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LAFONTAINE DENOUNCES PAPINEAU unending conflict have ever obtained the repeal of the clause of the Act of Union that proscribes our language? . . . If, in 1842, we had adopted that system should we now be in a position to solicit, to urge, as we have been doing, the return of our exiled compatriots?"
It might, perhaps, have been more magnanimous on the part of LaFontaine had he omitted to give his arguments a personal allusion. But the ingratitude of Papineau, who owed it to LaFontaine's efforts and to the system of conciliation which he denounced, that he was able again to tread the soil of his native country, stung LaFontaine to the quick. He continued: "If we had not accepted office in the ministry of 1842, should we have been in a position to obtain for the honourable member himself, permission to return to his country, to obtain which I did not hesitate, in order to overcome the repeated refusals of Sir Charles Metcalfe, to offer my resignation of lucrative offices I then enjoyed? Yet, behold now this man obeying his old-time instinct of pouring forth insult and outrage, and daring in the presence of these facts to accuse me, and with me my colleagues, of venality, of a sordid love of office and of servility to those in power! To hear him, he alone is virtuous, he alone loves our country, he alone is devoted to the fatherland. . . . But since he bespeaks such virtue, I ask him at least to be just. Where would the honourable member be to-day, if I had adopted
this system of a conflict to the bitter end? He would be at Paris, fraternizing, I suppose, with the red republicans, the white republicans, or the black republicans, and approving, one after the other, the fluctuating constitutions of France !”ı
But though routed in debate by LaFontaine and unable any longer to lead the assembly, Papineau was not without a certain following. Some of the more ardent of the younger spirits among the French-Canadians were still attracted by the prestige of his name and by the violence of his democratic principles, and espoused his cause. There began to appear a Radical wing of the French-Canadian Reformers, pressing upon the government a still greater acceleration of democratic progress and a still more complete recognition of the claims of their nationality. The Radical movement was as yet, however, but a more rapid eddy in the broad stream of reform that in the meantime was moving fast enough.
One hundred and ninety acts of parliament were passed during the session of 1849 and received the governor's assent. Many of these—the Tariff Act, the Amnesty Act, the Railroad Acts, the Judicature Acts, the Rebellion Losses Act, the Municipal Corporations Act, and the Act to amend the charter of the university established at Toronto 8_ 1 Speech of January 23rd, 1849. (Translated from La Minerve.)
4 12 Vict. cc. 28, 29. 612 Vict. cc. 38, 41, 63, 64. 7 12 Vict. c. 81.
2 12 Vict. c. 1.
3 12 Vict. c. 13.
612 Vict. c. 58. 8 12 Vict. c. 82.
THE UNIVERSITY ACT
are measures of first-rate importance. With the two last mentioned the name of Robert Baldwin will always be associated. It will be remembered that during his previous ministry Baldwin had brought in a bill for the revision of the charter of King's College and for the consolidation of the denominational colleges of the country into a single provincial institution. Against this measure a loud outcry had been raised by the Tories, on the ground that it effected a spoliation of the Anglican Church which had hitherto exercised a dominant influence over King's College, and whose doctrines were taught in the faculty of divinity of that institution. The rupture with Sir Charles Metcalfe had prevented the passage of the bill. Mr. Draper had introduced a measure of similar character, but had seen fit to abandon it on account of the opposition excited among his own adherents. The measure, which Baldwin carried through parliament in 1849, creating the University of Toronto in place of King's College, has been said by Sir John Bourinot to have “placed the university upon that broad basis on which it still rests.” A former president of the University of Toronto, in a recent history of the institution, has seen fit to disparage Robert Baldwin's Act, drawing attention to the needless complexity of its clauses, the failure of its attempt to affiliate the sectarian colleges, and to the fact that a revision of its provisions became necessary a few years later (1853). But the great merit of Baldwin's University Act lay, not in its treatment of the details of organization but in the cardinal point of establishing a system of higher education, non-sectarian in its character, in whose benefits the adherents of all creeds might equally participate.
1 See J. Loudon, History of the University of Toronto. Canada : an Encyclopædia, Vol. IV.
The faculty of divinity and the degree in divinity were now abolished, and the control of the university entirely withdrawn from the Church, except for the fact that the different denominational colleges were each entitled to a representative on the senate of the university. The system of government instituted was, indeed, cumbrous. Academic powers and the nominations to the professoriate were placed in the hands of a senate, consisting of a chancellor, vice-chancellor, the professors and twelve nominated members,—six chosen by the government, six by the denominational colleges. A further body called the caput, or council, made up of the president and deans of faculties, and certain others, exercised disciplinary powers. An endowment board, appointed jointly by the government, the senate, the caput, etc., managed the property of the university. Various other powers were vested in the faculties, the deans of faculties and in subordinate authorities. The elaborate regulation of the whole structure and the lack of elasticity in its organization were in marked contrast to the more simple provisions of
OPPOSITION OF BISHOP STRACHAN
the charter of King's College. No religious tests for professoriate and students were to be imposed. It was further enacted that neither the chancellor nor any government representative on the senate should be a minister, ecclesiastic or teacher, under or according to any form or profession of religious faith or worship.”
Provision was made under the Act for the incorporation in the University of Toronto of the denominational colleges. To obtain incorporation they were to forego their existing power of conferring degrees. As the colleges were unwilling to do this unless they were granted a share of the provincial endowment for their own teaching purposes, the scheme of consolidation failed. Victoria and Queen's Universities remained upon their separate and sectarian bases, and thus one of the purposes of Baldwin's Act was defeated. Moreover, a section of the adherents of the Anglican Church refused to countenance the new establishment. Bishop Strachan, who had denounced the godless iconoclasm of Baldwin's previous University Bill, again headed the agitation against a secular university. Furious at the passage of the measure, he called upon the members of his Church to raise funds for a university of their own, headed the subscription himself with a contribution of five thousand dollars, and, undeterred by his advancing years, betook himself to England to obtain sympathy and help towards the founda