637 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
    1. when speaking of the school question, I would not vote for a Constitution which would not confer on the Catholics of Upper Canada the same advantages as are possessed by the Protestants of Lower Canada, and I consider that this is a matter that should be settled before taking a vote on the resolutions, for when Confederation is once voted it may easily happen that we shall not be able to obtain what is promised us now.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. The 29th section of the scheme submitted to us says : ” The Federal Parliament shall have the power of making laws for the peace, the well-being, and the good government of the Confederate provinces, and in particular in respect of the following matters.” The powers of the Federal Government will be in reality unlimited. The fact of the enumeration of these thirty-seven heads does not in the least restrain the power of the Federal Government from legislating on everything. The exceptions are few. I would ask the Honorable Premier, for instance, whether the Federal Government has not the power to enact that marriage is a civil contract ? He cannot deny it, and I do not believe that that clause will in any way suit Lower Canada. In a matter of divorce, I consider that the power of legislating upon it ought to be vested in the Federal Government ; but as to the passing of a marriage act, we have the authority of the past to convince us that Lower Canada will never be satisfied with what is proposed in the plan of Confederation. On a former occasion, when a member of the Parliament of Canada moved to enact that marriage should be made a civil contract, all the members for Lower Canada voted against the motion, and the whole country was opposed to it. I shall also inquire whether the Federal Government will not have the right to enact that religious corporations shall no longer exist in the country, or that they shall not be allowed to hold real property, except what is absolutely necessary for their lodging accommodation. According to the resolutions which have been submitted to us, the Federal Government would certainly have this right. It has been said that article 15 of the 43rd resolution replies to this objection, but I can see nothing in that article which restricts the right of the Federal Government to legislate on this matter. The 43rd resolution defines the powers of the local governments, and article 15 of that resolution declares that they may make laws respecting ” property and civil rights, excepting those portions thereof assigned to the General Parliament.” That article reserves to the local legislatures nothing relative to religious corporations, and the Federal Government would have full power to decree that those corporations shall not hold immovable property. The supreme power is that which has the right to legislate upon, and regulate the existence of, the corporations in question, and they can only possess civil rights so long as the Government permits them to exist. The same might be said of most of the institutions to which Lower Canada is attached. I am therefore right in saying that, so far as those things which Lower Canada most holds to are concerned, Confederation is in fact a Legislative union, because upon the Federal Government is conferred the right of legislating upon those subjects which Lower Canada holds most dear.

      Preamble and §§.91(26)(29), 92(11)(12)(13), and 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. I think that if, with the retaining these electoral divisions the elective principle was also retained, the French population of Lower Canada would also find in it their protection. For then each division would be free to choose for its representative in the Federal Legislative Council a man attached to the institutions of Lower Canada, while, in giving the nomination of the legislative councillors to the Federal power, the latter would be at liberty to choose whomsoever it thought proper, and, unfortunately — a circumstance which I do not anticipate, but which may occur — the General Government, when formed, might be surrounded by coteries inimical to Lower Canada interests, and be led by them to choose members for the Legislative Council hostile to the views of Lower Canada. I consider, therefore, an elective Legislative Council in the Confederation as essential to the interests of Lower Canada.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. No, my constituents never gave me this right, nor was any elected member entrusted with it, and whoever assume to vote away the liberties of the people in this manner, betray their mandate. If it was desired that the people should surrender this right they should have been informed of such desire in good time, so that they might have considered the question ; but without warning them, or consulting them, this most highly-prized principle was bartered away to the Lower Provinces for a Confederation which could not last.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. I do not wish, however, to see the local governments crushed under a great central power, and I am sure the people cannot wish, and do not wish, to give up the principle of election in respect of this House. They had fought too long for the privilege to do that

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. I was not sent here to assist in doing any such thing, and am not aware that there has been any evidence of a desire in the country for a return to the old mode of appointment by the Crown. I am not aware of one complaint, or of any dissatisfaction whatever with the present constitution of the Legislative Council, and I therefore regard it as not a little strange that a few gentlemen, without mission or warrant, should have devised such a change, and should be trying to press it upon the Legislature and the country.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. be more disposed to stretch its prerogatives and to trench upon the domain of the local governments than to narrow down and retain its authority. The scheme then, in my opinion, is defective in that it inverts this order and gives to the General Government too much power and to the local governments too little. As it is now, if the scheme goes into operation, tlie local governments will be in danger of being crushed (écrasés) by the General Government. The tendency of the whole scheme seems to be one of political retrogression instead of advancement.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. My opinion is, that as much power as possible should have been entrusted to the local governments, and as little as is consistent with the functions it will have to discharge to the Central Government, and my reason for entertaining this opinion is, that the Supreme Government, with its power of purse and its control of the armies, will always

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    9. HON. MR. MCCREA—Does the honorable member from Grandville not remember the increase of members in the representation of the other House, in 1853, and the amendment of the constitution of this House in 1856, the very question I am now debating ? Surely these measures were amendments of that act, and who knows but under the new Constitutional Act—the favorite measure of my honorable friend—the election of members of this House, may not again be resorted to, if the nominative principle shall not be found to work well ? But let us examine for a moment what the amendment of my honorable friend from Wellington is intended to effect. It will be seen by referring to the amendment itself, that the honorable gentleman proposes that the members of this House from Canada and from the Maritime Provinces shall have a different origin or, as it were, a different parentage, elected by the people with us, and appointed by the Crown from the eastern provinces. I take it that it is very desirable that in whatever way the members of this House may be chosen, there should be uniformity in the system. By the honorable gentleman’s plan we shall have one-third of the members from below representing the Crown, and two-thirds from above, representing the people ; a curious sort of incongruity which I think should by all means be avoided. I may be answered that our present House is constituted in that very way ; but honorable gentlemen must remember that the life member» are not the sole representatives of any particular section of the province, but are chosen indiscriminately from all parts of the province. This is not likely to lead to a sectional collision like the scheme of my honorable friend, and be sides that, the appointment of life members in this House is not to be continued after the seats of the present members shall have become vacant from any cause whatever. I think the scheme of my honorable friend the most objectionable of all.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    10. they honored me with this seat. I admit that the proposed system is not the same as the old one, because it limits the numbers, and to this limitation I have the most serious objections ; but I am not going to hazard the success of the union scheme, as I sincerely believe I would, by voting for the amendment, but I shall take it as it is, with the hope and belief that in the new Parliament, when the union is consummated, the constitution of this House may be set right.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    11. They hold that the elective principle applied to this branch of Parliament gives too much power to the people, while I, on the other hand, argue that they have not by it as quick and as sharp a remedy against a stubborn Council as they had under the system of nomination. The great beauty of the old system was the promptness with which at the critical moment it could be brought to bear, and the history of its operations, both in this country and in England, clearly shows its superiority. My honorable friend from the division of King has cited the case of the greatest commoner of England, the celebrated WILLIAM PITT, having appointed so many members to the House of Lords within the first few months of his ministerial career. Did not PITT at that time command the confidence of the people of England? Does not my honorable friend know, if he has read the history of those times, that this great statesman steadily refused to accept office until he saw that public opinion was ripe for his schemes ? And was not PITT, at the commencement of his parliamentary career, the great advocate of parliamentary reform ? It is true that subsequent causes, over which he had no control, led him to pursue a very different course. What if at the times of tlie achievements by the people of those two great victories of civil and religious liberty in England, I mean Catholic emancipation and the passage of the Reform Bill, the Crown, through its ministers responsible to the House of Commons and the English nation, had not had power to coerce the Lords into consent, but had been obliged to wait for two years for the doubtful issue of a certain number of elections. Such have been my opinions with regard to the comparative merits of the nominative and elective principles as applied to this House, and I have not hesitated to express them among my constituents, both before and since

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    12. resolutions of the 3rd September, 1841, at Kingston, established the true British principle of responsible government, and I maintain that since that time the people never demanded that this House should be made elective.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    13. The amendment brings up the question of members being appointed for life by the Crown, or elected for a term of years by the people. I am among those of the reform party who think that making the members of this House elective was a step in the wrong direction; and though I am free to admit that but for the elective principle having been applied to this House, I should never have had the honor of a seat within its walls, yet I am prepared to re-affirm that opinion on the floor of this House by my voting, as I shall do, against this amendment of my honorable friend from Wellington, and to sanction a return to the nomination of members for life by the Crown, under the advice of Ministers responsible to the people through the Legislative Assembly. I deny that the extension of the elective principle to this House was ever sought for, or petitioned for by the people at the time of its consummation. It is quite true, honorable gentlemen, that before the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and during the palmy days of the Family Compact and the irresponsibility of the Government, when the Assembly had no control over the Executive, except by stopping the supplies, the Legislative Council was chosen for the mere purpose of opposing the public will, and they did it most effectually.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    14. Some honorable gentlemen have urged that the people should not elect their representatives to the Upper House, because it involves a very great expense on the part of the elected, and because they cannot judge who is worthy of their confidence so well as the Government of the day. Now, I argue that if the people are unfit to choose members of this House, they are unfit to choose members of the other House too. If three counties united are not able to make a good selection, how can one-third part of that constituency make a good one ? And with regard to the corrupt influences that may be brought to bear, will it be for a moment said that a large constituency of three counties can be as easily corrupted as a constituency composed of only one county ? I think not. I think a more independent vote is brought to bear on the election of a member of the Upper House than of the Lower. Yet the members of the Lower House want to assume the power of dictating who shall compose the Legislative Council.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    15. than their transitory impulses. But this advantage -would be wholly lost if the whole body were chosen or could be removed under the influence of such an impulse. The first of these dangers is obviated (or intended to be so) by providing that half only of the Council shall be elected at one time. The second, by giving to each Councillor a fixed tenure of office, independent of any popular or governmental influence. Thus, it will be seen, lie would place the Council out of the reach of Government, while they should be under the influence of the settled convictions of the people and not their mere transitory impulse. He would have them elected by a conservative body of electors. The next clause of the instructions runs thus :— In Prince Edward Island, I would enforce a tolerably high property qualification in the case of the electors, but of the candidate I would only require that he should be a British subject, resident in the colony, and thirty years of age.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    16. Nor do I think it any way objectionable, but the contrary, that the Council (as in Canada, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania) be incapable of being dissolved by the Governor. An Upper Chamber is valuable as an element of stability, and the principal value of an elective Upper Chamber I conceive to be this,—that while in virtue of its elective character, it may claim equally with the Assembly to speak the voice of the community, it may yet be so composed as to reflect their settled wishes and principles rather

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    17. HON. MR. REESOR—Well, there it is. The honorable gentleman acknowledges his determination to reward his political supporters. Is this the way to obtain an independent branch of the Legislature, one that will operate as a wholesome check on hasty legislation? Those who receive favors from a political party are not likely to turn their backs upon that party. I think we are not likely, under any circumstances, to have a more independent House under the proposed system than we now have, or one which will better advance the interests of the country. If you wish to raise the elective franchise, for elections to the Upper House—if you would confine their election to voters on real estate of $400 assessed value, and tenants holding a lease-hold of $100 annual value, and thus place these elections out of the reach of a mere money influence that may sometimes operate upon the masses—if you think this body is not sufficiently conservative—let them be elected by a more conservative portion of the community— that portion which has the greatest stake in the community—but do not strike out the elective principle altogether.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    18. HON. MR. CAMPBELL—Does the honorable gentleman suppose that the members of this House will owe their nomination to the political services they can render in this House ? HON. MR. REESOR—Not solely, but rather to their political services at elections and otherwise, before their nomination. The honorable gentleman will remember a certain little domestic arrangement he made on the other side of the House, while in opposition, in which he had many warm friends. Does he expect to forget those ?

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    19. their views were sometimes warped by circumstances. Looking across the ocean, my honorable friend will remember that during the Administration of WILLIAM PITT, who wielded almost the sole control of Parliament in England for seventeen years, he appointed, during this period, 140 members to the House of Lords, subservient to his own wishes and intent on carrying out his views. I will just read to this House a short extract relating to him, written by a man capable of judging. In MAY’S Constitutional History we read :— When Mr. PITT had been eight years in power he had created between sixty and seventy Peers, the greater part of whom owed their elevation to the parliamentary support they had themselves given to the Ministry, or to their influence in returning members to the House of Commons.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    20. the government of the day is particular in appointing those who are political friends of their own, and have aided them either at elections or in ways which may not be very creditable.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    21. in conformity, we are told, with the desire of the Lower Provinces. But we must look a little further than this. If you canvass the views of the honorable gentlemen who represented this province at the great Confederation meeting, you will find that most of them were inclined beforehand to concur in the views of the representatives of the eastern provinces, for they have always entertained views in opposition to the elective principle as applied to this House. They acted quite consistently, but it does not follow that they are right in making this change. We know that in former times, when our Legislative Council was nominated by the Crown, difficulties did arise. In old times, bills passed by the Assembly were thrown out almost by the hundred.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    22. Leaving this question of trade, we come to the consideration of the constitution of this House. Now, no one has petitioned against the continuance of the elective system —no one has complained that it does not work satisfactorily. We do not see that many of the elected members are so very much inferior to the nominated members of this House— there has been no serious ground for fearing a dead-lock—yet there is to be a change in the constitution of the Legislative Council,

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    23. If they are to buy our produce, there must be some pecuniary inducement, for they will not give us half a dollar a barrel more because the flour comes from Upper Canada ; and what that inducement is to be I fail to understand, unless it be the effect of a heavy customs duty on foreign breadstuff’s. As the channel of trade now is, the Lower Provinces can buy their flour cheaper in Boston and New York than in Canada, and would it be right to compel their people to take our produce at a greater cost than they can purchase elsewhere ? It has been said that they consume $4,000,000 worth of breadstuff’s in a year, and many other articles that might be produced or manufactured in great part in Canada, and is it likely the 60,000 fishermen of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will consent to have a duty of 20 per cent., or any other high duty imposed on breadstuff’s, for the sole purpose of driving them out of the American and into the Canadian markets ?

