orphan, had had to depend entirely on his own exertions. He learned the trade of a stonemason, and after-wards became a builder and contractor. He came to Canada when he was twenty, entered parliament in 1861, and six years later became leader of the Liberal party.
Early in 1874 there was another general election. The " Pacific Railway Scandal" was the all-important subject of discussion, and Sir John Macdonald received a crushing defeat. Riel was elected as one of the members for Manitoba, but was not allowed to take his seat.
British Meanwhile, British ~
Columbia Colombia was very ~c
angry, and threat- ALF,YANnrR MACKENZIE.
ened to withdraw from the union (From a portrait by
if the building of the railwav was J. AV. L. Forster.)
not speedily begun. At last, in 1875, the Dominion government began itself to build the railway; but some people complained that the work was badly managed, and it went on far too slowly to shit the western province. In 1876 Lord Dttfferin visited British Columbia, but even his tact and eloquence could not charm away the discontent of its people.
Work of the An act was passed in 1874 requiring that Government. the voting for members of parliament should be secret, or by ballot. In the following year the Supreme Court of Canada was established as a court of appeal for persons dissatisfied with the decisions of the provincial courts. In 1878 an important temperance law was passed. It was generally known as the " Scott Act," and it provided that any municipality might forbid the sale of intoxicating liquors within its bounds.