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Archive for April, 2016

apr091874: The House of Commons votes to formally expel Louis Riel, the leader of the Red River temporary government of 1869-70 who has been in hiding since Canada took over. Despite his status, the people of Provencher riding voted him to Parliament — twice.

The censure vote was prompted by the fact that, just last week, he quietly entered the Parliament Buildings and signed the MPs’ roll then slipped away before being detected. Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie is not amused when Provencher re-elects Riel five months later for a third time.

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apr061910: Robert Borden hands his resignation as Conservative party leader to his caucus. He’s lost two elections to Laurier and has had enough. The Conservative MPs rally to his support, as they will do on several other occasions when he again threatens to resign.

Borden ends up staying, which turns out to be a wise decision. The following year, he wins election to become Prime Minister and serves for nearly nine years.

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apr041895: The Canada-Newfoundland Confederation Conference opens in Ottawa, offering the colony at least its second crack at joining Canada since 1867. The Prime Minister, Sir Mackenzie Bowell — the “Sir” is still just  a few months old — offers to cover up to $10 million of Newfoundland’s debt if it joins Confederation.

Not good enough. The colony asks Canada to assume its entire $16-million debt. Britain, anxious to unload another costly colony, urges Canada to accept the terms. But Bowell refuses and Newfoundland turns Confederation down. The island doesn’t join Canada for another 64 years.

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