Barkerville, Williams Creek, Cariboo


The Canadians are not enamored of the Commune. While Parisian patriots strive to reconstitute society on the model of the Middle Ages, Canadian legislators vote for a scheme intended to convert all British North American provinces into a single and harmonious State. With exceptions too trifling to mar the symmetry of the whole, the work is complete. If prince Edward Island chooses to remain aloof the Dominion will be no great sufferer.

Now that British Columbia has been incorporated by a formal vote of the Dominion Parliament, and the rule of the Government of the Dominion has been extended, from Halifax on the Atlantic to Vancouver Island in the Pacific, the great task of Confederation is virtually accomplished. If greatness were measured by size, then the Dominion would rank high in the scale of nations. The territory of which it now consists is as vast and varied as Europe. The climate is as diversified as that of Europe, for the mildness of Naples may be enjoyed at Victoria, and cold keen as that of Moscow must be endured at Quebec. The language of the people is by no means uniform, for the members of the Legislature have the right to speak either in English or French, and in one section of Ontario the population all speak Gaelic.

There is thus no lack of variety in the Dominion. It possesses all the elements of a new nationality. its immediate concern, however, is not how most rapidly to become a nation, but how to people the vast tracts of rich and uninhabited lands that stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. One of the conditions under which British Columbia has been incorporated is that a railway shall be made across the continent in a reasonable time. The construction of this railway will increase the demand for labor, and will heighten the inducements which now prompt the emigrant to choose Canada for his future home.

If Canadian statesmen make right use of their opportunities, they may easily offer inducements which will ensure the rapid peopling of the fertile lands of the Great Northwest. In working to make a railway across Canada they will be taking the surest course for the development of the resources of the Dominion. Their real trials are not over with the triumph of Confederation. The Canadians have to contend against a formidable rival, and unless they can show themselves quite a match for their neighbors across the boundary line, they will not succeed in making their country either attractive to the settler or a power in the world. -- (London Daily News)

JUNE 3, 1871

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