same privileges as the minority in Upper Canada.

And further, that the minorities in all the provinces shall have the right of appeal to the general parliament.

The Bin, in this form, undoubtedly, in our opinion, will become the fundamental law of the country, forming a part of its political constitution ; and that, as such, it must be accepted. It affords essential guarantees as well in immediate practice as in ultimate resort.

Well Sir, Mr. Galt was too great a man not to stipulate for other minorities that which he was stipulating for the minority to which be belonged. Mr. Galt was not satisfied to have these guarantees under the constitution simply for the minority of Quebec, but he put them in the terms which I read a monment ago so that they could apply to any minority in any province under any condition under which a system of separate schools exist. It is in obedience to that order of the constitution that we have inserted the clause which I read a moment ago.

Now, Sir, a word as to the changes we have made in that clause. I stated the other day that we proposed to make a change and we have given notice of an amendment which we intend to move to clause 10. What is the reason of this change ? It is a fair question to ask and a question to be answered.

Sir, we have taken the ground on more than one occasion, we again take this ground and it is the ground upon which we stand in dealing with the present case, that wherever a system of separate schools exists that system comes into force and is constitutionally entitled to the guarantees which are embodied in section 93 of the British North America Act. Be that system much, be it little, whatever it is, it is entitled to those guarantees. That is the position we take, and when we introduced section 16, as it is in the Bill, we had no other intention than to give to the minority the rights and privileges to which they are entitled under the law which they have today.

But, Sir, it has been objected to us that the language used in section 16 was too broad, too vague, and that if it were adopted, it would create trouble and confusion instead of certainty as to the rights of the minority. By the first paragraph of section 16 as it stands in the Bill, the Act of 1875 is reproduced in toto. But Sir, an event occurred some 14 or 15 years ago which has to some extent limited that Act. Some 14 years ago the legislature of the Territories passed a law which in the opinion of the minority abridged the rights conferred on them by the Act of 1875. They complained to the federal government at Ottawa. They made representations to the government of that day and asked the disallowance of that law as an infringement upon their privileges as secured to them by the law of 1875. Sir John Thompson, who was then Minister of Justice, examined the question and refused to disallow the Act. He admitted rather, that the Act was an infringement on the privileges conveyed to the minority, but he stated that as this was a consequence, only following a similar Act, or rather continuing a similar Act passed some three or four years before, as to which no ' complaint had been made, and which was therefore in force, he would not advise disallowance and he allowed the Act to go into force. Under such circumstances the law of tlie Territories has been in force now for 13 or 14 years. Section 16 thus restricted is now the law of the country which has been in force for 13 or 14 years and which has given general satisfaction. Under such circumstances if we were to reenact section 93 of the Act, it was possible that we would create confusion and that there would be lawsuits to determine the exact condition of the law. We therefore thought it was preferable to have the law made absolutely certain and in order to do that we have incorporated the ordinances under which the law as it is to-day has been established. It may be disappointing to some, but we believe that on the whole it is preferable to have a clear understanding on this subject so that the minority shall have the privilege of exercising control over their schools as they have to-day, and so that the law shall! be absolutely clear and pronounced as to what is intended by the parliament of Canada if it passes this legislation. That is the reason why we have done this. The law' of the Territories on this question is established in three ordinances, chapter 29 of 1901, chapter 30 of 1901, and chapter 31 of 1901. Chapter 29 organized a system of schools and this organization retained to the minority the privileges which they have of separate schools. Chapter 30 regulates the power of assessments over the municipalities for contributions to education and chapter 31 regulates the aid and contributions to be made to the different schools conforming to the law. We have introduced into the amendment chapter 29 and chapter 30 ; we have not introduced chapter 31 which regulates the aid and grants to be given to schools because we have thought it preferable simply to lay down the principle, putting no burden upon the Territories, not saying how they are to dispose of their money, not telling them what they shall do but simply stating that when schools conform to the law, whether they are separate schools or public schools, all shall be treated equally and there shall be no discrimination between them. That is the reason of the legislation I have introduced.