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    24. satisfied, unless we handed over to the Federal Government our public works.

      §.108 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    25. The countries to be benefited by the Intercolonial Railway are New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but especially the former. In that province there is an extensive wilderness, with some valuable timber limits, if not much farming land, through which this road will have to pass, and every acre of land within twenty or thirty miles of the road will be largely increased in value. New Brunswick would gain that advantage, while as for Nova Scotia, Halifax, its chief port, will be made an outlet by the construction of the line, and will of course be largely benefited, so that they were only proposing what was fair and equitable ; but in coming down with a scheme which involves us in twice as great an expenditure as was formerly contemplated, they seem not to have been

      §.108 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    26. in regard to the export duty on the lumber of New Brunswick, is it to be applied, as I understand it, to the local revenue of that province ? Then, as to the stumpage duty on that portion of the Crown domain appertaining to Lower Canada, is that to be applied to the purposes of the Local Government of Lower Canada ?

      §§.121 and 124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. HON. MR. REESOR—There are several other provisions in the proposed Constitution which seem to be ambiguous in their meaning, and before discussion upon them it would be well to have them fully explained. In the eleventh clause of the twenty-ninth resolution, for instance, it is declared that the General Parliament shall have power to make laws respecting ” all such works as shall, although lying wholly within any province, be specially declared by the acts authorizing them to be for the general advantage.” It would appear from this, that works like the Welland canal, which yield a very large revenue, will be given over to the General Government; and this being the case, surely this is a sufficient setoff, five times over, for the railways given by New Brunswick, without the annual subsidy proposed to be given to that province of $63,000. HON. MR. MACPHERSON—The cost of these works forms part of the public debt of Canada, which is to be borne in part by the Lower Provinces under the Confederation. HON. MR. CAMPBELL—The honorable gentleman will see that there are some works which, although local in their geographical position, are general in their character and results. Such works become the property of the General Government. The Welland canal is one of them, because, although it is local in its position, it is a work in which the whole country is interested, as the chief means of water communication between the western lakes and the sea. Other works, in the Lower Provinces, may be of the same character, and it is not safe to say that because a certain work lies wholly in one province, it is not to belong to the General Government. HON. MR. REESOR—I do not object to the General Government having the control of these works. It is, I believe, a wise provision to place them under such control. But I do say that it is unfair that an express stipulation should be made to pay one province a large sum per annum for certain works, while, at the same time, we throw in our public works, such as the Welland and St. Lawrence canals, without any consideration whatever. This, I think, is paying quite too much for the whistle. Then the answer of the Commissioner of Crown Lands about the export duty on minerals in Nova Scotia is not at all satisfactory. Whatever dues may be levied on minerals in Canada—and Canada, although it may contain no coal, is rich in gold, silver, copper, iron, and other ores—in the shape of a royalty or otherwise, go to the General Government, while in Nova Scotia they accrue for the benefit of the Local Government. HON. MR. ROSS—NO, they will not go to the General Government. HON. MR. REESOR—Well, there is nothing to the contrary in the resolutions, and you may depend upon it that whatever revenues the General Government may claim, under the proposed Constitution, will be fully insisted upon.

      §.92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. not in name alone. I should like to be fully informed as to whether an export duty is to be levied on coal in Nova Scotia, no matter whether it is intended for another part of the Confederation or for a foreign country. HON. MR. CAMPBELL—The royalty collected on coal in Nova Scotia is similar to the stumpage duty on timber in Canada, which is paid no matter where the timber is exported to. It may well be, therefore, that when coal is exported from Nova Scotia to another province it will contribute to the revenues of the Local Government of Nova Scotia.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. HON. MR. ROSS—As to the export duty on coal from Nova Scotia, it appears from the resolutions that the equivalent given to Upper Canada for this revenue is the duty on Crown timber. HON. MR. SIMPSON—Well, what about the fishery dues given to the Lower Provinces ? HON. MR. ROSS—We will have that by and by. I am only answering one question now. It is in lieu of the duty we levy on timber, and known as ” stumpage dues,” that Nova Scotia is allowed to levy an export duty on coal. The honorable gentleman shakes his head, but it is a fact. HON. MR. SIMPSON—It is not on the stump that we levy dues, but as the hewn timber passes through the slides. HON. MR. ROSS—Well, it is not an export duty at any rate ; but in New Brunswick it pays a duty when exported, either as sawlogs or square timber. In both cases it pays a duty to the Local Government, and it only seems reasonable that Nova Scotia should enjoy a revenue from her coal wherever it goes. (Hear, hear.) HON. MR. MOORE—If the coal were exported to a foreign country, then I could understand why a duty should be imposed, but when a ship is laden in one port of the Confederation, with coal, for another port in the same country, it does not appear much like a free Confederation if an export duty is levied upon the ergo. (Hear, hear.) There would seem, then, to be a distinction—a preference for one portion over another—within the limits of the Confederation. If we are to have a union, I hope we shall have it in fact and

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. HON. MR. SIMPSON—I would like to ask the Commissioner of Crown Lands whether, supposing I sent a vessel from Montreal with flour to a lower port, and it returned with a cargo of coal, there would be an export duty upon it in Nova Scotia ? HON. MR. CAMPBELL—I am not aware that there would be, but upon this point I speak under correction. That is a question which, if the honorable gentleman desires explicit information, I would like to reserve for a future occasion. If questions are put, not to embarrass the passage of the scheme before the House, but to elicit information on particular points, I shall prepare myself to answer them as fully as possible. (Hear, hear.) I am sure, however, no honorable gentleman would put questions with a view of embarrassing the subject, but simply to obtain information on certain points.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. The House understands, of course, that the Crown lands of the provinces are retained under the Confederation scheme by each individual province. It was found necessary that they should be retained in order to provide each province with the required funds to carry on the local government. In the province of New Brunswick the duties that are levied in Canada as “stumpage dues” on cutting down timber, are not levied in the woods but collected at the ports as export duties, this being in that province a more convenient and less expensive mode of obtaining revenue from the timber trade. Now, the honorable gentleman will see that if we do not allow the Local Government in New Brunswick to collect these dues in this way, the revenue which is derived in Canada from ” stumpage dues,” would be lost to New Brunswick. That is the reason why the exception he refers to was made. In the same way, with reference to Nova Scotia, was allowed the royalty on coal, that is the percentage of the product of the mines reserved for the use of the Government, which is collected as a duty out the export of the article. There also the export duty is reserved as a source of revenue to the Local Government, it being necessary in both cases that they should have the advantage of their territorial revenue in the same way as the local governments in Canada, which will collect the same revenue in a different way. At the first glance it may seem that this clause gives especial advantages to the Lower Provinces not conferred upon the local governments here, but this is not the case.

      §.124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. coal and other minerals.” That, it appears to me, is leaving very valuable material to be subject to taxation by these local governments, for they comprise a very large proportion of the exports of the country. This is giving a great preference to the eastern provinces in regard to powers of taxation.

      §.124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. HON. MR. REESOR—As no one has taken the floor to continue the debate, I beg to enquire of the Honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands why it is that certain export duties are allowed under this scheme to be collected by the local governments in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but which in Canada are collected by the General Government ? It is part of the forty-third resolution, which reads:—”The local legislatures shall have power to make laws respecting the following subjects: Direct taxation, and in New Brunswick the imposition of duties on the export of timber, logs, masts, spars, deals and sawn lumber; and in Nova Scotia, of

      §.124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. HON. MR. AIKINS—The honorable gentleman says they will have the power, through their representatives, to make their appointments. Well, after reading the fourteenth resolution, it does appear to me that, after the first election of the Chamber, the people will have nothing at all to do with it. (Hear, hear.) The honorable gentleman says, however, that the representatives of the people will have the power of making these appointments. Who are the representatives of the people he refers to? The members of the Government, who will have this power ; or, in other words, the Crown will make the appointments. Hon. MR. MACPHERSON—With the advice of the representatives of the people. HON. MR. AIKINS—Yes, undoubtedly; but the people, nevertheless, will have nothing at all to do with the matter ; we advert again, in fact, to the old principle when the Crown made all the appointments. (Hear, hear.) Now, with regard to this question, I feel myself in this position, that although I may be in favour of the Crown making these appointments— upon which principle I express no opinion at this moment—if I voted for these resolutions I would give a vote, and every member of this House would give a vote, by which they would give themselves seats in this House as long as Providence thought fit to let them main. (Hear, hear.) I came here, honorable gentlemen, to conserve certain interests, to represent certain classes, and to reflect the views of those who sent me here so far as they accorded with my own judgment. But they did not send me here to change the Constitution under which I was appointed, and to sweep away at one dash the privileges they possess, one of which is, to give a seat in this House to him in whom they have confidence. It does not appear right to me that the members of this House should declare, by their own votes, that we shall remain here for all time to come. (Hear, hear.) The reasons given for the proposed change are various, and to some extent conflicting. We find one member of the Government telling us that it is because the Maritime Provinces are opposed to an elective Chamber, and hence we in Canada—the largest community and the most influential—give way to them, and set aside a principle that was solemnly adopted here, and so far has worked without prejudice to our interests. We find another gentleman, who, when the question came up years ago, Strongly opposed the elective principle, quite as strongly opposes it now, because since then certain municipalities have borrowed more than they are able to pay ! These are somewhat extraordinary reasons, and I trust the House will give them their due weight. I think, honorable gentlemen, that prior to the proposed change taking place, we ought not to declare by our own votes that we are entitled to permanent seats in this House,— without, at any rate, knowing whether the people consent to it or not ; and I do not think I am wrong in using this line of argument, when we have reason to believe that, even if the Crown-appointed members remain here, a large number of the elected members will also remain.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    9. presenting the people in the other House—the change does not amount to disfranchisement. (Hear, hear.)

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    10. Then, with regard to the Constitution of this Chamber, the honorable gentleman who has just taken his seat (Hon. Mr. BOULTON), and who comes from Cobourg, has indulged in a general attack upon the elective system, because, forsooth, several municipalities throughout the country have borrowed largely from the Loan Fund, and because the money they so borrowed has not been properly invested. He argues from this that the principle of election by the people should be done away with in this House. It does appear strange that any hon. gentlemen should take the narrow and contracted ground that this Chamber should be appointed by the Crown, because certain loans have not been properly distributed by municipal bodies —especially strange that an honorable gentleman should take it who represents a municipality that is very heavily in arrears to the Loan Fund. HON. MR. BOULTON—I did not allude to the town of Cobourg at all, but to other municipalities, where the councils squandered the money borrowed from the Loan Fund and put large sums of it into their own pockets. Cobourg expended the money properly in connection with a great public work, and acted honestly, uprightly and properly in the matter. HON. MR. AIKINS—Well, I do not see why a good thing should be put past the honorable gentleman himself; and when he indulges in an attack upon the elective system, because certain municipalities have failed to meet their obligations, I do not see why I should not point out that Cobourg is a defaulter to a large amount. The honorable member from the Saugeen Division argues that the appointment of members of this House by the Crown is not a disfranchisement of the people. HON. MR. MACPHERSON—The honorable gentleman is mistaken. What I said was that, inasmuch as the appointments are to be made in the way that has been described— that is, on the nomination of gentleman re-

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    11. If the Honorable Premier had shown that the proposed union would in reality give us strength, and place us in a position to improve our defences, then I would admit he had made a good case.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    12. would be productive of two special advantages to Canada ;—they would give us strength and durability, and at the same time settle the difficulties under which the province has labored for some years.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    13. in favor of the principle of the resolutions ; in other words, of a Confederation of Canada and the Lower Provinces, but I do not believe they are in favor of all the details of the project.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    14. He hoped that there would be a great revolution in the state of things before long, and that we would profit largely by it.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    15. It was really melancholy that there should have been so little commercial intercourse between us and those provinces.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    16. A good deal has been said about a possible dead-lock between this House and the other House, but there has been little of that in past times, and nothing of a serious nature. If, however, the amendment passes, I can imagine a dead-lock which might be extremely prejudicial to this House —prejudicial to its influence in the country ; nay, almost destructive of it. Suppose these resolutions to be carried in the other House by a large majority, which I have little doubt will be the case, and we carry an amendment here—suppose all the legislatures of the Lower Provinces adopt the resolutions, and this House stands alone in rejecting them— do you believe the British Parliament will be turned aside from what it believes to be the best interests of British America by the action of this House ? I can imagine a dead-lock occurring then, and one in consequence of which the opinion of this House might be set aside and its vote disregarded.

