Northwest Territories general election, 1891

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Northwest Territories general election, 1891
Northwest Territories
1888 ←
7 November 1891 (1891-11-07)
→ 1894
25 seats in the North-West Legislative Assembly

Chairman before election

Robert Brett

after election

Frederick Haultain

The Northwest Territories general election of 1891 was held on 7 November 1891 to elect twenty five members of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, Canada. It was the second general election in the Northwest Territories' history. The legislature gained three seats, and six new elected members. The three appointed "at large" legal advisors who sat in the assembly in the first legislature were no longer needed. Frederick W. A. G. Haultain was the government leader.

The key issue in this election was the French language question. Politicians had spent the previous three years divided on the issues of eliminating the status of the French language as an official language of the territory, and of assimilation of the French-speaking population. The appointed government made French an official language in Section 11 of the Northwest Territories Act of 1877 that gained Royal Assent 28 April 1877. Prior to that, French was an official language while the Northwest Territories was administered under the Manitoba Act from 1870 to 1875.

The issue was ignited by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Royal reading the Speech from the Throne in French on 31 October 1888. The outcry caused Royal to read his second throne speech in English only. On 28 October 1889, the issue was made dormant when a Record Division was taken on the "Language Resolution", a motion that stated the assembly did not need official recognition of languages. The vote was 17 for 2 against. But this did not last, because the federal government got involved, and warned the Lt. Governor Royal to start making speeches in French again, and tried to legislate official bilingualism back in the territory, through the Canadian House of Commons. The bill was defeated on second reading, however.

The interference by the Government of Canada resulted in members being elected to the assembly who favoured English as the only official language. On 19 January 1892 Haultain made a motion that English would only be used in the Assembly. The motion passed on division: 20 for, 4 against.

Election results[edit]

The turnout can not be established as no voters lists were in use. Candidates were elected as part of a consensus government, i.e., without political parties.

Election summary # of candidates Popular vote
Incumbent New # %
Elected candidates 7 7 2,500 53.88%
Acclaimed candidates 7 4 - -
Defeated candidates 5 10 2,140 46.12%
Total 47 4,640 100%

Note: No vote returns, are currently available from the Batoche, St. Albert and Souris districts

Members of the Legislative Assembly elected[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts

2nd North-West Legislative Assembly
District Member
Banff Robert Brett
Batoche Charles Nolin*
Battleford James Clinkskill
Cannington Samuel Page
Cumberland John Betts
Calgary #1 John Lineham
Calgary #2 Hugh Cayley
Edmonton Frank Oliver
Kinistino William Frederick Meyers
Lethbridge Charles Alexander Magrath
Macleod Frederick Haultain
Medicine Hat Thomas Tweed
Mitchell Hilliard Mitchell
Moose Jaw James Hamilton Ross
Moosomin John Ryerson Neff
North Qu'Appelle William Sutherland
North Regina David Jelly
Prince Albert Thomas McKay
Red Deer Francis Wilkins
Souris George Knowling
South Qu'Appelle George Davidson
South Regina Daniel Mowat
St. Albert Antonio Prince
Wallace Joel Reaman
Whitewood Daniel Campbell
Wolseley James Dill

Note: *in 1892 Charles Boucher was appointed by judicial order, and Charles Nolin was forced to step down.

External links[edit]