Upon this occasion I have nothing more to say but in moving this Bill, as I now do, for the second reading, I want to impress on the House once more that we are acting strictly in accordance with the principles involved in the constitution of Canada. I want to impress once more the fact that the constitution of Canada has been and is a compromise between different elements in order to produce a great result. It is a compromise in order to unite different heterogeneous elements. There are differences of powers, there are exceptions,, but all this diversity is intended to promote unity. [DOT]

Let me say one last w7ord. We have done pretty well so far in the development of our national institutions, but we have not yet reached the maximum ; we have not yet reached the end. We may have a great deal still to do and I hold that we ought always to be ready for the task, and I am sure that it will not be too much to say that it will not injure any one, that it will not do any harm but on the contrary will do much good if, whenever we are called upon to apply the principles of the constitution, we apply them, not in any carping sense, but in a broad and generous spirit.


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton, Out.).

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has spoken with his usual eloquence upon the second reading of this Bill. If I were inclined to use his own wo nils under certain circumstances in the-

past, I might term him a scrapbook orator to-day. Whenever I have endeavoured to gather up certain pearls of thought which he has distributed in days gone by and to contrast them with the utterances made in the immediate present, the right hon gentleman has been good enough to apply that appellation to myself and I trust that he will not resent my returning it to him on this occasion. The right hon. gentleman has told us that the measure which the government has introduced, and especially the educational olauses contained in section 1G of the Bill, as well as the provisions which have been now substituted for that section, make for unity. Well, Mr. Speaker, they may make for unity in the country if the right hon. gentleman's own words are to be taken at their face value to-day, but certainly they have not made for unity in the cabinet nor among the right hon. gentleman's followers. The Prime Minister has been good enough a few days ago to charge me with having treated this question in this House lightly. I desire, in terms as strong as the usage of this parliament will permit, to repudiate to the utmost that assertion, and to say that if any man in this House has treated that question lightly it has been the right hon, gentleman himself. When I brought this question up two years ago, not he, nor any one of his colleagues in the cabinet dared to rise in his place and say one word about it. They put up the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) who was then the member for Alberta, to say on behalf of_ the government that they were not going into any ' blind pool,' and when the right hon. gentleman tendered to this country and to the members of the Northwest the blindest kind of pool in the letter which he wrote in the heat of a general election, then hon. gentlemen on the other side were all too eager to accept it without one moment's question. That was the first occasion when he treated this question lightly. The nest was when in this House he asserted, crying 'hear, hear' to the words of my hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. W. J. Roche) who interpreted the remarks of the Prime Minister as meaning that provincial autonomy could not be granted to the Territories of the Northwest for many years to come. And, in the next place, Mr. Speaker, he treated this question lightly when he brought this Bill down to parliament, telling parliament as plainly as if he had said so in express terms that this measure embodied the collective wisdom of the cabinet, when afterwards it transpired although the Bill had not even been submitted to the exMinister of the Interior or to the Minister of Finance, the most important members of the government. And, in the next place, Sir, my right lion, friend treated this question lightly when more than once I asked him across the floor of this House why it was that he, the leader of the House ventured Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

to mislead it with regard to the attitude of two of his ministers. I asked him that question not once or twice, but three times, and the only answer I ever receive^ from the right hon. gentleman was evasion and badinage. It does not lie in his mouth to charge me with having treated this question lightly in view of the fact that he has dealt with it after the fashion I have described. Further than that, the right hon. gentleman approaches the consideration of this question now without a minister in the Department of the Interior, although in the right hon. gentleman's correspondence the absence of the Minister of the Interior on former occasions has been put forward as a ground for delay. So much for that. I will leave the right hon. gentleman himself to judge whether under these circumstances he or I can most justly be charged with having treated this question lightly and not in the serious way in which it should be treated.

I do not agree, Sir, with some remarks which the right hon. gentleman made in his speech on the 21st of February. He then said : .