      §§.24 and 26 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    17. The liberal and reform party of Upper Canada were all opposed to it. It is well known that the late Hon. ROBERT BALDWIN, so many years the leader of that party, was always opposed to the change.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    18. I went on to say, with respect to the proposed change in the constitution of this House, that I did not look upon it as a disfranchisement of the electors, although the nominative was to be substituted for the elective principle, because while the nomination was not to be made by the people directly, it was to be made on the recommendation of their representatives in the other House of Parliament,—in fact in a manner analogous to the mode adopted for selecting the Senate of the United States— two senators being elected by the Legislature of each state. In our case the monarchical principle was strictly preserved, and the Legislative Council was to be appointed by the Crown, on the advice of the Government of the day. If I viewed it as a measure of disfranchisement, then, looking at my obligation to maintain the franchise of the people, I should have more hesitation in voting for it.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. It is a principle that runs through all the history of civilization in one form or another, and exists alike in monarchies and democracies; and having adopted it as the principle of our future government, there were only the details to arrange and agree upon. Those details are before you.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. The principle of Federation is a generous principle. It is a principle that gives men local duties to discharge, and invests them at the same time with general supervision, that excites a healthy sense of responsibility and comprehension. It is a principle that has produced a wise and true spirit of statesmanship in all countries in which it has ever been applied. It is a principle eminently favorable to liberty, because local affairs are left to be dealt with by local bodies and cannot be interfered with by those who have no local interest in them, while matters of a general character are left exclusively to a general government. It is a principle coincident with every government that ever gave extended and important services to a country, because all governments have been more or less confederations in their character.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. And one of the foremost statesmen in England, distinguished alike in politics and literature, has declared, as the President of the Council informed us, that we have combined the best parts of the British and the American systems of government, and this opinion was deliberately formed at a distance, without prejudice, and expressed without interested motives of any description. (Hear, hear.) We have, in relation to the head of the Government, in relation to the judiciary, in relation to the second chamber of the Legislature, in relation to the financial responsibility of the General Government, and in relation to the public officials whose tenure of office is during good behaviour, instead of at the caprice of a party—in all these respects we have adopted the British system

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. the main question is the due distribution of powers

      §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. Alter it, and we know at once what you mean—you thereby declare yourselves anti-unionists.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. I believe the Imperial Government has in certain cases, such as the Reciprocity Treaty, conceded to these provinces the right of coaction ; and in this case there is the Imperial Despatch of 1862 to Lord MULGRAVE, Governor of Nova Scotia, distinctly authorizing the public men of the colonies to confer with each other on the subject of union, and writing them to submit the result of their conferences to the Imperial Government.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. But if any one for a moment will remember that the trade of the whole front of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia gravitates at present along-shore to Portland and Boston, while the trade of Upper Canada, west of Kingston, has long gravitated across the lakes to New York, he will see, I think, that a mere Zollverein treaty without a strong political end to serve, and some political power at its back, would be, in our new circumstances, merely waste paper. (Hear, hear.) The charge that we have not gone far enough—that we have not struck out boldly for a consolidated union, instead of a union with reserved local jurisdictions, is another charge which deserves some notice.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. My hon. friend the Finance Minister mentioned the other evening several strong motives for union—free access to the sea, an extended market, breaking down of hostile tariffs, a more diversified field for labor and capital, our enhanced credit with England, and our greater effectiveness when united for assistance in time of danger.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. On the whole he conceived that entrusting such power to the local governments was illogical and dangerous, and informing the world that the rights of property were not made sure. It was urged by some that, to make the measure now before the House answer the ends proposed, it must be immediately adopted, but he did not participate in this opinion.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. And this brought him to the consideration of that part of the proposed Constitution which had reference to civil rights and rights of property. It was said that the civil laws of Lower Canada were now consolidated into a code, and this would enhance our credit; and if based upon sound principles and rendered permanent, it would undoubtedly do so, for what is so conducive to the prosperity of a country as well-protected rights of property and vested interests ? This feature was deeply engrained in the British mind, and in that of the United States also, insomuch that the American Constitution provides that no law could be passed which would affect the rights of property. This was exemplified in the celebrated Dartmouth College case, in which WEBSTER so distinguished himself, when the endowment was maintained and perpetuated. But to what power were the rights of property committed in these resolutions ? When the Minister of Finance appealed to moneyed men abroad for a loan, could he say the Constitution had provided guarantees against injurious changes, when it was known that the laws relating to property were left to the caprice of the local governments ? Where was the security of the great religious societies of Montreal, if a sentiment hostile to monopolies were carried to extremes in the Local Parliament ? HON. SIR. E. P. TACHÉ—The General Legislature had power to disallow such acts. HON. MR. CURRIE—This would be an interference with local rights. HON. MR. ROSS—It would preserve local rights.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. although he earnestly believed that the majority of his own constituents were in favor of a Legislative Council appointed by the Crown. As for the objection which had been urged that between an Upper House composed exclusively of life members, and an elective Lower House, there might be the danger of a direct collision in the event of one rejecting an important measure which the other had passed, he did not think there was much danger of such a contingency. Indeed he would remind honorable members that the only instance of anything like a dead-lock between the two Houses, which had occurred within late years, at all events, was since the introduction of the elective principle, when the Council in 1859 refused to pass the Supply Bill on account of certain items contained in it, providing for the expense of the removal of the Government to Quebec. The Government on that occasion were left in a minority in this House, although they had a majority in the Assembly, and it was only after an adjournment of some days and upon a reconsideration of the question, after bringing up some life members from Lower Canada, that the Government carried the vote by a majority of two or three. Upon the whole, however, he thought that the life members of the Council would admit that the elective members had so far, at all events, comported themselves in such a way as to maintain the character of the House as a conservative body, free from all violent party feeling, and exercising a wholesome check against all ill-considered or hasty legislation. The real danger, he thought, was that if the House in process of time were to become a purely elective body, and party lines became more closely drawn, the same partisan spirit which too often swayed the proceedings of the popular branch of the Legislature, might find its way into their chamber, larger powers, such as originating money bills, might be claimed, and a collision between the two Houses might then occur at any time.

      §§.24 and 26 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. The elective principle had been applied to the Legislative Council of Prince Edward Island, and he would ask, how, under the 14th resolution of the Confederation, that body was to be dealt with ? He would read that part of the resolution to which he referred — ” The first selection of the members of the Legislative Council to be made from the Legislative Councils of the various provinces, except as regards Prince Edward Island,” &c. What did this mean ? Were the members from Prince Edward Island still to be elected ? HON. MR. CAMPBELL—No; they were to be appointed. The resolution was so worded as not to limit the selection in Prince Edward Island to the Legislative Council now in existence there. HON. MR. SANBORN—Was it because the elective principle had worked so badly in Canada that this change is proposed ? HON. MR. CAMPBELL—No; and therefore in Canada the selection was to be made from the House itself. HON. MR. SANBORN—It appeared then, that Prince Edward Island, dissatisfied with the elective principle, had dictated terms, and Canada had yielded to the dictation. HON. MR. CAMPBELL—The Conference had yielded to Prince Edward Island only in respect of its own members. They were so dissatisfied with their Legislative Council that, with reference to themselves, a choice from the people at large was permitted, but this had no reference whatever to Canada. HON. MR. SANBORN — Suppose the elective members should be swept off, what became of the people’s right of representation by men of their own choice? HON. MR. CAMPBELL—No such thing was intended.

      §§.24 and 25 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. Assuming then that the Crown members would retain their seats, there was a direct temptation presented to at least two out of three of the elective members. This, he thought, exhibited the project in a very damaging light. Such a measure was calculated to bias the judgment, and ought not to be presented to any legislative body. He held that elective members had received a sacred trust to exercise ; that they were sent here by their constituencies to represent them, and to do that only. Under these circumstances he would ask, whether they could conceive they had the power to vote away the rights of their electors ? That was not in their mandate, and if they did, they would be doing what they had no authority to do ; they would be doing what they could not do without going beyond the authority confided to them. Coming to the principle of elective legislative councils itself, he might say it had already been adopted in four British colonies besides Canada.

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. that unless we could find new avenues for our commerce, new markets for our produce, we must inevitably suffer a most serious check to our prosperity and well-doing. In this Confederation scheme he believed that a golden opportunity was offered to us of remedying the evils under which we were now suffering, and of opening out a new and prosperous career for this country, if we would avail ourselves of it. He believed that it might be said of nations as of individuals :— There is a tide in the affairs of man Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune ; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is spent In shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current as it flows, Or lose our venture. He would urge then upon the House, not to allow the opportunity to pass—even should it be at the sacrifice of individual opinions— of forming a strong, powerful and prosperous Confederation, and thus ensure for ourselves, and our children’s children, a national existence as British North Americans, which may endure for many ages to come. (Cheers.)

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. HON. MR. BROWN—I come now to the great meeting of the Reformers of Upper Canada, known as the Toronto Convention of 1859, and at which 570 delegates were present from all parts of the western province. Here are the two chief resolutions :— 5. Resolved,—That in the opinion of this assembly, the beat practicable remedy for the evils now encountered in the Government of Canada is to be found in the formation of two or more local governments, to which shall be committed the control of all matters of a local or sectional character, and some joint authority charged with such matters as are necessarily common to both sections of the province. 6. Resolved,—That while the details of the changes proposed in the last resolution are necessarily subject fur future arrangement, yet this assembly deems it imperative to declare that no Government would be satisfactory to the people of Upper Canada which is not based on the principle of representation by population.

      Preamble and §§.51, 91, and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. By this division of power the General Government would be relieved from those questions of a purely local and sectional character, which, under our present system, have led to much strife and ill-will.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. The proposition to federalize the Canadian union is not new. On the contrary, it has been frequently mooted in Parliament and in the press during the last few years. It was, no doubt, suggested by the example of the neighbouring states, where the admirable adaptation of the Federal system to the government of an extensive territory, inhabited by people of divers origins, creeds, laws and customs, has been amply demonstrated ; but shape and consistency were first imparted to it in 1856, when it was formally submitted to Parliament by the Lower Canada Opposition, as offering, in their judgment, the true corrective of the abuses generated under the present system.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. But I come next to the famous despatch to the Colonial Minister, signed in 1858 by my honorable friend the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General East, and the Hon. JOHN ROSS. It stated that ” very grave difficulties now presented themselves in conducting the Government of Canada “—that ” the progress of population has been more rapid in the western section, and claims are now made on behalf of its inhabitants for giving them representation in the Legislature in proportion to their numbers”— that ” the result is shown by an agitation fraught with great danger to the peaceful and harmonious working of our constitutional system, and, consequently, detrimental to the progress of the province”

      §.51 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. MR. BROWN—No ; the honorable gentleman ought to know that the treaty-making power is in the Crown—the Crown authorized us specially to make this compact, and it has heartily approved of what we did. (Hear, hear.) But, Mr. SPEAKER, I am told, that the people of Canada have not considered this scheme, and that we ought not to pass it without appealing to the electors for their approval. Now, sir, a statement more incorrect than this, or more injurious to the people of Canada, could not be made. They not only have considered this scheme—for fifteen years they have been earnestly considering it—but they perfectly comprehend it. (Hear, hear.) If ever question was thoroughly debated in any country, the whole subject of constitutional change has been in Canada. There is not a light in which it could be placed that has not been thoroughly canvassed ; and if the House will permit me, I will show from our historical record how totally absurd this objection is. The question of a Federal union was agitated thirty years ago, and here is the resolution adopted by both Houses of the Imperial Parliament so far back as 1837 :— That great inconvenience has been sustained by His Majesty’s subjects inhabiting the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, from the want of some adequate means for regulating and adjusting questions respecting the trade and commerce of the said provinces, and divers other questions wherein the said provinces have a common interest ; and it is expedient that the legislatures of the said provinces respectively, be authorized to make provision for the joint regulation and adjustment of such their common interests.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. And finally, all matters of trade and commerce, banking and currency, and all questions common to the whole people, we have vested fully and unrestrictedly in the General Government.

