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The Story of Manitoba
Chapter XLII The Fight Against Railway Monopoly


Because of Manitoba's geographical position railway communication with the rest of the world was absolutely necessary to the growth and prosperity of the province. Until it was obtained all the goods imported by her people would be very expensive, and it would be almost impossible to find outside markets for her agricultural products; and these two facts would greatly retard the settlement of the country. Thus there were good reasons for the demand for uninterrupted steam communication between Lake Superior and Fort Garry and the demand for railway communication between Fort Garry and the rail roads of the United States, which were given a prominent place in the Bill of Rights submitted to the Dominion government as a statement of the terms on which Manitoba would unite with Canada. In passing the Manitoba Act the Dominion tacitly pledged itself to provide these two lines of communication between Manitoba and the rest of the world as soon as possible; and when British Columbia came into Confederation a year later, the Dominion was formally committed to the construction of a line of railway, which would connect that province, as well as the North-West Territories and Manitoba, with eastern Canada.

From the first the people of Manitoba showed a disposition to help themselves by constructing local lines. Before the first legislature of the province had meteor even been elected, the newspapers of Winnipeg contained the following notice:

V 4"-Notice is hereby given that an application will be made, at the first meeting of the Legislature of Manitoba, for an act to incorporate a joint stock company for the construction of a railway from some point on Lake Manitoba, passing through the Town of Winnipeg, and to connect with the nearest of the Minnesota railways.

Duncan Stxclatr.

E. L. Barber.

Fort Garry, November 18, 1870." The charter was not granted, but the application for it shows that the people were alive to the importance of railways in the new province.

The Dominion government took prompt steps to carry out the pledges made to Manitoba and British Columbia. In 1871 it authorized Mr. Sandford Fleming, who was probably Canada's greatest engineer, to make a thorough survey of the country north of the Great Lakes in order to locate a route for the transcontinental railway which it was pledged to build. The survey was continued across the prairies and through the mountain ranges which shut

off British Columbia from the rest of the Dominion. This survey was a work of great magnitude, requiring much time and the expenditure ol large sums of money In 1872 the Dominion parliament passed an act to provide tor the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was to he commenced not later than July, 1873, and was to be completed in ten years. Two companies were formed to' carry on the work, but the contract was not given to either of them When it was found impossible to amalgamate them, a third company was formed, with Sir Hugh Allan at its head; its charter was ratified by parliament in March, 1873, and the contract for the construction of the great national work was awarded to it.

The hopes which the people of the west built on this great railway scheme were not to be realized for several years. There were delays of various kinds. Before the end of 1873 the--"Pacific Scandal" had developed, and Sir John Macdonald's ministry had been forced to resign; and in the interval plans for the great railroad were neglected. When the Mackenzie government found itself in power early in 1874, it made material modifications in the railway policy of the Dominion. For the time being the construction of a road north of the Great Lakes was to be held in abeyance, and lake steamers were to furnish the first link in communication between eastern and western Canada. Between Thunder Bay and the prairies the navigable lakes were to be utilized for steam communication, and these were to be connected by short lines of railway. The prairie section of the road was to cross the Red River at Selkirk, cross Lake Manitoba at the Narrows, and then follow a fairly direct line to the Yellowhead Pass. The years have proved that a part of Mr. Mackenzie's railway policy was unwise and a part wise. It was soon found impracticable to utilize the water stretches between the head of Lake Superior and the prairie, and the plan was abandoned. The line ultimately crossed the Red River at Winnipeg instead of Selkirk; and while its prairie section was diverted far south of the route chosen by Mr. Mackenzie, the existence of two transcontinental lines on what is practically his route shows how accurate were his surveyors' estimates of the great agricultural and mineral resources of the country which would have been served by the railway he proposed to build. At the time, however, the people of Manitoba were utterly opposed to the location of Mr. Mackenzie's road. It avoided the principal town of the province, and it passed so far north of the settled portions of the country that its construction would be of little benefit to the people.

The lack of railway communication with Minnesota was offset to some extent by the steamers plying on the Red River. During the summer of 1872 three of these vessels were running regularly .between Winnipeg and points south of the international boundary. In 1875 several business men in Winnipeg and Minneapolis established another line of boats on the river, making a little fleet of five vessels altogether; and a year later there were seven which made regular trips between Winnipeg and points in the United States.

