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314   HISTORY OF CANAD.:.

the chairmanship of John A. Macdonald, until the 24th of December, by which date the various details had been arranged and the scheme of Confederation was ready to be embodied in an Act of the Imperial parliament. The two Maritime Provinces had succeeded in securing somewhat better terms, but so far as the system of government was concerned the Quebec resolutions were practically unaltered. The necessary Imperial Act—known as " The British North America Act, 1867," or, more shortly, the B. N. A. Act—received the royal assent on the 29th of March, 1867. It provided that the union should take effect upon a day to be fixed by royal proclamatin. On the 22nd of May the proclamation was issued naming the 1st of July, 1867, as the birthday of the DOMINION OF CANADA.

CHAPTER NLIX.
"FROM OCEAN TO OCEAN."

Westward, Ho !—To John A. Macdonald was entrusted the task of forming the first Dominion cabinet. Disregarding former party lines, he called to his assistance the leading men who in the various provinces had supported Confederation, thus perpetuating in Dominion politics the name Liberal-Conservative. In this first ministry, Ontario had five representatives ; Quebec, four; New Brunswick, two; and Nova Scotia, two—thirteen in all. It held power until November, 1873, by which time the Dominion of Canada had reached its present territorial dimensions. It will be convenient, therefore, before describing our system of government under the B. N. A. Act, or taking up the general history of the Dominion since 1867, to show how our bounds were extended. The first parliament of the Dominion of Canada met at Ottawa on the 7th of November, 1867, and attention was at once turned toward the extension of the Dominion " westward to the shores of the Pacific Ocean." Early in December resolutions were introduced by the Hon. William Macdougall in favor of the immediate transfer to Canada of Rupert's Land and the North-West Territory.

The Hudson's Bay Company Bought Out.—There was but little opposition to their adoption, the only objection urged


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