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BC to Vote on Electoral Reform
HOW BRUTAL is BRITISH COLUMBIA political life? Consider Liberal Premier Gordon CAMPBELL, who has survived - so far, and notwithstanding a disastrous drunk driving conviction - his first term in office.
The Politics of Cultural Accommodation: Baldwin, LaFontaine and Responsible Government
One of the great, unheralded events in Canadian history took place in September 1841 at an annual feast and ceremony of Illumination at Sharon Temple, meeting place for the Children of Peace.
Vancouver Feature: Bloody Sunday
That stately building at the northwest corner of Hastings and Granville is known as the Sinclair Centre today. It houses federal offices, upscale clothing shops and a small mall. It was once Vancouver’s main Post Office, the site of “Bloody Sunday,” a violent Depression-era clash between police and unemployed workers.
In February 1997, the Ontario government decided to close Montfort Hospital in Ottawa. This decision led to a massive mobilization of the Franco-Ontarian community and the founding of the SOS Montfort coalition, which fought to keep the hospital open. After five years of political activism and legal battles, the cause was won. From an historical standpoint, this episode marked a key moment in the affirmation of Franco-Ontarian identity. From a legal standpoint, it confirmed the protections that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords to Ontario’s French-speaking linguistic minority.
A statue of Edward Cornwallis, the colonial founder of Halifax, was erected in the city’s downtown in 1931 as a celebration of British settlement. It later became an object of controversy in the midst of a growing public debate about Cornwallis’s treatment of the Mi’kmaq people.
Bloody Sunday was a violent confrontation between protesters and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver police in Vancouver on Sunday 19 June 1938.
The Charlottetown Conference set Confederation in motion. It was held from 1–9 September 1864 in Charlottetown, with additional meetings the following week in Halifax, Saint John and Fredericton. The conference was organized by delegates from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to discuss the union of their three provinces. They were persuaded by a contingent from the Province of Canada, who were not originally on the guest list, to work toward the union of all the British North American colonies. The Charlottetown Conference was followed by the Quebec Conference (10–27 October 1864) and the London Conference (December 1866–March 1867). They culminated in Confederation on 1 July 1867.
Nova Scotia and Confederation
Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of Canada. It joined New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec in Confederation on 1 July 1867. However, this was mainly because Confederation delivered the Intercolonial Railway to the Maritimes, and because of the efforts of Sir Charles Tupper. His government passed approval for Confederation in the colonial legislature despite popular opposition. (See Confederation’s Opponents.) Confederation was met with mass protests in the colony. Joseph Howe led a two-year effort to repeal the union. (See Repeal Movement.) But Howe finally decided he could do more to help his province by working inside the federal government. He joined the federal Cabinet in 1869.
New Brunswick and Confederation
New Brunswick became one of the founding members of the Dominion of Canada on 1 July 1867 when it joined Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec in Confederation. Arthur Hamilton Gordon, the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, helped organize the Charlottetown Conference (1–9 September 1864), where a federal union of British North American colonies was first discussed. By 1865, however, a majority in the New Brunswick legislature had swung against it. Albert Smith defeated pro-Confederation premier Samuel Tilley in a snap election that year. But the Fenian Raids in 1866 fueled New Brunswick’s sense of insecurity and increased support for Confederation. After Tilley’s party won another election in 1866, the legislature voted 38–1 in favour of Confederation.
Early Women’s Movements in Canada: 1867–1960
Women’s movements (or, feminist movements) of the 19th and early-20th century — often referred to as first-wave feminism — included campaigns in support of temperance, women’s suffrage, pacifism, as well as labour and health rights.
Editorial: The Canadian Constitution Comes Home
In April 1982, as an Ottawa winter turned to spring, Queen Elizabeth II made her eleventh visit to Canada. She had come to make it official. After more than a half-century of trying, Canada would have its own constitution. A Canadian-made constitution was unfinished business from the country’s colonial past. The British North America Act in 1867 set out the jurisdictions of the federal and provincial governments and created the Dominion of Canada. It was, however, a law of the British Parliament, and it could only be amended (changed) by the British.
Mock Parliament, 1914
The “mock parliament” was a type of agitprop — art with explicit political messaging — such productions were written to raise money and generate sympathy for women’s suffrage.
The American Response to the Canadian Rebellions of 1837–38
By December 1837 and January 1838, rebels from Upper and Lower Canada had suffered heavy defeats at the hands of British and Loyalist forces. (See: Rebellion in Lower Canada; Rebellion in Upper Canada.) They fled to the United States to seek financial and military assistance. The American public was aware that there had been armed conflicts in the Canadas. Many were even initially supportive. However, the presence of Canadian rebels on American soil forced many to question American involvement. The growing tensions with Great Britain over the Caroline Affair complicated matters. The creation of the Republic of Texas and the fight over the abolition of slavery were also factors. In January 1838, US President Martin Van Buren took steps to ensure America’s neutrality in the Canadian rebellions.
The King-Byng Affair was a 1926 Canadian constitutional crisis pitting the powers of a prime minister against the powers of a governor general.
Quebec Conference of 1864
There was no media circus surrounding the conference. The press was banned from the discussions, so the newspaper reports said a great deal about the miserable October weather, but precious little about what was discussed in the meetings.
Election 1891: A Question of Loyalty
In 1891, Conservative Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald won his final election as prime minister — successfully campaigning on the fear, real or imagined, that the Liberal promise of "unrestricted reciprocity" with the United States would lead to American annexation of Canada.
Election of 1896
The election of 1896 divided the country — along linguistic lines — over the Manitoba schools question.
Nova Scotia: The Cradle of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy
On 2 October 1758, Nova Scotia's first Legislative Assembly met in Halifax, and Canadian parliamentary government was born.