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

 

336   HISTORY OF CANADA.

energy that on the 7th of November, 1885, the last spike was driven to connect the two ends of the line. On the following day a train from the east reached the Pacific coast. Three of those most intimately connected with the construction of the line have received the honor of knighthood—Sir Donald Smith (afterwards Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal), Sir George Stephen (Lord Jlountstephen), and the present general manager, Sir William C. Van Home—a striking acknowledgment of the Imperial character of the undertaking. The C. P. R. is the realization of the old idea of a North-West passage to the Orient. The company has established two steamship lines to cross the Pacific Ocean. One of these runs between Victoria and Hong-Kong in China, and already our trade with the Orient has assumed large proportions. The first steamship of the present line was the Empress of India, which made its first trip in 1891. The other line runs between Victoria and Sydney, New South Wales, via Honolulu. The first steam-ship of this line, the Mioo era, began to run in 1893, and our trade with our Australian kinsfolk is already encouraging. Ot her lines run from Victoria—to Alaska and to United States ports to the south.

The North-West Territories. —The local government of the North-West Territories was until 1876 in the hands of the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba and a small council of eleven members. In October, 1876, an Act (passed under the Mackenzie administratin in the previous year) came into force under which Hon. David Laird, the first resident lieutenant-governor, was appointed. He was assisted by a council of five members. The first session of this council was held in 1877 at Livingston on Swan River. Battleford was, however, fixed upon as the seat of government, and subsequent sessions of the council were held there until 1883. In that year the present capital, Regina, was chosen, it being on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, then under construction. Provision was also made by the Act of 1875 for the creation, as population increased, of electoral districts for the election of additional members to the council. When these should reach twenty-one in number the council was to be abolished and a legislative assembly take its place. Population was somewhat scanty until the advent of the railway, and the first election did not take place until 1883. The council then consisted of the lieutenant-governor, four appointed members, the stipendiary magistrates


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