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Copyright Reserved


CHAP. |'a(;k

I. The Genesis of Alberta . . . i
II. Alberta's Status as a Canadian Colony 8

III. Review of Colonial Systems . .20

IV. Colonial History of Canada 31
V. Alberta's Political Constitution . 39

VI. Representation 50

VII. Factors Determining Sip^e OF CouNTRiKs 61

VIII. The Tariff 75

IX. Financial Position of Alberta 86

X. Lands as a Needed Source of Revenue 100

XI. Spoliation of Western Lands by

Dominion in

XII. Immigration 123

XIII. Alberta's Coal and Timber Resources 132

XIV. Possible Ways of Obtaining Redress

of Grievances . .142

XV. Political Summary . 152

XVI. Philosophical Summary .... 166

XVII. Conclusion ... 176



A FEW remarks may not be out of place in
explanation of the reasons which stirred me
to write this book.

As a member of the Alberta Legislature I
could not fail from being deeply influenced
by witnessing the total overthrow of the
Rutherford government on account of their
efforts to open up the northern portions of
the province.

Nothing could have more forcibly brought
home to my mind the injustice of a state of
affairs by which a Provincial Government
assumes the liabilities incident to the de-
velopment of a vast country while the
natural resources of that country are owned
and controlled by a foreign Government. The
province undertook to assist in the construc-
tion of a railroad into regions where every

square inch of land, every stick of timber,



every pound of mineral belonged to the
Dominion Government.

That the proper provincial attitude under
such conditions consisted in a pohcy of
laissez-faire I could not credit. The citizens
of Alberta may be supposed to possess more
than the average spirit of enterprise, as
evidenced by their colonization of Alberta.
Was it to be considered that this spirit of
enterprise should cease to exert itself?
Were the citizens of Alberta to regard the
larger portions of their province as some-
thing foreign, as something taboo, as some-
thing caUing for the display of powers
beyond their strength?

Such a view of affairs does not appeal
to me, nor do I think it is a view agreeable
to Alberta. Having attempted and failed
in our first endeavour, it behoved us to
analyse the causes which produced the failure
and then to find a remedy.

My own conclusion is that the provincial
constitution is too limited, and that the pro-
vince must own her own natural resources,
be they lands, minerals or timber. In the


following pages I have set forth the argu-
ments which appear to me to justify our
provincial ambitions. I have endeavoured
to treat the matter on a non-partisan basis,
which has been made easier from the fact
that the late political crisis in Alberta has
almost eliminated parties.

If I have succeeded in stimulating some
minds to feel an interest in these subjects,
and to pursue them further, my object will
have been attained. The humblest in-
strument often plays an important part by
being the stimulus necessary to arouse
dormant energies. Alberta is a province to
be proud of. She need fear no comparison
with any other country as far as natural
wealth goes. That she also need fear no
comparison in the matter of the spirit and
enterprise of her citizens is my firm convic-
tion, and a nation endowed with such
quahties will never for any length of time
endure a curtailment of national rights in-
compatible with a proper self-respect.

A. B.-M.

624 Hardisty Avenue,




LITTLE did Prince Rupert dream, when
he consented to become the patron of
a band of adventurers desirous of exploring
and trading in the northern wilds of America,
that this action would entitle him to his
country's lasting gratitude. Those dashing
cavalry charges, so associated with his name,
were sterile of permanent results; his pat-
ronage of the company of Gentleman Ad-
venturers was pregnant with the future fate
of a country large enough to be styled an

If Columbus had found a patron in Eng-
land we can surmise that South and Central


America would not have so completely
fallen under Spanish influence, and we may
with equal reason conjecture that England
became the paramount power in the regions
adjacent to Hudson's Bay thanks to Prince
Rupert's action. Prince Rupert, we feel
safe in stating, neither intended nor foresaw
the epoch-making consequences of this event
in his life; he probably regarded it but as
an incident, and an insignificant incident at
that. But, as is the case in so many in-
stances, he laboured better than he knew,
and his name will ever be associated with
that vast country lying to the west of the
Hudson's Bay.

This company of adventurers, so well
known as the Hudson's Bay Company, of
which Prince Rupert was the first patron,
obtained a charter in 1670 granting it a
monopoly of the trade of those regions. We
will not investigate the fortunes which
befell the Company during the lengthy
period of its ascendancy, but will content
ourselves with noting the ract that they
formed the necessary link which perpetu-


ated British suzerainty during the troublous
times of the eighteenth century.

After the Canadian provinces had framed
their Confederation they cast their eyes
upon this vast domain still almost entirely
tributary to the Hudson's Bay Company.
With this object in view Canada approached
the British authorities at home, where she
had no difficulty in convincing the British
Government that she would be a gainer by
transferring these territories to Canada.
Great Britain, when she handed them over
to Canada, stipulated that a settlement
should be made with the Hudson's Bay
Company to extinguish their real or imagin-
ary claims, that the Indians should be pro-
tected and law and order maintained.