      §.91 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. By vesting the appointment of the lieutenant governors in the General Government, and giving a veto for all local measures, we have secured that no injustice shall be done without appeal in local legislation.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. But there is another reason why the union was not made legislative — it could not be carried. (Hear, hear.) “We had either to take a federal union or drop the negotiation. Not only were our friends from Lower Canada against it, but so were most of the delegates from the Maritime Provinces. There was but one choice open to us—federal union or nothing. But in truth the scheme now before us has all the advantages of a legislative union and a federal one as well. “We have thrown over on the localities all the questions which experience has shown lead directly to local jealousy and discord, and we have retained in the hands of the General Government all the powers necessary to secure a strong and efficient administration of public affairs.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    9. Had we continued the present legislative union, we must have continued with it the unjust system of taxation for local purposes that now exists—and the sectional bickering would have gone on as before. And can any honorable gentleman really believe that it would have been possible for a body of men sitting at Ottawa to administer efficiently and wisely the parish business of Red River and Newfoundland, and all the country between ?

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    10. And first, sir, I am told that we should have made the union legislative and not federal.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    11. when the time comes in the history of any colony that it has overcome the burdens and embarrassments of early settlement, and has entered on a career of permanent progress and prosperity, it is only fair and right that it should contribute its quota to the defence of the Empire.

      §.15 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    12. The repeal of Reciprocity will give us back all this increase, and more, for it will be a very different thing in the future from what it was formerly, to poach on our fishing grounds, when these provinces are united and determined to protect the fisheries of the Gulf. This fishing interest is one which may be cultivated to an extent difficult, perhaps, for many of us to conceive. But we have only to look at the amount of fish taken from our waters by the Americans and other nations, and the advantages we possess, to perceive that, if we apply ourselves, as a united people, to foster that trade, we can vastly increase the great traffic we now enjoy. (Hear, hear.) On the whole, then, sir, I come firmly to the conclusion that, in view of the possible stoppage of the American Reciprocity Treaty, and our being compelled to find new channels for our trade, this union presents to us advantages, in comparison with which any objection that has been offered, or can be offered to it, is utterly insignificant.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    13. brought us our goods—even our European goods—and taken our produce not only to Europe but even to the Lower Provinces ; and I say one of the best features of this union is, that if in our commercial relations with the United States we are compelled by them to meet fire with fire—it will enable us to stop this improvidence and turn the current of our own trade into our own waters. Far be it from me to say I am an advocate of a coercive commercial policy—on the contrary, entire freedom of trade, in my opinion, is what we in this country should strive for. Without hesitation, I would, to-morrow, throw open the whole of our trade and the whole of our waters to the United States, if they did the same to us. But, if they tell us, in the face of all the advantages they get by Reciprocity, that they are determined to put a stop to it, and if this is done through a hostile feeling to us—deeply as I should regret that this should be the first use made by the Northern States of their newfound liberty—then, I say, we have a policy, and a good policy of our own, to fall back upon.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    14. The Americans must, therefore, bear in mind, that if they abolish the Reciprocity Treaty, they will not only lose that seven millions which they now receive for their products, but the carrying trade which goes with it. But on the other hand, when we have this union, these products will, as they naturally should, go down the St. Lawrence, not only for the advantage of our farmers—but swelling the volume of our own shipping interests. (Hear, hear.) The Americans, hitherto, have had a large portion of our carrying trade ; they have

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    15. I have never heretofore ventured to make this assertion, for I know well what a serious task it is to change, in one day, the commercial relations of such a country as this. When the traffic of a country has passed for a lengthened period through a particular channel, any serious change of that channel tends, for a time, to the embarrassment of business men, and causes serious injury to individuals, if not to the whole community. Such a change we in Canada had in 1847. But as it was in 1847, so it will be in 1866, if the Reciprocity Treaty is abolished. Our agricultural interest had been built up on the protective legislation of Great Britain, and in 1847 it was suddenly brought to an end. We suffered severely, in consequence, for some years ; but, by degrees, new channels for our trade opened up—the Reciprocity Treaty was negotiated—and we have been more prosperous since 1847 than we ever were before. And so, I have not a doubt, will it be in the event of the Reciprocity Treaty being abolished. Profitable as that treaty has unquestionably been to us—and it has been more profitable to the Americans—still, were it brought to an end to-morrow, though we would suffer a while from the change, I am convinced the ultimate result would be that other foreign markets would be opened to us, quite as profitable, and that we would speedily build up our trade on a sounder basis than at present. A close examination of the working of the Reciprocity Treaty discloses facts of vital importance to the merits of the question, to which you never hear the slightest allusion made by American speakers or writers. Our neighbours, in speaking of the treaty, keep constantly telling us of the Canadian trade— what they take from Canada and what Canada takes from them. Their whole story is about the buying and selling of commodities in Canada. Not a whisper do you ever hear from them about their buying and selling with the Maritime Provinces—not a word about the enormous carrying trade for all the provinces which they monopolize—not a word of the large sums drawn from us for our vast traffic over their railways and canals—and not a whisper as to their immense profits from fishing in our waters, secured to them by the treaty. (Hear, hear.) No, sir, all we hear of is the exports and imports of Canada—all is silence as to other parts of the treaty. But it must not be forgotten that if the treaty is abolished and this union is accomplished, an abolition of reciprocity with Canada means abolition of reciprocity with all the British American Provinces—means bringing to an end the right of the Americans to fish in our waters ; their right to use our canals ; their right to the navigation of the St. Lawrence ; and that it also implies the taking out of their hands the vast and lucrative carrying trade they now have from us. (Hear, hear.) I t must be always kept in mind that though the United States purchase from Canada a large amount of agricultural products, a great portion of what they purchase does not go info consumption in the States, but is merely purchased for transmission to Great Britain and the West India markets. (Hear, hear.) They merely act as commission agents and carriers in such transactions, and splendid profits they make out of the business. But beyond this, another large portion of these produce purchases, for which they take so much credit to themselves, they buy in the same manner for export to the Maritime Provinces of British America, reaping all the benefit of the seagoing as well as the inland freight—charges and commissions. (Hear, hear.) The commercial returns of the Lower Provinces show not only that the Americans send a large quantity of their own farm products to those provinces, but a considerable amount of what they (the Americans) receive from us, thereby gaining the double advantage of the carrying trade through the United States to the seaboard, and then by sea to the Lower Provinces. (Hear, hear.) I hold in my hand a return of the articles purchased by the Maritime Provinces from the United States in 1863, which Canada could have supplied. I will not detain the House by reading it, but any member who desires can have it for examination.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    16. I am in favor of a union of these provinces, because it will enable us to meet, without alarm, the abrogation of the American Reciprocity Treaty, in case the United States should insist on its abolition. (Hear, hear.) I do not believe that the American Government is so insane as to repeal that treaty. But it is always well to be prepared for contingencies— and I have no hesitation in saying that if they do repeal it, should this union of British America go on, a fresh outlet for our commerce will be opened up to us quite as advantageous as the American trade has ever been.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    17. If a Canadian goes now to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, or if a citizen of these provinces comes here, it is like going to a foreign country. The customs officer meets you at the frontier, arrests your progress, and levies his imposts on your effects. But the proposal now before us is to throw down all barriers between the provinces—to make a citizen of one, citizen of the whole ; the proposal is, that our farmers and manufacturers and mechanics shall carry their wares unquestioned into every village of the Maritime Provinces ; and that they shall with equal freedom bring their fish, and their coal, and their West India produce to our three millions of inhabitants. The proposal is, that the law courts, and the schools, and the professional and industrial walks of life, throughout all the provinces, shall be thrown equally open to us all.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    18. And this question of immigration naturally brings me to the great subject of the North-West territories. (Hear, hear.) The resolutions before us recognize the immediate necessity of those great territories being brought within the Confederation and opened up for settlement. But I am told that, while the Intercolonial Railroad has been made an absolute condition of the compact, the opening up of the Great West and the enlargement of our canals have been left in doubt. Now, sir, nothing can be more unjust than this. Let me read the resolutions :— The General Government shall secure, without delay, the completion of the intercolonial Railway from Rivière du Loup, through New Brunswick, to Truro in Nova Scotia. The communications with the North-Western Territory, and the improvements required for the development of the trade of the Great West with the seaboard, are regarded by this Conference as subjects of the highest importance to the Federated Provinces, and shall be prosecuted at the earliest possible period that the state of the finances will permit. The Confederation is, therefore, clearly committed to the carrying out of both these enterprises. I doubt if there was a member of the Conference who did not consider that the opening up of the North-West and the improvement of our canal system, were not as clearly for the advantage of the Lower Provinces as for the interests of Upper Canada. Indeed, one gentleman held that the Lower Provinces were more interested—they wished to get their products into the west—they wanted a back country as much as we did—they wanted to be the carriers for that great country—and they were, therefore, to say the least, as much interested in these questions as we were. But honorable gentlemen lay stress upon the point, that, while the one enterprise is to be undertaken at once, the other is not to be commenced until the state of the finances will permit.

      Preamble, §.146 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    19. When recently in England, I was charged to negotiate with the Imperial Government for the opening up of the North-West territories. In a few days the papers will be laid before the House, and it will then be seen whether or not this Government is in earnest in that matter. Sir, the gentlemen who formed the Conference at Quebec did not enter upon their work with the miserable idea of getting the advantage of each other, but with a due sense of the greatness of the work they had on hand, with an earnest desire to do justice to all, and keeping always in mind that what would benefit one section in such a union must necessarily benefit the whole.

      Preamble, §.146 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    20. Mr. SPEAKER, I go heartily for the union, because it will throw down the barriers of trade and give us the control of a market of four millions of people. (Hear, hear.) What one thing has contributed so much to the wondrous material progress of the United States as the free passage of their products from one State to another ? What has tended so much to the rapid advance of all branches of their industry, as the vast extent of their home market, creating an unlimited demand for all the commodities of daily use, and stimulating the energy and ingenuity of producers ? Sir, I confess to you that in my mind this one view of the union—the addition of nearly a million of people to our home consumers— sweeps aside all the petty objections that are averred against the scheme. What, in comparison with this great gain to our farmers and manufacturers, are even the fallacious money objections which the imaginations of honorable gentlemen opposite have summoned up ? All over the world we find nations eagerly longing to extend their domains, spending large sums and waging protracted wars to possess themselves of more territory, untilled and uninhabited.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    21. local control, an exception has been made in regard to the common schools. (Hear, hear. ) The clause complained of is as follows:— 6. Education; saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both Canadas may possess as to their Denominational Schools at the time when the Union goes into operation.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    22. But, in consideration of this extra allowance, Newfoundland is to cede to the Federal Government her Crown lands and minerals—and assuredly, if the reports of geologists are well founded, this arrangement will be as advantageous to us as it will be to the inhabitants of Newfoundland.

      §.109 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    23. Each province is to have control of its own crown lands, crown timber and crown minerals,—and will be free to take such steps for developing them as each deems best.— (Hear, hear.) We have complained that local works of various kinds—roads, bridges and landing piers, court houses, gaols and other structures—have been erected in an inequitable and improvident manner. Well, sir, this scheme remedies that, all local works are to be constructed by the localities and defrayed from local funds. And so on through the whole extensive details of internal local administration will this reform extend. The people of Upper Canada will have the entire control of their local matters, and will no longer have to betake themselves to Quebec for leave to open a road, to select a county town, or appoint a coroner.

      §.109 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    24. system of taxation, my honorable friends opposite would have had a much better chance of success in blowing the bellows of agitation than they now have. (Laughter, and cheers.) The objection, moreover, was not confined to Lower Canada—all the Lower Provinces stood in exactly the same position. They have not a municipal system such as we have, discharging many of the functions of government; but their General Government performs all the duties which in Upper Canada devolve upon our municipal councils, as well as upon Parliament. If then the Lower Provinces had been asked to maintain their customs duties for federal purposes, and to impose on themselves by the same act direct taxation for all their local purposes, the chances of carrying the scheme of union would have been greatly lessened. (Hear, hear.) But I apprehend that if we did not succeed in putting this matter on the footing that would have been the best, at least we did the next best thing. Two courses were open to us—either to surrender to the local governments some source of indirect revenue, some tax which the General Government proposed to retain,—or collect the money by the federal machinery, and distribute it to the local governments for local purposes. And we decided in favor of the latter. We asked the representatives of the different, governments to estimate how much they would require after the inauguration of the federal system to carry on their local machinery.

      §§.92(2) and 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    25. I trust I commit no breach of discretion in stating that in Conference I was one of the strongest advocates for defraying the whole of the local expenditures of the local governments by means of direct taxation, and that there were liberal men in all sections of the provinces who would gladly have had it so arranged. But, Mr. SPEAKER, there was one difficulty in the way—a difficulty which has often before been encountered in this world—and that difficulty was simply this, it could not be done. (Hear, and laughter.) We could neither have carried it in Conference nor yet in any one of the existing provincial legislatures. Our friends in Lower Canada, I am afraid, have a constitutional disinclination to direct taxation, and it was obvious that if the Confederation scheme had had attached to it a provision for the imposition of such a

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    26. the second feature of this scheme as a remedial measure is, that it removes, to a large extent, the injustice of which Upper Canada has complained in financial matters. We in Upper Canada have complained that though we paid into the public treasury more than three fourths of the whole revenue, we had less control over the system of taxation and the expenditure of the public moneys than the people of Lower Canada.

