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Oppressive While Gourlay was in prison, a letter Acts. written by him was published in the Niagara Spectator, but for daring to print it the editor was sentenced to be heavily fined and imprisoned. At this time the officials, who had many ways of influencing the elections, were supported by a majority in the assem

ble, and if old laws would not serve their turn, they passed new ones. For instance, they made a new law so as to force Bidwell, a member of the assembly who had offended them, to give up his seat.

A Reform   In 1818 an Act had

Assembly. been passed giving power to the magistrates to forbid the holding of meetings for the discussion of grievances. It was re-

WILLIAM LYON bIACKENZIE, pealed in 1820, but such laws as (From a portrait by J. W. L. this only made the people more

Forster.) eager for some change, and in the general election of 1824 a majority of Reformers, as the people who wished to improve the government called themselves, was sent up to the assembly.

William Lyon A Reformer who, though not in Parliament, Mackenzie. was beginning to attract attention, was a wiry, eager, restless little man named William Lyon Mackenzie. He earned the hatred of the officials by bringing out a newspaper which never ceased to criticize them and their doings. It was a costly undertaking, and he was in great difficulties about money when a number of young men, related to the officials, broke into his office at York in broad daylight, injured his press, and cast his type into the bay. The culprits were not punished, and when Mackenzie went to law and was awarded a large sum as damages, their friends, including


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