The Problem of Our Provinces
The Seventh of a Series of Ten Striking Articles
TRANSMARITINE train drew into the switch in a Gaspe village to cross the southbound express. It was a spring day in mid-week, but all work had been suspended and the whole population was at the station in evident expectaney. Although the streams were brimming and at their very
best for the spring drive, the hardy river men had forsaken pike and peavy, and had joined in the holiday. A flat car r,'3r(lutl rtaIl( ttr~ .1d4 `f •twta~ 1ik&~ tht t an aN (vkrv• . Ti 3 tI It tints not that dot•~ tii)t it iii • hi -~• t harrow a villa gin.. i'1ti~t rIrig • (It (n( I lilt faith • •~ •. r ia~ gnat tthedral~ • • rapi. atol tit )iu hiiu•~i~ • - i a • 1 III . •itit vor~hi pper -`a ta~.tys. The fca~tIn tid in fi~'.~ at er .11 ,~ tm mert i'•• -1 • p:'ii' t ittitI In vat!
Intimi a I)n
tjf a I ionii a a. the nt ai. or I~tt 11t `i the t~it i~ influ • - -, c -tent and fatt;i. Te fact that front til it of the fliaJ-. a.*t~n~i its t lent apart from the • • .:tri'. - •o'd inijhatizt-~~ their in• rtef'-t v -. nc.vr' to the other • `~t hat -~` shall be misunderI I r,intnttor i-. that the ii at'! t ate () evj(lent ` lay-f Nw France. • • .~-tt I ar'! lacked the re ••a~But even (ar• ••• if la:: f Per, ui!. a~ • T lard •~ ataken for K.' . •\~rl that policy • . • • ri • anpisin, rather than • .:`. a :`.~ - fought, explored.
ii to dni al - h r~. i~tlj did a \V~.-h he [ii-' J~rt'rdit.-(i I, tI~ f~Lr tr i thJI'~th? -, ii `.as ri -t fat er who h4~ I .-.. ull rd -rn th `coi -nine ii iTt ain' -empis .-~ onion h st.~ hed his iv a farm at r .-~ f-rn `ii-p. ii t ,ati.-.-ruid 0.-. wa .-vh. in I1 IT Ii. ti. farriiir n ii rrn Itnr~-n' hF in; r.u.-r,rhe v.ntler ii it f QiooiTic-re rh i. on the u i. tig tree.-~.a I:. tn~n ishop -,~ nh fa~r nip a ,. f ; ii u he n u u•~e~ -. Ihe rc-a~ inert .r h-C dan ru;h d t~ iii. Ia! ri a P1 -ra the antrv rur~ ii a. h rs r baniy .rc ailz ntc,n in - IT ir d -, h:m-.--f ad ic ai3 ..:e In n r€s r€ -~a. pa~ which r.-raHa~
\ I ! . I `hc I~r( )I)11'TI~S Of Quehec
it i 1 t prtvailing rei~d have always ilayed and I iv in t ht nit look and aspi rat ions of its people, it lot It' aitil unprittit able. And beeause both hulk hi' Ii run ole of t lie nation a brief statement
of facts revealed in the last official survey should first be given.
The last census 11921 ) shows that Quebec has a population of 2,361.199, or 26.87 per cent, of that of the whole Dominion, Ontario with 2,933,662, or 33.38 per cent., alone exceeds it in numbers. But in solidarity the French-Canadian province stands unequalled in the entire Canadian Confederation. Of its total population
1,889,090 are of French origin, and 2,019,518 are of the Roman Catholic faith. The stock has remained exceptionally pure. Those of British derivation number 357,295 but the number of those of other nationalities is negligible. The largest group is the Hebrews of whom there are over 50,000 mostly
are over 50,000 mostly in Montreal. Relatively small groups of Italians and Indians and mere handfuls of other races make up the remainder. This is not the outcome of accident; it is in a large measure a result, but by no means an undirected result, of certain conditions and circumstances. Church and state have worked in close co-operation to produce a condition which is in some respects unique. It is not without interest to those who , recognize in ethnological factors one of the most'potent influences in nation building. It is suggestive as illustrating how reverence for law and respect for authority may be inculcated through the religious instinct. And it is significant in the side-light which it throwrs on the question of whether national growth may be deliberately controlled and directed, or whether like Topsy it “just grows.”
