The Old Post

Canada's Innovative Newspaper

Repeal Movement Continues in Nova Scotia

November 7th 1867 - Nova Scotia is a province that prides itself in being a prosperous colony, consisting of a population of 350,000 people. Yet, the anti-confederation campaigning has become an issue that this maritime province is continually faced with. It became a part of the Dominion of Canada on July 1st 1867, and Premier Charles Tupper has since worked vigorously to bring about the union. His refusal to inform Nova Scotia’s voters on this particular subject has further escalated controversies.

Joseph Howe has played a major role in terms of developing the movement with withdrawal from Canada, as he fears that Nova Scotia will end up becoming a second-class partner in the larger union and lose its special identity. Howe strongly believes that because the Atlantic colonies are blooming, the province can flourish on its own. The results from the recent elections that took place on September 18th, 1867 will prove so. Howe’s Anti Confederation Party has won 18 of the 19 federal seats and 36 out of 38 seats in the provincial legislature.

Many residents in Nova Scotia who are involved with flourishing shipping, shipbuilding and farming industries view the unity with other British North American colonies as disadvantageous. They strongly feel closer family and economic ties to the New England states as opposed to Eastern and Western Canada. These turnouts resisting confederation have clashed with the hopes of union supporters. Will the maritime opposition eventually divide Canadian regions?

Aboriginals Enraged by New Policies of the Confederation

December 8th, 1867 - The First Nations people have continued to show no interest in assimilating with societies outside of their own and remain adamant about keeping their special status. However, Section 91 of the BNA Act has transferred the responsibility from the British to the Canadian government. Ever since then this has become a conflict of interest that has resulted in abuses. In order to become a legal citizen of Canada and acquire voting rights, Aboriginals now have to surrender their special status. This means giving up their reserve lands and Aboriginal rights, allowing the federal government to negotiate on their behalf.

The Aboriginals claim the BNA act has not met their best interest, and continue to distrust the government's motives. Enfranchisement of the Aboriginals has also caused controversy, as the Canadian government attempts to remove the Aboriginals from their land and transfer them to smaller reserves. Is the government in the wrong to do such a thing as help the poor Indians assimilate into the ideal white or European- Canadian society?

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Medical Practice in Canada Continues to Thrive

October 12th 1914 - After coming into effect in July 1912, the National Insurance Act has relieved Canadians across the country, creating stability in the health care system. The act, first introduced in Britain, now provides state funded health insurance for low-income workers allowing them to receive medical benefits. Furthermore, the National Insurance Act has encouraged the improvement of medical practice in Canada.

As of now, Canada has eight medical schools that have enrolled over 1700 students. Over 300 doctors have graduated, and the majority of them have moved on to pursue private practice. The only issue at hand currently is that the medical practitioners are unevenly distributed amongst the nation. The highest numbers of doctors remain in Ontario and Quebec, between two to three thousand respectively, and the Prairie Provinces each have four to five hundred. The region that continues to suffer is Newfoundland, having barely a hundred doctors.

There is a lack of other healthcare professionals as well, such as hospitals, nurses and dentists. Provinces that are long established have numerous public general hospitals in addition to Catholic nursing orders. These include leading cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax – their hospitals are closely linked to the university medical faculties. These facilities have allowed the transfer of childbirth and surgery out of homes with the care of an expert and a hygienic atmosphere.
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First Female Magistrate Shocks All

February 17th 1917 - Activist Emily Murphy’s vigorous campaigning and protests have resulted in several laws being overturned. First, the rules of the property law were altered and the Dower act was passed down, now allowing women to have a 33% share of a property owned by her husband. Next, the women of Alberta were finally given the right to vote. Now, the equal rights activist has become the first woman in police magistrate in the British Empire. Will this put Canada’s honorary reputation in jeopardy?

After attending the trial of some women accused of prostitution, observers asked Emily Murphy and the other activists to leave the courtroom, as their presence was considered “inappropriate.” This led Murphy to begin protesting to the provincial attorney in general, arguing that women should be tried by a female judge if there was a law allowing only men to be present during a trial. Her protests resulted successfully, as she then became a female magistrate. However, during her first case on July 1st 1916, she was put on the line after the defendant’s lawyer claimed that Murphy’s remarks were invalid because of her gender. He protested that women were not considered a legal “person” according to the BNA act of 1867.

Emily Murphy’s major role in suffrage movements have been vital to her position in court. Along with four other female advocates, Murphy has decided to challenge this so called “archaic” law, that falls under the the BNA act of 1867. Her motivation towards diminishing this law began especially after her interest in being a candidate for the Senate was rejected by Prime Minister Robert Borden. Altogether, these five parties also known as the Famous Five have presented their submission of having women recognised as a “person” to the Canadian Supreme Court. The team of activists have engaged in lengthy campaigns all across Canada, in order to gain more support for this case. Will the Famous Five win their battle of having women declared as a “person”? Only time will be able to tell.

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Conscription Crisis: Will this decide Canada's fate?

September 18th 1917 - The growing concern surrounding Canada's participation in the war remains a leading issue in the country. The lack of soldiers has jeopardized its performance in the war, resulting in the government turning to conscription as the answer. Canadians across the country are being recruited to be soldiers, starting at the young age of 17.

Joseph Doe, the 19 year old son of a grocery store owner has recently been enlisted to participate in the war. His family is reluctant to send him off, however, the compensation they are provided with is the only reason they have agreed to do so.

"This nation has to keep fighting until victory," Joseph stated. "I am going against my will, but I want to return to make my family and nation proud."

The French-Canadians, farmers, and several unionized workers are amongst the group that continues to oppose conscription. Even with the government's desperate attempts to increase the pro-conscription advocates through the Wartime Elections Act, these groups remain adamant about their views. Will conscription decide Canada's fate?

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