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    27. But, sir, I am told that though true it is that local matters are to be separated and the burden of local expenditure placed upon local shoulders, we have made an exception from that principle in providing that a subsidy of eighty cents per head shall be taken from the federal chest and granted to the local governments for local purposes.

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    28. My honorable friend laughs, but I assure him, and he will not say I do so for the purpose of deceiving him, that having been present in Conference and in Council, having heard all the discussions and well ascertained the feelings of all associated with me, I have not a shadow of a doubt on my mind that full justice will be done in the selection of the first Federal Councillors, not only to those who may have been in the habit of acting with me, but also to those who have acted with my honorable friend the member for Hochelaga.

      §.23 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    29. It is said they have not [Page 89] the power. But what is to prevent them from enforcing it? Suppose we had a conservative majority here, and a reform majority above— or a conservative majority above and a reform majority here—all elected under party obligations,—- what is to prevent a dead-lock between the chambers ? It may be called unconstitutional—- but what is to prevent the Councillors (especially if they feel that in the dispute of the hour they have the country at their back) from practically exercising all the powers that belong to us ? They might amend our money bills, they might throw out all our bills if they liked, and bring to a stop the whole machinery of government. And what could we do to prevent them ? But, even supposing this were not the case, and that the elective Upper House continued to be guided by that discretion which has heretofore actuated its proceedings,—still, I think, we must all feel that the election of members for such enormous districts as form the constituencies of the Upper House has become a great practical inconvenience. I say this from personal experience, having long taken an active interest in the electoral contests in Upper Canada. We have found greater difficulty in inducing candidates to offer for seats in the Upper House, than in getting ten times the number for the Lower House. The constituencies are so vast, that it is difficult to find gentlemen who have the will to incur the labor of such a contest, who are sufficiently known and popular enough throughout districts so wide, and who have money enough — (hear) — to pay the enormous bills, not incurred in any corrupt way,—do not fancy that I mean that for a moment—but the bills that are sent in after the contest is over, and which the candidates are compelled to pay if they ever hope to present themselves for re-election. (Hear, hear.) But honorable gentlemen say—” This is all very well, but you are taking an important power out of the hands of the people, which they now possess.” Now this is a mistake. We do not propose to do anything of the sort. What we propose is, that the Upper House shall be appointed from the best men of the country by those holding the confidence of the representatives of the people in this Chamber. It is proposed that the Government of the day, which only lives by the approval of this Chamber, shall make the appointments, and be responsible to the people for the selections they shall make. (Hear, hear.) Not a single appointment could be made, with regard to which the Government would not be open to censure, and which the representatives of the people, in this House, would not have an opportunity “of condemning. For myself, I have maintained the appointed principle, as in opposition to the elective, ever since I came into public life, and have never hesitated, when before the people, to state my opinions in the broadest manner ; and yet not in a single instance have I ever found a constituency in Upper Canada, or a public meeting declaring its disapproval of appointment by the Crown and its desire for election by the people at large. When the change was made in 1855 there was not a single petition from the people asking for it—-it was in a manner forced on the Legislature. The real reason for the change was, that before Responsible Government was introduced into this country, while the old oligarchical system existed, the Upper House continuously and systematically was at war with the popular branch, and threw out every measure of a liberal tendency. The result was, that in the famous ninety-two resolutions the introduction of the elective principle into the Upper House was declared to be indispensable. So long as Mr. ROBERT BALDWIN remained in public life, the thing could not be done ; but when he left, the deed was consummated. But it is said, that if the members are to be appointed for life, the number should be unlimited— that, in the event of a dead lock arising between that chamber and this, there should be power to overcome the difficulty by the appointment of more members. Well, under the British system, in the case of a legislative union, that might be a legitimate provision. But honorable gentlemen must see that the limitation of the numbers in the Upper House lies at the base of the whole compact on which this scheme rests. (Hear, hear.) It is perfectly clear, as was contended by those who represented Lower Canada in the Conference, that if the number of the Legislative Councillors was made capable of increase, you would thereby sweep away the whole protection they had from the Upper Chamber. But it has been said that, though you may not give the power to the Executive to increase the numbers of the Upper House, in the event of a dead-lock, you might limit the term for which the members are appointed. I was myself in favor of that proposition. I thought it would be well to provide for a more frequent change in the composition of the Upper House, and lessen the danger of the chamber being largely composed of gentlemen whose advanced years might forbid the punctual and vigorous discharge of their public [Page 90] duties. Still, the objection made to this was very strong. It was said : ” Suppose you appoint them for nine years, what will be the effect ? For the last three or four years of their term they would be anticipating its expiry, and anxiously looking to the Administration of the day for re-appointment ; and the consequence would be that a third of the members would be under the influence of the Executive.” The desire was to render the Upper House a thoroughly independent body—one that would be in the best position to canvass dispassionately the measures of this House, and stand up for the public interests in opposition to hasty or partisan legislation. It was contended that there is no fear of a dead-lock. We were reminded how the system of appointing for life had worked in past years, since Responsible Government was introduced ; we were told that the complaint was not then, that the Upper Chamber had been too obstructive a body—not that it had sought to restrain the popular will, but that it had too faithfully reflected the popular will. Undoubtedly that was the complaint formerly pressed upon us—{hear, hear)—and I readily admit that if ever there was a body to whom we could safely entrust the power which by this measure we propose to confer on the members of the Upper Chamber, it is the body of gentlemen who at this moment compose the Legislative Council of Canada. The forty-eight Councillors for Canada are to be chosen from the present chamber. There are now thirty-four members from the one section, and thirty-five from the other. I believe that of the sixty-nine, some will not desire to make their appearance here again, others, unhappily, from years and infirmity, may not have strength to do so ; and there may be others who will not desire to qualify under the Statute. It is quite clear that when twenty-four are selected for Upper Canada and twenty-four for Lower Canada, very few indeed of the present House will be excluded from the Federal Chamber ; and I confess I am not without hope that there may be some way yet found of providing for all who desire it, an honorable position in the Legislature of the country. (Hear, hear.) And, after all, is it not an imaginary fear—that of a dead-lock ? Is it at all probable that any body of gentlemen who may compose the Upper House, appointed as they will be for life, acting as they will do on personal and not party responsibility, possessing as they must, a deep stake in the welfare of the country, and desirous as they must be of holding the esteem of their fellow-subjects— would take so unreasonable a course as to imperil the whole political fabric ? The British House of Peers itself does not venture, à l’outrance, to resist the popular will, and can it be anticipated that our Upper Chamber would set itself rashly against the popular will? If any fear is to be entertained in the matter, is it not rather that the Councillors will be found too thoroughly in harmony with the popular feeling of the day ? And we have this satisfaction at any rate, that, so far as its first formation is concerned—so far as the present question is concerned—we shall have a body of gentlemen in whom every confidence may be placed.

      §§.24, 26, and 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    30. But it is further objected that the property qualification of the members of the Upper House from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland may be either real or personal estate, while in the others it is to be real estate alone. This is correct ; but I fancy it matters little to us upon what species of property our friends in Prince Edward Island or in Newfoundland base their qualification. Here in Canada real estate is abundant ; every one can obtain it ; and admittedly by all it is the best qualification, if it be advisable to have any property qualification at all. But in Newfoundland it would be exceedingly inconvenient to enforce such a rule. The public lands there are not even surveyed to any considerable extent; the people are almost entirely engaged in fishing and commercial pursuits, and to require a real estate qualification would be practically to exclude some of its best public men from the Legislative Council. Then in Prince Edward Island a large portion of the island is held in extensive tracts by absentee proprietors and leased to the settlers. A feud of long standing has been the result, and there would be some difficulty in finding landed proprietors who would be acceptable to the people as members of the Upper House. This also must be remembered, that it will be a very different thing for a member from Newfoundland or Prince Edward Island to attend the Legislature at Ottawa from what it is for one of ourselves to go there. He must give up not only his time, but the comfort and convenience of being near home—and it is desirable to throw no unnecessary obstacle in the way of our getting the very best men from these provinces. (Hear.) But it is further objected that these resolutions do not define how the legislative councillors are to be chosen at first. I apprehend, however, there is no doubt whatever as regards that. Clause 14 says : “the first selection of the members to constitute the Federal Legislative Council shall be made from the members of the now existing legislative councils, by the Crown, at the recommendation of the General Executive Government, upon the nomination of the respective local governments.” The clear meaning of this clause simply is, that the present governments of the several provinces are to choose out of the existing bodies—so far as they can find gentlemen willing and qualified to serve—the members who shall at starting compose the Federal Legislative Council; that they are to present the names so selected to the Executive Council of British America when constituted—and on the advice of that body the Councillors will be appointed by the«- Crown. (Hear.) And such has been the spirit shown from first to last in carrying out the compact of July last by all the parties to it, that I for one have no apprehension whatever that full justice will not be done to the party which may be a minority in the Government, but is certainly not in a minority either in the country or in this House. I speak not only of Upper Canada but of Lower Canada as well—

      §.23 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    31. Four other colonies are at this moment occupied as we are—declaring their hearty love for the parent State

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    32. And no higher eulogy could, I think, be pronounced than that I heard a few weeks ago from the lips of one of the foremost of British statesmen, that the system of government we proposed seemed to him a happy compound of the best features of the British and American Constitutions.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. Much had been said about the risk of collision between two elective Houses, that legislation might come to a dead-lock; now it was a remarkable fact that under the present system there had been no such difficulties, while both in England and in Canada, previous to the introduction of the elective system, they had occurred, and on several occasions the power of the Crown had been called in to overcome them by appointing additional members. What would be the position of the House under the new scheme? It would be the most irresponsible body in the world; and if a dead-lock should occur there would be no way of overcoming it, for the casualties of death, resignation or acceptance of office, which had been so strongly insisted upon as sufficiently numerous to enable the Government of the day to modify the character of the House, would not in his opinion be adequate to meet such an exigency. Such was apparently the view of the Colonial Secretary; and it would in all probability be found necessary to leave the Crown unfettered in the exercise of its prerogative of appointment.

      §.26 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. Canadian Empire in North America, formed by a Federal Union of all the colonies connected and linked together

      Preamble, §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. It was said that nine-tenths of the people were in its favour; he believed that a very large majority approved of the general principle of union, but there were details of the plan which did not pass unchallenged. It was much to be regretted that the resolutions had not been introduced in such a way as would have permitted the House to place upon record its views in respect to any part of them which might be unacceptable, and to suggest to the Imperial authorities who might frame the bill, such amendments as it considered desirable.

      Preamble, §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. In 1849 and 1852 there were passed acts of our Provincial parliament to give some kind of guarantee for the construction of this (the Intercolonial) Railway.

      Preamble, §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. constitution of the Legislative Council, and insisted not only that it should have remained elective, but that the principle of representation according to population should also have prevailed. But who ever heard that in a Federal Constitution the Upper House should be arranged on that principle? If that view be the sound one, the better way would be to have but one House, for the only effect of having two Houses, both elected on the basis of population, would be that one would constantly be combating the other, and the wheels of government would unavoidably be brought to a stand-still. In such a case the more powerful members of the Confederacy would be wholly unrestrained, and would completely overwhelm the weaker. This was fully considered on the adoption of a Constitution for the United States, according to which it is well known that the smaller States are represented in the Senate by the same number of senators as the larger ones—there being two members for each. The same principle has been adopted in arranging the terms of this proposed union, and for the same reason; viz., to protect the weaker parties to the compact.

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. As to local taxation, all the provinces will be put upon the same footing, and nothing can be fairer. If Upper Canada, which it is asserted is so much wealthier than the other portions of the Confederation, requires more than the eighty cents per head allowed to all the provinces, its greater wealth will cause it to feel the taxation so much the less.

      §.22 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. In no other way that I am able to see, can there be additional expense charged upon the people; and looking at it in this point of view, we may well doubt whether the aggregate charge will be greater for the General Government, caring for the general interests of the whole, and for the local governments, attending merely to the local business of each section, we may well doubt, I say, whether that expense will be greater, in any considerable degree, than that which is required for our Government under the present system. (Hear, hear.) On the one hand we shall be free from the empty parade of small Courts entailed by our present system on each of these provinces, keeping up a pretence of regal show when the reality is wanting; we shall have the legislation of the General Government restricted to those great questions which may properly occupy the attention of the first men in the country; we shall not have our time frittered away in considering the merits of petty local bills, and therefore we may reasonably hope that the expenses of the General Legislature will be considerably less than even those of the Legislature of Canada at the present moment, —while, on the other hand, the local legislatures having to deal rather with municipal than great general questions, will be able to dispose of them in a manner more satisfactory to the people, and at infinitely less expanse than now.

      §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. We may, however, place just confidence in the development of our resources, and repose in the belief that we shall find in our territorial domain, our valuable mines and our fertile lands, additional sources of revenue far beyond the requirements of the public service.