A great deal has been done ; in fact more has been done than we have to do to-day. We have to take the last step, but it is easy and comparatively unimportant in view of and in comparison with what has already been accomplished.

I do not know whether my right hon. friend is quite of the same opinion to-day with regard to the easy nature of the step, but I venture to say in all seriousness that the step which we are taking is the most important and momentous step that has ever been taken by this parliament in regard to our northwestern country. We are doing to-day what this parliament cannot undo in the future, because the constitution which we now propose to give to the territories of the Northwest can only be altered by the imperial parliament.

I agree absolutely with the principle of this Bill so far as it is designed to give a provincial status to these territories. As leader of the Conservative party, I laid down that principle when in the northwest more than two years ago. I have stood for that principle in this House in the sessions of 1903 and 1901, and that principle 1 stand for to-day.

The mode in which the right hon. gentleman has brought down this measure has led to the expression of strong differences of opinion throughout this country. The educational clauses have been discussed almost exclusively in all parts of Canada. For the moment they overshadow other questions : they involve differences of race. When I addressed the House on the first reading of the Bill I said I did not desire to make this a political question. Perhaps the expression was not very happily chosen, because from whatever aspect considered, it must in the highest sense of

the term be a political question in the end. What I should have said was that I did not desire to make it a party political question, and I do not desire to make it a party political question to-day. I shall express my own opinion with regard to it; I shall express that opinion at the present time; I have not felt called upon to speak before. In some parts of the country I have been referred to as a fanatic; in other parts I have been referred to as a coward and entreated to speak out. The proper time for me to speak is to-day upon the second reading, and before I conclude I shall, I think, make my position absolutely clear. And I say, that in taking the position which I shall now take, I do not for one moment suggest that any lion, gentleman on this side of the House, following the dictates of his conscience and of his good judgment should feel himself in any way constrained by party ties to endeavour to agree with the views which I shall express.


Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.


George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)


They do not seem to under, stand that principle over there. ,


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


The right hon. gentleman in his opening remarks adverted to live principal matters contained in the Bill: to the number of provinces, to the boundaries of the provinces, to the financial terms, to the control of public lands and to the provisions respecting education. It seems to me that so far as I desire to make any observations on the first three of these, I can better do that in committee. I will, therefore, in the remarks which I address to the House to-day deal solely with the questions which concern the control of public lands and the educational provisions of the Bill.

So far as the control of the lands is concerned, I adhere to the opinion I before expressed in this House: that the people of the northwest when they are granted provincial rights are fully capable of dealing with these lands; that they are entitled to the control of these lands just as much as the people of the eastern provinces of Canada are entitled to the control of their provincial domain. I see no distinction. One organ of the government published in the city of Montreal. an organ in which my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture is supposed to have a controlling interest, has given utterance to a delightful piece of information with regard to this matter. It declares that these lands should not be handed over to the control of the people of the northwest for fear of the danger which might be encountered from greedy land grabbers. Well, I am inclined to think-looking at the history of the past and looking forward a little to what may be expected in the future-that we are not likely to suffer any greater danger from land grabbers under the administration of the people of the Northwest Territories, than we have suffered in the past

and are likely to suffer under the present administration. The right hon. gentleman argued that the control of these lands by the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan would probably interfere with the immigration policy of the government; he thought there might be interference with free homesteads and with the present low price of government lands. But, Mr. Speaker, may I not suggest with a great deal of force to hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House, that the people of the Northwest are more interested in attracting immigration to these splendid territories, which are their glorious heritage, than are the people of any other part of Canada.

