Session 2, Day 11: 7 May

NB: text taken from Archives of Manitoba, MG3 A1-15, Red River Disturbance collection, “Seasonal [sic: Sessional] Journal of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, March 1870,” appears in black; text taken from other sources appears in grey.

Previous page: Session 2, Day 10: 6 May



Assembly Chamber, Upper Fort Garry

Saturday, 7 May 1870[1]

The President took the chair at four o’clock P.M.

Minutes having been read and confirmed and routine business transacted,

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. Mr. De Lorme, moved — That all laws heretofore in force be repealed, on the 20th inst., and that the laws passed during the present session by the President and the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia shall come into force on and after the 20th day of May next.

Hon. Mr. Tait, seconded by Hon. J. Sinclair, moved in amendment that the following be added to the motion — The first General Quarterly Court shall be held on the second Tuesday in June next, instead of the usual time this month.— Withdrawn.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue’s motion carried.

Hon. Mr. Tait then moved a resolution providing for a sitting of the General Quarterly Court on the second Tuesday in June next — Carried.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bannatyne, moved — That no action for the recovery of debt be brought before the August term of the Supreme Court. Those who have not been in the Settlement since the first day of November 1869, and those who may be preparing to leave the Settlement without satisfying their creditors, as provided for in the seventeenth Article under the heading “Administration of Justice,” do not come under this law.

Hon. Mr. Tait, seconded by Hon. J. Sinclair, moved in amendment that in all cases of debt, where the debtor is able to pay, this law shall not apply.

Amendment lost on a division:— Yeas 4; nays 16 — Motion carried.

The House having resolved that Mr. W. Coldwell be paid the sum of fourteen pounds for reporting on the last Convention, and requested the Treasurer to pay the same, a Recess of half an hour was taken.


Business having been resumed,

The President formally approved of the Laws, and the blanks in the heading were filled up so as to show that the Laws were passed on the seventh day of May, 1870.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Mr. Poitras, the House went into committee of the whole to consider the nomination of magistrates and other public officials.

The President — A law has been already passed, providing that, unless in certain unavoidable cases, all the old public officers shall be continued in office.

Hon. Mr. Bunn — I held office as a J.P. but cannot accept office under the present arrangement, for reasons I have already pointed out in relation to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

After debate, in the course of which the hope was expressed that the hon. member would not resign his position of J.P.,

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue suggested that the magistrates for the several districts should be named by the members present. In case the offices in any district were vacated by death or otherwise, or the holder were clearly disqualified, it would be for members to suggest some to fill the vacancies.

Hon. Dr. Bird — Is it necessary that District Magistrates should reside in the district for which they are appointed?

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue — I think so.

After [this] debate,

Lists were prepared for the several districts except Manitoba, which district was left to the arrangement of Hon. Mr. McKay. The lists contained the names of those most eligible, and were as follows:—

Fort Garry District

 J.P.s — Roger Goulet, R. McBeath, Hon. J. McKay.

Magistrates — Pierre De Lorme, Hon. John Bruce, Hon. A.G.B. Bannatyne, President of the District Court; B. Morin, A. Fidler, John Fraser.

White Horse Plains District

 J.P. — Magnus Birston.

Magistrates — Hon. J. McKay, President of Manitoba District Court; D. Spence, [Charles Ademar] Barron, Patrice Breland, R. Morgan, Hon. W. Tait, President White Horse Plains District Court.

St. Andrew’s District

 J.P. — Donald Gunn, Senr.

Magistrates — Thomas Sinclair, Charles Begg, John Tait, Alexander McBeath.

 Portage La Prairie

J.P. — Charles Curtis.

Magistrates — David Spence, and Hon. John Norquay, Junr.

Hon. Mr. Touron proposed that Mr. Norbert Laronce of the parish of St. Norbert, be added to the list of magistrates.

The President said that if each parish were to be represented, perhaps the magistrates might be too numerous. — Dropped.

The lists having been submitted to the House, were approved of, and passed.

The President, addressing the House,— It occurs to me that before we close, something may yet be done. We are here twenty-eight representatives of the people, but at the same time we feel in some manner that we are alone. In some respects the people still look to those who had been their leaders up to last Fall,— those composing the old Government; and it might be well if men such as these had an opportunity of joining in the administration of affairs. With this object in view the Executive thought of suggesting that a Senate should after this form a part of the Legislative authority. Senate is, of course, but a name, and the power it would have could be used well or ill, as other things. The names of those composing it would, of course, be the best guarantee we could offer for the feasibility and utility of the proposition.

Hon. Mr. Bunn read the minutes of an Executive Council meeting from which it appeared that on the 7th inst. that body resolved that it was expedient to form a Senate, in accordance with a resolution passed in the recent Convention of English and French representatives, which was to the effect that whenever the Legislative Assembly felt it to be expedient, another Chamber should be formed — making the Legislature consist of two Houses. It was also resolved by the Executive that the following names should be submitted to the Assembly of those eligible to the Senate:— Right Reverend Bishop Taché, Right Reverend Bishop Machray, the Representative of the Hudson Bay Company in this country, Mr. Salomon Amlin, Mr. Roger Goulet, Mr. Andrew McDermott, senr., Mr. Patrice Breland, Mr. John Sutherland, Mr. McKenzie of Portage La Prairie, and either Mr. Truthwaite or Captain Kennedy.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue stated that a further resolution of the Executive Council was to the effect that the Senate should be composed of ten members, appointed for two years each — that the two bishops and their successors should be members for life,— and that in the absence of either bishop he might depute a person to act for him in the Senate.

The President said — This is merely a proposition submitted, and this session I do not see that hon. members, who are anxious to return home, can fairly be asked to do more than pronounce on the question as to whether there shall be a Senate or not. Should the division be in the affirmative, details can be fixed next session. It is too important a question perhaps to take up in detail at present.

Hon. Mr. Harrison, seconded by Hon. Mr. Olone, moved that the report be accepted.

After debate [2],

On motion of Hon. Mr. Lascerte, seconded by Hon. Mr. Poitras, the House adjourned (at quarter past ten o’clock P.M.) till Monday following.


Next page: Session 2, Day 12: 9 May

[1] Bunn, Sessional Journal, 43–46; “Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. Second,” New Nation (20 May 1870), 2. Hartwell Bowsfield ed., The James Wickes Taylor Correspondence, 160 n. 405, contends “The New Nation, May 20, 1870 printed only part of the deliberations of May 7th intending to conclude its report in the following issue. The concluding part did not appear.” In this I consider Bowsfield to be mistaken. I interpret the newspaper’s tagline “to be concluded next week” to be a reference to the conclusion of the second session of the legislature and not a reference to the deliberations of 7 May, as the last line of the newspaper’s report for 7 May (see Day 11 transcript above) clearly indicates the proceedings of that day had terminated, and, the next day of debate, Day 12, was the last day of debates for the session. My interpretation is consistent with Day 12 having taken place on 9 May 1870, and the report of the final days of the session being put through the process of typesetting for publication afterwards: with the proceedings of 7 May being printed in the issue dated 20 May, and the proceedings of 9 May being printed in the ‘following issue’ dated 27 May.

[2] This may be a point where both the list of Rights and the text of a proposed Protest to Canada were further debated by the Assembly — see notes, “2d Session, Day 10,” this site.


Published 7 July 2011


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