      §.118 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. British Columbia, 1985 CanLII 313 (BC SC)

    3. It was of no use whatever that New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland should have their several custom houses against our trade, or that we should have custom houses against the trade of those provinces.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in R v Comeau, 2016 NBPC 3 (CanLII).

    1. if we wish to have one system of government, and to establish a commercial union, with unrestricted free trade, between people of the five provinces, belonging, as they do, to the same nation, obeying [Page 28] the same Sovereign, owning the same allegiance, and being, for the most part, of the same blood and lineage : if we wish to be able to afford to each other the means of mutual defence and support against aggression and attack—this can only be obtained by a union of some kind between the scattered and weak boundaries composing the British North American Provinces.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in R v Comeau, 2016 NBPC 3 (CanLII).

    2. if we wish to have one system of government, and to establish a commercial union, with unrestricted free trade, between people of the five provinces, belonging, as they do, to the same nation, obeying [Page 28] the same Sovereign, owning the same allegiance, and being, for the most part, of the same blood and lineage : if we wish to be able to afford to each other the means of mutual defence and support against aggression and attack—this can only be obtained by a union of some kind between the scattered and weak boundaries composing the British North American Provinces.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in R v Comeau, 2016 NBPC 3 (CanLII).

    3. any proposition which involved the absorption of the individuality of Lower Canada— if I may use the expression—would not be received with favor by her people. We found too, that though their people speak the same language and enjoy the same system of law as the people of Upper Canada, a system founded on the common law of England, there was as great a disinclination on the part of the various Maritime Provinces to lose their individuality, as separate political organizations,
    4. sober second-thought

      §. 29 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in Reference re Senate Reform, [2014] 1 SCR 704, 2014 SCC 32 (CanLII)

    5. [Page 38]

      §. 26 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in Singh v. Canada (Gen. Div.), 1990 CanLII 6922 (ON SC)

    6. [Page 35]

      §. 26 of the Constitution Act, 1867

      Referenced in Singh v. Canada (Gen. Div.), 1990 CanLII 6922 (ON SC)

    1. I desire to say that I agree with my hon. friend that as it stands just now the majority governs; but in order to cure this, it was agreed at the Conference to embody the provision in the Imperial Act. (Hear, hear.) This was proposed by the Canadian Government, for fear an accident might arise subsequently, and it was assented to by the deputation from each province that the use of the French language should form one of the principles on upon which the Confederation should be established, and that its use, as at present, should be guaranteed by the Imperial Act
    2. I will add to what has been stated by the. Hon. Attorney General for Upper Canada, in reply to the hon. member for the county of Quebec and the hon. member for Hochelaga, that it was also necessary to protect the English minorities in Lower Canada with respect to the use of their language, because in the Local Parliament of Lower Canada the majority will be composed of French – Canadians. The members of the Conference were desirous that it should not be in the power of that majority to decree the abolition of the use of the English language in the Local Legislature of Lower Canada, any more than it will be in the power of the Federal Legislature to do so with respect to the French language. I will also add that the use of both languages will be secured in the Imperial Act to be based on these resolutions.
    1. if any Legislative Councillor shall, for two consecutive sessions of Parliament, fail to give his attendance in the said Council, his seat shall thereby become vacant.

      §.31(1)) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. The Members of the Legislative Council shall be appointed by the Crown under the Great Seal of the General Government, and shall hold office during life

      §.29 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. our mock House of Commons is to be an aggregate of provincial delegations. Each man is to come to it ticketed as an Upper or Lower Canadian, a New Brunswick, a Nova Scotia, Newfoundlander, a Prince Edward Islander, or what not.

      §.23(5)) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. Further, in Lower Canada, each locality is told that it may rest satisfied it will not be overlooked, for each is to be represented in the Legislative Council by a gentleman residing or holding property in it

      §.23(3)) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. It would seem to have been thought, that as the branch of the legislature was to be shared between the provinces in the ratio of their population, there must be some other rule followed for the Upper Chamber. So we are to have twenty-four for Upper Canada, twenty-four for Lower Canada, twenty-four for the three Lower Provinces, and four for Newfoundland

      §.22 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. Well, then, Mr. SPEAKER, I turn next to our Legislative Council — too little like the House of Lords, to bear even a moment’s comparison in that direction. It must be compared with the Senate of the United States; but the differences here are very wide. The framers of this Constitution have here contrived a system quite different from that; and when we are told (as it seems we are) that the Legislative Council is to represent especially the Federal element in our Constitution, I do not hesitate to affirm that there is not a particle of the Federal principle about it ; that it is the merest sham that can be imagined.

      §.22 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. The seat of the Federal Government is to be at Ottawa, of course. The Governor General or other head of this magnificent future vice-royalty, or what not, will hold his court and parliament at Ottawa ; but a handsome sop is thrown to Quebec and Toronto, also. They, too, are each to have a provincial court and legislature and governmental departments.

      §.17 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  2. Apr 2018
    1. direct taxation, all the means whereby the industry of the people may be made to contribute to the wants of the state, it must be evident to every one that some portion of the resources thus placed at the disposal of the General Government must in some form or other be available to supply the hiatus that would otherwise take place between the sources of local revenue and the demands of local expenditure. The members of the Conference considered this question with the most earnest desire to reduce to the lowest possible limits the sum that was thus required, and I think the figures that I have already given to the House afford the best possible evidence that no disposition existed, at any rate on the part of our friends from the Lower Provinces

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. If, nevertheless, the local revenues become inadequate, it will be necessary for the local governments to resort to direct taxation ; and I do not hesitate to say that one of the wisest provisions in the proposed Constitution, and that which affords the surest guarantee that the people will take a healthy interest in their own affairs and see that no extravagance is committed by those placed in power over them, is to be found in the fact that those who are called upon to administer public affairs will feel, when they resort to direct taxation, that a solemn responsibility rests upon them, and that that responsibility will be exacted by the people in the most peremptory manner. (Hear, hear.) If the men in power find that they are required, by means of direct taxation, to procure the funds necessary to administer the local affairs, for which abundant provision is made in the scheme, they will pause before they enter upon any career of extravagance.

      §.92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. another direction; to seek by free trade with our own fellow colonists for a continued and uninterrupted commerce which will not be liable to be disturbed at the capricious will of any foreign country. (Hear, hear.) On this ground, therefore, we may well come to the conclusion that the union between these colonies is demanded alike on account of their extensive resources, and because of the peculiar position in which they stand relatively to each other, to Great Britain, and to the United States. All these are questions which fall within the province of the General Government, as proposed in the resolutions before tho House, and whatever may be the doubts and fears of any one with respect to the details of the organization by which it is proposed to work the new system of Confederation, no one can doubt that the great interests of trade and commerce will be best promoted and developed by being entrusted to one central power, which will wield them in the common interest.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. It is matter for regret on the part of all of us that the trade between these colonies, subject all to the same Sovereign, connected with the same empire, has been so small. Intercolonial trade has been, indeed, of the most insignificant character; we have looked far more to our commercial relations with the neighbouring—though a foreign country—than to the interchange of our own products, which would have retained the benefits of our trade within ourselves; hostile tariffs have interfered with the free interchange of the products of the labor of all the colonies, and one of the greatest and most immediate benefits to be derived from their union, will spring from the breaking down of these barriers and the opening up of the markets of all the provinces to the different industries of each.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. But this precedent could not be urged as an objection to Federation, inasmuch as it would be for the General Government to deal with our commercial matters. There could be no reason for well-grounded fear that the minority could be made to suffer by means of any laws affecting the rights of property.

      §§.91(2) and 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. He was aware that some members of the House, and a number of people in Upper Canada, in Lower Canada and in the Lower Provinces, were of the opinion that a Legislative Union ought to have taken place instead of a Federal Union. He would say, however, at the outset, that it was impossible to have one Government to deal with all the private and local interests of the several sections of the several provinces forming the combined whole.

      Preamble and §§.91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. As to the representation in the Confederated Legislative Council, it was proposed to give Upper Canada and Lower Canada twenty-four members each, and to the Lower Provinces twenty-eight. That is, the 780,000 souls in the Lower Provinces would have four members more than Upper Canada with its million and a half. This proved that though Canada had talented men in the Conference, they either forgot our interests or sat there powerless. When the Legislative Council of Canada was made elective, his honourable friend near him (Hon. Mr. CHRISTIE) had stood up for the right of Upper Canada, as the Delegates should have done in the Conference. On the second reading of the bill to change the constitution of the Legislative Council, on the 14th March, 1856,—

      §.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. HON. MR. CAMPBELL said that yesterday he had promised to give to the House today an explanation of the provision contained in the 14th resolution relating to the selection of members for the Legislative Council of the General Legislature. This resolution read as follows: 14. The first selection of the Members of the Legislative Council shall be made, except as regards Prince Edward Island, from the Legislative Councils of the various Provinces, so far as a sufficient number be found qualified and willing to serve; such members shall be appointed by the Crown at the recommendation of the General Executive Government, upon the nomination of the respective Local Governments, and in such nomination due regard shall be had to the claims of the Members of the Legislative Council of the Opposition in each Province, so that all political parties may as nearly as possible be fairly represented. And under it the first recommendation for the appointment of Legislative Councillors from Canada would, should the Confederation scheme be adopted, come from the existing Government of this province. In making such recommendations, the spirit of the resolution would be carefully observed, and both sides in this House and as well life as elected members, be equally considered and fairly represented in the new Parliament. HON. MR. FLINT begged to inquire whether the resolutions before the House were in all respects the same as those sent to the members. HON. MR. CAMPBELL said they were not in one particular precisely as first printed, there being a clause in those before the House to allow New Brunswick to impose a duty on timber and logs, and Nova Scotia on coal, which was not found in the first ; as for the other provinces, the imposition of such duties was reserved to the General Legislature. (Hear, hear, from Mr. CURRIE.) HON. MR. CAMPBELL said he hoped that honourable members would rather aid in furthering the scheme than take pleasure in detecting the supposed causes of opposition. (Hear.) HON. MR. CURRIE asked whether the difference between the two sets of resolutions was merely a misprint. HON. MR. CAMPBELL could not say whether it was owing to a misprint or to an error in the manuscript. HON. MR. CURRIE again asked whether the members of the Conference had not signed the instrument containing its resolutions HON. MR. CAMPBELL could only say that the resolutions now before the House truly and expressly represented the conclusions the Conference had arrived at. (Hear, hear.) Those conclusions had not been changed.

      §.25 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. We provide that there shall be no money votes, unless those votes are introduced in the popular branch of the Legislature on the authority of the responsible advisers of the Crown—those with whom the responsibility rests of equalizing revenue and expenditure—that there can be no expenditure or authorization of expenditure by Address or in any other way unless initiated by the Crown

      §.53 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. With respect to the local governments, it is provided that each shall be governed by a chief executive officer, who shall be nominated by the General Government. As this is to be one united province, with the local governments and legislatures subordinate to the General Government and Legislature, it is obvious that the chief executive officer in each of the provinces must be subordinate as well. The General Government assumes towards the local governments precisely the same position as the Imperial Government holds with respect to each of the colonies now; so that as the Lieutenant Governor of each of the different provinces is now appointed directly by the Queen, and is directly responsible, and reports directly to Her, so will the executives of the local governments hereafter be subordinate to the Representative of the Queen, and be responsible and report to him. Objection has been taken that there is an infringement of the Royal prerogative in giving the pardoning power to the local governors, who are not appointed directly by the Crown, but only indirectly by the Chief Executive of the Confederation, who is appointed by the Crown. This provision was inserted in the Constitution on account of the practical difficulty which must arise if the power is confined to the Governor General. For example, if a question arose about the discharge of a prisoner convicted of a minor offence, say in Newfoundland, who might be in imminent danger of losing his life if he remained in confinement, the exercise of the pardoning power might come too late if it were necessary to wait for the action of the Governor General. It must be remembered that the pardoning power not only extends to capital cases, but to every case of conviction and sentence, no matter how trifling— even to the case of a fine in the nature of a sentence on a criminal conviction. It extends to innumerable cases, where, if the responsibility for its exercise were thrown on the General Executive, it could not be so satisfactorily discharged, Of course there must be, in each province, a legal adviser of the Executive, occupying the position of our Attorney General, as there is in every state of the American Union. This officer will be an officer of the Local Government ; but, if the pardoning power is reserved for the Chief Executive, there must, in every case where the exercise of the pardoning power is sought, be a direct communication and report from the local law officer to the Governor General. The practical inconvenience of this was felt to be so great, that it was thought well to propose the arrangement we did, without any desire to infringe upon the prerogatives of the Crown, for our whole action shows that the Conference, in every step they took, were actuated by a desire to guard jealously these prerogatives.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. It was in the main formed on the model of the Constitution of Great Britain, adapted to the circumstances of a new country, and was perhaps the only practicable system that could have been adopted under the circumstances existing at the time of its formation.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. Our merchants may be obliged to return to the old system of bringing in during the summer months the supplies for the whole year. Ourselves already threatened, our trade interrupted, our intercourse, political and commercial, destroyed, if we do not take warning now when we have the opportunity

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. our trade is hampered by the passport system, and at any moment we may be deprived of permission to carry our goods through United States channels

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. ” That the best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America would be promoted by a Federal Union under the Crown of Great Britain,”

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. Thus, we have, in Great Britain, to a limited extent, an example of the working and effects of a Federal Union, as we might expect to witness them in our own Confederation.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. ” That the best interests and present and future prosperity of British North America will be promoted by a Federal Union under the Crown of Great Britain, provided such union can be effected on principles just to the several provinces.”

