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Minor Corrections

Biography of the Day


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Alberta (1905)

In 1905 the federal government created two provinces from the vast North-West Territories: Alberta and Saskatchewan [see Saskatchewan (1905)]. Alberta’s first minister of agriculture, William Thomas FINLAY, was initially reticent about the change of status:

“In 1902 he successfully contested the seat for Medicine Hat. He was not among those politicians who, with Frederick William Gordon Haultain*, pushed hard for provincehood. Finlay believed that the transition should be slow, but once the ending of territorial status became inevitable, he was prepared to support the change. An advocate of two provinces rather than one, he was willing to forgo in favour of Edmonton any claim Medicine Hat might have to be capital of Alberta. A staunch Liberal, he accepted continuing control of basic natural resources by the federal government, which was in the hands of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals at the time. But, like Clifford Sifton* and many other prairie politicians, he was vociferously opposed to any attempt by Ottawa to impose confessional schools. So adamant was he that he considered standing as an independent in the first provincial election. In the end, however, he was able to accept the compromise thrashed out.”

Please consult the following biographies for more information on Alberta’s provincehood.

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