The fact that Minnesota and Dakota had railways, while Manitoba had none, naturally diverted immigration to those states rather than to the provv ince lying north of them. It often happened that settlers, who left eastern Canada to come to Manitoba by way of Chicago and St. Paul, were persuaded to take up land before their original destination was reached. For a time it


View of stock yards

was hoped that this loss to the province might be checked by improving the Dawson Road and offering immigrants special inducements to travel by it. When Hon. Mr. Clarke and his fellow delegates presented a memorandum of Manitoba's demands to the Ottawa government in 1873, its fifth clause was: ''To have free carriage for immigrants over the Dawson Road from the port of Collingwood to Fort Garry, and the extension of the said road to the western boundary of the Province adjoining the North-West Territories, and the maintenance of the same." The Mackenzie government made an attempt to comply with this request. In 1874 it made a contract with Carpenter & Co. to improve the road from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg, to establish a line of steamers and stages along the route, and to provide hotel accommodation for travelers. In return for generous subsidies the company was to convey passengers and freight from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg at very low rates. But the plan proved unsatisfactory in every way, and after being tried for two seasons, it was abandoned. By the end of 1875 the Dawson Road had cost Canada a little more than $1,294,000.

About 1874 the Dominion government decided on the construction of a railway from Winnipeg to Pembina to be connected there with the line which the St. Paul & Pacific Company was building north. The contract was let to Mr. Joseph Whitehead, and the first sod of Manitoba's first railroad was turned in September, 1874; but it was a long time before the people saw the completion of the line. The line was located rather with the purpose of making convenient connection with the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway when the latter was built than with the purpose of meeting existing needs of the settlers, and there was no provision for a bridge whereby the line might be brought into Winnipeg. The importance of changing the location of this Pembina branch was mentioned in the speech from the throne delivered by Lieutenant Governor Morris at the opening of the provincial legislature in the early part of 1875, and soon after a delegation went to Ottawa, hoping to secjire changes in the line which would make it more useful to the people. The delegation reported that the Ottawa government was unwilling to change the location of the road, and Mayor Kennedy, who had hoped to secure a bridge across the Red River so that the line might be extended into Winnipeg, had to report that there was little likelihood of the railway being built west of the river for some time. Work on the Pembina branch went forward slowly.

In June, 1876, the Dominion government gave notice that it would shortly ask tenders for the construction of sections of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Port Arthur and the Pacific Ocean; but tenders did not' come in, and in the next year the government itself undertook the construction of a part of the road west of Thunder Bay. By the end of 1878 it had 104 miles in such condition that construction trains were working on it, and other parts of the road had been ballasted. In the same year the government, convinced of the uselessness of the Dawson Road, entered into an agreement with the St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company for a continuous service between St. Paul and Winnipeg. The government agreed to complete the Pembina Branch as soon as possible and lease it to the American company for ten years. In May, 1878, a contract for the completion of the line was made with Kavanagh & Co. The work was to be completed by the end of 1879, but it was done before the end of 1878, and the first railway train to run on Manitoban soil, a construction train of the St. Paul & Pacific Railway, steamed into Emerson on November 11. On December % 1878, the first regular tram over the Pembina Branch reached St, Boniface. Hoping to make some money out of the line in the remaining time allowed for its completion, Kavanagli & Co borrowed a few engines and cars from the St. Paul & Pacific Company, and attempted to maintain a service on the new road; but the attempt ended.

The Mackenzie government went out of office in October, 1878, and with the return of the Macdonald government came another reversal of the railway company of the Dominion. The plan of utilizing the water stretches west of Port Arthur was abandoned, and the main line of the railway was deflected to its^present position across the prairies. Although this was probably done to meet the wishes of the imperial government, the change was welcomed by the settlers of Manitoba as one which would make the road of greater benefit to them. To secure an efficient service on the Pembina Branch the government gave Upper & Co. a contract to equip and operate the road between Selkirk and Pembina until the main line from Lake Superior could be completed. As soon as the company had equipped the line, it was to carry out the agreement of the government with the St. Paul & Pacific Company by interchanging traffic at the international boundary. In the meantime the American company would run its trains into St. Boniface over the Pembina Branch; and so in 1879 railway communication between Manitoba and the rest of the world was an accomplished fact.

The people of Winnipeg renewed their efforts to have the main line of the national railway cross the Red River at Winnipeg instead of Selkirk, but the government turned a deaf ear to their prayers. When the South-Western Colonization Railway Company secured a Dominion charter for building a railway and a bridge across the Red River, it arranged with the city of Winnipeg to provide $200,000 for the construction of the bridge. Recognizing the determination of the citizens in the matter, the Dominion then consented to build a branch of the Pembina line to connect Selkirk with Winnipeg, if the city would construct a bridge to give the line entry to Winnipeg.

The purpose of the Macdonald government to proceed rapidly with the construction of the main line of the Canadian Pacific was frustrated by the unwillingness of capitalists to invest money in the enterprise. Sir John Macdonald and Dr. Tupper went to England in 1879, hoping to secure the promise of capital for the work, but they were not successful. Another visit was made during the following year with better results, and the government felt justified in making a contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the construction of the line. After a long discussion the contract was ratified by parliament in January, 1881. It was clause 15 of this contract which caused so much trouble in Manitoba later. It reads: "For 20 years from the date hereof, no line of railway shall be authorized by the Dominion Parliament to be constructed south of the Canadian Pacific Railway, from any point at or near the Canadian Pacific Railway, except such lines as shall run south-west, or to the westward of south-west, nor to within fifteen miles of latitude 49. And in the establishment of any new province in the North-West

Territories, provision shall be made for continuing such prohibition after such establishment until the expiration of the said period.1' Although the ablest lawyers in the house warned the government that the Canadian Pacific Railway Act gave it no power to insert this clause in the contract and although it seemed a plain violation of provincial rights as determined by the British North America. Act, the government stood by the clause and the house endorsed it.

The construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway had been retarded by so many circumstances that the people of the west realized that several years must elapse before Manitoba would have direct communication by rail with eastern Canada and that the province itself must do something to provide transportation facilities for her people. When Hon. John Norquay became premier in 1878, one clause of the policy which he asked the electors to endorse was as follows: "The lack of railway facilities being severely felt by the farmers, who have no means of conveying their surplus products to market, the government will encourage local efforts in the direction of railway construction by granting power to municipalities to bonus such enterprises and by every other means in their power." In this there is a hint of the railway policy adopted soon after by the Norquay government and endorsed almost unanimously by members of the legislature and by the electors.

When Messrs. Norquay and Royal went to Ottawa early in 1879 to submit certain demands of the province, one of them was for the endorsation of its policy in regard to local lines of railway. To it the Dominion government made the following reply: "That as respects the railway policy to be pursued in that Province (Manitoba), it has been decided that the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway shall pass south of Lake Manitoba, in accordance with the suggestions of Messrs. Norquay and Royal. The Government will oppose the granting of a charter, for the present at least, for any railway in Manitoba other than the one recommended by them, from Winnipeg south-westerly to Rock Lake. The Government think it very desirable that all railway legislation should originate here, and that no charter for a line exclusively within the Province of Manitoba should be granted by its Legislature, without the Dominion Government first assent thereto." In this reply the- policy of the Dominion government towards local railways in Manitoba is plainly foreshadowed; but unfortunately the members of the legislature overlooked the menace to provincial autonomy which it contained, and no voice was raised in protest.

The awakening came two years later. During the session of 1881 the provincial legislature passed an act to incorporate the Manitoba South-Eastern Railway Company, which was to build a line from Winnipeg southeasterly to a point on the international boundary, where it would connect with some road in the United States. This act was disallowed by the Dominion government in January, 1882, and the reason given was that the construction of such a line would be a breach of the contract which the government had made with the C. P. Ii. Company. The disallowance of this charter roused great indignation. It was denounced as a violation of the undoubted rights of Manitoba, and Mr. Norquay's government was bitterly assailed for submitting meekly to the insult and injury offered to the province. The Free Press which had supported the government up to that time, denounced Mr Norquay and his ministers as incompetents and charged them with a betrayal of the province. When the legislature met in April, Mr. Greenway, leader of the opposition, moved as an amendment to the reply to the speech from the throne, < That this House regrets that in a matter of such vital importance to this Province as the recent disallowance, by the Dominion Government, of the South-Eastern Railway charter, granted by this legislature at its last session, that his Honor the Lieutenant-Governor has not been advised to enter his protest against such interference with our provincial rights. And that in view of the great lack of railway facilities now afforded this city and province—so much felt at present—it is deeply to be regretted that the said act should have been disallowed. thereby indefinitely postponing the additional railway facilities so essential to the development of the country.^ The amendment expressed the general sentiment of the people at the time, but after a long debate it was voted down. The attempts of Mr. Norquay to find excuses for the action of the Dominion government was the first of a series of steps which alienated the sympathy of the people and ultimately led to the defeat of his government.

Before the session closed the legislature passed the Emerson and Northwestern Railway Act, the Manitoba Tramway Act, and the General Railway Act of Manitoba; but on November 4, 1882, all three acts were disallowed by the Dominion government 011 the ground that they contravened the contract made with the C-. P. R. Company. This second and flagrant violation of Manitoba's rights roused the deepest resentment throughout the province. Indignation meetings were held in many places to protest against the outrage, and many plans to prevent its repetition were advocated. Under the circumstances Mr. Norquay decided to dissolve the legislature and appeal to the people. The election, held on January 23, 1883, seemed to show that the electors retained confidence in him, for they returned twenty of his supporters to the legislature, while only ten opposition members were elected.

In 1883 the Dominion parliament passed an Act to Amend the Consolidated Railway Act. It declared that a number of railroads, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, "are works for the general advantage of Canada, and each and every branch line or railway connecting with or crossing the said lines of railway, or any of them, is a work for the advantage of Canada.'!" This was an attempt on the part of the Dominion government to find more valid ground for the disallowance of Manitoba's railway charters by taking advantage of a clause in the British North America Act which says, £'The exclusive legislative authority of Canada extends to such local works and undertakings as, although wholly situate within a province, are, before or after their execution, declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general advantage of Canada. The amending act was denounced in Manitoba as a measure intended to make, the monopoly of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company more secure, and it certainly retarded the construction of local lines by other companies for several years.

Manitoba did not tamely submit to this new invasion of her rights. The pro\incial legislature met on May 17, 1883, and Premier Norquay took an early opportunity to reassert liis determination to stand by the right of the

province to charter railways within the boundaries fixed by the Manitoba Act of 1870. The opposition would have gone a step further, and the following resolution was moved by Mr. Jackson, one of its members. This House most humbly prays that your Honor may be pleased to present to His Excellency the Governor-General the humble protest of this House against the disallowance of recent acts of this Legislature regarding railways,, and to represent to His Excellency that this House cannot but regard the disallowance of acts wholly within the legislative authority of this province as an infringement upon the rights and privileges of its Legislature; and this House begs most humbly to declare its intention of insisting upon the right of the Legislature to the free exercise of all the powers and privileges hitherto enjoyed by the Legislatures of the Provinces with reference to railways, and upon its right to authorize the construction of railways. between any points within this Province and to the utmost limits thereof, save in so far as this Legislature voluntarily accepted certain limitations of its authority within the territory added to this Province in the year 1881." The resolution was defeated, but the house subsequently endorsed its spirit by passing an Act to Encourage the Building of Railways in Manitoba.

The agitation against the "monopoly clause'" of the contract with the C. P. R. Company continued in all parts of the province. The burdens under which the people labored seemed doubly heavy that year. The utter collapse of "the boom" of 1882 had almost paralyzed every department of business, and the serious injury to the grain crop wrought by early frosts had left many farmers almost penniless. Never since have times been so hard in Manitoba as they were in the winter of 1883-4. Under such conditions it was only natural that organizations should be formed all over the province for the purpose of securing relief from some of the disabilities from which the people were suffering. These organizations had various names, but as their aims were practically identical, they may all be called Farmers' Unions—the name which most of them adopted. They became an influential factor in the fight for provincial rights.

