Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine


Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

An Abridged History of Canada
Chapter XLII.—Vice-Royalty of the Marquis of Lorne


General Elections—New Conservative Government—Arrival of Marquis of Lorne and Princess Louise—1878. The "National Policy"—1879. Pacific Railway Syndicate—1880. Census Returns—1881.

The general elections of the year lo78 took place on the 17th of September. The result was the defeat of Mr. Mackenzie's Government by a very large majority. On the 16th of October, therefore, the Ministry resigned, and Lord Dufferin called upon Sir John A. Macdonald to form an Administration. This he succeeded in doing, and on the 18th his Cabinet was completed as shown below.

On October 19th, Lord Dufferin sailed from Quebec amid the universal regret of the people of Canada. This feeling was accompanied by one of gratification that they were to be succeeded in their high place by the Marquis of Lome and the Princess Louise. It was felt to be a pledge of the deep interest felt by Her Majesty the Queen in the Dominion, that she chose to be represented among her Canadian subjects in the person of her daughter and of her son-in-law. On the 25th of November, the Vice-regal party landed at Halifax. Their progress to Montreal and Ottawa was one continued ovation.

On the opening of the new Parliament, February 14th, 1879, the most important clause of the Speech from the Throne was that which stated that the revenue of the country being insufficient to meet the charges against it, such a re-adjustment of the tariff would be proposed as would, it was expected, restore the equilibrium between revenue and expenditure, and at the same time develop and encourage the various industries of the country—a fiscal system designated as the "National Policy."

Hon. John A Macdonald, C.B., Minister of Interior; Hon. Samuel L Tilley, C.B., Minister of Finance; Hon. Charles Tupper, C.B., Minister of Public Works; Hon. J. H. Pope, Minister of Agriculture ; Hon. John O'Conner, Q.C., President of the Council; Hon. James Macdonald, Q.C., Minister of Justice; Hon. Hector L. Langevin, C.B., Postmaster General; Hon. L. R. F. Masson, Minister of Militia and Defence; Hon. James C. Aikens, Secretary of State; Hon. Mackenzie Bowell, Minister of Customs; Hon. J. C. Pop?, Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Hon. L. F. G. Baby, Minister of Inland Revenue ; Hon. A. Campbell, Receiver-General; Hon. R. D, Wilmot, President of the Senate.

On the 11th of March, the Ontario Legislature was dissolved, and a new election took place. The results of the election showed that Mr. Mowat's Government was sustained by a large majority.

In the Quebec Legislature, the Joly Ministry was defeated, and Mr. Chapleau became the leader of a new administration.

In the summer of 1880, Sir John A. Macdonald announced that his Government was contemplating the abandonment of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway as a public work, and was negotiating with a number of capitalists for its construction by private contract. On the 16th of September, it was publicly announced that a contract had been made with capitalists of London, Paris, and America, for that purpose—the contract to be subject to the approval of Parliament. Among its chief provisions were the following: That the Company should receive a subsidy in money of $25,000,000 and of 25,000,000 acres of land, in alternate sections of 640 acres each, extending back twenty-four miles on each side of the railway. It was also granted permission to import, free of duty, all materials required for the construction of the road. There were numerous other conditions and provisions, but the above-mentioned are the principal ones. This contract was ratified by Parliament by a large majority.

The result of the decennial census of the Dominion in 1881 showed the population to be 4,324,810, divided as follows:—Ontario, 1,923,228; Quebec, 1,359,027; Nova Scotia, 440,572; New Brunswick-, 321,233; Prince Edward Island, 108,891; Manitoba, 65,954; British Columbia, 49,459; and the Territories, 56,446.

In the summer of 1882 a general election took place, the result of which showed that the Government was sustained by a large majority.

The people- of Canada followed with keenest interest the brilliant British campaign in Egypt, whereby the power of the usurping Arabi was broken, and the authority of the Khedive restored. The popular interest in the war was all the greater that the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, Sir Garnet Wolseley, had won some of his earliest laurels in Canada by his intrepid march through the wilderness to the Red River in 1870.

In October, 1883, the Marquis of Lorne and H. R. H. the Princess Louise took their leave of Canada amid the unmingled regrets of the entire community.


Return to our Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus