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By Janet Ajzenstat, Ian Gentles, Paul Romney, Visit Amazon's William D. Gairdner Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, William D. Gairdner,

Canada's Founding Debates is ready Confederation—about the method that introduced jointly six out of the seven territories of British North the United States within the years 1864-73 to shape a rustic known as Canada. It offers excerpts from the debates on Confederation in the entire colonial parliaments from Newfoundland to British Columbia and within the constituent meeting of the pink River Colony. The voices of the robust and people of lesser notice mingle in impassioned debate at the professionals and cons of making or becoming a member of the hot nation, and in defining its nature.

In brief explanatory essays and provocative annotations, the editors caricature the historic context of the debates and draw out the importance of what was once acknowledged. through organizing the debates thematically, they bring about out the intensity of the founders' predicament for concerns which are as very important at the present time as they have been then: the that means of liberty, the advantages of democracy, the simplest kind of self-government, the strain among collective and person rights, the rule of thumb of legislations, the necessities of political management, and, in fact, the character of Canadian nationality. Canada's Founding Debates deals a clean and infrequently superb standpoint on Canada's origins, background, and political character.

Previous released via Stoddart Publishing, 1999.

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There are scores of men in the country with callused palms and patched garments well fitted by natural endowments, education, and practical experience in the working of responsible government in other colonies to occupy seats either in the Legislative Assembly or in the cabinet of British Columbia. He who would judge of the intelligence and mental acquirements of men in this colony by outward appearance and by present occupation certainly would not judge righteous judgement. The opinion of His Excellency the Governor to the contrary, notwithstanding, I boldly assert that the people of British Columbia are fit for responsible government.

A. Walkem: The honourable member (for New Westminster) [John Robson] says that responsible government is a principle which may be applied either to the Great Eastern or to a dairy churn, or to a lady's watch; that it is a principle capable of being carried out by three, or three hundred. This is utterly incorrect; it is not a principle but a form,1 one element of which is responsibility to the people. It is a form adopted by the people, but it does not follow as a matter of induction that it can be used or carried out in every place or by every community.

These two colonies are the only ones without responsible government at the time of the Confederation debates. BRITISH COLUMBIA John Robson: [British Columbia's] form of government has rendered progress impossible. I believe that the illiberal form of government has had much to do with keeping away population — with driving away population — and with destroying the spirit of manly enterprise of those who are here . . [I]f we persist in remaining alone we shall be told by the imperial government that we are not fit for liberal institutions,* and not prepared for selfgovernment.

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