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ing executive and legislative functions. Power was given to summon an assembly, but such assembly was never called. In 1820 the island was re-annexed to Nova Scotia'.

The constitution of Nova Scotia, save as expressly altered by the B. N. A. Act, 1867, remains practically as it was at the time of the union.


Though Nova Scotia was the first province to propose Confedeconfederation, the Government, deterred by the unfavourable result of the elections in New Brunswick in March, 1865, took no step to bring the Quebec resolutions before the Legislature until 1866, when a resolution in favour of confederation was carried by 31 to 15.


The present province of New Brunswick was originally part of Nova Scotia. In 1784 it was made a separate province, and in the following year the government was entrusted to a Governor and a Council possessing legislative and executive functions with power to call an Assembly of the freeholders2.


The first Governor was Colonel Thomas Carleton, who re- Govermained in office until 1803. After he retired the govern- Carleton. ment was carried on by the President of the Executive Council, who during the war with the United States was a military and not a civil officer. In 1818 a regular Governor was appointed. The Council continued to possess legislative power until 1832, when a separate legislative Council was Legisappointed. The executive occupied a very independent posi- Council. tion, as the territorial revenue of the Crown was sufficient to defray the expenses of the civil list. The refusal of the executive to give the Assembly any return of the receipts. and expenditure of the revenues from the Crown lands led


1 See Despatch of Earl Bathurst and Proclamation of Sir James Kempt, Ass. Jour., N. S., 1841, App.

2 See Commission of Gov. Carleton, Can. Sess. Papers, 1883, No. 70,

to a deputation being sent to England to request that the control of the public revenues be vested in the Assembly. Control of The Colonial Secretary complied with the request, and issued instructions to the Governor and Executive Council to surrender the territorial revenues in consideration of the grant by the Assembly of a liberal permanent civil list.


The next step taken by the Assembly was to establish the responsibility of the ministers to the Assembly. In 1847 Earl Grey as Colonial Secretary forwarded a despatch to the Governor of Nova Scotia defining the theory of responsible government as applicable to the provinces. He laid down the principle that the executive councillors who directed the policy of the government should hold office only while they retained the confidence of the House, and that all government officials should be excluded from both branches of the legislature. In the following year a resolution asserting the application of the above principles was introduced and passed by a large majority of the Assembly, and from that time the responsibility of ministers was fully recognised.





The Quebec resolutions for effecting a Confederation of the Provinces were brought before the people at the general election held in March, 1865, but a majority of the new Assembly proved hostile to the scheme. In the following year the Legislative Council passed a resolution favourable to the Union, and the ministry thereupon resigned. A general election immediately followed, and on the 30th of June a resolution in favour of confederation was carried in the Assembly by 31 votes to 8. A similar resolution was passed by the Legislative Council.


By section 146 of the British North American Act, 1867, power was given to Her Majesty in Council, on address from the Houses of Parliament of Canada, to admit Rupert's Land and

the North West Territory, or either of them, into the Union on such terms and conditions in each case as should be expressed in such addresses and as Her Majesty should approve, subject to the provisions of the Act, and it was further declared that any Order in Council in that behalf should have the force of an Act of Parliament.

of N. W.


In 1867 the Canadian Houses of Parliament adopted a Admission joint address to Her Majesty praying for the admission of the Terriabove two territories into the Union: but it was found that the then existing charter of the Hudson's Bay Company which owned and enjoyed certain rights over a portion of the territory in question, would prevent full powers of government and legislation over Rupert's Land and the North West Territory being transferred to the Canadian Parliament. To remedy this state of things the "Rupert's Land Act, Rupert's Land Act, 1868'," was passed, enabling the Hudson's Bay Company 1868. to surrender to Her Majesty and Her Majesty to accept a surrender of all their lands and rights enjoyed under their Letters Patent, provided that the terms and conditions on which Rupert's Land was to be admitted into the Dominion. should be approved by Her Majesty and embodied in an address from both Houses of the Dominion Parliament.

The details of the surrender being settled a second address was presented to Her Majesty in 1869, and on the 24th June, 1870, it was by Order in Council' declared that from the 15th day of July, 1870, the North West Territory and Rupert's Land were to be admitted into and become part of the Dominion.

The admission was made subject to the terms and conditions contained in the addresses, but on looking at the addresses it will be found that the first address relating to the North West Territory contains only two clauses of importance, viz. (1) "the Government and Parliament of Canada will be Condiready to provide that the legal rights of any corporation, com1 31 & 32 Vic. (i) c. 105. 2 See Appendix.


pany or individual within the same shall be respected and placed under the protection of courts of competent jurisdiction."

(2) "That the claims of the Indian tribes to compensation for land required for purposes of the settlement will be considered and settled in conformity with the equitable principles which have uniformly governed the British Crown in its dealings with the aborigines."

The second address relating to Rupert's Land dealt mainly with the rights reserved to the Hudson's Bay Company, but stipulated that claims of Indians to compensation for land required for purposes of settlement should be disposed of by the Canadian Government in communication with the Imperial Government.

Legislative power

From the date of the admission the Canadian Parliament over the acquired legislative power over the newly admitted territories.



By the Order in Council it was declared as regards the North West Territory that "the Parliament of Canada should from the day aforesaid have full power and authority to legislate for the future welfare and good government of the said territory," and such Order in Council has by the British North American Act, 1867, the force of an Act of Parliament.

and Rupert's Land.

As regards Rupert's Land the Order in Council was silent as to legislative power, but by the Rupert's Land Act, 1868', it was enacted as regards all territories belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company that

"it shall be lawful for the Parliament of Canada from the date aforesaid (i. e. of admission) to make ordain and establish within the land and territory so admitted as aforesaid all such laws institutions and ordinances and to constitute such courts and officers as may be necessary for the peace order and good government of Her Majesty's subjects and others therein."

Provision Previous to the surrender of the North West Territories for go

vernment an Act was passed by the Dominion Parliament providing

1 31 & 32 Vic. (i) c. 105, s. 5.

N. W. Ter

for their temporary government, and the first Lieutenant- of the Governor was appointed in 1869. The outbreak of the in- ritories. surrection among the half-breeds prevented the LieutenantGovernor exercising any of his functions, and immediately after the rebellion was over an Act was passed to establish a new province carved out of the North West Territories, under the name of Manitoba. A constitution, similar to Manitoba. that existing in the other provinces, was conferred on the new province, and the first legislature was elected in 1871. The province is divided into four counties, and these are subdivided into twenty-four districts or divisions for legis lative, judicial and electoral purposes.


British Columbia, the largest of the Canadian provinces, cannot be said to have had any existence as a colony until 1858. Previous to that year provision had been made by a series of Acts for extending the Civil and Criminal Laws of the Courts of Lower and Upper Canada over territories not within any province, but otherwise the territory was used as a hunting ground of the Hudson's Bay Company. The disputes and difficulties that arose from the influx of miners owing to the gold discoveries in 1856, resulted in the revocation of the licence of the Hudson's Bay Company and the passing of the Imperial Act 21 & 22 Vic. c. 99 to provide for the government of British Columbia. Power was given to ConstituHer Majesty by Order in Council to appoint a Governor of Province. the Colony, to make provision for the administration of justice therein, and to establish all laws and institutions necessary for the peace, order and good government of persons therein. Her Majesty was also authorised by Order in Council to empower the Governor to constitute a Legislature, consisting of the Governor and a Council, or a Council and an Assembly, to be composed of such persons as Her Majesty might deem

tion of the

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