Canada undertook these obligations. The
Hudson's Bay Company's title and interest
in the country were bought for the sum of a
million and a half dollars together with a
grant of one-twentieth of the land. During
the negotiations a rebellion broke out in
Manitoba in 1869, which was put down b\'
Sir Garnet Wolseley. Later, in 1885, there


was a second rebellion, owing to the appre-
hensions of the breeds and Indians that their
lands and hunting-grounds were going to be
taken from them. The rebelUon did not
attain large dimensions and was speedily
quelled. The leader, Louis Riel, after whom
the Rebellion is named, was hanged, and
since that date nothing has disturbed the
peace of the country.

The most important event during this
epoch was the construction of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, which connected the At-
lantic with the Pacific Oceans. This rail-
way was completed in 1885, which must be
regarded as the date which closes the
earlier historical period when these terri-
tories were the haunts of trappers, Indians
and buffaloes.

The development of the country for the
first few years after the completion of the
Canadian Pacific was not rapid.

Many causes combined to bring about this
partial stagnation. The railway had fol-
lowed the southern route, which traversed
huge areas which were considered to be part


of a dry belt; the freight charges were enor-
mously high ; the United States had not yet
filled up their own western states, and last,
but not least, the development of any new
country starts gradually as easy com-
munication is necessary to establish large
industries, be they agricultural or manufac-
turing, and easy communication is hard to
obtain until a large trade has been de-
veloped. The two factors form an endless
chain; both are contingent to a certain
extent on the existence of the other, and
as a result initial development is a gradual
process awaiting each hesitating step of the
capitalists who are needed to establish lines
of communication.

Little by little Western Canada's lines of
communication became more and more
extended, and with their increase the com-
mercial and agricultural interests evolved
from a state of haphazard, spasmodic
activity into continuous and regular
channels no longer materially disturbed by
every passing wave of prosperity or adver-
sity. No definite date can be assigned to


this transition from the irresponsibility of
the pioneer stage to the more sober and staid
position of an active participant in the
world's commercial life; but we may roughly
regard igoo as the date on which started
the present phase of Western Canada's

When Canada took over the stewardship
of these territories there was first formed
the province of Manitoba with a local legis-
lature. For the administration of the dis-
tricts comprising Saskatchewan, Alberta and
Assiniboia a modified system of a repre-
sentative assembly was put in force. This
assembly had very little power. It re-
ceived remittances from the Dominion
Government, with which it constructed
roads and bridges and undertook other
works necessary even in a pioneer country.

By 1905 the population had increased so
enormously that the Dominion saw fit to
meet the demands of these districts for the
establishment of fuller and freer local

As a consequence the Dominion Govern-


ment, by virtue of the powers granted them
by the British North America Act, created
two new provinces — Alberta and Saskatche-
wan. Together they comprise the old dis-
tricts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia
and Athabasca.

By their formation as provinces they
became, or rather should have become,
partners in the Confederation of Canada.

The purpose of this book is to investigate
the deficiencies in the constitutions granted
these new provinces, and to question the
justice and advisability of such curtailments
of their local autonomy.


alberta's status as a CANADIAN

THE title of this book refers to Canada
as being possessed of colonies and
consequently as having pursued a certain
course of colonial policy; this may be some-
what of a surprise to many who have still
hardly ceased regarding Canada as a colony
herself, and yet when we look beneath the
veneer on the surface we will find that the
statement is indisputably true, and that
Canada not only possesses colonies but very
large and prosperous colonies at that. That
this fact should have escaped notice is not
really surprising, as one of the most marked
characteristics of mankind is an extreme
aversion to close and searching analysis of
things accepted; the majority habitually
regard with disfavour those who undertake


to analyse the prevailing religious beliefs,
political nostrums or social doctrines. It
acts as a shock suddenly to discover that the
previous castles of their fancies were merely
built on shifting sand, and that at the first
attack of the analyst all their treasured ideas
and opinions are shown to be valueless. We
are accustomed to read of old-world dynas-
ties spending their energies in attempts to
acquire increased territory; we feel righte-
ously indignant at the conduct of those
countries who imagined they had the right to
skim the cream off such colonies as they
might have founded, and we piously thank
God that we live in a more enlightened age,
when such occurrences would on no account
be permitted.

Consequently no wonder it comes as a
surprise to learn that not only does Canada
possess what we may call a colonial Empire,
but also that in dealing with her colonies
the policy pursued by Canada is very little
different to that pursued by England a
hundred years ago, or to that pursued con-
tinuously and disastrously by Spain.