That policy has several objectives in which both church and state are concerned. One is to retain within the boundaries of the province as many as possible of its sons. Hence a liberal land law, a far sighted timber and water utilization scheme, and an interesting labor plan, to which reference will be made later. In spite of every effort the southern exodus cannot be ■wholly stopped. But no pains are spared to keep it at the minimum.
A Policy of Repatriation
A NOTHER phase of the government’s policy relates to immigration and differentiates it from that of practically all other provincial governments, especially west of the Great Lakes. The tide of immigration has flowed unceasingly through the river gates of Quebec but little of it has remained. It has found vent principally west of the Ottawa river. There is but spare need for a racial melting pot in Quebec. Sir Lomer Gouin, the courtly Minister of Justice, formerly premier of the province, will not admit that Quebec does not desire these immigrants. Neither will Premier Taschereau. Indeed the latter makes of the situation something of a grievance against the West. But it is probable that the authorities .knowing that conditions were not favorable to its retention, have made little effort to divert the westerly flow of European immigration. They prefer to retain those of their own flesh and blood, and to attract back to their native province the great body of young French Canadians who have flocked to the mills of New England, and have made of Fall River. Mass., the third French-Canadian city on the continent. One gathers the impression that there is at least one Canadian province in which little enthusiasm exists over the advent of hordes of people from the varied tribes and kindreds of the earth, and where a tacit
determination exists to build nationhood out of its own indigenous product.
Here again public policy finds invaluable aid in religious teaching. Every province would welcome the development of its territory by the natural increase of its own people. But this is dependent upon a vigorous birth rate. And nowhere in North America, with one exception, can the birth rate from the standpoint just mentioned! be regarded with any satisfaction. And that exception is in Quebec and its border counties in other provinces. -,
Racial fecundity has scriptural sanction in the injunction to "be fruitful and multiply." To this biblical responsibility was added in an earlier day of national responsibility. The early conditions in New France were so grave that the very existence of the colony depended upon increasing its population. It may well be that as a result an emphasis was laid upon this duty which has made it traditional The chronicles of those days are studied with evidences of the concern felt by governor, intendant, prelate, and priest, lest the rapid growth of population in New England should bring disaster to New France. Repeated failures of colonization companies aggravated the situation and increased the general anxiety. The apathy of the home government contributed to local exasperation. Paris treated Quebec, for long, as a mere fur post. The colonization companies failed to help, fearing that the presence of more settlers might tend to curtail their power. Richelieu, through his Company of One Hundred Associates did something to assist colonial aspirations, but his work was all undone by the first Iroquois war which decimated the population. “Most of those who perished,” says Salone, “were grown men recently married, or about to be married. A man killed by the Iroquois meant nearly always a whole family of colonists destroyed.”
An Indian peace and Talon’s efforts did’something to repair this disaster when Frontenac’s
regime saw another backward swing of the pendulum. More soldier than administrator his dream of a French continental empire led him to send forth his explorers and coureurs de bois, depopulating the colony, stopping cultivation, and ultimately involving the land in another war with the Iroquois, and with something worse, with the numerically powerful New Englanders whose population had reached 250,000 as compared with the 12,000 French in Canada and Acadia. The peace of Ryswick and the War of the Spanish Succession furnished a repetition of the same experience. In thirteen years the increase in population only equalled half the birth rate. The matter was the subject of long and frequent letters between governor and minister. It was a subject of even greater concern within the colony. As late as 1759 a local writer prepared a memorandum, still in the provincial archives, in which, in despair, and foreseeing the capture of Canada by the English, he advocated the wholesale transfer of all the inhabitants of New France to Louisiana, whither so many had already gone. During the five years preceding the conquest, even Montcalm instructed his commanders to “favor the marriage of soldiers with
■daughters of the peasantry, which will increase the number of farmers.”