Are they not the people chieily interested? May we not rightly conclude that if these lands are handed over to them, they will so deal with them as to best conserve their own interests by forwarding and assisting a vigorous policy of immigration ? May I not further suggest that even if there were any danger-and I do not think there is-it would be the task of good statesmanship to have inserted, if necessary, a provision in this Bill with regard to free homesteads and the prices of those lands, and obtain to it the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories. I see no possible constitutional difficulty because after all the question of the lands is not a question of legislative power until the lands are handed over to the people and become the public property of the provinces. There are hundreds of millions of acres of public lands in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Are we not endeavouring now to promote immigration to those provinces ? And has the government of my right hon. friend found any difficulties interposed by any provincial administration which impede the carrying out of his immigration policy? Those lands are under the control of the provinces. The people of Ontario and Quebec go to their own provincial capitals and transact there all business relating to public lands. Why should not the people of the Northwest in the same way be entitled, when their own provincial capitals are established in the new provinces, to deal with their own public lands and exercise control over them in their own legislature? My right hon. friend has referred to the example of the United States. He found the example of that country very cogent in this instance ; but when, a little later on, he came to deal with the question of education, he departed altogether from that example and presented it as one to be entirely avoided. But if the institutions of the two countries are so much alike that we may safely follow their example with regard to the lands, are not the characteristics and the religions of the two people so much of the same character that we might also grant to the people of the Northwest Territories exactly the same rights as are enjoyed by the states of the Union and by the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick?

My right hon. friend referred to his re-

cord in the past. He referred to his record with regard to the Manitoba school controversy. I do not desire to discuss this question from too controversial a .standpoint, but does my right hon. friend really feel satisfied to-day with his record on that question, which so much disturbed public opinion ten years ago ? If ever there was a question in this country calculated to arouse passion and prejudice, and if ever such a question was deliberately thrown into the political arena for the purpose of political gain, it was the Manitoba school question. That question was precipitated into the political arena by the right hon. gentleman and his friends then in opposition, and by his Liberal friends in the province of Manitoba. There can he no doubt about that. Let us look at the record for a moment or two. as the hon. gentleman himself has called attention to it. There were difficulties surrounding the Conservative administration of that day. What was the attitude of my right hon. friend with regard to those difficulties ? When the Conservatives desired to investigate, he was impatient of delay. When they desired to conciliate, he accused them of weakness and cowardice. When they sought an interpretation of the constitution in the courts, he declared that they were exciting passion and discord. When they proposed the remedial order, he declared it was ineffective and insufficient. When they sought to enforce it by an Act of this parliament, he declared it was too strong and drastic in its terms. He denounced in violent language the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy in 1890, not only as an enemy of his creed, but of his race, and three years later he was content to accept Mr. McCarthy's aid on that question. On one side of him, he established a very able gentleman, who does not now occupy a seat in this House, but who then represented the constituency of L'lslet, in the province of Quebec-he used that gentleman to declare that the rights of the minority were being betrayed in Manitoba. And on the other side he accepted the aid of Mr. McCarthy, who denounced the action of the Conservative government as coercive and oppressive. He himself posed in the English speaking provinces as the champion of provincial rights, and in the province of Quebec as the heaven-constituted protector of the minority. The hon. gentleman thus addressed himself with great skill to both opposing elements, and eventually succeeded in utilizing that question as the means of putting himself and his party into power. And after they did attain office, I ask my right hon. friend, in all seriousness and earnestness, whether or not he carried out to the full, and according to the spirit, the promise he made his compatriots in the province of Quebec. Well, the election came on, and my right hon. friend secured support in the English speaking provinces as the upholder of provincial rights. He secured also even a greater measure of sup-Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I>ort in the province of Quebec, and now lie is face to face with the very same question to-day. Years ago Brougham, in the English House of parliament, addressed a cogent indictment against the gentleman who was then leading the English administration. There, he said, he sits to-day doing penance for the disingenuousness of years. Does my right hon. friend regard those words as having to-day some application to himself. .

The prime minister first declared that this question is not one of separate schools, and then he proceeded to give us a long argument with regard to the value and necessity of such schools. I shall not follow him along that path. It is not, in my opinion, a question of separate schools, but a question of provincial rights. It is not a question of separate schools, but of provincial selfgovernment. It is not a question of separate schools but of constitutionl home rule. It is a question of those privileges and liberties of which the right hon. gentleman, up to the present at least, has claimed to be the champion and exponent. No one appreciates or respects more highly than I do the moral and ethical training which the Roman Catholic Church bestows upon the youth of Canada who were born within the pale of that church. I esteem at the highest the value of the moral training of the children of this country ; and I am free further to confess that I appreciate more highly perhaps than some others the consistency and devotion of Roman Catholics, in this and other matters of their faith, wherein they give to the Protestants of this country an example from which the latter might well learn valuable lessons.