That this is really the case the succeeding
chapters will essay to prove; the present
chapter will make a hasty review of the
political birth of modern Canada.

The Dominion of Canada came into exist-
ence in 1867 through the Confederation of
Ontario, Ouebec, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. Previous to this date the various
provinces had conducted their own affairs
under the supervision of Downing Street.

For forty years or more Ontario and
Quebec, or Upper and Lower Canada as they
were then called, had been a source of worry
to the Home Government, and the idea of a
Confederation was eagerly hailed by Down-
ing Street as an expedient which might put
an end to those complications engendered in
the herculean task of making a Government
agreeable alike to the English-speaking and
French-speaking citizen.

The scheme of Confederation was matured
and each province was then asked to pro-
nounce upon it.

It was a voluntary union; each province
was asked to say " Yes " or " No," though it


is true that in the case of Nova Scotia some
very questionable tactics were used by the
Crown authorities to get her assent, and it
was many years before Nova Scotia became
completely reconciled to her absorption in
the Union. Still the principle was that the
union was voluntary. Previous to this
union each province had certain rights of
their own. Before they entered into it
they knew exactly what special prerogatives
they would have to hand over to the Central
Government, and were able to insist on such
powers being retained by the Provincial
parliaments as they may have deemed
necessary for a continuance of that measure
of local autonomy desired by each re-
spective unit. Naturally there were grave
disagreements as to what powers should be
kept and what given away by the provinces;
and naturally it was the smaller provinces,
such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
who were the more particularly jealous
lest by sacrificing their local independ-
ence to too great an extent they should
eventually lose their individuality and


become merely appendages to the larger

The prime mover of the negotiations was
Sir John Macdonald, and it must be noted
that he was heart and soul in favour of a
legislative rather than a federal union, and
the final result arrived at must be regarded
as a compromise between the two extremes.

For instance, the union of the British
Isles is a legislative union ; the union of the
Canadian Provinces was not legislative
entirely such as the British Isles, nor yet
was it framed on such a broad federal basis
as the American Union.

However, the hypothesis of the original
Confederation, whether it was actually con-
firmed or not, was voluntary consent by the
parties affected.

Likewise, when Prince Edward Island and
British Columbia joined it was also by
voluntary consent; they were already in
enjoyment of full provincial autonomy, and
when they agreed to hand over certain of
their powers to the Central Government, it
was on the assumption that the benefits they


would gain would more than counter-
balance the advantages of entire local

Canada had now come into existence
formed by a union of consenting individual
units; each having agreed, for the supposed
general good, to certain curtailments of their
own individual powers, but still retaining
sufficient prerogatives as would preserve a
self-respecting measure of local autonomy.

The fact of such friction having been
aroused on the question as to how far the
union should be legislative as opposed to
federal, — and more than once it seemed as
though the whole scheme would fall to the
ground so antagonistic were the views held,
— this fact must always be closely borne in
mind, as in this original union the four pro-
vinces were comparatively close geographic-
ally, and if serious objections were taken by
them to the delegation of too much authority
to the Central Government, how much
greater would be the objections of other
units at a greater distance from the seat of
Government. As we saw in the last chapter


the North-West Territories were handed
over to Canada by Great Britain in 1870.

Great Britain was not impressed with
their importance or value, and was still
under the influence of the Manchester school
of politicians, a school which considered the
possession of colonies as a doubtful benefit,
and especially these colonies adjacent to the
United States. Canada was allowed by
Great Britain to purchase these territories;
Great Britain waived her rights, which were
indisputable, in favour of Canada.

These territories were transferred by their
mother-country to a new guardian, who pro-
mised to take the place of their mother.
But, unfortunately, the expenses, small
though they were, incurred by the purchase
and administration of these territories made
Canada lose sight of the fact that her own
parentage was no better than their parent-
age, and she gradually came to regard them
as lands acquired by herself as a speculation
or an investment; or, when this view was
absent, she looked upon herself as a verit-
able fairy godmother heaping priceless


treasures on some lucky orphan. Thus we
see that these Canadian views uncon-
sciously had the effect of making these new
territories treated as colonies.

It has not been the custom of historians
to designate these acquisitions as colonies,
but what else can they be regarded as other
than Canadian colonies.

We use the word " colonies " in its gener-
ally-accepted sense, i.e., a foreign posses-
sion; or perhaps a better definition would
be that a colony is a term applied to such
extensions of extraneous territory acquired
by a country for the purpose of Empire
or trade.

It must be admitted that the North- West
Territories became Canadian possessions,
and as the Interpretation Act of 1889
defined a colony as any part of the British
Dominions exclusive of the British Isles or
British India, it would seem perfectly in
harmony with truth to claim that these
Canadian possessions must be classed as

This may appear quibbling; on the con-


trary, it is of the utmost importance to
define the status of these territories thus
obtained by Canada.

