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HISTORY OF CANADA.   337

 

(ex-officio) and six elected members, who held 'office for two years. In 1886 an Act was passed giving the Territories representation in both the Senate and the House of Commons of the Canadian parliament. At the present time (1897) two senators and four members of parliament represent the great North-West in the federal legislature.

Increasing Autonomy.—In 1888 an Act was passed abolishing the North-West Council and substituting for it an assembly of twenty-two elected members. Four of these members, chosen by the lieutenant-governor, were to form an advisory council on financial matters. Three legal experts were to sit in the assembly and take part, if necessary, in debate ; but they had no vote. Their chief duty was to see that no Acts were passed by the assembly which would conflict with Dominion legislation. Until the creation of a new province the Dominion has, of course, the paramount legislative power over the Territories, a power which is not exercised in respect to those matters which have been handed over to the control of the assembly. In October, 1888, the first assembly met at Regina. The new lieutenant-governor, Hon. Joseph Royal, did not allow his advisory council that control of financial matters which the assembly thought. they should have, and in 1889 the council therefore resigned. This battle for "responsible government " went on with considerable vigor until 1891, when an Act was passed by the Dominion parliament giving the assembly of the Territory the control it desired, and enabling it to sit apart from the lieutenant-governor. No doubt, ere long other provinces will be formed out of the North-West Territories.

Marked Progress. — The powers of the assembly of the Territories now fall very little short of the powers of the various provincial legislatures. Courts have been established ; municipal institutions have been introduced ; an educational system of much excellence is in operation ; liquor license Acts have been passed. The great North-West, thus almost completely self-governed in 1.■ca1 matters, is filling up with a thrifty and industrious population.* Its great ranching districts, its vast areas for wheat growing, its resources in timber and minerals, all give promise of a prosperous future.

* In 1871 the population of the region west of Manitoba to the Rooky Mountains was computed at about 18,000. In 1891 it had increased to over 67,000.


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