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HISTORY OF CANADA.   211

regular revenues. True, they had no right to spend these moneys, as the assembly had passed no appropriation bill, but they did spend them nevertheless. By the Canada Trade Act the division of the revenues between Upper and Lower Canada was also fixed.

Crisis of 1827.—The financial battle went on, session after session, with little yielding on either side. In 1827 there came a crisis ; the assembly refused all supply, and Dalhousie dissolved parliament with strong expressions of disapproval. The elections, conducted amid much excitement, proved disastrous to the executive. By an overwhelming majority Papincau was again chosen by the new }louse as its speaker, though his opponent was a French-Canadian friendly to reform. Dalhousie declined to recognize the assembly's choice. The assembly insisted and was at once prorogued. Public meetings were held and conuuittees appointed in every district to procure signatures to petitions to England. The executive, in a vain attempt to stop the agitation, resorted to those oppressive measures—dismissals of militia officers and press prosecutions--referred to in a previous chapter. They also procured counter-petitions from the Eastern Townships, signed by about ten thousand persons, who complained (1) of the want of courts within their own limits, as a result of which they were obliged to go for legal redress to Qu,ebec, Three Rivers, or Mont-real, where French law was administered in the French language; (2) that they had not as many representatives in the assembly as their territorial extent should entitle them to send to that body; and (3) that the roads to the townships were bad through the fault of the assembly, who did not want to encourage British settlers. Their prayer was for union with Upper Canada.

Inquiry Before the British Parliament.— In 1828 a committee of the British House of Commons inquired into the grievances set out in the petitions on both sides. As to the coin-plaint that French law was administered in the Eastern Townships, the committee reported that ever since 1774 there had been great uncertainty as to the real estate law there. An Imperial Act passed in 1826 (" The Canada Tenures Act ") had finally deter-mined that English law should govern lands held "in free and common socage." In the opinion of the committee, it was desirable that local courts should he established in the townships to enforce that law. Every facility, too, should be given to those


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