A convention of delegates, representing Farmers' Unions, opened in Winnipeg on December 20, 1883, and adopted the following Declaration of Rights:

"1. The right of the local government to charter railways anywhere in Manitoba, free from any interference.

"2. The absolute control of her public lands (including school land) by the legislature of the province and compensation for lands sold and used for federal purposes.

"3. That the duty on agricultural implements and building materials be removed, and the customs tariff on articles entering into daily consumption be greatly modified in the interests of the people of this province and the North West.

"4. That it is the duty of the provincial government to make such amendments to the Municipal Act as shall empower municipal councils to build, or assist in building, elevators, grain warehouses, and mills, within the limits of such municipalities.

"5. That it is the duty of the provincial government to appoint grain inspectors, whose duties shall be to grade all grain brought into market at central points.

"6. That this convention is unanimously of opinion that the Hudson Bay Railroad should be constructed with the least possible delay."

Delegates were appointed to present the demands of the farmers to the provincial and Dominion governments. The deputation which waited on the provincial government yim assured by Mr. Norquay that it would do all iti its power to secure additional railway facilities and that it would introduce legislation to allow aid to be given to grain elevators and warehouses, but he made no reference to the acquisition of public lands. Messrs. Purvis, Mutehmore, and Martin, the delegates who went to Ottawa in February, 1884, to lay the grievances of the Farmers' Union before the Dominion cabinet, received little encouragement there. They were told plainly that no change could be made in the tariff, that the Hudson Bay Railway was not a present necessity, and that the monopoly of the C. P. R. Company would be continued until its main line was completed. These replies were presented to the delegates of the Farmers' Unions who reassembled at Winnipeg on March 5, 1884. In their indignation at the refusal of the Dominion government to grant any relief for their grievances, the members of the convention passed a resolution deprecating further efforts to secure settlers for the province unless some redress were granted. This action alienated the sympathy of many people who had previously supported the union.

When the delegates of the Fanners' Union were in Ottawa, Mr. Norquay was there, urging upon the Dominion the oft-repeated claims of Manitoba. As has been stated before, the federal ministers were not disposed to make further concessions of much practical value; and when the premier submitted their replies to the legislature in April, both sides of the house concurred in a resolution which demanded for Manitoba all the rights and privileges which had been retained by the older provinces when they were confederated. The cabinet, ministers and the speaker of the house were appointed as delegates to make another presentation of the claims of the province, and their instructions were set forth in the following resolutions:

"1. To urge the rights of the Province to the control, management .and sale of the public lands within its limits, for the public uses thereof, and of the mines, minerals, wood and timber thereon, or an equivalent therefor, and to receive from the Dominion Government payment for the lands already disposed of by them within the province, less the costs of survey and measurement.

"2. The management of the lands set apart for education in this Province, with a view to capitalize the sum realized from sales, and apply the interest accruing therefrom to supplement the annual grant of the Legislature in aid of education.

"3. The adjustment of the capital account of the Province, decennially according to population—the number to be computed now at 150,000 souls, and to be allowed until it corresponds to the amount allowed the Province of Ontario on that account.

"4. The right of the province to charter lines of railway from any one point to another within the Province, except so far as the same has been limited by its Legislature in the Extension Act of 1881.

"5. That the grant of 80 cents a head be not limited to a population of 400,000 souls, but that the same be allowed the Province until the maximum on which the said grant is allowed to the Province of Ontario be reached.

"6. The granting to the Province extended railway facilities—notably the energetic prosecution of the Manitoba South-Western, the Souris and Rocky Mountain, and the Manitoba & North-Western Railways.

"7. To call the attention of the Government to the prejudicial effect of the tariff on the Province of Manitoba.

"8. Extension of boundaries."

The legislature reassembled in May to hear the answers of the Dominion government. It declined to give the province its public lands, etc., but would continue the grant of $45,000 a year in lieu of them; it would transfer to the province all swamp lands reclaimed by the province, and it would set apart 150,000 acres of agricultural land for an endowment of the provincial university. It declined to surrender the management of the school lands, declined to extend the boundaries, and saw no sufficient reason to make special con cessions to Manitoba in regard to the tariff. It offered increases in the provincial subsidies amounting to $208,000 a year and pointed to the large amounts spent in grants to the G. P. Railway and for investigating the navigability of Hudson Bay as evidence of its desire to give the province better transportation facilities. These concessions were valuable, but they were coupled with a proviso that they must be accepted as a complete settlement of the claims urged by the delegates. That proviso was fatal to their acceptance, and the house unanimously decided not to accept them on that condition.

