By 1909 a booming provincial economy allowed McBride and his government to plan for a provincial university and to promise continued prosperity through such means as the construction of railways. In the 1909 and 1912 elections, the Conservatives almost completely eliminated the Opposition from the legislature.
McBride also won popular approval for his persistent agitation for "better terms" from the federal government. He campaigned for the Conservative Party in the federal elections of 1908 and 1911 and successfully delivered the BC vote. An ardent imperialist (KCMG, 1912) and friend of Winston Churchill, McBride enthusiastically supported the idea of a Canadian contribution to the imperial navy. When WWI began, BC was virtually undefended. On his own initiative, McBride had the province purchase 2 submarines, later sold to the federal government.
By 1914, however, the province was economically depressed and in danger of having to meet heavy railway debts. Moreover, McBride paid scant attention to such popular reform movements as WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE and PROHIBITION. On 15 December 1915, McBride resigned as premier and accepted the position of BC's agent-general in his beloved London, where he also hoped to get treatment for Bright's disease, which ultimately took his life.
Author PATRICIA E. ROY
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...