Perhaps in dealing with this question today I shall not make myself understood, as I would like to be understood, by many of my friends in the province of Quebec, whose esteem and friendship I value second to none of any of my fellow-citizens in Canada. I have ' met these gentlemen in friendly intercourse, both Conservatives and Liberals ; I have found among them men of broad, generous spirit, men of culture, men of wide reading, men able to look beyond the confines of their province and of Canada, men inspired not only with patriotism and devotion to this country, but with a broad and generous spirit in their regard for those who happened to differ from them in political opinions or in matters of religion. And I would desire to make myself understood not only by those who are within the sound of my voice, but by all my friends in the province of Quebec, all of those whom I have known long and intimately and whose opinion I highly regard ; I desire them to appreciate the fact that I, to-day, am standing on the rock of the constitution, as I understand that constitution ; that I simply desire that the domination of this parliament shall not in any way destroy or undermine that foundation upon which the provincial rights of this country rest. And if there are any men in Canada

who should have a sacred regard for provincial rights, they are my friends -from the province of Quebec, who of all men, have been in the past most jealous of the liberties of their province. It was in that school that my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) learned long ago the lesson which he seems to have somewhat forgotten to-day. In the province of Quebec, there is and there is rightly, a strong spirit in favour of provincial rights. And it is because I interpret the constitution in the light of that spirit that I take the stand upon this question which I take to-day. Let me illustrate my meaning by one further statement. If any hon. member of this House or any man in this country should seek to insert in this Bill a provision forbidding the establishment of separate schools in the Northwest, I would combat that proposal to the end, because I would consider it as absolutely in the conflict with the provincial rights which I desire to see maintained. I take this stand because I believe that not only in the light of the constitution, but in the light of the highest wisdom and statesmanship, education should be left absolutely to the control of the people of the new provinces.

Sir, in 1896-to refer again for one moment to the Manitoba school question-the constitution had been interpreted by the highest courts of the land. One decision had declared that Manitoba had absolute jurisdiction over education, except as controlled by section 22 of the Manitoba Act. (And, in referring to the Manitoba Act, let us remember that it has all the force of imperial legislation because it was found necessary, almost immediately to have it validated by imperial statute and it was validated by the British North America Act of 1871.) Another decision declared that parliament had power to enact remedial legislation. A remedial order was made by the Conservative government ; and a remedial measure was introduced into this parliament by that government. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) fought against it. At his right hand he had Mr. Tarte, who then represented in this House the constituency of L'Islet, who I believe, expressed sincerely the strong views he entertained on this question. At his left, was Mr. Dalton McCarthy, to whom at least the same tribute is due. And between these was the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), willing to accept the support of both. Like the three Romans who went forth to hold the bridge, these gentlemen went forth to hold the breach. Mr. McCarthy had upon his shield the device, ' No coercion ; provincial rights.' Mi'. Tarte had upon his shield the device ' The rights of minorities ; equal justice to all.' The right hon. gentleman had on one side of his shield the device of Mr. McCarthy, and on the other the device of Mr. Tarte,-I do not know which side he called the silvern and which side he called the golden ; at all events the shield was thus exhibited. The 94

general election came on, and, as I have-said, the Conservative administration was defeated. In the maritime provinces a strong campaign was made, especially in the province of Nova Scotia, by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), with the war-cry ' provincial rights ; no coercion of Manitoba.' In the west the same campaign was carried on by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton). In Haldiinand, in Winnipeg and in many other places throughout the west, ' No coercion of Manitoba ' was the battle cry of that hon. gentleman, the ally and friend of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). And, Sir, what was all the storm about at that time ? Had there been any attempt to violate the constitution ? No ; it was simply a question of policy. The highest court of the realm had declared the right of this government to make a remedial order and of this parliament to enact remedial legislation. Undoubtedly, remedial legislation was within the toms of the constitution. Well, by an overwhelming majority, the people of Canada rendered this verdict^ a verdict which has been twice confirmed, if confirmation were needed-in 1900 and in 1904. That verdict declared that even within the terms of the constitution there should be no coercion of a province in respect of its control over educational matters.

