After much delay and several federal Cabinet crises, the faltering Conservative government introduced remedial legislation in March 1896. Liberal leader Wilfrid LAURIER, energetically supported by explicitly anti-French and anti-Catholic voices such as D'Alton MCCARTHY's, forced the bill's withdrawal. The June 1896 federal election was fought primarily on this explosive issue. Laurier defeated the government largely by winning 49 of 65 seats in Québec. Laurier circumvented danger from pro-remedial Québec Catholic bishops by promising a less abrasive but presumably more effective "sunny ways" approach to the province. The Laurier-Greenway compromise of late 1896, prompting an amendment to the Schools Act in 1897, did not restore separate schools, but it did allow Catholic teachers to be employed in certain circumstances and it did give some religious-instruction privileges within the public schools. Not until the late 1970s were more favourable arrangements made by Manitoba. In modern Québec, the Manitoba Schools Question is viewed as Canada's most significant loss of French and Catholic rights outside Québec.
Author PAUL E. CRUNICAN
Links to Other Sites
Manitoba: Life and Times
A great information source about Manitoba's history and its many noteworthy pioneers. Features an extensive online archive of newspapers, first-hand accounts from letters, memoirs and diaries, drawings, maps and photos - all of which record the early development of the province. From the Manitoba Library Consortium and its partners.
Sir Samuel Hughes
A biography of Sir Samuel Hughes, teacher, militia officer, newspaper proprietor, and politician. Offers interesting details about government policies concerning Canada's involvement in the First World War. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.