The Eleventh Principle:  The Reunification of New France at the Federal Level

Ten principles of the Alliance are outlined at this web site, based upon the lawful Confederation of 1867 and its implement, the British North America Acts.

There is another principle of government, which the Fathers conceived, but which for some reason did not make it into the terms of Confederation in 1867.  Perhaps they had thought of it only on the return trip from Quebec City in 1864.  By then, the 72 Resolutions had been signed.  Thus, for the purpose of the 1865 Debates, they could not be altered, since tinkering would have risked the loss of the whole plan of Union.

The “missing” principle, which rightfully belonged in the 72 Resolutions (in fact, a “73rd Resolution”), is a constitutional principle.

Out of fairness to the French Canadians, and in keeping with the Founders’ intent expressed in Hansard in 1865, it should be implemented.  Moreover, it must be added to the British North America Act of 1867 as a bona fide constitutional amendment.  This is the principle of the reunification of French Canada, of New France, at the federal level.

The Communists, who have been spoiling to break up Canada using Quebec, have urged the French Canadians to vote to “secede” because their “political weight” at the federal level is allegedly minimal.  (The Communists, of course, couldn’t care less about “political weight” in the long term, because they “plan” to eliminate politics entirely under the one-party system.)

The facts no doubt prove the opposite, that Quebec has considerable political weight at the federal level (and I don’t mean the Bloc Québécois, which is an unconstitutional structure under the lawful BNA Act).  But nonetheless, New France, com­posed of the French-Canadian majority vote in Quebec, and the French-Canadian majority vote in all de souche communities of French Canada across the North and East, and even in the West wherever they seed themselves, in effect, across all of Canada today, must be combined.

This will give the French Canadians a bloc vote at the federal level.  If they nurture it tenderly, it will provide them with growing leverage, while denying the dismantling of Canada wanted by the despots.

Of course, it means that the French Canadians in Quebec will have to iron out their position at the federal level with all the other French Canadians. However, the same eventuality would have come to be had there been no British development of North America.  So, the French Canadians will simply be doing what would have come naturally.

To implement the “Eleventh Principle” now will require negotiations among all the Provinces.  However, in the course of these Debates of 1865, the Hon. Thomas Darcy McGee announced the rationale.

The Eleventh Principle of Confederation

The “73rd Resolution”

Hon. Thomas D'Arcy-McGeeThe source of the principle is found in Hansard.  In the Legislative Assembly of the Old Province of Canada, in the Debates on Confederation, on Thursday, February 9, 1865, the Honorable Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Founding Father of Canada, describes the ethnicity of the founding colonies of Canada.

Speaking of the French-Canadians in the British North American Colonies, the Hon. McGee de­clares:

Now, sir, I wish to say a few words in reference to what I call the social relations which I think ought to exist and will spring up between the people of the Lower Provinces and ourselves if there is a closer communication established between us, and also in reference to the social fitness of each of the parties to this proposed union.

And first, I will make a remark to some of the French Canadian gentlemen who are said to be opposed to our project, on French Canadian grounds only.  I will remind them, I hope not improperly, that every one of the colonies we now propose to re-unite under one rule — in which they shall have a potential voice — were once before united, as New France.  (Cheers.)  Newfoundland, the uttermost, was theirs, and one large section of its coast is still known as “the French shore”.

Cape Breton was theirs till the final fall of Louisburgh; Prince Edward Island was their Island of St. Jean, and Charlottetown was their Port Joli; in the heart of Nova Scotia was that fair Acadian land, where the roll of Longfellow’s noble hexameters may any day be heard in every wave that breaks upon the base of Cape Blomedon.  (Cheers.)

