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HISTORY OF CANADA.   323

project. Three delegates—J. W. Trutch, Dr. Helmcken and R. W. W. Carroll—were then despatched to Ottawa, empowered to negotiate terms of union.

British Columbia Joins Confederation.—Their mission was successful. Early in 1871 the terms agreed upon were ratified by the Dominion parliament and by the council of British Columbia, and on the 20th day of July, 1871, British Columbia became a province of the Dominion of Canada. Before that day arrived, however, the constitution of the province was altered. The legislative council was abolished, and in its stead was established an assembly consisting wholly of elected members. British Columbia, therefore, entered Confederation with a provincial constitution very like that of the older provinces and with the assurance that " responsible government " was firmly established.

A Transcontinental Railway.—One of the terms of union should be particularly noticed. The Dominion of Canada under-took to commence within two years the construction of a railway to connect the seaboard of British Columbia with the railway system of the older provinces and to complete the work within ten years. When in 1885 the last spike was driven to connect the two sections of the Canadian Pacific Railway—that from the east with that from the west British Columbia found herself on one of the world's main highways.*

Prince Edward Island Comes In.—Meanwhile, "the Barbadoes of the St. Lawrence "—as Prince Edward Island has been called—still held aloof. In 1871 the island assembly, with much enterprise, undertook to construct a railway to traverse the island from end to end. The work was successfully accomplished, but the burden of debt thus incurred was very heavy, and direct taxation seemed inevitable. Delegates were sent to Ottawa, and

*RAPID Geowrn.—Her growth since that time has been phenomenal. Her white population in 1871 was little over 10,000, the total population being about 36,000. Victoria, the capital, with a population of about 4,000, was the only town ; New Westminster and Nanaimo were but villages. In 1881 the population of the province had increased to nearly 50,000 ; Victoria having 6,000 ; New Westminster, 1,500 ; and Nanaimo, 1,600. In the next decade (1881-1891) the population was doubled. Victoria had increased her numbers to 16,000, New Westminster hers to 7,000, Nanaimo hers to 4,500; while at the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway the new city of Vancouver had sprung up with a population of over 13,000.


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