“Latest from Ottawa: The Local Constitutions of Upper and Lower Canada”, The Globe (3 July 1866)
By: The Globe
Citation: “Latest From Ottawa: The Local Constitutions of Upper and Lower Canada”, The Globe (3 July 1866).
Latest from Ottawa.
The Local Constitutions of Upper and Lower Canada.
GRAND TRUNK AMALGAMATION.
(By Telegraph from Our Own Correspondent)
OTTAWA, July 3,
The following resolutions providing for the Local Governments and Legislatures of Lower and Upper Canada, respectively, when the union of the Provinces of British North America is effected, were submitted to the House this evening by Atty.-Gen. Macdonald, and are to be moved by him on Thursday:—
Resolved, 1st—That, by the 38th paragraph of the resolution of this House, passed on the 3rd of February, 1865, for presenting an humble address to Her Majesty, praying that she may be graciously pleased to cause a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament for the purpose of uniting the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island, in one Government, with provisions based on the resolutions which were adopted at a conference of delegates from the said colonies, held at the city of Quebec on the 10th of October, 1864, it is provided that “for each of the Provinces there shall be an executive officer styled the Lieut.-Governor, who shall be appointed by the Governor-General in Council, under the great seal of the federated Provinces, during pleasure—such pleasure to be communicated in writing to the Lt.-Gov. Immediately after the exercise of the pleasure as aforesaid, and also by message to both Houses of Parliament within the first week of the first session afterwards; and that, by the 41st paragraph of the same resolution it is provided that the local Government and Legislatures of each Province shall be constructed in such manner as the existing Legislature of each such Province shall provide.
2nd. That, subject to the constitution of the federated Provinces, the executive authority of the Lieutenant-Governors of Lower Canada and of Upper Canada respectively, shall be administered by each of such officers according to the well understood principles of the British constitution.
3rd. The great seal of each Province of Lower Canada and of Upper Canada shall be the same, or of the same design, in each of the said Provinces, as that used in the said Provinces respectively at the time of the existing union, until altered by the Local Government.
4th. That there shall be a Local Legislature for Lower Canada, composed of two Chambers, to be called the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada.
5th. That there shall be a Local Legislature for Upper Canada, which shall consist of one chamber to be called the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.
6th. That the Legislative Council of Lower Canada shall be composed of 24 members, to be appointed by the Crown, under the Great Seal of the Local Government, who shall hold office during [text missing] any Legislative Governor shall, for two consecutive sessions of Parliament, fail to give his attendance in the said Council, his seat shall thereby become vacant.
7th. All members of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada shall be British subjects by birth or naturalization, of the full age of 30 years, shall possess a continuous real property qualification in Lower Canada of $4,000 over and above all encumbrances, and shall continue work that sum over and above debts and liabilities.
8th. That if any question shall arise as to the qualification of a Legislative Councillor in Lower Canada, the same shall be determined by the Council, the same shall be determined by the Council. That the Speaker of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, unless otherwise provided by the Local Parliament, shall be appointed by the Crown from among the members of the Legislative Council, and shall hold office during pleasure, and shall only be entitled to a casting vote on an equality of votes.
10. That each of the 24 Legislative Councillors of Lower Canada shall be appointed to represent one of the 24 Electoral Divisions thereof mentioned in schedule A, of the first chapter of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, and such Councillor shall reside or possess his qualification in the division he is appointed to represent.
11th. That the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada shall be composed of 65 members to be elected to represent the 65 Electoral Divisions into which Lower Canada is now divided under chapter 2 of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, chapter 75 of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada, and the Act 23rd Victoria chapter 1, or of any other Act amending the same in force at the time when the Local Government shall be constituted, as well for representation in the Local Legislatures thereof, as in House of Commons of the Federated Provinces. Provided that it shall not be lawful to present to the Lieutenant-Governor, for assent, any Bill of the Legislative Council and Assembly of Lower Canada, by which the number of the Representatives in the Legislative Assembly, or the limits of the electoral divisions, may be altered, unless the second and third readings of such Bills, the Legislative Assembly shall have been passed with the concurrence of three fourths of the members for the [illegible[ being of the said Legislative Assembly, and the assent shall not be given to such Bill unless an address has been presented by the Legislative Assembly to the Lieutenant-Governor that such Bill has been so passed.
12th. That the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada shall be composed of eighty-two members, to be elected to represent the eighty-two constituencies in Upper Canada—such constituencies being identical whether for representation in the Local Legislative Assembly or representation in the House of Commons of the Federated Provinces, and which constituencies shall consist of the divisions and be bounded as is provided in the schedule hereto annexed, marked A.
13th. That until other provisions are made by the Local Legislatures of Lower and Upper Canada, respectively, changing the same in either of the said Provinces, all the Laws which, at the date of the proclamation constituting the separate Provinces of Lower Canada and of Upper Canada shall be in force in each of the said Provinces respectively, relating to the qualification of any period to be elected or to sit or vote, so a member of the Assembly of the Province of Canada, and relating to the qualification or disqualification by voters, and to the [illegible] to be [illegible] by voters, and to returning officers and their power and duties, and relating to the proceedings at elections, and to the period during which such elections may be continued, and relating to the trial of controverted elections and the proceedings incident thereto, and relating to the vacating to the seats of members and to be the issuing and execution of new [illegible] of any seat being vacated otherwise than by a dissolution, shall respectively apply to the elections of members to serve in the said Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, and in the said Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.
14th. That the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, and Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, respectively, shall continue for four years from the day of the return of the writs for choosing the same, and no longer—subject, nevertheless, to either the said Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, or the said the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, being sooner prorogued or dissolved by the Lieut.-Governor of, either said Provinces respectively.
15th. That there shall be a session of the Legislature of each of the said Provinces once, at least, every year, so that a period of 12 months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Local Legislature in one session, and the first sitting thereof in the next session.
The schedule alluded to the in the above resolutions was not distributed to-day, although it is presumed to be prepared. The all-absorbing question now is that of the tariff. There has been a heavy accession of Montrealers here this evening, representing mostly all the great interests of that city, to interpose against the passage of the tariff. A deputation of the Board of Trade of Montreal has arrived. No interview has yet been arranged with Mr. Galt. I understand that what the people of Montreal ask of Mr. Galt is simply to be consistent with himself. Having by a line of legislation encouraged them to embark in certain enterprises, they ask him not to depreciate those investments.
I have taken some pains to ascertain the feelings of the House as regards the Bill to amalgamate the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway with the Grand Trunk. A great many members are in principle opposed to amalgamation under any circumstances—being satisfied that the result eventually, can only be a large railway monopoly, alike injurious to the political and commercial interests of the country. From any point of view, it is evident that, unless the Grand Trunk Company consent to introduce clauses guaranteeing to the public unrestricted access to and from the various places on the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway, via the Paris and Great Western Railway, equal in all respects both as to despatch and to rates and fares, to the [illegible] given by the Grand Trunk Railway via Stratford, the amalgamation so persistently attempted by the Grand Trunk Company can never be accomplished. If the Bill were allowed to pass, as now introduced, it would be a gross injustice to the public, and a lamentable sycophancy on the part of Parliament to the growing audacity of the Grand Trunk Company in the effort it is making to control and govern the entire interests of this country.
Mr. Thos. Swinyard manager of the Great Western Railway arrived here to-day.
There was a pretty good house this evening, nearly all the prominent members having returned.
The members forming part of the Excursion party up the Ottawa, speak in the highest terms of the civilities shown them on the trip, and value very highly the information gained respecting that section of the country.