In the northern counties of New Brunswick, from the Miramichi to the Matapediac, they had their forts and farms, their churches and their festivals, before the English speech had ever once been heard between those rivers.  Nor is that tenacious Norman and Breton race extinct in their old haunts and homes.  I have heard one of the members for Cape Breton speak in high terms of that portion of his constituency, and I believe I am correct in saying that Mr. LE VISCONTE, the late Finance Minister of Nova Scotia, was, in the literal sense of the term, an Acadian.  Mr. COZZANS, of New York, who wrote a very readable little book the other day about Nova Scotia, describes the French residents near the basin of Minas, and he says especially of the women, “they might have stepped out of Normandy a hundred years ago!”

In New Brunswick there is more than one county, especially in the north, where business, and law, and politics, require a knowledge of both French and English.  A worthy friend of ours, Hon. Mr. MITCHELL, of Chatham, who was present at the earlier meetings of the Conference, owed his first election for one of these counties, because he was Pierre Michel, and could speak to his French constituents in their own language.

I will, with leave of the House, read on this interesting subject a passage from a very capital sketch of the French district of New Brunswick in 1863, by Lieutenant Governor Gordon [it is in GALSTON’S Vacation Tourist for 1864], and is exceedingly interesting throughout: -–

The French population, which forms so large a proportion among the inhabitants of the counties of Westmoreland, Kent and Gloucester, appears to me as contented as the habitants  of Victoria, but hardly equally as well off.  There was an air of comfort and bien-être  about the large timber two-storied houses, painted a dark Indian red, standing among the trees, the numerous good horses, the well-tilled fields and sleek cattle, which is wanting on the sea coast.

We stopped after a pleasant drive, affording us good views of the beautiful peak //////o!//////// Green River Mountain, at the house of a Monsieur VIOLET, at the mouth of Grand River, which was to be our starting point.  The whole aspect of the farm was that of the métairis  in Normandy -– the outer doors of the house gaudily painted -– the panels of a different color from the frame -– the large, open, uncarpeted room, with its bare, shining floor -– the lasses at the spinning-wheel -– the French costume and appearance of Madame VIOLET and her sons and daughters, all carried me back to the other side of the Atlantic.

After a short conversation with the VIOLETS, we walked down to the bridge, where two log canoes, manned by Frenchmen -– three CYRS and a THIBAUDEAU -– were waiting for us, and pushed off from the shore.  A turn in the river very speedily hid from us the bridge and farm, our empty carriage, and the friends who had accompanied us from Grand Falls standing on the bank, in the evening sunshine, waving us their farewells, and it was not without pleasure that we felt that the same turn which screened them from our view separated us for some time to come from civilized life.

It will be observed Governor GORDON speaks of four counties in the north of New Brunswick which still bear a marked French character.  Well, gentlemen of French origin, we propose to restore these long-lost compatriots to your protection:   in the Federal Union, which will recognize equally both languages, they will naturally look to you; their petitions will come to you, and their representative will naturally be found allied with you.

Suppose those four New Brunswick counties are influenced by the French vote, and two in Nova Scotia, and one in Newfoundland, you will, should you need them, have them as sure allies to your own compact body, to aid your legitimate influence in the Federal councils.  (Cheers.)

In 1867, if the minimal option of a “federal” union of Upper and Lower Canada had been carried out instead of Confederation — and this was one of the options on the table in the Debates  of 1865 — there would have been a province of Quebec, a province of Ontario, and a federal level where the two ethnic “majorities” from each new province would unite to govern the whole on non-ethnic subject matters.

The Fathers believed that casting the ethnic content out of the federal level would preclude divisive racial conflicts.  Perhaps on that assumption, the Fathers planned, and McGee announced, their intent to reconstitute New France at the federal level, in the full Confederation, where local ethnic matters had been eliminated.

Of course, this all depended on the goodwill of Quebec in taking up the “petitions” of French-Canadian representatives in the other new provinces.

A formal constitutional amendment to implement the “Eleventh Principle” would make French-Canadian federal reunification imperative, not a matter of the mere goodwill of Quebec, or the willingness of the rep­re­sent­atives of the French Canadian vote elsewhere.