April 18, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

The only part of our population in the province of Ontario which is really excited over these Bills is the city of Toronto. I ask my hon. friends from other provinces not to do us the injustice of thinking that the blatant mob of Toronto speaks for the whole province of Ontario.
I cannot help but think that these remarks were not carefully worded and that the hon. gentleman was doing an Injustice to the people of Toronto. I have no need to defend the people of that city as they are quite able to defend themselves. Toronto is well known, not only in this country but in the United States and throughout the civilized world, as composed of perhaps the most intelligent, the brightest and most progressive people on the face of the globe today, and it ill-becomes the hon. member for North Ontario to cast on them the reflections he did. In speaking of the Toronto press, the hon. gentleman called them fire brands and other names it is perhaps as well not to remember, but I think an impartial mind must be convinced that the Toronto newspapers are merely presenting to their readers the ideas which the majority of the people of the province of Ontario and the other v'('stern provinces believe to be right. He tells us that the city of Toronto is practically the only place where there is agitation over this question. Evidently he has not been reading the papers and does not know what is going on in other parts of the country. Perhaps he has not read of the large public meeting at Moosomin in the Northwest Territories which passed resolutions condemning the clause. We have had protests against the school clause from the president of the Calgary Board of Trade, from Dr. Wordsworth, corresponding secretary in the missions of the Northwest, from Premier Ilaultain. from Principal Riddel. Alberta College, Edmonton, from John C. McKay, mayor of Wetaskiwin, W. R. Abbott, Maple Creek, Assiniboia, John McCurdy, mayor of Moosomin, Assiniboia, and from the Vancouver Liberals. All these men and all these gatherings have most conscientiously condemned the government for their action on the school question. >
The Manitoba government are doing their utmost to assist the west in not having the educational clauses forced upon those provinces. Throughout Ontario there ,is hardly a town but we have heard from many of its prominent men condemning the action of the government in forcing these clauses upon the Territories. As for Toronto, Mayor Urquhart, Professor Goldwin Smith and the Liberal club belong to the 'blatant crowd*the hon. gentleman would like us to believe live in that city. Now, the measure before the House seeking to grant provincial autonomy to the Northwest, whereby half a million acres of the choice land of that great Northwest will be divided into provinces, is one that deserves our most serious consideration. Much has been said on the floor of this House

and in the press throughout our country in praise of that fair land. To my mind we, as a nation, have just begun to realize the vast possibilities of that great country, and future generations will condemn us for not grasping the situation earlier and developing sooner that land of great promise. There is a question pending before us to-day affecting the provinces and one that cannot be underestimated. Let us, therefore, be guarded, let us not saddle on the new provinces legislation that will not only hamper the rights of the people living there to-day, but will leave to the generations yet unborn a heritage that will retard their growth and development in the future. In the year 1S96, this House had before it legislation affecting the schools of Manitoba. Many were the heated discussions on that Bill, and no more passionate appeals were ever made to the prejudices and religious feelings of a large portion of the people of this country than those made by the hon. members who are leading the government today. The cries of these hon. gentlemen w ere, ' Hands off Manitoba,' ' No coercion,' * We believe in provincial rights.' ' No coercion under Laurier.' While the leaders of the present government were avowing these principles and telling the people of Canada that these principles were right, I was telling the people of the county of Lainbton that I also believed these principles were right; I was defending the cause of provincial rights and educational freedom for Manitoba as conscientiously and as honestly then as I am now saying to the present government : You should stand to
your principle of provincial rights, you should stand by your own doctrine of no coercion in matters of education for the Northwest Territories : Be true to the principles you avowed in 1896 and the people will love, honour and respect you. But, if you do not harken to the people to-day, your government will go down to deserved ignominy and defeat. If public men or governments can avow certain principles, agitate those principles to the extent of defeating a government so as to establish 'those principles, and, when they attain power laugh at the professions they made and cast the principles they advocated to the winds, they are aiming a blow at public morality, they are lowering the position of public men, and we need not wonder at people scoffing at the idea that public men can be honest. I believe that disgrace and defeat should await any public man or any government in Canada that will not fulfil promises made to the people. And, when you come to realize that the present government have not been carrying out their promises ever since they came into power, when you come to realize that they are to-day practically a government of opportunists, it seems an easy matter for them to break faith with the people. They seem to