January of 1885 found Messrs. Norquay and Murray at Ottawa, renewing negotiations with the Dominion government. As a result of their visit the government submitted a more generous offer in final settlement of the demands of Manitoba. It included an annual grant of $100,000 in lieu of the public lands, a capital account based on a population of 125,000, a per capita grant of 80 cents based on a population of 150,000, the transfer of the swamp lands, and a grant of 150,000 acres of land for the university. The per capita grant would be subject to readjustment at frequent intervals. The school lands would be held in trust by the Dominion government, but would be sold at such times and at such upset prices as the provincial government might recommend. The railway monopoly would be maintained until the main line of the Canadian Pacific was completed north of Lake Superior, although lines across the international boundary might not be objected to after 1881.

When the assembly met in March, Mr. Norquay moved that the terms offered by the federal government be accepted. There was a long debate, but the motion was finally carried by a vote of 17 to 9. While the house was in session a vigorous agitation against the terms offered by the Dominion was kept up in the country. Early in March the Reform Association and the Farmers' Union had held meetings in Winnipeg, and both had adopted resolutions in opposition to the settlement which Mr. Norquay proposed to make. The Farmers' Union had telegraphed a protest to the governor-general, and it subsequently sent a petition and a statement of the claims of the province to the Queen. Throughout the country there was a growing conviction that the provincial government had surrendered the most important rights of the proving—the right to her public lands and the right to charter local railways—in return for a somewhat paltry increase in her annual subsidy. Before thi close of the session of the legislature Mr. Greenway moved a vote of want of confidence in the government, but prorogation took place before the house voted for motion. Among the measures passed during the session were the Railway Vid Act, which allowed the government to advance 5 per cent, provincial bonds at the i ate of one dollar per acre on any lands granted to railways and thus aid companies to secure capital for railway construction, and an Act to Aid the Construction of the Winnipeg & Hudson Bay Railway.

The railway situation was the subject of much discussion in the legislature dicing the session of 1886, and it was made more acrimonious by the fact that orders in council passed at Ottawa had disallowed the charters granted to the Emerson & North-Western Railway and the Manitoba Central Railway. The watchword of the opposition was found in a resolution moved by Mr. Greenway, "That the Dominion Government be requested to make arrangements with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to obtain an absolute and unconditional surrender of all rights and privileges in the matter of monopoly, and thus secure to Manitoba, and the future North-West Provinces, similar powers to those enjoyed by the other Provinces of Confederation in respect to the chartering of lines of railway." The government's amendment, which was adopted, was, "That the Government of Canada be asked to make such arrangement when the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway is completed and open for traffic through its whole length, and that in the meantime companies desiring to construct railways should avail themselves of the provisions of existing railway acts, i. e., the Railway Act of Manitoba and an Act to Encourage the Building of Railways in Manitoba." During the session the Hudson Bay Railway Act was amended so that more assistance could be given to that railway by the government, and before the year ended some forty miles of this road had been graded and laid with rails. An act for a redistribution of seats in the legislature had been passed during the session, making the total number of constituencies in the province thirty-five. A general election in December resulted in the return of twenty-one members supporting Mr. Norquay, but all candidates had pledged themselves to oppose disallowance of provincial railway charters.

When the legislature met in April, 1887, the speech from the throne indicated the determination of the government to take decisive steps towards freeing the province from railway monopoly. One was to build a government road from Winnipeg to West Lynne on the international boundary, and the other was to appeal to the imperial government against the' continued disallowance of provincial railway charters by the Dominion. A bill to incorporate the Winnipeg & Southern Railway Company was introduced at once, and a few days later Mr. Norquay introduced a bill to authorize the construction of the Red River Valley Railway. This was to be a government road, open to any company that wished to take advantage of it. While the bill was under consideration President Stephen of the C. P. R. Company wrote to Mr. Norquay, threatening to with draw his company's shops from Winnipeg, if attempts to divert the traffic of the west southward to American lines were continued; but this threat only made the people and the legislature more determined than ever to free the

