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Timeline and Reasons Why Province Joined Canada
Transcript of Timeline and Reasons Why Province Joined Canada
Timeline and Reasons Why Provinces Joined Canada
Provinces Entering Confederation: 1867
On confederation, July 1, 1867, four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, joined to form the Dominion of Canada.
British Columbia 1871
Gold was found in the Fraser River in 1858. This brought thousands of new settlers to colonies on Vancouver Island and the mainland. The growth of these colonies caused many people, such as Amor De Cosmos, to want to join Canada. They had three main reasons:
•The colonies owed a lot of money, and they knew they could get some economic help from Canada.
•The colonies' leaders were named by the British government. People in British Columbia wanted to be able to elect their own government and make their own decisions. By joining Canada they would get their own provincial government.
•Many people in British Columbia and Ottawa feared that the United States might try to take over the colonies. If they entered Confederation this would stop, as the colonies would then be part of a larger country.
British Columbia joined Canada on July 20 as the sixth province.
Prince Edward Island 1873
Although P.E.I. was a part of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences, it decided not to join Confederation in 1867. Later, Canada became afraid the Island would join the United States. To prevent this from happening, the Canadian government again invited Prince Edward Island to join Confederation. Meanwhile the Islanders, including the premier James C. Pope, started to think about becoming part of Canada in order to solve their two main problems:
•The first problem was a very old one and had to do with land. Landlords who lived in England owned most of the Island. This meant that settlers could not buy their own land and had to rent it at high cost. Canada agreed to help by buying the land from the landlords so that settlers could then buy and own their land.
•The Island had borrowed a lot of money to build a railway, and could not pay back its debts. Canada agreed to help them pay this money.
P.E.I joined Canada on July 1, making it the seventh province.
In 1870, Canada bought Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory from the Hudson's Bay Company. After the discovery of gold in the late 1800s, the government sent the North West Mounted Police there to show Canada owned and controlled the area. The Yukon was made into a separate territory in 1898 for two main reasons:
•The Klondike gold rush brought many Americans into Canada. Some people were worried that the United States would use this as an excuse to take control of the area.
•The gold rush had attracted many people to the region. This gave the Yukon a much bigger population and made it a more active area than the rest of the Northwest Territories.
Yukon joined Canada on June 13, making it the second territory.
Provinces Joining in 1905
On September 1, two more provinces joined Canada, Saskatchewan and Alberta, making them the eighth and ninth provinces of Canada.
The land that now forms Saskatchewan and Alberta was originally part of the Northwest Territories. By the beginning of the 1900s, many people wanted this to change. The leader of the Territories was F. W. G. Haultain. He and others had several reasons to want to create new provinces:
•The economy had changed. Instead of just the fur trade, it now included farming, logging, mining and the railway. Many people were coming into the territory to work in these new industries. They believed this larger population deserved the same kind of government as in Ontario, Quebec and the other provinces.
•They could not afford everything that the people needed, such as schools. By forming new provinces, they would be able to collect taxes and pay for these things.
Newfoundland and Labrador 1949
England had claimed Newfoundland as a territory by the end of the 1500s. Fishing was the main industry. Although Newfoundland participated in the Quebec Conference, it did not join Canada in 1867. By 1949 the people had to decide what to do about their political future. Many people wanted to remain a colony of Britain. Others, led by Joseph Smallwood, wanted Newfoundland to become a province of Canada. They had these reasons:
•Britain didn't want the cost of supporting Newfoundland any more. Joining Canada would mean more money for Newfoundland.
•Canada promised to help them by building many things such as roads and railways.
Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada on March 31, making it the tenth and final province of Canada.
Nunavut was formed from part of the Northwest Territories in 1999. When Canada first became a country, Native people were not asked what they thought about Confederation. In fact, the Government of Canada took control of the land, resulting in changes to the Inuit way of life. In the 1970s the Inuit began to talk to the Canadian government about creating a new territory called Nunavut. They had two main reasons for this:
•For a long time the Canadian government had made decisions for Native people without talking to them first. The Inuit wanted to start making decisions for themselves, and to do this they needed their own government. When Nunavut was created in 1999, Paul Okalik was chosen as the first premier.
•The Inuit wanted control of their land. For many years Canada had used the resources of the Arctic without asking the Inuit. Now the Inuit wanted some of that land back.
Map after Confederation
Map after Nunavut Joined
Ontario, Quebec,, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick form the Dominion of Canada on July 1.
Manitoba and Northwest Territories join Canada on July 15.
British Columbia joins Canada on July 20.
Prince Edward Island joins Canada on July 1.
Yukon joins Canada on June 13.
By this year, Canada consists of 7 provinces and 2 territories.
Saskatchewan and Alberta join Canada on September 1.
Newfoundland and Labrador joins Canada as the last province on March 31.
Nunavut joins Canada as the last territory on April 1.
Ontario joined Canada because between 1854 and 1864, the Province of Canada was changing governments very often. This made it very difficult to make important decisions. Many politicians in Canada West (called Ontario today) and Canada East (called Quebec today) agreed that creating a new country called Canada was the solution to this problem. This meant that Ontario would get its own provincial government to make important decisions. The government in Ottawa would make decisions for all the people of the new country. Also, the leaders believed that a closer connection with the other colonies would help to make the economy stronger.
Between 1854 and 1864, the Province of Canada was changing governments very often. This made it very difficult to make important decisions. Many politicians in Canada West (Ontario of today) and Canada East (Quebec of today) agreed that creating a new country called Canada was the solution to this problem. This meant that Quebec would get its own provincial government to make important decisions. The government in Ottawa would make decisions for all the people of the new country. In addition, the leaders believed that a closer connection with other economies would help to make the economy stronger.
Nova Scotia joined Canada because they were promised a railroad from Nova Scotia to Canada West. Some major reasons for Nova Scotia joining Canada were that they would have protection from any Fenian (Irish-Americans rebelling against the British) attacks, the transcontinental railroad would be built, making it trade easier and extends where they can sell/buy, and it would end political deadlocks.
New Brunswick joined Canada because many of the settlers thought that the powerful United States would want to expand northward into New Brunswick. However, if they were part of Canada they would be better able to defend against this threat. Also people thought that Confederation would help the economy by providing a larger market for their goods, and a link to the other colonies through the Intercolonial Railway.
A map of the Intercolonial Railway, which would go from the Maritime Provinces to Quebec and Ontario
Provinces Joining in 1870
In the year 1870, two more provinces joined Canada on July 15, Manitoba and Northwest Territories, commonly known as a part of Rupert's land back then.
Manitoba joined Canada because in 1870, the founders of Canada began negotiating with the Hudson's Bay Company to buy much of Rupert's Land and started encouraging settlers to move west. Unfortunately, they failed to discuss any of these plans with the 10,000 Métis who already lived in the Red River Valley. Naturally the Métis feared the loss of their traditional hunting grounds, their nomadic way of life and the French and Roman Catholic parts of their culture.
Led by a passionate and articulate leader, Louis Riel, they seized Fort Garry, set up a provisional government and managed to persuade Sir John A. Macdonald to agree to a List of Rights which they hoped would protect their lands and traditions just as the Quebec Act had created constitutional protections for the French-Canadian culture. The result was the Manitoba Act of 1870 which added a fifth province to the Canadian federation.
Northwest Territories joined Canada because in 1870, Canada bought Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory from the Hudson's Bay Company. This whole area was re-named the Northwest Territories.
Louis Riel, leader of the Métis.