March 5, 1912 (12th Parliament, 1st Session)


Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)



Because my hon. friend (Mr. PeUetier) has not said anything. I understand that my hon. friend has a speech covering a ream of paper to prove his point. I shall be happy to hear him. But, in the meantime I stand within the lines of Torres Vedras. I shall speak when the time has come and then I shall not be backward at all.
But, with reference to the case, as we have it now before us, I beg to say that in my humble opinion, the government have approached this question, not from the point of view of principle, but from the point of view of expediency, and as is usual when expediency is substituted for principle, they have created new trouble for themselves and for the country. They

have brought into existence new difficulties which it will be more difficult to settle than the difficulties that they are now pretending to settle. They have failed to give to Manitoba that fair measure of justice to which Manitoba is entitled, they have failed to give to Ontario, the right to which Ontario thought she was entitled, they have opened the door to claims which are just and fair, and just as equitable as anything that is now to be found in this Bill, and, in my humble judgment, they have done more, they have violated some of the soundest principles of constitutional government as applied in this country. Therefore, for these reasons, I beg to move in amendment:
That this Bill be not now read a second time, but that-it be resolved, that while this House is favourable to the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba, it is of opinion that the terms under which it is proposed to make the said extension, as set forth in this Bill and in the order in council of the 20th February, 1912, are unfair and unjust both to the people of Manitoba as well as to the people of the other provinces of the Dominion.

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