believe and to act upon the old adage that the people like to be humbugged. But there is also an old saying that you can fool some of the people part of the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. I feel confident that the people of Canada will soon come to realize that, the present government have been humbugging them for the last nine or ten years, and they will put a stop to it at the earliest opportunity. They professed in 1896 that if they were given the reins of office they would reduce the running expenses of this country. They have nearly doubled them. They told the people that they would reduce the taxes. They have increased them. They talked about free trade as it is in England, commercial union, and annexation. And practically the only plank in their platform that was worth standing upon was provincial rights, and here they are to-day ready to abandon that also. The people of Ontario, last January, declared that they did not believe m double-dealing, that they had had enough of corrupt government in that province, and the old government went down and out. Honesty among public men is regarded as necessary by our people, and they will not condone wrong-doing. This government has had an opportunity to create a unity of feeling between the races in Canada as no government has ever had before. Had the principles avowed by hon. gentlemen leading the government to-day been the same as the principles they avowed in lS9b, they would have given to these new provinces absolute control of education and would thereby have cemented the bonds between the races. Look back at the situation created in 1896, when race and religious feeling ran rampant in this land, when neighbours mistrusted each other, when Roman Catholics regarded Protestants as their natural enemies and Canada was not a united nation. Look at this country to-day, and cannot you see that feeling is more intensified than it was in 1896 ? Have not the members of this parliament presented more petitions to this House, have they not had more letters sent to them urging them to stand by one principle or the other ? Does not the government see that a flame is being fanned to-day that a score of years will not quench ? And, if this government forces separate schools upon the new provinces, they throw into the political soil of Canada 'a seed that cannot be uprooted for all time to come. We can never make Canada a great nation, we can never make Canada a united nation, we can never make our people a united people until we blot out the strife and ill-feeling that is abroad in the land to-day. This feeling is the greatest detriment to our national growth ; it retards immigration, it hampers our agricultural, commercial and industrial growth. Worst of all it creates distrust in the minds

of the citizens of Canada. Then, I say, representatives of Canada, irrespective of race and creed, let us lay aside any differences of opinion we have on this question ; let us think of a nation of a hundred million souls being thrown into the same turmoil and excitement that this country is in to-day, and let us ask ourselves the question ; Are we legislating for the best interest of the future Canada, by forcing upon these provinces these clauses with reference to education ? Mr. Speaker, I do not believe we are legislating for the best interest of the future Canada by forcing these clauses on these new provinces, and that we would be legislating for the best interest of the future Canada were we to eliminate these clauses and support the amendment proposed by the leader of the opposition.
Those of us who are opposing this Bill have a duty to perform. We are fighting for a principle ; it behooves us to fight as we have never fought before, to put forth our best energies and abilities to uphold provincial rights and allow no domination of church or creed. We shall be called bigots and fanatics, men not worthy to conduct ihe affairs of a state. But we can say with the poet :
They are slaves who will not choose Hatred, scoffing and abuse,
Rather than in silence "shrink Prom the truths they needs must think.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot help thinking that many of the supporters of the present gov-[DOT]ernment are shrinking to-day from the truths they needs must think. It is said that we are fighting against the Roman Catholic church. But I want to say that is not a fight against the Roman Catholic church, or against our fellow Roman Catholic citizens. Our Roman Catholic fellow citizens have as good a right to live in this country as we have, they are welcome to the best our country can produce, and to the enjoyment of their civil and religious liberty in the broadest sense of the term. Hon. members opposite are mistaken when they talk to us as though we were here representing wholly Protestant communities, charging us with being prejudiced against our Catholic fellow citizens. That is not the case. Some of the best friends I have in private and political life are Roman Catholic citizens of Canada. I want to say to you that I have interviewed a number of these men, and I have failed to find a man yet that will justify the present government in forcing upon these new provinces, as they are attempting to do, the educational clauses of this Bill. We need fearless criticism of this measure, we need fearless criticism of all acts, honest and dishonest, no matter from what source they may emanate. But even more do we need criticism that will be truthful. Taking this stand, can any man reasonably call us bigots and fanatics ? We are fighting against a weak government, a government that is to-day trembling before the angry voice of Mr. ARMSTRONG.
the people, a people whose righteous, indignation has aroused our nation as nothing ever did before, and we are justified in condemning the action of this government.
