“Canada. The Confederation Congress” The Scotsman (11 November 1864)
By: The Scotsman [From the Toronto Leader]
Citation: “Canada. The Confederation Congress” , The Scotsman (11 November 1864).
The Confederation Congress
The Toronto Leader publishes the following reports of the sittings of the Confederation Congress o the 24th and 25th ult :-
Quebec, October 24. – The Conference to-day was engaged in the division of powers between the local and general governments; which should possess powers not specially assigned to the other. It had been generally thought that this reordinance would fall to the general government; but it seems this opinion is not unanimous.
It is not true that Lower Canada is always to have sixty-five representatives in the Lower House of the Confederate Legislature, and no more.
The Constitution of the local governments is likely to be left to the local legislature.
Quebec, October. 25. – The business of the Conference is proceeding satisfactory, though some think it will not be possible to finish before leaving, and that the delegates will have to meet at Montreal
An agreement on the question of finance is said to have come to.
The committee on law reported that civil law, except what relates to lands and bankruptcy, should be under the local Governments; criminal under the general; the crown lands to be vested in the several provinces where situated. It is still undetermined whether the scheme adopted by the Conference will be submitted to the people of the various provinces. There is a strong desire in the Conference to avoid the necessity of doing so, if possible. There will be steam communication between Newfoundland and the other provinces and Europe under the Confederation. Education is to be under the control of the local Governments, also hospitals and charities.
The population of the Confederation will comprise 1,465,660 Catholics out of a total of 3,204,706.
It is said to be doubtful whether Mr. Galt will go to England.
To-day, at two o’clock, everything of importance was arranged except the question of finance. Concurrence is likely to be taken at Montreal in respect to education. The Immunity and privileges of minorities are to be guaranteed at the same time that the new constitution shall be adopted. In matters of immigration and agriculture the local and general governments will have concurrent powers.
The differences in the several debts is to be compensated by the return of the revenue to the local governments having least debt relatively to population. In one instance about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be paid; in another about one hundred thousand dollars a year.
Inland fisheries and local public works will be under the local governments.
It has been resolved that the conclusion of the conference shall be embodied in the draft of a bill to be submitted to the local legislatures.