province from the monopoly which hound her. The Red River Valley Act was passed, and the hills incorporating the Manitoba Central Railway and the Emerson & North-Western Railway were re-enacted. In 1885 the legislature had passed the Public Works Act, and as more than two years had elapsed without its disallowance, it could not be disallowed by the Dominion. The provincial legislature, therefore, passed an amendment to it, providing that injunction proceedings should not apply as a hindrance to the progress of government works, and the Red River Yalley Railway was proclaimed a public work within the meaning of the act of 1885. But the amending act and all the railway acts passed during the session were promptly disallowed.

The tirst sod of the provincial railway was turned by Hon. Mr. Norquay on July 2, 1887, and a few days later a contract for the construction of the road was let to Harris & Haney, who agreed to complete it by September 1st, But the C. P. R. Company was determined to prevent this invasion of the special privilege so carefully secured for it by the Dominion government. It constructed a spur track from one of its branches across the line of the Red River Valley road, and one injunction after another was issued to restrain the contractors from continuing the work on the Manitoba government's railway. The construction of the road went forward, nevertheless, until in September Sir John Thompson, minister of justice, asked the courts to grant an injunction against the road on the ground that it was being built across Dominion lands without the consent of the government. The application came before Judge Killam, who granted the injunction on the ground that neither the province nor the contractors had any right to build a railroad over these lands. This checked the work for a time. But other causes had combined to slop it. The provincial treasury was empty, and the efforts of Mr. Norquay and Mr. Lariviere to raise more money had failed. An empty treasury, the relentless hostility of such a powerful corporation as the C. P. R. Company, and the adverse influence of its ally, the Dominion government, deterred capitalists from advancing money to build the Red River Valley road. Mr. Norquay then tried to dispose of $300,000 of provincial bonds to finance the road, hoping that local men would take them up, but in this he was disappointed. However a contract for the completion of the road was let, the contractor binding himself to finish it by June 1, 1888, "unless prevented from so doing by legal or military force."!"-'

In the midst of his struggles against these adverse circumstances, fate dealt Mr. Norquay its hardest blow and ended his political career. Some maintained that his downfall was the result of his own mistakes, others claimed that it was brought about through treachery on the part of some of his colleagues or on the part of ministers in the Dominion cabinet. On November 28 one of the members of the legislature, who had supported Mr. Norquay up to that time-presented a petition to the lieutenant-governor, in which he charged the premier and other members of the government with mal-administration of the affairs of the province and breach of faith with the legislature, inasmuch as they had transferred large amounts of government bonds to aid companies to build the Red River Valley and the Hudson Bay Railways without receiving any security therefor and had let contracts which had never been authorized by the legislature. Messrs. Norquay and Lariviere attempted to straighten out the tangled affairs of the government, but did not succeed j" and when a caucus of the

members of the legislature, who had previously supported them, was held on December 22 the two ministers announced that they would band their resignations tr. the lieutenant-governor. Dr. D. H, Harrison was asked to form a new cabinet which was composed of Hon. Dr. Harrison, premier, provincial treasurer and minister of agriculture; Hon. I). II. Wilson, M.D., minister of public works- Hon. C. E. Hamilton, attorney-general; and Hon. Joseph Burke, provincial secretary. The life of this ministry was limited to twenty-four days. The legislature met on January 12, 1888, and it was soon apparent that the new cabinet would not receive the support of a majority of the members large enough to enable it to carry on the government. On January 10 Dr. Harrison and his colleagues resigned, and the lieutenant-governor called upon Mr. Thomas Greenway to form a ministry.

