“The Canadian Federation”, New York Times (20 October 1864)

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Date: 1864-10-20
By: New York Times
Citation: “The Canadian Federation”, New York Times (20 October 1864).
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The Scheme Determined On.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.

QUEBEC, Wednesday, Oct. 19.

After long discussion the Canadian Federation has been decided on. Its main principle arranged, only details await settlement. The great difficulty was the proportionate representation of the Colonies in the Upper House.

It is now decided that Acedia, viz.: Nova Scotia New Brunswick and Prince Edward’s Island, is to have 24 members, of whom 11 are for Nova Scotia and 10 for New-Brunswick, and three for Prince Edward’s Island. Newfoundland is to have four, and Upper and Lower Canada 24 each. Total 76.

These are to be selected from among the existing members of the Upper Houses, by the Crown, which are to fill up vacancies occurring by death.

Representatives in the Lower House of the Federal Legislature is to be according to population, periodically rearranged.
The Constitution will be such that the chief power will reside in the Central Legislature. The Provinces will have few separate rights.

It is decided that the whole scheme shall be submitted to the existing Parliaments in all the colonies, without a direct reference to the people, which is a very summary measure, as none of the Parliaments were elected with reference to this question. It is believed that special sessions will be held.

The Local Legislatures will not necessarily be alike in their constitution. There is no decision as yet whether the Local Governor shall be nominated or elected. This point will likely be left to the Imperial Government.

It is believed that Ottawa will be the seat of the Federal Legislature. The Newfoundland delegates leave today the others stay for a week to arrange the details.

The only difficulty remaining is as to the constitution and power of the deferral judiciary. The question as to the militia or army to be maintained by the colonies will likely be settled by convention with England.

Hon. JOHN A. MACDONALD has been the leading man in the conference. His views have been adopted in almost all cases.

Mr. GLAT and Mr. CARTIER are also much looked up to.

Several grand entertainments await the delegates in Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. The Governor-General and the Speake of the Upper House giver bails here. It is thought the whole scheme will be made public at the Montreal dinner.

Dispatch to the Associated Press.

MONTREAL, Wednesday, Oct. 19.

It Is generally believed that the conference has settled of the Upper House. The property qualification is to be reduced one-half. The Acadian Provinces are to come in as a group, and have the same number of members as Canada. Newfoundland is to come in separately, with a less representation, the members to be nominated by the Crown. The whole House is to be limited to 70 or 80 members, and the first selection will probably be made from the present legislative councillors. The constitution of the Lower House will be considered tonight.

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