A Solution Found
ONCE peace was permanently established, efficiency in government restored, and the thrifty French folk permitted to follow their natural avocations, while retaining the privileges of their own law, property, religion and language, the policy, so unsatisfactorily attempted in pre-conquest days, flourished. It is one of the anomalies of history that what the colonists passionately attempted under the rule of their own kings, was made possible only when the country came under the dominion of a race which they had so bitterly fought. For the habit of large families survived peace, persisted under alien rule, and was retained with liberty of faith and tongue. Encouraged by the Church, a racial trait invaluable in the policy of the state, has become a fixed national characteristic.
This was doubtless facilitated by the generous terms of the final peace which Montcalm and Wolfe sealed with their blood. But the magnanimity has not been all on one side. In a province so overwhelmingly French there has been great consideration shown the English minority.
This fact is rather strikingly displayed in the educational system of Separate Schools, which, a constant source of irritation in other provinces, works smoothly and satisfactorily in this. Whatever criticism these schools may provoke elsewhere, they evoke little or none from the Protestants of Quebec. Here the laws recognize the right of both Catholics and Protestants to have their own distinct schools. In any district three or more of the minority may express their dissent from maintaining the ordinary school, and may set up their own, electing their own trustees with the same powers over the rates of those of their faith as the regular trustees exercise over the others. If they are Protestant their school becomes a Protestant school, under Protestant teachers and inspectors, with a curriculum prescribed by the Protestant council of public instruction and with school taxes levied on Protestant ratepayers. Legislative subsidies are divided proportionately between these schools; the proceeds of taxes from joint stock companies are allotted in the same manner. English and French are taught in all schools. This system was made effective in 1841 and ever since the department of education has functioned dually through distinct councils representative of the two leading creeds. In ■ the Catholic schools, the church catechism is a part of the curriculum and teachers must pass an examination in it.
The Vexed Question of Schoo's
' I 'HE only hardship which seems to have arisen A grows out of the designation of Protestant as nonCatholic schools. This imposes upon Protestant jurisdiction children of every non-Catholic faith. As a result there has in recent years grown up the care of over 14,000 Hebrew children in the city of Montreal alone. Protestants claim that it costs them $380,000 a year more to furnish this class with educational facilities than they derive from taxes from the same
source. Relief measures are now being provided which will transfer this financial care to the shoulders of the City of Montreal.
The degree to which English is taught seems to vary with localities. Public men when questioned are unanimous in their view that it is desirable. Undoubtedly there is some reluctance in certain quarters, as expressed by the ultramontane bishop when he advised his people: “Learn English, but don’t learn it too much.”
The defect of the Separate School, nationally, is that it maintains a cleavage between boys and girls of the same country and segregates them into groups, more or less racial and religious, at the plastic period in young life when its friendships, and also its prejudices are formed.
The objection so often met that the Separate School is a religious rather than an educational institution fails to recognize a conviction with regard to the relationship of education and religion held tenaciously by the Quebec Catholic, and more lightly, if at all, by his Protestant compatriot. It is the conviction expressed by Matthew Arnold, which, from memory, is in effect as follows:
“My experience leads me to believe that morals cannot be successfully taught to the youth without a religious sanction.”
This view is not alone a clerical one. As shrewd a man of the world as Hon. Mr. Caron, the provincial minister of agriculture, expresses the same opinion. He says:
“Schools without religion teach rights, but schools with religion teach obligations.
“The state is good for making laws, and for punishing offenders. But the state is a poor teacher on the moral side.
“If for the regulation of society we depend only on the authority and force of government, with no moral force behind it, we have a hard job.”
A Protestant premier of another province was telling MacLean’s of a request he had from the Protestant clergy that some system of religious instruction be given in the schools. He promptly undertook that if the representatives of all the Protestant denominations would agree upon hymns, prayers, and scripture lessons he would have these printed and distributed at government expense. To date they have not notified him of an agreement. He added with a smile:
“Broadly speaking, I find the Catholics ask for Separate Schools because they want religion taught, while we Protestants ask for them because we do not."
