Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED -- Should Western Canada Leave Confederation (Part 2)

PLEASE NOTE ... this is the second in a series on whether Western Canada should leave confederation. If you missed it, you can CLICK HERE for Part 1

To properly understand the impetus for confederation, we have to go back to 1841 and the British Parliament Act of Union that joined Upper and Lower Canada into one Province of Canada. Each of the former provinces would elect an equal number of representatives to a central Parliament.

Lower Canada was annoyed as Upper Canada had a population of about 450,000 while Lower Canada had a population of about 650,000. The result was that no political leader could draw enough support from the ‘other side’ to form a majority government.

Elections were held in 1841,1844, 1848,1851, 1854, 1858, 1981, and 1863 without a workable government being elected. The notion of joining with other provinces to break the deadlock led to talks between Upper Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Quebec joined the talks.

All provinces were concerned over a potential American invasion as the American Civil War had ended in 1865, and the US had an ample army in uniform to invade and annex Canada. Quebec was particularly concerned as she feared that if America invaded and won, she would lose the rights she was granted by the Quebec Act of 1778.

The main reasons for confederation were to break the political deadlock in the Province of Canada, and unify to fight off a potential American invasion. There was no thought creating a wider Confederation or anything that did not protect the enjoined provinces of Upper and Lower Canada.

The British North America Act of 1867 clearly reflected the importance of Ontario and Quebec and made it clear that they were the central core of the confederation. Nothing has changed since.

In 1869, Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, with considerable pressure from the British government. The Hudson’s Bay Company wanted to sell to the US at a higher price.

When the federal government tried to install a governor in the Red River Settlements, he faced a rebellion and the Province of Manitoba was created (1870).

The construction of a railway brought British Columbia into Confederation (1871).

These efforts were to vastly expand the territory under control of Canada. There was no thought to creating strong provinces or equality of any sort.

When the area between Manitoba and British Columbia was under settlement, the federal government feared a strong province might appear which would become a political problem, so it spit the territory into Alberta and Saskatchewan.

From the outset and creation of the British North America Act -- to today -- the intention is to concentrate political power in Ontario and Quebec ... and that has been succeeded so far.

Immigration has kept populations in those provinces high, and between them they hold 58.8% of Commons seats and a 45.7% of the Senate seats. Since the Senate is split along party lines despite efforts to show otherwise, Liberal control of the Senate is even stronger. |

The die is cast and we cannot look to constitutional amendments to improve our lot. We face a stark choice of remaining a subsidiary controlled by Ottawa or striking out on our own.


John Feldsted ... is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist. He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE SIDEWINDER -- Just quit your constant damned whining and do something positive about it

  Living in a democracy is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibilities such as voting and being involved. When the dust settled on Saturdays (October 24 th ) BC election, less than two thirds of the eligible voters * took the time to vote - but the loudest bitchers will probably be among the more than one third of voters who sat on their asses and complained about how all politicians are crooks, etc. How many of you constant whiners have ever done anything close to becoming involved; or do you just like sniveling to hear your own voice? Are you one the arseholes who likes to take advantage of everything our democracy has to offer, without ever contributing anything? And I don't want to listen to your crap about paying taxes, blah, blah, blah. There's more to making democracy work than simply voting and then sitting back and let others carry the ball for you. Too many people seem unwilling to get involved - and follow-up - to make sure elected po

The stats clearly demonstrate the need for professional and impartial advice at the time of purchase, renewal, and refinancing of mortgages

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION : Canadian Mortgage Trends   Canadians need guidance with their mortgages ... t hat’s the takeaway from a national survey released this week by Rates.ca, which found half of Canadians aren’t aware of the mortgage options available to them. Not only that, but Canadians are lacking in some other basic mortgage trivia, with an astounding 9 out of 10 respondents not knowing that mortgage interest is charged semi-annually: 28% think interest is compounded monthly; 17% think it’s bi-weekly; 17% think it’s annually; 28% just have no idea. Should we be concerned? Dustan Woodhouse, President of Mortgage Architects, and a former active broker who has written multiple educational mortgage books, thinks so. “ Sounds about right. We know about what we pay attention to, i.e., The Kardashians ,” he wrote to CMT. “ The material concern in this is how easy it makes it for the government to over-regulate the industry, with c

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su

Labels

Show more