In the first place, we cannot condemn too strongly the hasty manner in which this Bill was presented to the House. The exMinister of the Interior who represented that great west, and was acquainted with its needs was not consulted on the educational clauses of this Bill. The Finance Minister, whose department is responsible for the expenditure of millions of the people's money, was not consulted ; the representatives from the Northwest were not consulted on one of the most important clauses of the Bill ; the Northwest members whose interests are closely connected with those of the people were practically ignored in the framing of this measure of such vital importance to the people of that vast country. Now the question naturally arises: Who is the author of the present Bill ? If the two ministers of the Crown most directly interested were ignored in the framing of this legislation, if the representatives of the Northwest and the delegation from the Northwest government were ignored, and as we are told that the council meetings are secret, people can only surmise who is responsible for the Bill. The Prime Minister has not denied that he consulted with the Papal delegate with reference to the original clauses of this Bill ; the right hon. gentleman has not yet denied that he consulted with that gentleman also with reference to the amended clauses of the Bill that have been presented to this House. Therefore the people cannot be blamed for surmising that this foreign delegate had considerable to do with the framing of the clauses which are before the House to-day.
Since the introduction of this Bill we have had very interesting and strange proceedings. On the 21st of February the right hon. gentleman introduced this Bill with great blowing of trumpets and well rounded periods, proclaiming to this nation that he was standing on the rock of the constitution. But since the leader of the opposition has shattered his arguments to fragments, we scarcely find a man on the government side to-day who will dare stand up and defend the constitution, as we have a right to expect it to be defended by hon. gentlemen supporting the government. Well, in a few days after the introduction of the Bill the Minister of the Interior arrived, and took a bold and brave stand in opposition to it; and the people throughout our land said that the ex-minister was going to stand by provincial rights. They expected of course that the western men would follow him, although they did pound their desks when this Bill was presented to the House in its original form. But the ex-minister has since that time swallowed his principles, and stands to-day as a self condemned man in the eyes of the people of Canada.

I -would like, Mr. Speaker, to refer to a remark made by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). That hon. gentleman said that the Finance Minister was a good swimmer, but that he had to be thrown into the water. The ex-Minister of the Interior, I understand, is also fond of the water. When he resigned his seat he was pulling with both oars to the rescue of provincial rights. He started up stream with his faithful band of Northwest members, the people on the shore applauding; put soon the clouds began to lower, the ex-minister and his companions began to weary in well doing, very soon they began to pull with one oar taking back water with the other, and the only excuse the ex-minister, the captain of this brave enterprise, had to give us was that there must be peace, and the adventure, if carried out, might cause mutiny amongst the crew. Peace 1 Mr. Speaker, Peace ! That hon. gentleman, by his actions, has done more to create disturbance in this country than any other man has ever done on the floor of this House. Had that hon. gentleman been true to his principles, had he advocated those principles, and had the Northwest members stood true to him, he, along with the Finance Minister, and the men from the east, could have held up this government and forced them to eliminate those educational clauses from the Bill. Sectarian peace 1 Is it true that we cannot have sectarian peace unless separate schools are forced on every province in this Dominion? There was peace in Mani-itoba before this Bill was brought down, peace in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Sectarian peace ! Where do you find it so complete as in the United States, where the children of all creeds study side by side in peace and harmony ? We are asked to vote for these clauses in the name of peace and harmony, without which we are promised endless trouble. If the government will blot out these educational clauses they will take an advanced step towards sectarian peace in the Dominion of Canada.
When the Prime Minister compared Canadian observance of law and order with American laxity, he implied that the latter was due to the national school system of the United States. The right hon. gentleman must be aware that the public schools of the maritime provinces, Ontario and British Columbia are schools where children do not receive religious instruction, therefore his argument in that particular falls to the ground. It has been my privilege to investigate some of the public schools in the State of Pennsylvania, and I am glad to say they are far from being godless schools. The teachers are of the highest moral standing. their salaries are far in advance of what is paid in this country, the laws of Pennsylvania forbidding a teacher to be paid less than $550 per annum. The qualifications required are most exacting, and the standard
set for a public school teacher is the highest, the most advanced, of any country in the wprl4. I have often felt that Canadians might learn a great deal from the manner in which patriotic principles are instilled into the hearts and minds of the children of the United States. To my mind the children in the schools of this country are neglected in this respect, sufficient pains is not taken to instill a patriotic spirit into their hearts and minds.