Doubtless many Protestants feel as strongly as Catholics on so-called “godless” schools, but sectarian divisions make action more difficult. Which may seem to some, an argument in favor of Protestant church union.
HT HE first concern of the settler in selecting the site -*• for his cabin is a sufficient supply of wood and water. After four centuries of deforestation and white coal waste the government of Quebec finds itself facing a somewhat similar problem, namely, how to utilize its ample water power, and how to conserve its rapidly vanishing wood.
These two must be carried out without conflicting with a third factor in the programme, viz.: retaining the people on the land and thus absorbing the natural of rural Here
as in the other provinces a lost farmer often means a lost farm.
“Ours is a double problem—agricultural development and industrial development,” says the minister of agriculture. The Quebec statesman has his eye jealously on two points: the Canadian west which is absorbing the great bulk of overseas immigrants, and the New England states which are a iodestone to the younger population.
If he is not anxious for the European immigrant, he is particularly desirous of retaining his own native sons. Thirty thousand of them went south in 1921. Sixty thousand went in 1922. The exodus is no greater than from other provinces, relatively. But here it awakens more practical anxiety. “Our young fellows when they go to the mills in Fall River,” said Father Vachon, the strapping young professor of chemistry in Quebec seminary, “become more independent after a few years. They cultivate different amusements. Their habits and tastes are not so simple. I doubt if many of them will return.”
To provide employment both agriculturally and industrially under attractive conditions, the government have gone about matters in a very practical way. Southern mills furnish work the
Hydro Electric Development
FEW hydro-electric developments on the continent excel in interest the great undertakings which have been opened up at the headwaters of the St. Maurice and at the outlet of Lake St. John. Both are the outcome of the same policy. One is an accomplished and successful fact. The other, and larger scheme is still ir. process of development.
This policy involves the impoundage of large bodies of water at the headwaters of the bigger streams, insuring an even daily flow throughout the year, and the lease of the permanent power thus insured to manufacturing companies who themselves harness and utilize it. It is in distinct contrast with the Ontario Hydro policy which is one of the greatest examples of the state itself actually developing and distributing water power.
The present development began in the failure in the dams and tail laces of the St. Maurice H>draulie Company. The company applied for power to increase the storage at the headwaters in the Laurentian mountains. The government hesitated to confer this power on a private company for fear of a conflict of interests with other companies already operating or who might later acquire unsold power sites on the river. Following an expert investigation the government proceeded to erect on the upper reaches of the St. Maurice, and 230 miles from its mouth and the site of most of the factories to which it furnishes power, a monster dam involving a watershed of 3,650 square miles. This great structure known as the Gouin dam is 47 feet above natural low water, and cost to construct $2.500.000. The impounded water constitutes a lake of 300 square miles which is navigable by steamers for a third of that distance. It has a storage capacity of 160.000.000.000 cubic feet — said to be the largest in the world. “We have enough water there for a canal that would float a battleship from the Atlantic to the Pacific." says Premier Taschereau.
year round. The fine mills at Grand Mere, at Jonquiere and at Three Rivers have not always been able to assure this because of the shortage of water at certain seasons. The government is overcoming that trouble. Work is now no longer inconstant. The mills run every working day in the year. And the story of how it has been done is as interesting in the foresight it reveals as in the resource and skill involved in its accomplishment.
By means of this dam the department is able to assure and deliver to the mills at Grand Mere. Shawinigan, and elsewhere. 12.000 second feet as a minimum where formerly the flow varied from five times that amount to half of it. The mills are charged 50 cents a horse power a year and the annual return is $215,000. Over half a million horse-power has already been developed and as much more is possible. The engineer of the department, Mr. Arthur Amos, estimates that the revenue will take care of interest, sinking fund, and profit on operation, and will retire all the bonds in 20 years.
