them as the most arrant Orangeman. It had been dinned into my. ears all my days that separate schools were dangerous and that we should have nothing to do with them. Well, I went to the normal school in the province of Quebec, passed my examiuation and took out my certificate as a teacher in that province. And I taught school in the province of Quebec for four years. Then it was that I began to see that that separate schools as they existed there were not as bad as I had thought they were. The separate schools seemed a different thing as I saw it in Quebec from what I thought it was when I saw it in Ontario. I saw that the people who enjoyed the advantage of separate schools in Quebec would hardly know what to do without them. And when I taught in one of those separate schools and saw what difficulties we should have to contend with if we had no separate schools. I began to see that the system was not such a bad thing after all. And I thought that if the Roman Catholics in Quebec give even-handed justice to the Protestants of that province, we Protestants in Ontario should do no less for the Roman Catholics here. And we are doing it. Having had a long experience in teaching, there is one thing I wish above all others, and that is that our children should have a first-class common school education. And I believe that if this Bill is passed the children in the Northwest Territories will have an education of that kind. I have no belief 'in the words of Pope:
A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring. I
I believe that even a small amount of education is a good thing for anybody. If they cannot have a great deal of education, let them have what they can get. If one of our boys or girls has the benefit of a common school education and then will read regularly one of our influential daily newspapers he will become an educated man. He may not be highly instructed in some of the specialities, but he will be a man well qualified to fit himself for any walk in life.
This is what I want, that every boy and girl who lives in the Northwest Territories and in those new provinces which are to come into the union on the 1st of July next, shall have a first class education so that they can go out into the world qualified to occupy any walk in life. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that this school system which they have adopted in the Northwest Territories is one of the best separate school systems, if you can call it so, that is to be found in the world. We live here in a mixed community, and there has got to be a certain amount of respect for one another's feelings. We do not all worship at the same altar, we do not all believe in the same doctrines. We Protestants believe that the main things our children should 1584
be taught are the usual scholastic subjects taught in schools ; the Roman Catholics believe that a certain amount of attention should be given to teaching the Christian religion. Now, if they believe that and are sincere in it, and are willing to pay for such teaching to their children, why should we not allow them to have schools of that character? Now, here in these Northwest Territories is a system of schools to which I cannot see there should be any objection. It is in reality a national school every hour in the day except from half past three in the afternoon until four o'clock. Now, Sir, I want in particular to draw attention to a description which has been given of these schools by the ex-Minister of the Interior when he was speaking on this question, and I am particularly desirous that this description should go on record in my speech in order that my friends who will read it may know the reasons why I support this Bill. The ex-minister spoke as follows :
My hon. friend the Minister of Customs discussed the matter with great clearness 'last evening, and read from the ordinances to give the House a definite idea of what the condition of affairs was. Let me give what I conceive to be an accurate resume of the provinces which are in force and carried out by these ordinances.
Here are the ordinances as described by the ex-Minister of the Interior:
We have one normal school with uniform normal training for all teachers, and when I say all teachers, I mean teachers of all schools, separate and public ; uniform curricula and courses of study for all schools of the same grade ; uniform text books for all schools whatever ; uniform qualification of teachers for all schools whatever ; complete and absolute control of all schools as to their government and conduct, by the central school authority set up by the legislature under the ordinances ; complete secularization of all schools between 9 o'clock in the morning and 3.30 in the afternoon, except that any school, if the trustees so desire, may be opened with the Lord's prayer ; distribution of the legislative grant to all schools according to educational efficiency on principles set out in chapter 31.
Then, where there is a public school, the minority, Protestant or Roman Catholic, may organize a separate school ; but every separate school is subject absolutely to all the foregoing provisions, and is in every sense of the term a public school. If the Protestants are in the minority in a district, their school is called a separate school ; if the Catholics are in the minority in a district, their school is called a separate school ; hut both are public schools. They are absolutely similar save for one distinction : where the trustees are Protestant, there is Protestant teaching from half-past three to four, and where the trustees are Roman Catholic, there is Roman Catholic teaching from half-past three to four. That is absolutely the only distinction between these schools.