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COMMENT: Did the Maritimes get its fair share from the purchase of Rupert’s Land?

["Walt's World with Walter Jones"]
Walt's World with Walter Jones

Walt's World with Walter Jones

History molds a country and in my opinion this purchase explains why the Maritimes is behind other regions.

Of course, it is only my opinion, but hey I write an opinion column so here goes.

In 1870 the Crown offered to sell Rupert's Land to the Canadians. John A Macdonald said they could afford $1.5 million. So that is what he paid.

A bargain said the United States. It had just bought Alaska for $7 million and allowed that Rupert's land was worth at least $40 million. This was the biggest land deal in history of North America.

Macdonald got land that was a third the size of our whole country. He distributed it to all the provinces, except British Columbia and the Maritimes. B.C. had not yet joined Confederation. They had promised to do so but their price was a railroad and they hadn't gotten it yet, so they were not in Confederation and were not paying taxes to Ottawa.

In fact the land that has the tar sands in Alberta was part of this distribution. So, what did the Maritimes get? The answer is nothing, not even an offer in kind. Yet the Maritimes helped pay for it.

Remember Joseph Howe sent a separatist government to Ottawa because he proved Nova Scotia would have more money in the bank outside Confederation. So I think, since we probably paid as much as Ontario or Quebec, we are owed big time and we should sue the federal government for our fair share. Any lawyers out there are looking for instant fame? A class action will do it! Just filing will make you famous. I suggest at least a trillion dollars. The amount alone will make your name immortal. Go for it what do you have to lose. I am willing to join.

Walter Jones lives in Amherst. His column appears in the Amherst News.


 

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