Continued on page 37
The Problems of Our Provinces
Continued, from page 21
But as yet only 1,015,085, or about ten per cent, of the potential water-power of the province, has been developed. To further stimulate industrial expansion the government has launched an even bigger scheme at Lake St. John which is expected to save $1,500,000 in coal bills.
Lake St. John is the feeder of the famous Saguenay river and is 500 feet above the sea. By permitting a group of American capitalists to use the first 250,000 horse-power developed free, the province has secured the investment of $20,000,000 in developing the Grande Decharge which is the outlet of the lake. The level of the latter, which has an area of 350 square miles will be raised over 20 feet. A similar, though smaller work on Lake Keogami will bring its level up 30 feet. A whole village, Cyriac, is being flooded out, and the government is being somewhat badgered by local people because the cemetery is thereby threatened, and the resting-place of the dead is likely to be invaded by the activities of the living.
The resulting water-power leases are sold by auction and the lessee is required to develop at least fifty per cent, of his possible resources. An idea of the possibilities of the St. Maurice alone may be formed from the fact that there are two unused powers on this river capable of developing 150,000 horse-power each. If power is exported to another province the tax is doubled, just as an export duty is levied on pulp wood cut on crown lands destined for another country. The policy behind each is that of developing the raw resources of the province within its own boundaries. Without impairing its own credit appreciably the government has been able to secure enormous foreign investment, leaving its own money free for domestic needs, at the same time creating a healthy revenue. Eight years ago the revenue from these leases amounted to $20,000. Last year they yielded $322,500.
Conserving the Forest Wealth
THE mills which mark the principal waterfalls are largely devoted to forest products. The value of these forests have continued to increase and to be appreciated since the depletion of similar woods in the United States. In an effort to conserve this important asset the province has evolved a timber policy of advanced character.
It is based on several wise hypotheses. Here, as elsewhere, the lumbermen long treated the forests as inexhaustible. Little or no attention was paid to their conservation. So recklessly did many of them proceed, that Mr. G. C. Piche, the chief forester, has declared that their limits will be depleted in 20 years. Their whole attention and energy was long devoted to the improvement of manufacturing processes; the systematic maintenance of supply through young growth was ignored.
To the loss resulting from this indifference there have been added of late years virulent epidemics of forest pests which have brought bitter destruction to the timber. About, forty years ago the larch saw-fly practically wiped out all the tamerac east of the Rocky mountains, and this tree is only now beginning to reappear. But the depredations of this scourge were mild compared to those of the spruce bud worm which has, it is estimated, in a few years destroyed 100,000,000 cords of pulp wood. Fungi and wind also take their toll, the first stimulated by wasteful lumbering, the latter rendered more destructive by great channels of clearings.
The department proceeds and legislates upon the assumption that the first duty of a lumber company, as Mr. Piche puts it, is “to know exactly what quantities of wood it possesses upon its limits and what is the annual capacity of the forest it controls. Without these essential facts the operations are conducted at random, and this is why many companies now face a situation more serious than they ever suspected.”
The department is not insensible to the wisdom of reforestation by nursery propagation. But it believes that spruce and hemlock, like salmon, are best propagated by protecting the natural forms of reproduction. Hence recent legislation of a far-reaching character.
Must Safeguard the New Growth
TN QUEBEC a limit holder must not A only know thoroughly his own limits, but he must satisfy the department that his season’s operations will safeguard the season’s crop. Each season he must submit a most comprehensive report. He files a working plan of his proposed cut and must have the approval of the forestry engineers before he proceeds. He must show .the total number and variety of trees growing on his limits and the number above and below certain diameters. To this inventory must be added growth studies which enables the department to determine the volume of wood which the limit produces annually. This takes cognizance of insect and fire destruction, and allows for it. The timber taken is thus regulated to permit the steady increase in forest resources concurrently with regular and continuous lumbering. It establishes a new standard, and to quote Mr. Piche again, it compels the limit holders “to determine the extent of their operations, not so much according to the needs of their mills, as according to the productive capacity of their holdings.”
