David Wesley BOLE

BOLE, David Wesley

Personal Data

Winnipeg (Manitoba)
Birth Date
February 15, 1856
Deceased Date
June 24, 1933
newspaper editor, pharmacist

Parliamentary Career

November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Winnipeg (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.

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April 18, 1905

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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