We have had statesmen and warriors that might well be held up as men worthy of being copied, and if that is not sufficient we can go to the mother country where hundreds of men are worthy of being emulated in the schools of . this fair land. The patriotic songg that we have in Canada are not sufficiently sung in the schools of this country, and I believe that the time is coming when the people of Canada will realize that we must give more attention to the cultivation of these patriotic sentiments in this Dominion. When in the early and impressionable years of childhood Protestant and Catholics, Jews and Galicians, Doukhobors and foreigners of all kinds go to the same school, are taught the same language, learn the same lessons, play the same games and are forced into the rough and ready democracy of boyhood and girlhood to take each at his or her true worth, it is not easy later to-make the disciples of one creed persecute those of another. The common school is the place where true patriotism is engendered and common lessons of free citizenship in a free country are germinated and matured. The premier inferred that the United 'States schools are the causes of divorces, murders and lynchings. We might ask him why divorces, murders and lynchings are not prevalent in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and British Columbia; five out of the seven provinces have to a great extent the same national school system as they have in the United States. We are nation builders; let us look ahead. The questions before us are of an extremely important character and will stand the fullest discussion. The government are enacting legislation containing a vital principle and the press and people have spoken in no uncertain tones against the separate school clauses being embodied in this Bill. If special privileges are granted to denominational minorities in the new provinces by the British North America Act, why is it necessary for parliament to enact legislation to endow them with that privilege? Why does this government try to lead the people to believe that the Territories to be created are already provinces before they are taken into the union when, as a matter of fact, they are not, and why does the government say that the expression 'the union' in the British North America Act must mean when the Bills come into force? Reformers have said in years gone by that there is no coercion under Laurier. Now the mask is

thrown off, the true colour is shown, the will of the majority of the people is thwarted and a measure is forced through this House contrary to the will of the people, contrary to the spirit of progress and contrary to the constitution of Canada. In Manitoba all elements of the population are content with the common school where common citizenship and true patriotism is_ developed. Many creeds and races join in a common language and they are free from sectional strife. In 1875 when the Act establishing the Territorial government was before the Senate, Hon. George Brown protested against the separate school system being extended to the Territories. He contended that this principle was quite contrary to the British North America Act. Nothing was more clear, he said, than that each province should have absolute control over education. He thought that was the only principle on which the Union Act could continue and yet the advocates of separate schools would have the British North America Act read something like this:
In every province now admitted or hereafter to be admitted into the union there shall be a system of separate schools.
If I understand the Act aright it was framed for the purpose of recognizing and protecting certain existing rights at the time it was made, the words 'at the union' meant 1867, and not 1905. In 1875 the Canadian parliament undertook to equip the Territories with separate schools. It is now said by the government that there are separate schools in the Territories and that, therefore, these Territories are in the same position now as were the provinces that came into the union in 1867. The government contend that people were induced to locate in the west owing to the knowledge that separate schools existed there when the facts are that not one of the pamphlets advertising the advantages of the Northwest contains a single reference to separate schools. Examine the 'Geography of Canada,' 'Cartoons of Canada,' and 'Farms and Farmers in Western Canada' and you will find no reference of the kind ; in fact, the last mentioned pamphlets state distinctly that the schools are non-sectarian and national in character. If some inhabitants went into the west because separate schools existed there, not having learned from the literature that the schools did exist there, then also many people went into that country having read in the literature that this government sent out that the schools were non-sectarian and national in character. Thousands of people went into the country from the United States, from the country of national schools, and the immigration agents who have gone into the United States to advocate the interests of the Northwest Territories have not stated and the literature tkev have disseminated throughout the United States does not contain a word which will tell these people that separate schools Mr. ARMSTRONG.
exist in the Northwest, but that literature does tell the people of that country and foreign countries that the schools are nonsectarian and national in character. Then are we not justified in condemning this gov-erment for advocating and bringing people into that country and telling them the schools are non-sectarian and national in character, and yet to-day they are practically ready to force upon these people sectarian schools and separate schools. I feel that we cannot too strongly emphasize that part of the question. If clause 93 of the British North America Act gives separate schools to the Northwest then what was the need in 1875 of passing the legislation of that date or what is the need of the clauses inserted in this Bill? Why not leave it to the constitution to decide? The British North America Act either does or does not impose separate schools on the hew provinces as they are created. If there is any great doubt about the meaning of this clause is it not for the courts to determine whether we have a right to force separate schools on these provinces? The very conference which adopted clause 93 provided for the future admission of the Northwest Territories and Kupert's Land, but there was not the slightest suggestion that when these should be admitted they would be subjected to the educational clauses which Ontario and Quebec had accepted by mutual agreement. It was not even suggested that the separate school system should be imposed on Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and by that fact have not the arguments presented by the government fallen to the ground? Many members of this House, I believe, have a wiyng conception of the French Canadians of Canada when they insinuate that not one of them can be found to support provincial rights and the constitution in this matter. Surely such arguments are not flattering to the intelligence of the Roman Catholics of Quebec. I think they are wrong. During the past two years I have had the pleasure and the privilege of meeting and becoming acquainted with a number of our French Canadian fellow-citizens, and I have learned to admire and respect them. I recognize their ability in debate and their broadminded grasp of public affairs and I believe that our thinking French Canadian Catholic fellow-citizens will realize the whole significance of the old adage that it is a poor rule that will not work both ways, and they will readily see that if the British North America Act can be amended in this particular instance to suit the views of this government it may also again be amended and construed' in the future so as to take away the rights which they now enjoy.
'All that we are asking of this government is to maintain the constitution in its entirety ; not to bend it or break it but to stand by it. We contend that this parliament has no right to read into the British North America Act anything that Act does not contain. The Minister of Finance, the

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Minister of Customs, the ex-Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Agriculture and a number of the other gentlemen opposite have ignored the constitution to say that they must compromise on behalf of peace-and party. Surely, Mr. Speaker, these gentlemen see to-day the falsity of the stand they have taken ; surely they see that instead of them compromising on behalf of peace they have created a disturbance in this country that will not be settled for years to come. A weak government may use weak arguments, but no arguments were ever weaker than the arguments used by this government. Man after man on the government side has tried to picture this country as in the hands of the opposition. Sir, if the people of Canada had an opportunity to-day, the affairs of this Dominion would be controlled and directed by the great Conservative party for the Conservative party is today voicing the sentiments of the people of Canada. If this government continues to juggle with the constitution then the people of Canada will soon demand that they be given a constitution that the ordinary man can understand. It was certainly not an edifying sight to see the way practically every supporter of the present government applauded the Prime Minister when he was taking away provincial rights from these new provinces. Nothing can atone in the life of a nation for a lack of courage, honesty and common sense in the men who are conducting the affairs of state. In matters of colonial legislation Great Britain always consulted her colonies, and their advice was always accepted. But, here the Dominion government legislate contrary to the demands of the provinces. Bear in mind that there never was a British constitution framed without the consent of those who had to live under it. Great Britain had our consent to the British North America Act before that Act was passed in the imperial parliament. In giving a federal constitution to Australia, the imperial parliament had the consent of the Commonwealth to every clause, and when there was a difference of opinion that difference was settled by agreement-not by coercion. The people who assume Dominion or provincial responsibility should have a voice in governing their admission to that status. The representatives of the Territories ask to have control of their public lands; they asked that if these lands were to be cut in two the line dividing the provinces should be placed sixty miles east of the line now proposed in the Bill. They asked to have perfect freedom in managing their educational policy. All these requests were ignored by the Dominion government; the only excuse given for not granting the demands with reference to the lands being that it would interfere with the Dominion immigration policy, and the only excuse for limiting the control of education by the province being, that it would interfere with the party. Great Britain renounced the control of Crown lands in Canada upon the establishment of this Dominion, and what Great Britain has done for the Dominion the Dominion might well do for her provinces. All provinces feel the disadvantage of being small. Eastern Canada was once composed of four provinces or colonies as they were then called. Cape Breton was merged into Nova Scotia, and there was also about the time of confederation a movement on foot to amalgamate the maritime provinces so as to cheapen legislation ; in fact I understand there is some discussion with that object in view going on at the present time. British Columbia was once two provinces, the Island of Vancouver being separated from the mainland, but the two are now united as one province. In the west we will have three provinces where two would have been sufficient, and were it not for the school question there is no good reason why we should not have but two provinces. The government lands in the United States are largely controlled by an independent body of men responsible to the president, whereas in Canada at the present time, the Crown lands are controlled and handled to the advantage of politicians. The right lion, the Prime Minister argued that the west was bought with a price, but now he finds that the west was not bought by Canada, that Canada never recognized the Hudson Bay deal, that there are no papers to show any transactions between Canada and any person for these lands, and that Canada would never recognize such a transaction. This government evidently does not think that the provinces can be trusted with their lands, but Mr. Speaker, the time is coming and not far distant, when these provinces will demand the rights to their lands as is conceded in section 109 of the British North America Act, and they will get them. The present Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) made an unfair reference to the province of Ontario when he compared the amount of money that province received from government Crown lands, with the compensation which the new provinces will get for their lands from the federal government. Mr. Oliver said :
I find that the province of Ontario with a population of two and a quarter millions in the year 1902 derived from these lands $1,499, 000. We find by the arrangement that has been made with these Northwest provinces that when their population reaches that of the province of Ontario they will derive two and a quarter millions in respect of their lands.
The hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) took just the figures for the Crown lands alone in 1902, but if he had come down to the present year he would find that the province of Ontario received from its Crown lands a revenue of $2,767,735.71. To that he should have added that the Ontario government received from the Dominion government in subsidy grant and interest $1,504,038.44

making a total of $4,271,774.15. This does not include the revenue from fisheries, licenses, companies, succession duties, public institutions, and the revenue from many other sources ; so that the hon. gentleman (Hr. Oliver) was unfair to Ontario in making these comparisons. He told us that when -each of these new provinces has a population of 2,000,000 they will receive a revenue from the Dominion of $2,200,000. But they will not have their own Crown lands, their timber or their minerals, and they will have to resort to direct taxation. Hence it is that I claim that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) tried to create a wrong impression in the west when he made these statements.
In the west we will have three provincial governments, three ministries, three legislatures, three sets of departments, three judicial systems and three provincial subsidies, where two under each department would be plenty. We have too much government in Canada as it is now, and the idea of multiplying unnecessary governments should not be encouraged. However, Mr. Speaker, the Bill was presented for its second reading, and, in the interim the press, the pulpit, and the platforms of this country had been educating public opinion on the question, and the draughtsman of the Bill saw it was best to change the wording of this clause pertaining to education. This change in the education clause has had the desired effect of apparently bringing the party together again, but there has not been a man of them who has succeeded in explaining the difference between the amended and the original clauses.
The Minister of Agriculture and a number of others have been asked to explain to this House the difference between these clauses, but they have not been able even to attempt an explanation of them. Carlyle says : ' Men never for any length of time
deliberately rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against.' So with the people of Canada. If they did not feel that this Bill was an imposition upon their rights, they would not be rebelling against it as they are doing to-day. They do feel that the government are forcing legislation on those provinces that should not be forced upon them, and that they are perfectly justified in rebelling against that legislation. Some government members have said that the people of Ontario are intolerant on this question. 1 want to say to these hon. gentlemen that they do not know the people of Ontario when they speak of them as an intolerant people. The people of Ontario are a most tolerant people, a people who have readily and willingly and gladly given to the minority in years gone by practically everything they possess. The ministers from Ontario, Mr. Speaker, are not representing the people of that province on this question. The Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) came into my riding during the Mr. ARMSTRONG.
last election and undertook to tell the people of that part of the country how to vote, if that hon. gentleman would come into that riding to-day, he would find a very different reception from what he did when he last went there. The Acting Minister of Public-Works (Mr. Hyman) also came into my riding. If he were to consult his best interests he will stay at home and attend to that little seventeen which lie had better foster and care for or it will be blotted out of existence. What about the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) ? It has been my privilege to live twenty-three years of my life in the county of York, I know the feeling of the people there, and I know that the Postmaster General is not representing the people of his own riding or the people of the province of Ontario in taking the position he does to-day. Had these hon. gentlemen stood true to the principles they avowed in 1896, they would have compelled the right hon. the premier to eliminate the educational clauses from these Bills, snd thereby cement the bond between the races ; but, instead of that, they are abandoning provincial rights, and they are ready to brand those new provinces with educational clauses that will be a detriment to them for all time to come.
Mr. Speaker, we have before us the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition, which deserves our most earnest consideration. I will read it:
All the words after the word ' that ' to the end of the question be left out and the following substituted therefor :-
Upon the establishment of a province in the Northwest Territories of Canada as proposed by Bill (No. 69), the legislature of such province, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1886, is entitled to and should enjoy full powers of provincial self-government including power to exclusively make laws in relation to education.
