Canadian Confederation – Part 3

Whiskey and Annexation The 1860-1870s saw lawlessness in the Canadian West in the form of whiskey traders and buffalo robe hunters. Without formal law they were perpetrating violence among themselves and various First Nations tribes in what is now southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ottawa was learning that it was one thing to claim a region and …

Canadian Confederation – Part 2

Cattle and Gold   By 1844 President Polk had made U.S. ambitions in the far West clear with his slogan, “54° 40′ or fight.” It referred to a northern border adjustment between British and American territory in what is now B.C. Vancouver Island had the best naval harbour north of San Francisco, coal deposits and …

Canadian Confederation – Part 1

Motivation and Formation   July 1, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The forces driving the British North American colonies into political union were both complex and varied but focused upon military protection, cultural freedom, and sovereignty in the West that were all driven by industrial economic issues. The creation of Canada in …

Roderick Riddle Macleay

When Roderick Macleay left his home in Danville, Que., for the western hills, he thought he was not long for this world. On recovering from rheumatic fever, his doctors had predicted he might live another fifteen years if he moved to a higher altitude. And so it was that in 1898 he came to the …