Mr. D. W. BOLE (Winnipeg).
I desire, Mr. Sepaker. to engage the attention of the House a short time, and will preface my remarks by saying that I am very happy indeed to follow the hon. gentleman from' East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong), the riding of my birth, which I left 25 years ago in order to make my home in that great country of which we have heard so much the last few weeks. My hon. friend addressed himself most severely to some remarks by the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Laurence) regarding the position oc-
cupied by the bon. the leader of the opposition ; but it seems to me that if the bon. gentleman has so high an opinion of parliamentary ethics, as be would lead us to believe be lias, be would not have accused the western members of parting with their votes and influence in return for certain senatorships and lieutenant governorships and minor offices in connection with the organization of these western Territories into provinces.
My only excuse for taking the floor is to express a view with reference to the educational clauses of this Bill, which I do not think has been sufficiently emphasized on the floor of this House. 'My hon. friend from Colchester (Mr. Laurence) who spoke to-day, came the nearest to it. He did very nearly express my views with respect to this question.
But, before I engage the attention of the House with respect to the educational clauses, I should like to say a word or two with respect to the boundaries of these new provinces. When a proper time comes, when we take up the consideration of the various clauses in committee, I shall, perhaps, express my opinion on some of the other clauses of the Bill. But, with respect to the boundaries, I should like to state that my view is that the ideal division of tile western prairies is two provinces including the province of Manitoba. I think that while that is the ideal division of this western country, the opportunity to realize it was lost a good many years ago. I will also state that if it was possible to make a division now-which it is not, because there are vested rights there, and hon. gentlemen opposite who insist that these people who are living itn eastern Assiniboia should not have a choice of a province in which to live should not dictate to the people of the Northwest what kind of school system they will have-I say, if it were possible to have two provinces in the western country including the province of Manitoba, it would be desirable to move the boundaries down below to the 60th parallel.
I think the time is coming with that vast territory beyond the 56th or 57th parallel when it will be fitted for a new province. I do not agree with the opinion of certain gentlemen that the territory up there is useless territory. I regret that some of my hon. friends on this side of the House have expressed that view. This is not a true view according to my conviction. I am one of those who believe that the zone of production is moving very rapidly northward. In 1818, the United States government appointed a commission to inquire into the agricultural resources of Illinois. You would hardly believe it. Mr. Speaker, but that commission reported unfavourably on the agricultural resources of that great state. It is not more than twenty-five or thirty years since it was impossible to grow an ear of corn in the state of Min152
nesota. To-day, corn is one of the staples of that great state, as it is of the two Dakotas. At the present time, we in Manitoba are commencing to grow corn. And I believe the time will come when three or four hundred miles beyond the town of Edmonton they will be producing wheat profitably. I had the pleasure, a year ago, of listening to a very interesting address, in St. Paul, Minnesota, by a very eminent agricultural specialist of the United States. He stated that he had made a thorough examination of our great western country and was convinced that we have in that country both climate and soil conditions favourable to the profitable production of fall wheat two hundred miles north of the town of Edmonton. Therefore I think that if it had been possible to create two provinces in that western country and to have brought the boundary below the 60th parallel, it would have been the ideal division of that territory. But as I have already stated, the opportunity for that is past,-it is now impossible to realize that ideal. The people there do not want to go into the province of Manitoba. I regret that, because I think that Manitoba is not after all, a very bad province to live in.
Now, with respect to the boundaries of the province of Manitoba, I would like to state that that province has been very unfortunate indeed. In 1811, the old district of Assim-boia, which is now part of the province of Manitoba, contained within its borders a large tract of country below the 49th parallel of latitude. The International Commission appointed for the purpose of fixing the international boundary deprived us of certain territory down there. Many years afterwards, and some twenty years ago, the courts decided that we were not entitled to certain districts of territory east of our present boundaries, and the province of Ontario took from us through the courts about 75,000 square miles of territory. We were unfortunate also in having a government ruling the destinies of this country about twenty years ago who did not rise to the situation and extend the boundaries of the province of Manitoba westward. If that had been done, if the boundary could have been at about the location of the present city of Regina, and a new province made beyond that, we would have the ideal condition as to boundaries, I think. Now, while it is impossible, according to my view, to have the boundaries extended westward, there is a possibility, there is a certainty-
I feel quite sure in making the statement- that we shall have our boundaries extended northward. We have the right to this, if not the legal, certainly the moral right. In 1811, when the Hudson Bay Company ceded a certain district to Lord Selkirk-something like 94,000,000 acres of land-the settlers whom Lord Selkirk brought in at that time were guaranteed the perpetual right to use the waters of the Nelson river and the
TPort of Nelson for ingress and egress to and -from the markets of the world. That right.
I believe, has never been abrogated. That -territory was ceded back from the heirs of Lord Selkirk in 1836 or 1837 but there are no records that I am able to find of any abrogation of the rights of the people of the province of Manitoba to use the waters of the Nelson river and the Port of Nelson. I do not state that this is a legal right. Other citizens of the Dominion of Canada have a right to use these waters, but it gives us at least some moral claim to extension of territory to the north. And 1 am quite sure that, when the proper time comes, the government will seriously and favourably entertain the proposition of the province of Manitoba that we should have our boundaries extended northward.
Mr. Speaker, I have had a good many aetters-well, I will not say a good many, but I have had a few letters-from my constituency, the city of Winnipeg, with respect to the most important feature of the Bill now before the House. 1 have been told to listen to the voice of the people of '96. I have had two letters to that effect. I think I have had a resolution of the Right Rev. Grand Lodge of Western Ontario in somewhat similar form. Now, what is the voice of the people of '90 ? The issue before the people of Canada in 1896 was the Remedial Bill. We are all acquainted with the facts. I have made a summary of a few clauses of the Remedial Bill, which, perhaps, you will allow me to read-the whole is too long to be read here.
Section 1. The Lieutenant Governor in Council of the province of Manitoba shall appoint, to form and constitute a separate school hoard of education for the province, a certain number of persons not exceeding nine, all of whom shall be Roman Catholics.
2. If Lieutenant Governor fails to appoint, the Governor General shall do so.
3. Regulations for separate schools.
4. Board of education shall manage separate schools and authorize school books. Must approve plans for school houses and size of school grounds.
7. The Lieutenant Governor shall appoint superintendent of separate schools.
10. Municipalities cannot form new school districts without sanction of separate hoard of education.
16. Provides for election of separate school boards of trustees.
23. Provides for annual school assessment.
How money shall be disposed of.
If municipal council refuses to levy separate board of education may do so.
24. Subsection 8 provides that If municipal officers refuse to sell land for arrears of separate schools, then separate school board may do so.
28. Provides that no property of Roman Catholics shall be liable for taxes of national or tpublic schools if already taxed for separate schools.
29. Provides for equitable distribution of school funds by the legislature between public rand separate schools.
Topic: PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY IN THE NORTHWEST.