“The North-West,” The Globe (4 July 1864)
By: The Globe
Citation: “The North-West”, The Globe [Toronto] (4 July 1864).
One of the evils which our present union with Lower Canada has produced, is to be found in the obstacles placed in the way of a closer alliance between this Province and the North-west. We have seen our neighbours of the great republic yearly extending the area of their rule, constantly adding to the sources of their wealth and of their greatness. Little more than eighty years ago, when they first started in business, but thirteen stars glittered upon their banner; now they can boast a glorious constellation of thirty-four. But we have not been able to imitate them. Though nature has favoured us, in many respects, to as great an extent as she has them—though we have a population equally vigorous and energetic—though the reasons which should impel us forward are as strong—we have kept within our original bounds. True it is that we of Western Canada have striven to get beyond them. We have felt that the possession of the great North-west, as materially affects our future prosperity as the possession fo the Western States affects that of the Eastern. We have understood, if ever Canada is to take that rank upon this continent which all true Canadians hope she will yet occupy, [sic] the fertile territory beyond Lake Superior must, at least, be commercially ours. But all our efforts in that direction have hitherto been paralyzed. No step have we been able to take toward the desire end. While the influence of the Eastern section fo the Province predominated in our Government, jealousy of our growth in wealth and population, together with the dread of our increasing influence, was sufficient to over-ride all other considerations. Now we trust a better state of things is about to prevail. Lower [text illegible] of danger to her institutions in which she has so long indulged, may aid us in the grand task of Western extension. Or, if not, we shall have the means in our hands to [text illegible] out our wishes, untramelled by the influences which have so long held us in check.
We have the happiness of knowing that the wish for a closer connection between Canada and the North-west is reciprocal. The people of the Territory have not been silent in the matter. They have time and again pressed us to aid in the fulfilment of their desires. They have held meetings, sent deputations to the House Government and to Quebec, urging union, political and commercial. The Imperial authorities have listened favourably to their representations, and would doubtless have granted their prayers. But Canada has stood in the way; our French element would not yield. Seeing that they could do nothing with us—seeing also that all the good done for them came from American sources, they have manifested some inclination to turn towards the United States. Had it not been for the war which has broken out, we might have heard something more of this before now, for the Americans are fully alive to the many advantages the possession fo the Red River would give them. But matters of more vital importance have occupied their attention. In the Settlement, itself the people, seeing all their efforts for union with Canada fail, appear to have become disheartened, so what we hear less of the subject of late than formerly. But, doubtless, the news of the recent changes here will rouse them once more into activity, and they will gladly second the efforts made to bring about the object we both share in common.