I believe that this amendment is a just and a fair proposition to offset the proposed legislation of the government, and I am sorry indeed to have heard the hon. member for Colchester {Mr. Laurence) make the remark that the leader of the opposition did not display much courage in presenting that amendment. That hon. gentleman was not fair in that criticism, because no man has presented a more able and statesmanlike argument to this House than has the worthy leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition. Our leader's position on this question is like his position on all others, clear and statesmanlike. He stands by the constitution and by provincial rights, and his arguments have not been successfully refuted. He referred to many of the constitutional authorities, men like Blake, Clements, Sir Louis Davies, Christopher Robinson and the Hon. David Mills-all backing up his decis-

ion. And, Hr. Speaker, 1 am glad to be able to say that it is generally recognized, not only in this House, but throughout Canada, that there is no better constitutional authority in this country to-day than the worthy leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition in this House. Never a harsh or unpleasant rvord has passed his lips with reference to his Roman Catholic fellow-citizens or in reference to their schools. He stands on the rock of the constitution, and has surrounded it with such complete and masterly arguments that the volleys fired by this government only tend to make the rock on which he has builded shine out more clearly.
Then let us give these provinces home rule in the matter of education and lands. The inhabitants of these provinces are responsible men and women.-you can trust them. The Finance Minister said he could trust the people of Nova Scotia with reference to separate schools. Why can not he trust the people of these Northwest provinces ? This parliament has no mandate from the people to legislate for any denomination. The state should stand above and beyond that. We may all live to see the bulk of the population in Canada west of Winnipeg. Then, don't let us hamper the people of that growing country, or throttle their growth and development. The Northwest Territories have been up to this time in the position of wards of the nation ; hence the British North America Act separate school clause does not apply to them. They have had to abide by the regulations laid down for them by the Dominion government, having no relation to the British North America Act. When the Northwest Territories Act was passed, the people of that country had no say in the matter ; they had to obey the regulations made for them by this government. But when they arrived at the dignity of provinces, then they came from under the laws that applied to them as territories. When they are made provinces they should be given a free hand to make laws under the constitution, but this government are not allowing them this right.
It has also been argued by the member for North Ontario (Mr. Grant) that because the Territories carried out a law, in the making of which they had no voice re the law of 1875, this fact should be an argument to allow the federal government to pass an unconstitutional law, which aims at coercing the provinces into doing as their own Act, as independent provinces, what they were forced to do by the Act dictated to them by the Dominion government. Many of these facts have been before the House a number of times and may sound trite, but in spite of their triteness they need to be reiterated over and over again, so that this government may realize that they are not legislating for the best interests of the people of Canada when they are forcing I upon the new provinces the educational |
clauses of this Bill. One year after confederation the west was ours. Nineteen years later the great railway that opened up the country and is to a great extent responsible for its development, was built. The prosperity of this country to-day is largely due to the opening up of that country by the Conservative party in building the Canadian Pacific Railway. Another nineteen years and what were formerly wastes occupied by Indians and buffalo are ripe for the provincial status. We are proud of the men who laboured for Canada's march to the west. Those who bore the burden and faced the struggle of bygone years, are repaid by the present enterprise and national greatness that is springing up in that country. Don't let us hamper its growth, don't let us hinder its progress ; rather let us strengthen the tie that binds the east and the west, and Canada will go forward with leaps and bounds, to become the mighty nation she is intended tc become.
There are many of the government members who know in their hearts that they are doing wrong by supporting this Bill and forcing it upon the new provinces. They know they are voting against the wishes of a majority of their constituents, and they have not the manly courage to vote to defeat this Bill, when they know it is their duty to so vote. They look ahead praying that something may turn up before four years rolls by, that may relieve them from facing an angry and determined people. The party whip is held over them so they crouch behind the shattered rock. Is it strange that we should question the change of front of some of these men ? We are led to believe that they are looking to the rewards of the faithful. If the members from the west are supporting this measure, let us see what is dangling before them. Two lieutenaut governorships-a complete judical outfit, four new senators, and a mass of minor offices which are to be filled by the first cabinet which the first governor will select. There are plums innumerable in this proposition, and not many to enjoy them from this House, so there is a balm for wounded feeling in this matter for those who vote with the government. Hon. gentlemen opposite will no doubt come in and vote like machines, they remind me of those gentlemen who go out as tourists with Mr. Cook, they enjoy great security, because they are personally conducted.
