David Wesley BOLE
BOLE, David Wesley
- Winnipeg (Manitoba)
- Birth Date
- February 15, 1856
- Deceased Date
- June 24, 1933
- newspaper editor, pharmacist
- November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
- LIBWinnipeg (Manitoba)
Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 7)
April 18, 1905
Clause SI provides for the compulsory education of the children of Catholic parents. Clause 90 provides that if the Lieutenant Governor in Council refuse to sanction a loan the Governor General may do so. Clause 110 provides for the establishment of a normal school in the town of St. Boniface. This Remedial Bill does not even give the legislature of Manitoba the option of locating a normal school. Now, Mr. Speaker, that was the issue.
April 18, 1905
Mr. Speaker, when you left the chair at six o'clock I was proceeding to give expression to the views which influence my opinion on the important subject which is engaging the attention of the House. My own position briefly stated is : that in view of the conflicting opinions expressed by eminent lawyers both inside and outside of the House with respect to the application of clause 93 and other clauses of the British North America Act, it is the duty of this parliament to interpret these clauses into the Bill, in line with the spirit of the constitution, and give to the new provinces a constitutional certainty without which it is impossible to expect satisfactory social and educational progress. What are the propositions now before the House ? We have in the first place the amended clause introduced by the right hon. the Prime Minister, confirming to the new provinces that system of education which is at present enjoyed by the people of the Territories. We have in the second place, the amendment of the leader of the opposition which provides that the people of the new provinces shall have a free hand subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the British North America Act. We have later on, the proposition in embryo of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Leighton McCarthy) which in effect is that the new provinces shall have unreservedly the right to legislate with respect to matters of education. I shall very briefly state my position with respect to these three propositions, and I shall give my reasons for approving of one and rejecting the others. In the first place, I claim that the amended clause as proposed by the leader of the government contains an element of certainty, is in line with the spirit of the constitution, and is acceptable to the great majority of the people of the Territories. On the other hand, the proposal of the leader of the opposition is not certain ; it invites litigation and it promises to have imposed upon the people of the new provinces by the courts a constitution with respect to educational matters which might tie the hands of the new provinces, thereby defeating the aim and purpose of that amendment. The third proposal made by the member for North Si.mcoe (Mr. L. G. McCarthy) is not yet crystallized in the shape of a resolution, but so far as I can understand it is objec-
tionable in that it makes an invidious distinction, not contemplated by and contrary to the spirit of the constitution.
Now, is the present system of schools in the Northwest Territories acceptable to the people ? I think it is. I feel that I am quite safe in stating that the present educational system in the Territories if continued would be acceptable to at least 90 per cent of the people there. I have some knowledge of the conditions as they exist. I lived many years in the Northwest Territories and just before I came to take my seat in the House, I made a trip through that country, so that I think I am able to speak with some little authority on the subject. Premier Haultain has told us that if he were dictator to-morrow he would continue in the new provinces the present system of schools, and that being so, is it not fair to assume that the present system is satisfactory to the people, else why should he or any other dictator impose upon the people a system to which they object. We have in addition the fact that two years ago the government of the Northwest Territories of their own accord sat down and framed an autonomy Hill, and that Bill contained the principle that the present system of schools should continue. Remember, that is two years ago, when it was impossible to anticipate the difference of opinion that now has arisen on the subject. It was at a time when the government of the Territories sat down with a cool head and I hope a patriotic heart to draft a constitution for their own people, and which I have no doubt they believed would be conducive to their ' continued happiness and prosperity. This is very fan-evidence that the system of schools at present in the Northwest Territories is not onlv satisfactory to the people, but that it is just exactly what they want. Again, the seven Liberal members in this House representing the Northwest Territories have expressed themselves as satisfied that the present school system should be continued in the new provinces, and I have not heard from the three Conservative members from the Northwest Territories the expression of any unfavourable opinion against that system. Of course, it may be said that members occupying a seat in this House have their political prejudices and that their opinion and their vote may be biased accordingly, but it is also true that the people who sent these representatives here have their own political prejudices and are biased when they cast their votes. Is it a fact that the seven Liberal members from the Territories do reflect the opinion of the people there ? I think they do I am somewhat acquainted with the condition of affairs as they exist in the Territories, and I am quite sure that 90 per cent of the inhabitants of that country, irrespective of party, are perfectly satisfied that the present "conditions should continue. The hon. * member for West Assiniboia quoted rather copi-
April 18, 1905
both inside and outside this House, expressing diametrically opposite views. But it is just this conflict of opinion amongst the lawyers which makes the situation so uncertain and which might cause the adoption of the amendment of the leader of the opposition to be the very worst blow that could be struck at the national school idea in the new provinces. If I understand Mr. Haultain and those who hold his views, the word ' union ' in clause 93 and the other clauses of the British North America Act of 1867 applies to the Territories when taken over by the Canadian government in 1870. If that opinion be good law, then the national school idea or any other idea which the legislatures of the new provinces might feel it their duty to enact would have full sway, because in 1870 there were no separate schools in the Territories to claim the protection of the British North America Act. But on the other hand, if the opinion expressed by other eminent lawyers, including my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), be good law and the word ' union ' applies to the provinces the day they are constituted as such, and if nevertheless the legislatures of the new provinces should refuse to establish separate schools, it is fair to assume that the courts, when appealed to by the minority, would compel them to do so. More than that the courts would be asked to decide the kind of separate schools-the minority are entitled to-whether the kind provided by the ordinance of the Northwest Territories in 1892; or the kind anticipated by the Northwest Territories Act of 1875, which were in vogue between 1884 and 1892. If the courts should decide in favour of the latter, the people of the Territories would for ever be tied to a system of separate schools of the extreme type, purely denominational, with every vestige of the national idea lost for ever. Are advocates of the national schools prepared to take that risk, for that is the risk they take by supporting the amendment of the leader of the opposition.