Though at first raising natural objection, the timber men are now co-operating heartily. At a recent sale of limits in the Manicougouan district, conditions were attached which required a complete inventory of the whole area within three years, so that the forest could be placed under scientific management and the annual cut thereby limited to the amount of the annual increment. One company, through its own engineers, has already carried out such a survey, and submitted it to the department, embracing an area of nine hundred square miles.
These operations give to the Forestry department an importance and status not enjoyed in many states or provinces, and involve a staff of unusual size and skill. Here again Quebec is carefully developing her own resources, for to a school for forestry engineers which has existed for some time it has now added a school for fire rangers, forest rangers, scalers, and lumber foremen. There is also being instituted a school for expert instruction in pulp and paper manufacture, now such a prominent factor in provincial activities. It is hoped that shortly the great pulp mills which have resulted from a joint policy of export pulp duties and hydro-electrical development will draw not only their raw material but their technical experts and directors from the province itself.
The support of the lumbermen has been partially secured by the tacit undertaking that they will not be put to this great expense without assurance that their rights will be secured. The province is being classified into arable and timber lands. Forest reserves which will be permanent and perpetual will include not only lands unfit for cultivation but the sectors in the upper basins of the numerous rivers of the province which are required to protect these headwaters and regulate their natural flow.
The Church’s Attitude to the Lahor Question
WITH the resulting industrial development have come the inevitable differences between capital and labor. In these the Church has always exercised a stabilizing influence, and of late it has gone a step further in neutralizing possible radicalism in the international labor bodies. The Federation of Catholic Workers of Canada is a labor organization which bears the imprimatur of the Church. It declares that a basis of understanding so desirable between employer and employee should lie in a common conception of rights and duties, and that the authority to define these is the Church. It is opposed to present international workmen’s organizations and what it terms “the domination of Canadian organized labor by American organized labor.” It believes “it is wrong, an economic error, a national abdication, and a political danger to have in Canada syndicates depending on a foreign centre which have not our laws, nor our habits, nor our mentality, nor even the same problems as we have. It believes Canadian organized labor must be self-governing, settle its own affairs itself, and must not be drowned in a syndicalist mass where its initiative is powerless, its will inefficient, and its own life impossible.”
Naturally labor international looks with much disfavor on this body, the more so as it gives the priesthood of the church large and almost final powers within the organization. Notwithstanding a disposition to discredit this church body, it is able to muster large and increasing gatherings in annual convention. At the congress of 1921 200 delegates attended representing 89 unions, and 45,000 members.
This union is more acceptable to employers than some others, partly because of its Canadian character, and partly because, being under church control, it is less likely to be radical. It forms an interesting section of the story of industrial life in Quebec, and its ultimate share in stabilizing labor conditions will be watched with interest by more than one class.
A Farm for Sixty Dollars
IN A land where half the population is rural and the families large, provision for the easy acquiring of land is one of the obvious duties of the government. Those who believed that only in the west could a free homestead be obtained may be surprised to find that the lower province also provides homesteads for its people almost free of cost. In the new townships $60 buys a 100 acre farm. There are modest building, fencing, and clearing requirements and five years in which to pay. True the land is wooded, but the revenue from this is a real factor in insuring revenues for the farmer till he gets his land producing. To prevent the land being acquired by lumbermen, the settlers’ record is carefully scrutinized before his patent issues.
In every Canadian province the bar, as once known, no longer exists. The problem which each province is now seeking to solve is, whether a system of -which prohibition is the active principle, or one in which government control or ownership is the basis, is the better. Where views differ so widely and where they are held so strongly an attempt to appraise the merits of either would scarcely be profitable. But the Quebec plan of government ownership of the liquor traffic has some noteworthy features which its advocates regard as distinctive.