Sir, the Conservative party was not unanimous on the question at that time. It was in the very nature of things that it would not be unanimous. Nor was there absolute unanimity among the Liberals of that day. The great majority of the Conservatives believed in the constitutional rights of the minority, and they stood by those rights at great risk and great cost to themselves. Men supported that Remedial Bill who knew that their action in so doing would debar them from future participation in the public life of Canada. The sacrifice was great, but it was not too great for many members who sincerely believed in the wisdom of enacting that legislation, who even went further and believed it to be the absolute duty of parliament to enact that legislation as proposed by the Conservative administration. And there were equally sincere men in the ranks of the Conservative party who combated that proposal, and, in the end, their position was sustained by the verdict of the country, brought about, in very great measure I believe, by the eloquent addresses of my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in favour of provincial rights-addresses which were re-echoed in Ontario, in the maritime provinces and in the west by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) by the Postmaster General (Sir William Muloek), by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), by the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) and many other gentlemen on that side of the House.

Well, after the elections my right hon. friend stood forth as the champion of the

Speaking of the early history of the Territories-

to the present, the Dominion parliament

has had the power to legislate for the Northwest Territories in reference to all matters within the ken of a colonial legislature ; and although large powers of local self-government have been conceded to the inhabitants of these territories they are held at the will of the parliament of Canada. To what extent that parliament will interpose in reference to matters over which legislative power has been conferred on the Northwest Assembly, depends on ' conventions ' not capable of accurate definition. No doubt before very long a new province or provinces will be formed out of these territories. The position, therefore, is so evidently temporary that it is difficult to decide to what extent of detail one should go in discussing the present position of the Northwest Territories.

Now, are not these authorities sufficient for my right hon. friend, or indeed sufficient for any hon. member of this House, to induce him to come to the conclusion that these provisions were absolutely temporary and tentative in their nature and that there exists nothing in the constitution which for one moment obliges us to impose this

provision for ever upon these Territories by an Act which we cannot repeal ? If the authority to which I have referred is not sufficient let me cite one which occasionally irritates my right hon. friend when it is quoted, one which is often inconsistent with his views, but nevertheless, one which, if it does not command his respect, will at least, I am sure, attract his attention. My right hon. friend himself said in this House:

It is impossible to admit for instance that the institutions of the Northwest are permanent. On the contrary they are exceptionally temporary ; they deal with a state of things which is exceptional in itself ; they were devised at a time when there was no population and they must he modified from time to time as the necessities of the case require. But at this moment to say they are permanent is a thing in which I cannot agree except so far as they must be permanent in every particular, so long as we are not ready to give these people a more extended form of local authority.

Mr. Speaker, you do not observe in this opinion of my right hon. friend any especial reference to the permanence of this provision which he now seeks to impress for ever upon the people of the Northwest Territories. But, let me not forget one other authority which I should refer to, that is the authority of Sir John Thompson, whom I have already mentioned. These words were uttered in the year 1894. Mr. McCarthy, in the course of his speech on that occasion, used this language and Sir John Thompson gave the following answer

As I understood the First Minister in his answer to the hon. member for West Assini-boia-perhaps I was wrong, but I would like to be corrected if I was wrong-rather insisted upon the view I am putting which is that if separate schools are continued until the Northwest Territories are given provincial autonomy they will have the right of insisting upon that being continued when provincial autonomy is conferred upon them.


Maitland Stewart McCarthy

Conservative (1867-1942)


Then I fail to understand the views which the First Minister holds. He seems to be on both sides of the question.