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. there might be some misunderstanding and difference of opinion, as for example those clauses by one of which it was stated that the civil laws of the country were to be under the control of the local governments, and by the other of which the law of marriage was placed under the control of the General Government. The law of marriage pervaded the whole civil code, and he wanted to know how it could be placed under a different legislature from that which was to regulate the rest of the civil law.

      §§. 91(26) and 92(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. New Brunswick might be rich in coal, in wood and in fisheries, and do a large business in ship building, but these things would seek the best markets under any circumstances, and he did not see that a union with us would increase their value, and if it did it would be no advantage.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. Had they no resources from their trade and manufactures ? If they did not produce wealth in one way they certainly did in others, and so it was with New Brunswick. If it did not produce wheat, it produced timber in immense quantities. It had a very extensive fishing coast which was a source of great wealth. Some honorable gentlemen would perhaps remember what an eminent man from Nova Scotia—the Hon. JOSEPH HOWE—had said at a dinner in this country in 1850, that he knew of a small granite rock upon which, at a single haul of the net, the fishermen had taken 500 barrels of mackerel.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. Still no one could deny that the Gulf Provinces were of immense importance, if only in respect of their fisheries. Then they were rich in minerals. Their coal alone was an element of great wealth. It had been said that where coal was found the country was of more value than gold. Look at England, and what was the chief source of her wealth if not coal? Deprived of coal, she would at once sink to the rank of a second or third rate power. But Canada had no coal, and notwithstanding all her other elements of greatness, she required that mineral in order to give lier completeness. What she had not, the Lower Provinces had ; and what they had not, Canada had.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. He believed the French Canadians would do all in their power to render justice to their fellow-subjects of English origin, and it should not be forgotten that if the former were in a majority in Lower Canada, the English would be in a majority in the General Government, and that no act of real injustice could take place even if there were a disposition to perpetrate it, without its being reversed there.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. The war of races found its grave in the resolutions of the 3rd-September, 1841, and he hoped never to hear of it again.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. It would not be so in a Federal Union, for all questions of a general nature would be reserved for the General Government, and those of a local character to the local governments, who would have the power to manage their domestic affairs as they deemed best. If a Federal Union were obtained it would be tantamount to a separation of the provinces, and Lower Canada would thereby preserve its autonomy together with all the institutions it held so dear, and over which they could exercise the watchfulness and surveillance necessary to preserve them unimpaired.

      §§. 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. This was the British system, and an instance had lately occurred in the Imperial Parliament exemplifying it.

      Preamble of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  3. Mar 2018
    1. the interests of the British population of Lower Canada were identical with those of the French Canadians ; these peculiar interests being that the trade and commerce of the Western country should continue to flow through Lower Canada.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. The business men of Canada and her farming population too were now entirely dependent on a state of law in the United States, which might not continue forever. (Hear.) If it were possible then to combine with a change in the constitution of Canada such an extension of our territorial limits as to give us access to the sea, we ought not to neglect the opportunity of attaining those means of reaching at all times the mother country and other European countries, which the Maritime Provinces now possessed.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. Consequently, the trade of these Colonies, separated as they were by hostile tariffs, preventing proper commercial intercourse between them—with all the disadvantages of being separated, disunited, and having necessarily smaller Legislatures, and smaller views on the part of their public men

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    4. He considered therefore that, possessing as these Provinces did a large and increasing population, a vast territory, and a trade and commerce which, united, would vie with those of almost any other country in the world, it must be admitted there were material interests which would be greatly promoted it we could agree on a measure of such a nature as to induce the several Provinces to entrust the management of their general affairs to a common government and legislature

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    5. Though he thought the general interest might have been promoted, if we could have gone to Europe and put one comprehensive scheme of colonization and emigration before the world at large, that was prevented now, and all we could hope for, was that such wise measures might be adopted by the Local Legislatures as would have the same results. While it was necessary to leave in the hands of the Local Parliaments and Governments the power of determining the rates or terms on which lands might be obtained by emigrants when they reached us, or when the, natural increase of our own population required our young men to take up lands in the back country, he did not think it should be apprehended that the Local Governments would adopt any policy which would check that which was manifestly for the interest of the community at large. Whatever policy were adopted, whether a wise or a foolish one, must be a policy applying equally to all. No distinction could be drawn, with reference to nationality or creed, among those who went upon the Crown domain to buy lands.

      §.95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    6. In the first Parliament under the new system, there would reside the power of making such alterations as they saw fit in the electoral laws. As they now existed in the several Provinces, they were all different; the very franchise was different ; and it must remain so until the General Legislature had made alterations in the law in; no other way could the system be brought into operation at all, and the same law that applied to the electoral law also applied to electoral limits they must from the necessity of the case be adjusted by the local legislatures preparatory to the meeting of the Federal Parliament.

      §.41 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    7. The interests of trade and commerce, those in which they felt more particularly concerned, which concerned the merchants of Montreal and Quebec, would be in the hands of a body where they could have no fear that any adverse race or creed could affect them. Ail those subjects would be taken out of the category of local questions, would be taken away from the control of those who might he under the influence of sectional feelings animated either by race or religion, and would be placed in the hands of a body where, if the interests of any class could be expected to be secure, surely it would be those of the British population of Lower Canada.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    8. With regard to the acts of the local legislatures, it was proposed they should, in like manner, either be reserved by the Lieutenant Governor, or should, if assented to by him, be liable to disallowance by the general government within one year.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    9. and he would take this opportunity of saving—and it was due to his French Canadian colleagues in the Government that he should thus publicly make the statement, that so far as the whole of them were concerned,—Sir Etienne Tache, Mr. Cartier, Mr. Chapais, and Mr. Langevin,—throughout the whole of the negotiations, there was not a single instance when there was evidence on their part of the slightest disposition to withhold from the British of Lower Canada anything that they claimed for their French Canadian countrymen.

      §§.93 and 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    10. It was felt that more advantage would arise by making the reference from the local to the general legislature direct than to have it go through the Colonial Office. It was plain the Queen, or Sovereign authority, must have the right of exercising the power of controlling legislation in the way which had existed for so many years in every part of the British dominions. There would be no object in sending over mere local bills to the Colonial Office or to the Queen for sanction. It was felt that points on which differences might arise on local bills would be better understood by ourselves in this country than by the Imperial authorities. If reserved, they would have to be referred back to the General Government for its advice as to their disposal ; and if this advice were given, the parties concerned would be ignorant of the advisers, who could not be held responsible. The principle upon which our Government was administered was, that no act was done without some one being responsible. It was desirable therefore that such advice should be tendered by parties who could be brought to account for it by the representatives from the section of the country concerned, in the General Parliament.

      §§.56 and 58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    11. it was proposed to apply to its acts the same check as now existed over the acts of the several legislatures of the Provinces—that is to say, bills having passed the legislatures might either be reserved for Her Majesty’s assent, or having received the assent of Her representative, might be disallowed by the Queen within two years.

      §.56 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    12. It was felt that for the million of people in Lower Canada, not supposed to be familiar with English, the laws should be printed in French, and for those unfamiliar with that language they should be struck off in English. It was nothing more than right that parties who were expected to know and obey the law, should have it placed before them in an intelligible form.

      §.133 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    13. The incorporation of private or local companies, except such as related to matters assigned to the General Parliament, would be reserved to the local Governments, being matters of a local character. Even the present law permitted the incorporation of companies under a very simple system, which would probably be continued.

      §.91(15) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    14. The control of property and civil rights, the administration of justice, including the constitution, maintenance, and organization of the courts of civil jurisdiction, and the procedure in civil matters, were also left to the local legislatures. From the peculiar position of Lower Canada it was felt impossible to confide the matter of civil law to the General Legislature. The principles upon which the civil law of Lower Canada were founded differed entirely from those of the English law. Under it property was secured, and civil rights of every kind maintained, and the people had no particular wish to see it changed, especially at this moment, when the work of codifying and simplifying it was about completed, and when they knew that within the next three or four months they would have it put into their hands in one volume. He thought it was undesirable to do away with that law, which had been beneficial to the country and under which it had prospered. It was necessary to have it left to the local Legislature, because all in Lower Canada were unwilling to have substituted another law with which they were unacquainted.

      §§.92(13)(14) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    15. What they would like would be to have additional powers conferred upon them, rather than to have existing ones contrated. Perhaps the system now everywhere in use in Upper Canada would be beneficial in the Townships.

      §.92(8) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    16. Local works naturally fell within the scope of local governments, and would undoubtedly be under the immediate influence of the municipal councils, but all the works of a really public character would be under the General Legislature; such, he meant, as were connected with the general policy of the whole country.

      §§.92(8)(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    17. The Municipal institutions of the country must necessarily come under the care of the local Legislatures, and in fact the local Legislatures were themselves municipalities of of a larger growth. They were charged with the administration of local affairs, and must be allowed to delegate such powers as they thought might be safely entrusted to the smaller divisions of the country as laid out into townships and parishes.

      §.92(8) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    18. but all would agree that most of the other hospitals and asylums of various kinds should more properly be supported by local than by general resources.

      §§.91(11) and 92(7) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    19. The management of all the Penitentiaries and Prisons naturally fell under the scope of the local authorities ; also that of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary institutions. With regard to these, he would merely say that there might be some which could hardly be considered local in their nature ; such, for example, was the Marine Hospital at Quebec, a seaport where there was an enormous trade

      §§.91(11) and 92(7) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    20. He hoped and believed when the question came up in Parliament for disposal, the Legislature would rescue the Lower Canadian institutions for Superior Education from the difficulties in which they now stood ; and this remark applied both to Roman Catholic and Protestant institutions.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    21. The question of Education was put in generally,—the clause covering both superior and common school education, although the two were to a certain extent distinct.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    22. Attention had however been drawn in Conference to the fact that the school law, as it existed in Lower Canada, required amendment, but no action was taken there as to its alteration, because he hardly felt himself competent to draw up the amendments required ; and it was far better that the mind of the British population of Lower Canada should be brought to bear on the subject, and that the Government might hear what they had to say, so that all the amendments required in the law might be made in a bill to be submitted to Parliament; and he would add that the Government would be very glad to have amendments suggested by those, who, from their intelligence or position, were best able to propose them.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    23. There could be no greater injustice to a population than to compel them to have their children educated in a manner contrary to their own religious belief. It had been stipulated that the question was to be made subject to the rights and privileges which the minorities might have as to their separate and denominational schools.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    24. He would now endeavour to speak somewhat fully as to one of the most important questions, perhaps the most important— that could be confided to the Legislature- the question of Education. This was a question in which, in Lower Canada, they must all feel the greatest interest, and in respect to which more, apprehension might be supposed to exist in the minds at any rate of the Protestant population, than in regard to anything else connected with the whole scheme of federation. It must be clear that a measure would not he favorably entertained by the minority of Lower Canada which would place the education of their children and the provision for their schools wholly in the hands of a majority of a different faith. It was clear that in confiding the general subject of education to the Local Legislatures it was absolutely necessary it should be accompanied with such restrictions as would prevent injustice in any respect from being done to the minority.

      §.93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    25. He had omitted referring to these, when be was reading the list of subjects confided to the General Legislatures, in which they were also included—because he was aware they would come up again, in going over the subjects to be dealt with by the Local Legislatures. These two matters of Agriculture and Immigration must certainly be considered as common in a great measure to all, but at the same time legislation with regard to them might be affected by certain measures which might have only a local bearing. Consequently it was provided that there should be concurrent jurisdiction on these two questions. But, with this concurrent jurisdiction, in the event of any clashing taking place between the action of the General Government and the action of the Local Governments, it was provided that the general policy, the policy of the General Government, that which bad been adopted for the good of the country at large, should supersede and override any adverse action which the Local Legislature might have taken with a view to purely local purposes. The design was to harmonize the system of Immigration and Agriculture over the whole of British North America, while locally it might be subjected to such regulations and stipulations as the Local Legislatures might determine from any cause to apply to it.

      §.95 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    26. “The establishment and tenure of local offices, and the appointment of local officers,”—these were functions which plainly belonged to the Local Legislatures.

