Canada's electoral history from 1867 to today

The men who talked about making a new country: Canada

by Maurice Y. Michaud (he/him)

The Fathers of Confederation
© Photo — Public domain

Three conferences were held prior to the founding of Canada on July 1, 1867: two in 1864 (Charlottetown and Québec City) and one in 1866 (London). The idea was to unite as a single country the then-province of Canada, and the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. But after those rounds of talks, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island backed out.

On July 1, 1867, the province of Canada was formally split into two provinces. What was known as Canada East became Québec, and Canada West became Ontario. And although New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did join, the populace was none too pleased about it, especially in Nova Scotia. Of that province's 19 elected members to the new parliament in Ottawa, all but one (Charles Tupper) were from the Anti-Confederation Party, including Joseph Howe, who only accepted the union as a fait accompli in 1869.

Prince Edward Island eventually joined in 1873, and Newfoundland in 1949 — by that point run by a commission government. The colony of British Columbia joined in 1871. And between 1870 and 1999, two original provinces were enlarged and three provinces and three territories were created from the vast expanse referred to as the North-West Territory, which the United Kingdom had transferred to Canada in July 1870. As a consequence, Canada has been the second largest country in the world through its entire existence, except its first three years, surpassed only by Russia.

By the way, this list includes one man who, arguably, is not a Father of Confederation: Joey Smallwood. He is sometimes referred to as the last one because of the late entry of Newfoundland. Another man included on this list was not considered a Father of Confederation in his time but now is. Otherwise, this list shows the conference(s) that each man attended.

Conference } Jurisdiction C'town Québec London
  Manitoba (1) 0 0 0
  Canada West (7) 4 6 3
  Canada East (6) 4 6 3
  New Brunswick (8) 5 7 5
  Nova Scotia (6) 4 5 5
  Prince Edward Island (7) 5 7 0
  Newfoundland (3) 0 2 0
Who Jurisdiction C'town Québec London
All (38) 22 33 16
Sir Adams George Archibald (1814–1892) Nova Scotia
George Brown (1818–1880) Canada West
Sir Alexander Campbell (1822–1892) Canada West
Sir Frederick Bowker Terrington Carter (1819–1900) Newfoundland
Sir George-Étienne Cartier (1814–1873) Canada East
Edward Barron Chandler (1800–1880) New Brunswick
Jean-Charles Chapais (1811–1885) Canada East
James W. Cockburn (1819–1883) Canada West
George Coles (1810–1875) Prince Edward Island
Robert Barry Dickey (1811–1903) Nova Scotia
Charles Fisher (1808–1880) New Brunswick
Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt (1817–1893) Canada East
John Hamilton Gray (1811–1887) Prince Edward Island
John Hamilton Gray (c.1814–1889) New Brunswick
Thomas Heath Haviland (1822–1895) Prince Edward Island
William Alexander Henry (1816–1888) Nova Scotia
Sir William Pearce Howland (1811–1907) Canada West
John Mercer Johnson (c.1818–1868) New Brunswick
Sir Hector-Louis Langevin (1826–1906) Canada East
Andrew Archibald MacDonald (1829–1912) Prince Edward Island
Sir John Alexander Macdonald (1815–1891) Canada West
Jonathan McCully (1809–1877) Nova Scotia
William McDougall (1822–1905) Canada West
Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825–1868) Canada East
Peter Mitchell (1824–1899) New Brunswick
Sir Oliver Mowat (1820–1903) Canada West
Edward Palmer (1809–1889) Prince Edward Island
William Henry Pope (1825–1879) Prince Edward Island
Louis David Riel (1844–1885) Manitoba
John William Ritchie (1808–1890) Nova Scotia
Sir Ambrose Shea (1815–1905) Newfoundland
Joseph Roberts (Joey) Smallwood (1900–1991) Newfoundland
William Henry Steeves (1814–1873) New Brunswick
Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché (1795–1865) Canada East
Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (1818–1896) New Brunswick
Sir Charles Tupper (1821–1915) Nova Scotia
Edward Whelan (c.1824–1867) Prince Edward Island
Robert Duncan Wilmot (1809–1891) New Brunswick

© 2019, 2024 :: (Maurice Y. Michaud)
Pub.: 22 Oct 2022 19:47
Rev.: 19 May 2024 10:43