Frederick Pemberton Thompson



Not at all. If I spoke ambiguously before, I was not at all conscious of it ; but I cannot be said to be ambiguous after the explanation I made to the hon. member for Assiniboia. I appealed to the House to continue the present system while the territorial system continued, and I declared that in my opinion the whole subject would be open and free to parliament as to what constitution we would give to the provinces when provinces were created.

Now, my right hon. friend took one other ground. He says that within the four corners of the British North America Act, 1867 to 1886, he has found justification for imposing upon the people of the Northwest this restriction. I take issue with him upon this ground as strongly as upon the other. Neither in the negotiations and resolutions Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

which led up to the British North America Act. 1867, nor within the four corners of that Act, and of the Acts in amendment thereto, can any provision be found which obliges, or in my humble opinion even justifies parliament in imposing separalte schools upon the new provinces. No doubt in this I may be in conflict with some hon. gentleman in this House, apparently with the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) for otherwise this provision would not be brought down. If anything would cause me to hesitate in my own opinion it would be that I differ from the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) whose legal ability 1 very highly esteem.

I do not claim to be infallible, but I have given to this question a good deal of consideration and it is my duty to state the conclusion I have arrived at. and which I have just stated, that there is not any provision within the four corners of the Act which obliges or in my humble opinion even justifies parliament in imposing this restriction upon the legislative power of the proposed provinces.

Let us examine in the first place the negotiations upon which the British North America Act was passed. Do not forget that in the very outset the intention was to include in the confederation the very territories that are now being constituted into provinces. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has referred to the Quebec resolutions. Let me also refer to them. He has referred to the 43rd article and to the 6th sub-article. 1 shall read that because it is important to consider it in order to judge whether, outside the strict letter of the law and within the spirit of the constitution, within the lines of the negotiations which resulted in its formation, anything is to be found which justifies the present action of the government. The 43rd article enumerates subjects within the exclusive power of the provincial legislatures and the 6th subarticle is as follows :-

Education, saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both the Canadas may possess as to their denominational schools, at the time when the union goes into operation.

Not a word about Nova Scotia, not a word about New Brunswick, not a word about Prince Edward Island. Is there anything about the Northwest Territories in that resolution ? Not one word, not one syllable.

But in construing that article do not forget to read in connection with it article 10 of the same resolution, which is this :

The Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Vancouver, shall be admitted into the union on such terms and conditions as the parliament of the federated provinces shall deem equitable, and as shall receive the assent of Her Majesty ; and in the case of the provinces of British Columbia or Vancouver as shall be agreed to-1 by the legislature of such province.


