Oliver Mowat: Liberal Premier of Ontario (1872-1896). Advocate of the
“Compact Theory” which believed that the provinces created Confederation,
thus should have real authority/power. The highest British court, the Judicial
Committee of the pricy Council (JCPC) ruled in favour of the provinces. This
weakened the power of the federal government. Mowat was asked to become
leader of the federal Liberal Party, but he refused.
Honoré Mercier: Elected Premier of Quebec in 1887. He united French-
Canadians and gave them a sense of nationalism. Led rampage against
Macdonald and English Canadians. The Jesuits Estates Act (1888) was a
move to try and compensate Catholic missionaries for the lands taken by the
British during the British Conquest. Mercier tried to get Pope involved. It
was decided that $400 000 would go to Jesuits, Catholic universities and
churches and $60 000 would go to Protestant schools to ease controversy.
Mercier’s biggest rival was Dalton McCarthy who wanted an English-
Protestant Canada. In the Parliament Debate of 1889, Mercier convinced the
House of Commons to pass the Jesuits’ Estates Act with 188 votes and 13
against the act, MacDonald called these 13 opposers the Devil’s 13.
Macdonald supposed the Jesuits Estates Act to appease tensions.
George Denison and the Imperial Federation: Judge and Calvary officer in
Toronto. Pro-British, pro-war and anti-American. Considered to be more
British than the British. Gus view was that one day Canada would be part of
Imperial Federation, where representatives of British colonies including
Canada would go to Britain to make decisions. He wanted Canada to be the
“jewel of the British Crown”.
Wilfrid Laurier and Unrestricted Reciprocity: Wanted free trade with the U.S.
Macdonald thought Laurier was too soft to be leader of Liberals, also French
Canadian and Catholic. Nominated to be leader by former Liberal leader
Edward Blake. Free trade with U.S. was bold policy.
Erastus Winman and Commercial Union: Journalist/businessman from
humble background. Manager of Dun Company. Successful millionaire in
New York. Desperately wanted to be rich and famous. Very vain, however
well-liked. Generous to charities. Thought of as traitor in Canada because he
moved to the U.S. for more money. Progressive views on religious
tolerance/ethnic diversity and animal cruelty. Canadian nationalist. Had no
fear of close relations with United States. Wanted complete economic bond
(Commercial Union) between Canada and U.S. Wanted the same tariff
around both countries from other countries.
Goldwin Smith and Political Union: Resident Intellectual. British, almost
always against the majority. His view was that the true destiny of Canada
was to become part of the United States. People are similar in Canada and
U.S. so it makes sense to unite. Called Political Union.