      §.92(4) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    27. For, while they would be selected from among ourselves, they would be required to administer the Governments of their respective Provinces, not according to their own will and pleasure but according to the advice of officers who possessed the confidence of the Local Legislatures of those Provinces. Consequently we should always have the means of bringing about harmony, if any difficulty arose between any of the local bodies and the General Government, through the Lieutenant Governor, and we should have a system under which, all action beginning with the people and proceeding through the Local Legislature, would, before it became law, come under the revision of the Lieutenant Governor, who would be responsible for his action, and be obliged to made his report to the superior authority.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    28. It was well that there should be those objects of ambition. At present the Bar and the Bench might be said to possess almost the only prizes the country offered to its public men. It was desirable, he thought, that we should have within our reach the opportunity of rewarding merit by appointing from among ourselves in the several Provinces those who should be the heads of the Local Governments and who should form the links of connection between the Local Governments and the General Government, holding to that General Government the same relations as were now held by the heads of the Provincial Governments to the imperial Government, and discharging the duties [Page 14] of their offices under the same local advice as that which the Governors now acted on.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    29. it was felt there was no necessity whatever for their being in communication with the Imperial Government, but that on the contrary very great mischief might arise, if they were permitted to bold that communication. It was also thought that, in keeping the appointment of the Lieutenant Governors in the hands of the General Government, this further advantage would be gained ; the appointments would be conferred on men in our own country. (Hear, hear.) There would be a selection from the public men of intelligence and standing in the respective Provinces, and they would go to the discharge of the duties imposed upon them with experience gained in public life in the colonies whose local affairs they were called on to administer, so that they would carry to the administration of public affairs in the respective Provinces that valuable acquaintance with the feelings and habits of thought of the people which they had gained during their public life.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    30. And the first change he had to draw their attention to was with reference to the appointment of the Lieutenant Governor who it was proposed should be appointed by the General Government. The reason why this was preferred to the appointment taking place as heretofore by the Crown was that it was intended that the communication between all the several Provinces and the Imperial Government should be restricted to the General Government.

      §.58 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    31. that the Local Governments should be constituted, to the powers to be committed to them, and the exercise of those powers. It was proposed that in the meantime they should be constituted as at present, that is to say, consisting of a Lieutenant Governor, a Legislative Council, and a Legislative Assembly.

      Part V and §§.64, 65, 69, 71, 80, and 82 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    32. He might remark, with reference to the appointment of Judges by the general Government, that they were to be selected from the Bars of the several Provinces, and the idea was thrown out at the Conference that there was such a similarity in the laws of Upper Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island—all of them possessing the English law–that the probability was that they would be able to consolidate their laws, and that of course, if that were done, there would be a larger scope for the selection of the Bench— and in other respects also he believed that great advantages would result from it. But, in the case of Lower Canada, where we had a different system of law altogether, it was plain that the Judges could be selected only from among gentlemen conversant with that law, and therefore it was provided that the Judges should be selected from the Bars of the respective Provinces in which they were to act, but in the case of the consolidation of the laws of the several Maritime Provinces and of Upper Canada, the choice would extend to the Bars of all those Provinces.

      §§.97 and 98 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    33. He felt that to the gentlemen who had so worthily filled tor so many years the positions of our Judges, was due in a great measure the prosperity of the country, the happiness of the people, and the security to life and property we enjoyed. He thought that the higher their position was made and the more respect paid them, the better it would be for the general interest, and were the appointment and payment of the judges put into the bands of the local legislatures it would be a diminution of the importance the former were entitled to expect at our hands ; he thought there was no one in the country, with the exception of the Governor General himself, whom we should so desire to see upheld in the public estimation as those men who administered justice in the Courts.

      §.96 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    34. It was also proposed that the Judges of the Superior Courts in each Province, and of the County Courts of Upper Canada, should be appointed by the General Government and paid by it. He was glad this power had been conferred, believing that if there was one thing more than another which they should seek to do in this country, it was to elevate the character of the Bench.

      §.96 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    35. It was proposed to ask the Imperial Government to confer upon the General Government the power of constituting such a court, not, however, with the desire to abolish the present right of appeal to England.

      §.101 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    36. At present appeal lay from our courts ultimately to the Queen in Privy Council, and it was not intended to deprive the subject of recourse to this ultimate court ; but at the same time it was well, in assimilating the present systems of law, for the benefit of all the Provinces, that they should have the assembled wisdom of the Bench brought together in a general court of appeal to decide ultimate causes, which would before long doubtless supersede the necessity of going to the enormous expense of carrying appeals to England.

      §.101 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    37. It was thought proper to give to the General Government the right to establish a general Court of Appeal for the federated Provinces He thought that while there was no express provision for the establishment of such a court, many who had studied the question would agree that it was desirable the General Legislature should have the power of constituting such a court, if it saw fit to do so.

      §.101 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    38. rime should meet with the same punishment no matter in what part of the Country committed. The right hand of justice should be as sure of grasping the criminal and punishing him for his offence in one part as in another. There should be no distinction anywhere in regard to the amount of punishment inflicted for offences.

      §.91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    39. It was desirable the General Government should have the control of the medium through which the trade and commerce of the country was carried on, and that in the establishment of banks, the issue of paper money and in offering to the public the paper representative of their labor, in whatever part of the country, there should be the same legislative security for the people

      §§.91(2)(14)(15)(16) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    40. and in framing a union of these Provinces it was desirable that whatever might be the inducement that brought foreigners hither, whether a desire to embark in the Fisheries of Newfoundland, in the Lumbering of New Brunswick, or in the agricultural and manufacturing industries of Upper or Lower Canada, we should hold out to them the utmost facilities for becoming subjects of the British Crown here.

      §.91(25) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    41. The protection of the Indians, and the naturalization of aliens were matters which necessarily fell to the general Government.

      §§.91(24)(25) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    42. The control of the Militia was certainly a subject which they must all feel ought to be in the hands of one central power. If them was one thing more than another which required to be directed by one mind, governed by one influence and one policy, it was that which concerned the defence of the country.

      §§.15 and 91(7) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    43. In fact he might say that lines of telegraph, railways, etc., and all works of an essentially general character, as distinguished from those merely local, were intended to be under the control of the General Government who would administer them for the common Interest. They would be put beyond the power of any local government to obstruct or interfere with, they being a means by which the trade and industry of the country at large would benefit. It would not be found possible in any part of the united ter- [Page 12] ritory to offer objection to that which was in the common interest, simply on account of its being situated in any particular locality.

      §.91(29) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    44. Lines of steam or other ships, railways, as well as canals and other works connecting any two or more of the Provinces together, or extending beyond the limits of any Province, would be under the control of the General Government.

      §.92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    45. If there was one branch of the public service which, more than another, should be under the control of the general government it was the Postal Service ; and it had been agreed to leave it entirely in the hands of the General Government.

      §.91(5) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    46. the Central Government would have the power of raising money by all the other modes and systems of taxation—the power of taxation had been confided to the General Legislature—and there was only one method left to the Local Governments, if their own resources became exhausted, and this was direct taxation.

      §§.91(3) and 92(2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    47. its representatives at the conference urged that if the General Government should put an export duty on coal, one of their most important resources would be interfered with, and Nova Scotia was therefore permitted to deal with the export duty on coal and other minerals, just as New Brunswick was with regard to timber.

      §.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    48. The correct interpretation of the clause would, however, leave to the General Government the power of levying a duty on exports of lumber in all the Provinces except New Brunswick, which alone would possess the right to impose duties on the export of timber.

      §§.121 and 124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    49. Now inasmuch as the territorial possessions of each Province were reserved as a means of producing local revenue for the respective Provinces, it was evident that if the Province of New Brunswick were deprived of this privilege of imposing an export duty it would be obliged to revert to the old expensive process of levying stumpage dues, against which its representatives in Conference very strongly protested.

      §.92(5) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    50. He might remark that in the published statement it was said the General Government should not have the right of imposing duties on exports of lumber, coal and other minerals, but the understanding was that the clause should be limited in the case of timber to the Province of New Brunswick, and in the oas3 of coal and other minerals to the Province of Nova Scotia. The reasons for this prohibition were that the duty on the export of timber in New Brunswick was in reality only the mode in which they collected stumpage.

      §§.121 and 124 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    51. The regulation of duties of customs on imports and exports might perhaps be considered so intimately connected with the subject of trade and commerce as to require no separate mention in this place ; he would however allude to it because one of the chief benefits expected to flow from the Confederation was the free interchange of the products of the labor of each Province, without being subjected to any fiscal burden whatever ; and another was the assimilation of the tariffs. It was most important to see that no local legislature should by its separate action be able to put any such restrictions on the free interchange of commodities as to prevent the manufactures of the rest from finding a market in any one province, and thus from sharing in the advantages of the extended Union

      §§.121 and 122 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    52. It would have the regulation of all the trade and commerce of the country, for besides that these were subjects in reference to which no local interest could exisit, it was desirable that they should be dealt with throughout the Confederation on the same principles.

      §§.91(1a) and (2) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    53. Home change would have to be made in the duration of the Parliaments of the local systems, and it was thought desirable that the term of existence of the General Legislature should be longer than any that could possibly be adopted for the local bodies.

      §.50 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    54. What was desired was that elections and dissolutions of Parliament should take place with sufficient frequency to ensure that the representatives should truly represent the people.

      §.50 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    55. It was also proposed that the duration of Parliament should be extended from four to five years. The reason for adopting this coarse was that under our present system Parliaments seldom lasted longer than three years. In England where their legal duration was seven years, it was found, on an examination of the records of the last sixty or seventy years, that the average length of each Parliament was only a trifle over four years.

      §.50 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    56. tion they might be inclined to appoint their own political friends to the exclusion of the others. But it was intended that the nomination should be so made that not only the members composing the Government but also the Opposition to the Government should be fairly represented in the Legislative Council. So far as Canada was concerned, there was no likelihood of difficulty arising on this point, because the coalition which was formed between the Liberal and Conservative parties would preclude any attempt calculated to injure the interests of either. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) In the case of the Lower Provinces the same reasons did not exist. Their governments were still party governments, and though they had associated with them, in the Conference which had taken place, the leaders of the Opposition, still the action to be taken would necessarily be the action of the governments of the Lower Provinces. It was therefore proposed that there should be a guarantee given that all political parties should be as nearly as possible fully represented.

      §.25 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    57. The House would never have lees than 194 members, but it would increase at a very slow rate, as it would only be the greater increase of any Province over that of Lower Canada which would entitle it to additional representation, while, if the agricultural resources of Lower Canada became developed, and its mineral wealth explored, so that it increased faster than Upper Canada, then the number of representatives for Upper Canada would be diminished, not those for Lower Canada increased. Of course, to provide for the settlement of the remote portions of the country which might be brought in from time to time, power was reserved to increase the number of members ; but such members could only be increased preserving the relative proportions. One advantage which would flow from this was that white 194 or 300 members were certainly sufficient to carry on the business of the country, we should be spared the enormous expense which would be entailed upon us if the representatives were rapidly to grow up to 300 or perhaps 400 members.

      §§.51 and 52 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    58. Population was made the basis, and to prevent any undue augmentation in the numbers of the Lower House as population increased, it was settled that there should be a fixed standard on which the numbers of the House should be calculated, and Lower Canada was selected as affording the proper basis.

      §§.51 and 52 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    59. Now unless this were done, it was plain that Upper Canada would not, under any circumstances, have consented to be a party to the Union, since for many years it had been claiming additional representation as a matter of right, and would certainly not have entered a Confederation, unless a due share of control were given it over the expenditure and taxation to which it so largely contributed.

      §.51 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    60. Consequently there was a greater certainty that fairness would be meted out to both parties, if the representatives in the Upper House were to be chosen from the electoral limits which now existed. It was intended that the first selection of Legislative Councillors should be made from the present Legislative Councils of the several Provinces, and without referring to the reasons which actuated gentlemen from the Lower Provinces in regard to this matter, he thought it might be sufficient to point out that in Canada, where we had forty-eight gentlemen sitting in the Upper House by the right of election, it would have been doing a wrong, not merely to them individually, but to their constituents too, if they had from any cause been attempted to be overlooked. It was quite evident even if no such clause had been inserted, that no attempt would have been made to pass over those gentlemen who had been selected by the people themselves as the most fit and proper persons to represent them in the Legislative Council. However, the arrangement was that they should be chosen, regard being held in that selection to the relative position of political parties. If the power of nomination were entrusted to the Government without restric-

      §.25 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    61. It then became necessary to settle the number of members tor the Upper House, and the more so because the Upper House was intended to be the means whereby certain local interests and local rights would be protected in the General Legislature, For this reason it was contended that while the principle of Representation by Population might be properly enough extended to the Lower House, equality of territorial representation should be preserved in the Upper House; and it was proposed in its formation, that the Confederation should be divided into three large districts, Upper Canada being one. Lower Canada another, and the Maritime Provinces the third. Newfoundland not having joined the preliminary Conference, arrangements were made for its coming in with the additional number of four members.

      §.22 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

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