Taverns for the sale of beer have long been general throughout the province. The government alone, may buy or sell spirits and wine, and this through a commission. This commission is a very strong one, comprising five men—a banker, a judge, a manufacturer who was mayor of Quebec, and two former members of the House. They are appointed, and removable, by order in council and are paid large salaries. They control all licenses which they may cancel without giving reason. Public opinion seems to be that they have kept fairly free of that bane of such bodies, patronage. The premier, who passed the law accepts governmental responsibility for it and for its proper enforcement. Local autonomy is strictly respected, inasmuch as no government stores are authorized unless approved by the municipal council. Local option has in the main shown the municipalities to be adverse and the total of government stores does not exceed eighty, mostly in a few cities. No permits are required hut not more than one bottle can be bought at a time. The purity of liquor is assured by analysis before being offered for sale. The first year’s operations rendered a surplus of $4,000,000.
Quebec Saves Millions Yearly
DURING the present generation the financial condition of Quebec was one which created much alarm in money circles. This is no longer the case. From a financial situation of the worst it has come to be of the very best. “We closed last year with a surplus of $5,000,000,” says Premier Taschereau, “more than all the other provinces combined can show in five years.” He also points out that the funded debt of Quebec is but $55,000,000 compared with Ontario’s $240,000,000, notwithstanding that the latter is much the more populous. The per capita debt is only $23, the nearest to it of the other provinces being $47 while the highest is $117. The per capita taxes run about $6.31.
While this old province has been carefully rehabilitating her finances, and conserving her resources, there have been evidences of recklessness in other quarters of which Premier Taschereau is frankly critical.
“The West is creating our national problems,” he declares, “because having involved themselves heavily in subsidies to railways, we have been forced as a nation to take them over. Had we not done so the obligations to the Mackenzie and Mann roads would have bankrupted the West. We have had to pay for them after we built them.
“Now the West wants reduced rates while we, having paid for the roads naturally want to see them make both ends meet. This they are now far from doing.
“Moreover all the immigration goes west. No English farmers will come here. Spend millions if you like for emigrants in the West but give us our share in cash to repatriate our people from New England and to encourage others to stay on the farm.”
The premier also thinks that the loose talk of annexation which sometimes drifts in from the West is a poor encouragement for the older provinces to assume still further obligations for the newer provinces.
Leader of the Province
HON. MR. TASCHEREAU is continuing, and perhaps amplifying the big programme of his predecessor Sir Lomer Gouin, and to the two are due in great measure some of the striking features of provincial policy. Sir Lomer for fifteen years held almost undisputed sway. In 1920 he retired voluntarily and was succeeded by the present premier, Hon. L. A. Taschereau. The latter bears an historic name, and has himself been in the legislature for a score of years. There was a Taschereau in the first legislature summoned to meet in Quebec after the capitulation, under the constitution drafted by William Pitt. Cardinal Taschereau exercised authority in the diocese created by the Great Louis in 1674. Another Taschereau was Chief Justice of Canada. The premier’s father was a judge, and his grandfather sat on the bench, was mayor of Quebec, and governor of the province.
The people have the Frenchman’s love for a great name and a great history, and, once given, their confidence is not readily withdrawn.
It would be well if other parts of Canada would, even at some pains, come to know better this original native stock. The French-Canadian is divided from his English speaking countrymen by neither mountains nor a waste of seas. But other conditions establish a gulf quite as difficult to bridge, and these call for the exercise of patience and sagacity. Common ground is found with all other Canadians in the deep attachment of the men of Quebec to their land. This they love passionately, and for this they have on occasion bravely fought. To Canadian public life they have given some' of its most distinguished members, to Canadian letters some of our most graceful writers and sweetest singers. A race of happy, frugal, industrious, and Godfearing people occupy the homes that
Nestle in these vales
And perch along these wooded swells,
And blest’ beyond Arcadian dales
They hear the sound of Sabbath bells.
It is a type slow to change its long established habits and which resists now, as it has always resisted, submersion in the continental trend. It multiplies rapidly, and because of that fact is bound to take an increasing part, relatively to other provinces, in the common life of all Canada. He does a disservice to the nation who unduly stresses the things which differentiate the French Canadian from his English speaking brother, and who fails to recognize and chronicle his high moral qualities and sterling worth.