1st North-West Legislative Assembly

The 1st North-West Legislative Assembly lasted from 1888 to 1891. This Assembly was the third in the history of the Northwest Territories. The Assembly marked a huge milestone bringing responsible government to the territory for the first time.


The 1st Northwest Territories Council was dissolved after reaching the quota of elected members prescribed under the Northwest Territories Act. This precipitated the 1888 Northwest Territories general election.

Despite being an elected body, there were three remaining appointed members left to serve in the Assembly. The three appointees were Legal Advisers they could actively participate in debates and move motions, but did not have a vote.

1st SessionEdit

The 1st Session of the 1st North-West Legislative Assembly began on October 31, 1888.[1] The festivities began in the morning, with music provided by the North-West Mounted Police Band.[1] The session began at 3:00pm with Lieutenant Governor Joseph Royal entering the chamber escorted by Mounties.

The Council opened by electing the first speaker in Northwest Territories history. Herbert Charles Wilson was nominated in a motion moved by Hugh Cayley. Wilson was acclaimed with the unanimous consent of the Assembly.[1] The election for speaker was decided in a caucus meeting prior to the opening of the Assembly.[2] There were to candidates for speaker presented. The first vote resulted in an 11 to 11 tie between James Ross and Wilson. Ross asked that his name be withdrawn but his supporters refused. After two more tie votes, Ross withdrew and Wilson was acclaimed as the choice for speaker.[2]

Lieutenant Governor Advisory Council
Frederick Haultain
David Jelly
Hilliard Mitchell
William Sutherland

The throne speech outlined five main areas of concern. The first was the need for provisions to deal with and prevent Prairie Fires. The Lieutenant Governor then called for the repeal of the liquor laws passed by the Temporary North-West Council. The speech also announced the introduction of a bill to provide provisions for collecting vital statistics. Royal also reported on the efforts of his legal committee to consolidate the legislation of the Northwest Territories. The last major portion of the speech outlined the upcoming budgetary estimates to be provided to members from the Lieutenant Governor advisory Council.


District of Alberta District of Saskatchewan
District Member District Member
Calgary John Lineham Batoche Hilliard Mitchell
Hugh Cayley Battleford James Clinkskill
Edmonton Herbert Charles Wilson Kinistino James Hoey
Frank Oliver Moose Jaw James Hamilton Ross
Macleod Frederick Haultain Moosomin John Ryerson Neff
Medicine Hat Thomas Tweed North Qu'Appelle William Sutherland
Red Deer Robert Brett North Regina David Jelly
Appointed Legal Advisors Prince Albert William Plaxton
James Macleod John Felton Betts
Hugh Richardson Souris John Gillanders Turriff
Charles Rouleau South Qu'Appelle George Davidson
Composition South Regina John Secord
Elected 22 Wallace Joel Reaman
Appointed 3 Whitewood Alexander Thorburn
Total 25 Wolseley Benjamin Parkyn Richardson


  1. ^ a b c "The Session Opened". Manitoba Daily Free Press. November 1, 1888. p. 1.
  2. ^ a b "The Speakership". Manitoba Daily Free Press. November 1, 1888. p. 1.

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