April 25, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I would like to call the attention of the government to a press despatch which purports to set forth some observations from an hon. member of this House in the constituency of Mountain, province of Manitoba, where, I understand, an election for the provincial legislature is now in progress. The despatch, which is as follows, may be found in the Montreal ' Gazette ' of the 24th April :
Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 23-(Special).- From a despatch received from Belmont in Mountain constituency, it would appear that Manitoba's boundaries are settled. In a speech at that place on Friday night, S. J. Jackson, M.P., for Selkirk, announced the new boundary lines, the following is an extract from the despatch : '
Mr. Jackson Is the first of the Dominion parliament members to take part in thp campaign in Mountain, and to-night he informed the electors that before the Roblin government took action for the boundary extension, Mani-Mr. TAYLOR.
toba. Saskatchewan and Ontario members had discussed the matter, and had arrived at a basis of agreement, which, though informal, embraces beyond all doubt, a basis of settlement on which the matter will be arranged. The enlarged province will then have a greater area than the new province of Alberta. The new province of Saskatchewan is to be increased in area by adding territory between the 60th parallel of latitude, and the Churchill river. With this addition its area will be about 275,000 square miles, and that of Manitoba will be about the same. [DOT]
Manitoba's western boundary will be as at present, except that it will continue straight north until the Churchill river is reached. The boundary will follow the course of that stream to its mouth, and continue down the coast line of Hudson bay until the mouth of Wenisk river is reached. It will ascend that stream to Wenisk lake and continue south through Lans-downe lake to Fishing lake, which is on the boundary of Ontario, and which will be the boundary for Manitoba until the 49th parallel is reached. That portion as delineated for the boundary award, Keewatin, lying between Wenisk river and James bay, is to he given to Ontario, which will thus have a deep water port on Hudson hay. By this arrangement Saskatchewan will have a Hudson bay port at Fort Churchill, and Manitoba will also have the use of this, the boundary line being the middle line of the river. In addition to this Fort York wil! also be in Manitoba's territory, and several other harbours south and east of this, while Ontario will get what that province has so long desired, a deep water port on Hudson bay.
' This arrangement is satisfactory to all parties,' said Mr. Jackson, * and as soon as the Autonomy Bills are disposed of, and the matter is taken up by Dominion government this will be the settlement arrived at.'
I thought it advisable to bring this despatch to the attention of the government, because it is unusual to have an announcement of this character made by a private member of parliament, more particularly when parliament is in session. If Mr. Jackson is well informed, it seems to me the proper course would have been for the First Minister or some other member of the administration, having particular charge of matters of this character, to make the announcement in parliament. For that reason, I venture to inquire whether or not Mr. Jackson's statement is well founded ; and if so, why is it that the government has seen fit to have the communication made to the people in this informal way ?

Full View