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260   HISTORY OF CANADA.

no less than four distinct parties in the assembly. The Family Compact Tories, quite unreconciled to the new principle of colonial government, were there in diminished numbers (some seven or eight), led by Sir Allan N. MacNab. The Moderate Conservatives, opposed to many of the reforms for which the popular party had long striven, were now inclined to bow to the inevitable and accept the new system. Draper was at the head of this party. The Moderate Reformers, on the other hand, were content to give the executive council a fair opportunity to establish itself in the confidence of the people by forwarding reforms. Of this wing the provincial secretary for Upper Canada, S. B. Harrison, was the leading member. The Extreme Reformers included the Lower Canadian members of the popular party, led by such men as Neilson, Morin and Viger, and a small body of Upper Canadians under the leadership of Robert Baldwin. By dividing this fourth party into French-Canadians and Baldwinites, some have counted five parties in this first parliament of (old) Canada. As Lord Sydenham declined to reconstruct the executive council before the session, Robert Baldwin resigned his seat in it two days before parliament met.

The " Responsible Government " Resolutions.—Almost at once after parliament opened, the Moderate Reformers insisted upon a declaration by the ministers of their adhesion to the principle of responsible government. Lord Sydenham, over a year before, had sent a message to the assembly of Upper Canada that he had "received Her Majesty's commands to administer the government of the provinces in accordance with the well under-stood wishes and interests of the people, and to pay to their feelings, as expressed through their representatives, the deference that is justly due to them." Did the ministry recognize this principle? Would they resign as soon as it became apparent that the people's representatives in the assembly were opposed to their policy ? After some hesitation Draper gave an answer in the affirmative, and by so doing secured for a time the support of the Moderate Reformers. At a later period in this session formal resolutions affirming the new principle of colonial government, as understood by Reformers generally, were adopted, the irreconcilables of the Family Compact, to the number of seven, alone voting against them.


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