There has always existed a hazy idea that
Canada herself being a British possession, it
necessarily followed that there was no dif-
ferentiation in the status possessed by the
various parts of Canada, and it is this mis-
taken idea we desire to dispel. We have
already seen how four self-governing units
formed of their own free will a Confedera-
tion; the North-West Territories did not
join of their own free will. So far was that
from being the case that a rebellion actually
occurred when the news of the cession to
Canada became known, and at a later date
the Riel rebellion would again give colour
to the statement that in seizing these ter-
ritories Canada was merely following in the
footsteps of her own mother-country in the
acquirement of foreign possessions which
might be useful in the future for purposes
of expansion or trade.

However, without laying much stress on
the mild rebelUons, let us bear in mind that


colonies are acquired by purchase, by war,
or, if uninhabited by a so-called civilised
community, by claiming the country in the
name of the explorer's sovereign or Govern-
ment by the simple process of raising a flag
Most of Africa has been obtained by various
countries in the last-named manner; but
now no more opportunities are open, and
outside of war it is necessary to purchase if
a colony is desired.

Canada purchased her colonies by a pay-
ment to Hudson's Bay Company; to a
certain extent she obtained them by war,
when we consider Wolseley's expedition in
1869 and Kiel's rebelhon in 1885; and
originally we can fairly presume that large
portions of these territories became British
possessions because they claimed them.

Thus we see all the conditions were
partially complied with, and it is clear that
Canada, unconsciously it is true, started the
foundations of a colonial Empire when
she purchased the North-West Territories.
Because such stress has been laid upon the
fact that these possessions must be regarded


as colonies, it must not be hastily inferred
that a stigma attaches to the acquisition of
colonies. By no means; colonies are most
necessary, and Canada's action in acquiring
these possessions, before she really knew if
her own Confederation would survive the
perils that then threatened its existence, is a
proof of indomitable enterprise and optim-
ism. But for our purpose of endeavouring
to understand the status of the various parts
which go to make up Canada, it is absolutely
essential at the outset to make this point
very clear, that while the other parts of
Canada are partners in a Confederation, the
North-West Territories are not partners,
but are territories owned by the union of
other provinces.

Later, in 1871, British Columbia joined
the Confederation ; she made her own terms,
and entered the Confederation on an equal
status with the original four provinces.

In 1872 Prince Edward Island likewise
entered into Confederation; she had pre-
viously on two or three occasions refused,
but at last, on more advantageous terms


being offered, she consented to become part
of the Confederation. Thus we see that all
the units comprising the Confederation of
Canada voluntarily entered into a partner-
ship with the exception of the North-West

The original units had already a political
existence; they were alive, so to speak, and
could, and did, act for themselves. The
North-West Territories had no political
existence; but to-day they, too, are alive,
and it is our intention to investigate the
treatment accorded to them when it became
necessary to grant them a political in-

Recognising that all knowledge is relative,
a proper understanding of their original
status in the Dominion of Canada is im-
perative, and that status we regard as
being one of a colony.



NOW that we have settled the status of
the North- West Territories as being
that of colonies, it will be necessary to glance
through the records of history and learn what
we can about the various policies which
have been made use of by different countries
in the administration of colonies.

A careful study and proper appreciation of
the results of lines of colonial policy as ex-
hibited in history should enable us to
avoid past mistakes and to initiate a
colonial policy more in conformity with
the rights of both the regulated and re-
gulative. Of course, allowance must be
made for changed conditions, and perhaps
this is a fitting place to point out the some-
times forgotten truth, that this is a new age
with new customs, new ideas and a new code

of political morality.



The change may not be lasting. In the
eternal rhythm accompanjdng all life there
may be a sudden revulsion to the old pre-
datory habits of our ancestors, but what-
ever may be the final outcome, at present
unprovoked aggression on weaker neigh-
bours is regarded as immoral. Unprovoked
aggression occurs occasionally, but when it
does the aggressor feels it necessary in com-
pliance to the prevailing public opinion to
disguise the actual facts by specioush^
alleging that it is only in the interest of the
attacked that she feels compelled to engage
in a task she heartily dislikes! While we
may detect the spurious altruism, and rather
regard it as veiled hypocrisy, yet the verv
fact of the aggressor feeling it necessary
to make excuses is a proof of prevailing
sentiment. And that there is such a pre-
vailing sentiment will be more readily be-
lieved when we see that it has arisen as a
natural result of increased industrialism.
If the growth of industrialism proceeds un-
checked, we may look for an increased ratio
of immunity from the aggressions of the


strong over the weak; and correspondingly
we may effect changes in our poUtical regime
to suit the new conditions.

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