What is the difference between these two kinds of schools-the school they had in the Territories between 1884 and 1892 and the schools are there at present? All the members of this House have had before them the text of the Northwest Territories ordinance of 1S92, so that it is not necessary to explain in detail the school system now existing in the Territories. I may briefly say that the schools now in vogue are national in the full meaning of the word. A responsible minister is at their head, they are administered by a national council, they are inspected by a national inspector, they are taught by teachers qualified under national and common conditions, and use text books in common authorized by the national council. What else ? If a minority either Protestant or Catholic, are sufficiently strong to support a school out of their own taxes they may do so. For what purpose? In order that Mr. BOLE.
they may for half an hour each day teach religious subjects according to the faith that is within them. The schools then that are in the Territories to-day are national to the fullest extent of the meaning of that word. Is that a bad system ? Are we to be told by a Christian nation that that system is good except in this respect, that a half hour is given in the separate schools for religious exercise after the school hours are closed ?-I refuse to believe that this country will pronounce that system a good one save for this single exception. Are we to be told by a Christian nation that a system is good except that clause which provides for a half hour religious teaching each day ? I refuse to believe that neighbour will rise against neighbour and go to war over such a provision as this, and yet it is about this that all the agitation is aroused. You may talk about provincial rights until the end of the chapter, but provincial rights has only a remote and distorted connection with this agitation that is existing in the province of Ontario to-day. Mr. Speaker, I am here to-say that if it is a proper thing to have the name of God mentioned in our schools, if it is proper to supplement the religious teachings of the home and church with a Christian atmosphere in the school-room- and such a thing is declared proper by the leaders of all the churches-then the only practical way is to separate the children for this purpose. My hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Ames) quoted the other day the opinion of the late Dr. King, principal of the Manitoba college in favour of -teaching religion in the schools. He might also have quoted his successor Dr. Patrick, who is a strong advocate of religious exercises in our public schools. He might also have quoted the late Archbishop Macrae, primate of all Canada, who expressed very strong views on the same subject, and the leaders of the Methodist church in Manitoba. If then, it is right and proper to have the name of God mentioned and honoured in our public schools and a short time devoted to religious teaching, the only practical way in which you can do that is to separate the children. It is beyond the wisdom of mortals, it is impossible for human ingenuity to devise a common religious ground upon which all can stand. But we are told that if the children are separated in school, they will be separated as citizens in manhood and womanhood. There is no doubt some little truth in that statement; but if we carry this idea to a logical conclusion, we must close all our denominational colleges and seminaries. Are there half a dozen hon. members in this House who are not supporting voluntary separate schools ? I am at this-moment, so are others on the other side of the House-not alone for theological purposes but for purposes of secular education. We hear a good deal about the boys of separate schools meeting the boys of public schools after hours and arguing the subject
April 18, 1905
I have no doubt that it followed to a certain extent the Remedial Bill, extracts of which I have read. That was the issue before the people in 1896, and it Was upon that issue that the people were called upon to vote. I have stated that I have been asked by some of my constituents to remember the voice of the people in 1896. Now, what was the voice of my own province? The province of Manitoba, by a vote of 15,459 to 14,592, proclaimed that it was desirous that this party of provincial rights should impose upon the people of that country tbe Separate School Bill. By a majority of 967 the people of my province said that the government of that day should impose upon them this Bill which they bad rejected themselves. Should I listen to the voice of my own city of Winnipeg? Winnipeg, by a majority of 126 decided in favour of this Remedial Bill which provided for separate schools to the .province of Manitoba. Should I listen to tbe voice of Ontario ? I am not quite sure what the voice of Ontario^ was, because there were divers candidates in the field, but I will accept tbe statement made by the 'Mail and Empire' newspaper of Toronto. Their calculation is as follows: Conservatives majorities. 11,906; Liberal majorities, 11,843. In other words, tbe Protestant province of Ontario asked that separate schools should be imposed upon Manitoba by a majority of 63. But there were in that election Conservative independent candidates whose majorities amounted to 6,303. and McCarthyite independents whose majorities amounted to 1,554. So the Conservatives and Conservative independent majorities amounted to 18,209, while the Liberal and McCarthyite majorities amounted to 13,397. I am not quite sure that I am interpreting these figures correctly, I am simply giving the statement of the 'Mail and Empire,' and we know that it is not always right. But I understand that the Conservative independents when they came down to Ottawa to the parliament of 1896 immediately took their places in the Conservative caucus. So we find that the Conservative and Conservative independents had a clear majority of 4.812 over the Liberals and McCarthyites. That. Mr. Speaker, was tbe voice of the province of Ontario.
An lion. MEMBER. Would the hon. gentleman give us the figures of Quebec in that same general election.
April 18, 1905
The province of Quebec, that priest-ridden province, that intolerant province, declared by a majority of 3 or 4 to 1 that this Remedial Bill providing for separate schools along denominational lines should not be imposed upon the province, one of whose constituencies I have the honour to represent in this House. Then, Mr. Speaker, should I listen to the voice of Ontario? I heard my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) quote the other night, and he quoted with apparent joy, the remarks made by my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Sifton) when he was campaigning in the county of Haldimand in 1896, stating that the coat was the coat of a Conservative government, but the voice was the voice of the church. Now, Mr. Speaker, which shall I turn to, shall I touch the garment or shall I listen to the voice of the church? I will do neither,
I will accept the conditions just as I find them. I will look at all the surrounding circumstances of the case and will form my own conclusion.