Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Losing Settlers

There were many reasons for Canada's limited success in attracting settlers. Among them was the fact that the American West still proved more appealing to the majority of potential immigrants. In fact, many of the immigrants who originally arrived in Western Canada during this period often eventually headed south into the United States. There they could take advantage of a more advanced economy and a more efficient transportation system. - Competition with the United States

THE MANITOBA FREE PRESS, TUESDAY, June 15, 1880.

The Times says that the Emerson International says that Mr. Lindsay Hussoll says that there was no further use for a Dominion Land agent at Emerson, as whatever information was to be obtained there could be had at the immigration office of which office, Mr. Hussoll said, "...he would see well supplied with maps phamphlets for free distribution." This is a truly refreshing bit of roundabout information. There is a degree of innocent playfulness about it which cannot fail to be highly appreciated by the people whose interests are put to one side in such an airy manner. Of what consequence is the fact that people are daily seeking for information at Emerson regarding land, and cannot obtain it, when a Government official assures the International, which afterwards assures the Times, that there is no need for any land office to which the desired information could be obtained. Let the unfortunate seekers after lands go to the immigration office. True, they have not at present any maps or pamphlets or other means of giving information at the immigration office. But, then, the intending settler can course, [---] not be in a hurry to locate his land. The government will see, after a while, that the immigration office is well supplied with maps and pamphlets for free distribution. If the immigrant wants to settle the NorthWest let him wait until the government is ready to give him information. The Emerson land office has been closed for a month or more, and the Government has only yet got to the point of seeing that the immigration office shall be supplied with all pamphlets. When will it get to the point of doing something to remedy (the unfortunate series of blunders by [---] has so materially injured Manitoba and the NorthWest that there no necessity for a land office at Emerson? We do not believe that the experience of that place will hear out the assertion that there is not. The Emerson [---] certainly does net take that view. It says "Every day our town has its inquirers after land, who want information of an official nature, but are unable to get it and immigrants often times get discouraged and seek land elsewhere, whereas, if proper information could be furnished them they would have been settlers. What we should have is this: An office established here which would receive weekly reports of the unoccupied lands in all the the outlying districts and land offices in the Province, then when an immigrant entered Canadian territory, we would not be compelled to tell him that probably the information he seeks can be obtained in Winnipeg, but at once so before him the unoccupied lands of the whole Province and then avert the danger of losing our would-be settlers. On the other side of the line, in St. Vincent and Pembina, do you suppose any information is withheld from an inquirer by any means. Everything in their power is done by the agents and officer to give any information, and they will often accompany parties out to show and locate them on available land. There is both force and truth in this and a wise government would recognize the fact. Immigrants are being driven into Dakota through the lack of means of obtaining information about the NorthWest. Hundreds and thousands of valuable settlers have been lost this year to Canada through this cause. While the eminent - sustained in its delusions by the unpatriotic conduct of its [---] the NorthWest - remains blind to the fact, and persists in its destructive policy. The future of the NorthWest is being jeopardised. The settlors who should come here are going to the United States and the realisation of Sir John Macdonald's prophecies about the immigration to country is hopelessly prevented by Sir John Macdonald's own policy. The process of depopulation so casually going on in the Eastern Provinces is vividly illustrated by the following paragraph from the St. John Telegraph 62nd Battalion, New Brunswick Volunteers, loat men out of Ii50, between the time of the visit of the Governor-General and the Princes and the late anniversary of the Queen's birthday. The battalion had actually to call for 166 recruits to take the place of the young men who had gone away, mainly to the United States. These and other figures show the nature and alarming extent of the work of depletion that is going on all over the country.