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A little background
• On August 6, 1866 the two colonies of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia were joined together as British Columbia
• Governor Seymour (Seymour St?) was leader of the new
• The Government was a Legislative Council of 23 members, of
which only 9 were elected. Not yet a ‘responsible
Union of the Colonies
Despite the fact that the two colonies were now united, they still
have considerable problems:
a declining population
no further subsidies from England
the government had run out of credit
continued threat of annexation by the Americas
A more permanent solution was needed.
• John A Macdonald had a dream of Canada stretching from coast to
coast, and many in BC supported his dream.
• There were 3 views towards Confederation:
• 1. Those strongly in favour, hoping Canada would send the railway
across to the West Coast, and help pay for BC’s outstanding debts
• 2. Those against who wanted BC to remain a loyal British colony.
The rest of Canada was simply too far away
• 3. Those in favour of joining the US, which would be a bigger
market for BCs natural resources
Governor Seymour dies
• Buried with his favourite cat, L’il Bub
• Replaced by Anthony Musgrave, with specific instructions from the
British Colonial Office “Get BC to join Canada as quickly as
• Annexationists were only able to get 125 signatures on a petition to
• Musgrave worked with those against joining confederation, and
had their reasons for resistance changed into proposals, which
Canada agreed to. July 20, 1871 BC joins Canada
• Vancouver was originally the site of the Hastings Sawmill which
opened in 1865
• Home to many First Nations, who fished and hunted in the area
• Became known as Gastown, when “Gassy Jack” arrived at the mill,
and decided to open a saloon – (happily built and opened within 24
• Port Moody had been chosen as the terminus city for the CPR, but
was not suitable because it was not a ‘deep water’ port.
• Helped ensure that Vancouver became the terminal city for
• Why would being the terminal city be important?
• Oppenheimer offered land in Vancouver to William Van Horne
• In 1885, The CPR had reached Vancouver
CPR Station in Vancouver, 1901
Next to the ‘docks’ Awaiting the Royal Train
• 1881, CPR is faced with a labour shortage and hires 17000 +
Chinese immigrants to work on the railway
Treatment of the Workers?
After the railway is finished, they could not afford to return to
China. Settled in different cities, and faced discrimination and