MAKCH 22. 1905

What do I argue from that ? There were resolutions passed with regard to the union of certain provinces, the 10th article of those resolutions contemplated the bringing into the confederation of the very territories with which we are dealing to-day, and when the question of education was dealt with under article 43, sub-article 6 of the resolutions no restriction was placed upon the powers of provinces which might be created in the future in the Northwest. Certainly, this is very significant. My right lion, friend in his speech upon the first reading of this Bill very frankly admitted this. He said : X shall be told that that exception applies to Ontario and Quebec alone, and not to the other provinces. Sir, that is true. Amongst the four provinces then united, Ontario and Quebec alone had a system of separate schools. Let us trace the history of this a little further. The British North America Act was passed and went into force on the first of July, 1867. Section 146 provided for the admission of other provinces upon a joint address of their legislatures and of the parliament of Canada. I shall read it. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, on addresses from the Houses of the parliament of Canada and from the Houses of the respective legislatures of the colonies or provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Bdward Island and British Columbia to admit those colonies or provinces, or any of them into the union, and on address from the Houses of parliament of Canada to admit Rupert's Land and the northwestern territory, or either of them into the union on such terms and conditions in each case as are in the addresses expressed, and as the Queen thinks fit to approve, subject to the provisions of this Act ; and the provisions of any Order in Council in that behalf shall have effect as if they had been enacted by the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. I lay special stress upon the words ' subject to the provisions of this Act.' Under this provision the Territories became part of Canada on July 15, 1870, under an order of Her Majesty in council passed upon two addresses from the parliament of Canada. These addresses, did not, nor did the Order In Council founded upon them, nor did the Rupert's Land Act,1868, contain any provision which authorized, It seems to me, or justified, in my humble opinion, the imposition upon the people of the Northwest of the educational provisions contained in the present measure. Manitoba was included in the territory which became part of Canada under that Order in Council. The position of Manitoba was a little peculiar. Ail Act was passed by this parliament in anticipation of the Order in Council to which we have just referred. That Act was passed on May 12, 1870, a little more than two months before these territories became part of Canada, and therefore Manitoba was created into a province at the very moment that it became part of the Dominion of Canada. That is a circumstance which should never be lost sight of in dealing with any question relating to Manitoba, and I have already pointed out that so doubtful was parliament, so doubtful was the administration of the day of the validity of the Act creating Manitoba into a province, that recourse was almost immediately had to the parliament of Great Britain and the provisions of the Manitoba Act were validated by the parliament of Great Britain in 1871. Therefore, any question which might otherwise have arisen whether or not this parliament was justified in inserting certain provisions in the Manitoba Act became immaterial and never could arise after the passing of the British North America Act, 1871. Under these circumstances it seems to me that no constitutional obligation, and, in my humble opinion, with all deference to the views of those who think differently, no constitutional authority is found for the educational clauses. I am of that opinion because these educational clauses depart in terms from the provisions of the British North America Act which they purport to embody. If my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is correct iu his contention that he is observing not only the letter but the spirit of the constitution, why is it that he has inserted in section 16 both as originally drafted and as amended provisions which purport to incorporate hut which do more than that, which amend and change the terms of the British North America Act ? The Prime Minister in his argument today declared that these Territories became entitled to the provisions of the British North America Act when they became part of this confederation. So they did, but 1875 is subsequent in date to 1870, and he is not seeking to-day to preserve any rights which existed at the time of the union in 1870. He attempts by this measure to perpetuate privileges which did not then exist, but which were created by this parliament in 1775. Is my right hon. friend willing to base his case upon the rights which existed in the Northwest Territories at the time of the union? What does my right hon. friend regard as the time of the union? I gathered from him to-day that the time of the union, Is the time when these provinces became part of the Canadian confederation. If that is the meaning of the constitution let the constitution be so construed and acted upon without any attempt by this parliament to override or change its provisions. My right hon. friend says that under subsection one of section 93 of the British North America Act, laws imposed by this parliament upon the Territories in 1875, when those Territories had only 500 people must continue for ever to be the laws of these Territories, although they contain 500,000 people now and inside of twenty years they may con-

.'944 tain 2.000,000 of people. That is my right hon. friend's argument when reduced to its essentia] terms. He quotes from section 93 of the British North America Act; let us look at that section : In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions :- 1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union. Was it not decided in the Barrett case in 1892, that the inhabitants of the Northwest Territories comprised within the limits of the province of Manitoba had no right to separate schools either by law or practice at the time Manitoba became part of confederation. Was not that decided, and is not the date on which the Territories became part of confederation exactly the same date on which Manitoba became part of confederation and became a province of Canada ? Subsection 2 of section 93 is not very material because it relates solely to Ontario and Quebec. Subsection 3 of 93 reads : Where, in any province, a system of separate or dissenting schools exists by-law at the union or is thereafter established by the legislature of the province, an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education. And section 4 provides : In case any such provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is not made, or in case any decision of the Governor General in Council on any appeal under this section is not duly executed by the proper provincial authority in that behalf, then and in every such case, and as far only as the circumstances of each case require, the parliament of Canada may make remedial laws for the due execution of the provisions of this section, and of any decision of the Governor General in Council under this section. It will be specially observed that iu subsection 3 the word, ' prejudicially ' is not found. It says :

March 22, 1905