The new cabinet included Hon. Thomas Greenway, premier and commissioner of agriculture and immigration; Hon. Joseph Martin, attorney-general and commissioner of railways; Hon. James A. Smart, commissioner of public works; Hon. L. M. Jones, provincial treasurer; and Hon. James R. P. Preiider gast, provincial secretary. Two of the new ministers were returned by acclamation; the others received good majorities; and a by-election in North Duffierin. made necessary by the resignation of Dr. Wilson, resulted in the election of Mr. R. P. Iloblin, a strong supporter of the new government, The people looked to Mr. Greenway as the leader most likely to put an end to disallowance; and when the legislature, which met on March 1, adjourned immediately until April lfi to allow Messrs. Greenway and Martin an opportunity to go to Ottawa for a conference with the Macdonald government on the subject of railways, the two ministers felt that they were backed by united and determined public, opinion. Even the conservatives of the province supported the ministers in their demand for provincial rights. The Conservative Association of Winnipeg sent a resolution to Ottawa, declaring that "the time has passed when mere personal or political friendship, or party sentiment, can cover or smother the real state of public feeling in Manitoba and the North-West in respect to the power (assumed or otherwise), exercised by the governor-general in council, of disallowing railway charters granted by the legislature of this province. We declare that we will not submit to struggle any longer under the burden that is crushing the country to death; we therefore demand the discontinuance of disallowance and that this province be placed in the same position in regard to railways as are all the other provinces forming the Dominion of Canada." The resolution concluded by asking all members of the senate and the house of commons representing western constituencies to vote against disallowance. Sympathy with the province was growing in all parts of Canada, and many friends of the Dominion government had warned it that Manitoba should not be deprived of her rights any longer. In view of the strength of public opinion, Sir John Macdonald and his colleagues were ready to capitulate.

The C. P. R. Company had less reason than ever before to demand a continuation of its special privilege, for its financial position had greatly improved. In 1884, when it could raise no more money by the sale of its stock or its bonds, it had to apply to the Dominion government for a loan of $22,500,000, giving a mortgage on ail its property as security and a year later it had to seek


HON. THOMAS GREENWAY

another loan from the government. But in that year it completed its main line to the Pacific, and had many miles of branch lines in operation; in the next year its contract with the government was fully completed; and in 1887 the directors were able to report that its indebtedness to the government had been met. To secure capital for a further extension of its lines it then asked the government to guarantee the interest on $15,000,000 of its five per cent, bonds for fifty years, taking a lien on 15,000,000 acres of unsold lands as security, and the government consented, provided the company would forego its monopoly. It held out for ten years' extension of the monopoly clause, but in the face of public opinion and some government pressure, it finally agreed to surrender it. When Mr. Greenway and Mr. Martin met the legislature in April, they were able to announce that disallowance in Manitoba and the North "West had ceased. Thenceforward the construction of branch lines of railway was comparatively easy.

The new government found the finances of the province in a deplorable condition; but confidence in its resources was soon re-established, and $1,500,000 of its bonds were sold on good terms. A part of the money thus obtained was to be used in the completion of the Red River Valley Railway as a government road, in accordance with an act of the legislature passed during the session of 1888. The C. P. R. Company then offered to lease its Emerson branch to the government, provided the Red River Valley line were abandoned, threatening to cease building branch lines in the province, if the government continued the construction. Mr. Greenway persisted, however, and the people showed their approbation in the general elections of July 11th by returning thirty-eight government supporters against five opposition members. In August the new legislature was summoned to ratify a bargain by which the Northern Pacific Railway Company acquired the Red River Valley road. The agreement provided for the construction of a branch line from Morris to Brandon. About the same time the government's policy towards the Hudson Bay Railway was modified, and the aid offered was greatly reduced. These changes in its railway policy cost the government the support of the Free Press.

The C. P. R. Company did not cease its efforts to hamper the construction of competing lines. When an attempt was made to build a line from Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie across a branch line belonging to the C. P. R. Company, a force of men employed by the latter and directed by some of its officials, opposed the crossing. The provincial government ordered its men to proceed with their work and sent a number of special constables to protect them. Excitement ran high, and a serious clash at "Fort Whyte'--seemed imminent; but injunctions restrained the government work until the matter was settled by the courts.

In January, 1889, the legislature ratified a new bargain with the Northern Pacific Company, which saved the province $73,000 a year, and another modification was made in the terms offered to the Hudson Bay Railway Company. Mr. Norquay criticized the government severely for its variable railway policy, and this was one of his last acts in parliament. Before the next session this man, who in seventeen years of public life had shown himself one of Manitoba's ablest sons, passed away. He died on July 5, 1889, at the age of forty-five years.


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