Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

266   HISTORY OF CANADA.

that political speakers and writers have seen a mysterious connection between tho action of Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada and that of the two lieutenant-governors, Lord Falkland in Nova Scotia, and (at a somewhat later date) Sir William Cole-brook& in New Brunswick. It is said that Lord Stanley—afterwards the Earl of Derby—was at heart opposed to responsible government in the colonies, and that he sent Sir Charles Metcalfe to undo what Sir Charles Bagot had done. Of this, however, there is a complete absence of proof. We can only say that there was a curious coincidence of events in the different provinces.

Nova Scotia—The Ministry Divided. —In Nova Scotia, the attempt to carry on the government by means of~a coalition ministry was not a success. The reform majority in the assembly complained that the reform leaders in the ministry were not allowed their due weight in the administration of affairs. On the. other hand, there was here, as in Canada, a small band of irreconcilables who opposed the ministry because of the presence in it of any reform element. It is said that this faction was quietly encouraged to attack, not only the reform leaders, but even Lord Falkland himself for having called those leaders to the ministry. One or two members of the executive council itself made light of "responsible government," and, to satisfy the reformers in the assembly, Howe, MacNab and Uniacke had to insist upon a formal declaration of adhesion to the doctrine being made by all their colleagues.

The Sectarian College Question.—In 1843 an Act was passed to do away with the old law which required that a member of the assembly should possess a property qualification in the constituency for which he sat. Resolutions were also passed in favor of establishing one central provincial university, to which end a withdrawal of all grants to sectarian colleges was advocated. There were then four of these colleges: King's, Anglican ; Dalhousie, which opened in 1838 with a teaching staff exclusively Presbyterian; Acadia (1838), Baptist; and St. Mary's—chartered in 1860—Roman Catholic. After a warm debate, a committee was appointed to draw up a bill in accordance with these resolutions. *

'It may he here noted that not until after 1880 were the provincial grants with-drawn. The annual appropriation then reached $15,800 for seven colleges. The


Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next