Let me again say to the men who are fighting this Bill, our duty is plain. The government have lost every fort of vantage. They are shivering for fear of what the next day will bring them. They are striving to throttle the west, which to-day is helpless. Let us make the walls of this old Chamber ring as they have never rung before, and let the echoes ring throughout Canada until an indignant people demand

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justice at tlie hands of this parliament. Blackstone's theory is that the king represents power, the senators represent wisdom, and the eommouors represent good intentions. I can only say that the stand I take on this question before this House is taken because X believe I am in the right. We approach this subject with a certain amount of reluctance, but we would be weak men, men not worthy of being called Canadians w eie we to shirk our duties in big things or in little things, but especially a responsibility so great as the present one. Let us have a due regard for the honour and interest ot our mighty nation, and debate this subject in a broad and patriotic spirit. Let us not deceive ourselves as to the importance ot our task. I therefore urge on the government to be strong, to do what is right by the new provinces in education ; and if they do, they will support this amendment.
No matter how we vote on this question, we will be criticised and condemned or approved of : but if we are doing what we believe to be right we need not fear criticism. Canada possesses a large and ever increasing number of citizens who recognize that it is the duty of members of parliament not only to be faithful to their duties in this House, advocating what we believe to be right, fearlessly and conscientiously, but to have principles, and be not afraid to maintain them. Let us guard not only the resources of Canada, but let us guard her schools, and her education. Compromise in this measure is out of the question. Narrow politicians and papers may be satis-tied by it, but the people will not; it will not satisfy and settle the question. There is only one thing to do and that is to eliminate the clause as proposed by the leader of the opposition. Let Saskatchewan and Aiberta make their own laws with regard to education and work out their own destiny. The government would gladly seek refuge behind any weak subterfuge that may present itself. When ten years ago this same party were fighting for provincial rights, the people who are condemning them to-day were upholding them. In this land every important piece of legislation such as this turns on the will of the House of Commons, we are responsible to the people, and the people rule. If this body misconduct itself, we can refer the matter to the people and their decision will be final. Napoleon said that people grow old quickly on fields of battle. But my impression is that governments grow old more quickly in battle fields of parliaments. The present government is dying at the top, many of the strong men of this government have left it within the past few years, and weaker men have taken their places.
If we the men in opposition to the educational clauses are defeated in the amendment now before this House, all we can do is to say to the people of Canada : Forgive us ; we have done everything humanly pos-Mr. ARMSTRONG.
sible to convince the government of this-country of their responsibility to the people : fliey have ignored our protest, laughed at our fewness in number, taunted our weakness. The people returned this government to power with a mightly majority last November. They brought down this Bill, brow beat and lashed their followers into line, and to-day are practically ready to defy the majority of the people of Canada. We have appealed to their wisdom, we have apealed to their patriotism and their manly independence. These appeals have been flung to the winds, and to-day they stand ready to brand the great west for all generations, with what at best must be a running sore that will eat into its very vitals.
Mr. Speaker, I do not despair of my country. we are not at the mercy of any waves of chance. We may think our civilization is near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock crowing and the morning star. Let us then guard well our country's laws, guard well our rights and privileges, and let us all join in singing Canada our home, Canada the land we love the best. Let us look ahead not ten years, or twenty years, but fifty years, and see not five hundred thousand souls, or five million souls, but ten million souls, who will inhabit these boundless prairies for which the speech of England has no name.
I appeal to hon. members to vote for the amendment and carry it. Then will die sectarian strife in Canada, and we will go on forging out the great destiny for which we have been created. In the name of peace and harmony I beg of this government not to force this measure through the House in its present form, but to amend it as proposed by the leader of the opposition.
Again I appeal to every member of this House, on broad patriotic grounds of citizenship, to assist us in carrying this amendment. The greater half of this continent is ours, ours to build up, ours to maintain, ours to cement together with a bond of the races, ours to destroy. Let us not at the dawning of a greater Canada, hamper its growth, retard its progress, and 'blight its _ future. Let us build up its educational institutions, its industries, and its commerce, develop its mines, its woodlands, and its agriculture, and thus place her in the foremost race of the nations of the world.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY IN THE NORTHWEST.
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