Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada

The Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada was the lower house of the legislature for the Province of Canada, which consisted of the former provinces of Lower Canada, then known as Canada East and later the province of Quebec, and Upper Canada, then known as Canada West and later the province of Ontario. It was created by The Union Act of 1840.

Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada

Assemblée législative de la province du Canada
Type
Type
History
FoundedFebruary 10, 1841 (1841-02-10)
DisbandedJuly 1, 1867 (1867-07-01)
Preceded byLegislative Assembly of Lower Canada
Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada
Succeeded byHouse of Commons of Canada
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Legislative Assembly of Quebec

Canada East and Canada West each elected 42 members to the assembly. In 1853, following the census of 1851, the number of seats in the assembly was increased by the 4th Parliament of the Province of Canada from 84 to 130, 65 for each section, even though Canada West had a slightly larger population.[1] The upper house of the legislature was called the Legislative Council.

The first session of parliament began in Kingston in Canada West in 1841.

The second parliament and the first sessions of the third parliament were held in Montreal. On April 25, 1849, rioters protesting the Rebellion Losses Bill burned the parliament buildings. The remaining sessions of the third parliament were held in Toronto. Subsequent parliaments were held in Quebec City and Toronto, except for the last session June-August 1866 of the eighth and final parliament, which was held in the newly built Parliament building in Ottawa, the capital chosen for the Dominion of Canada.

The British North America Act of 1867 divided the Province of Canada into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, each province having its own Legislative Assembly, as well as representation in the Parliament of Canada.

Parliament BuildingsEdit

 
Bonsecours Market - Parliament of Province of Canada 1849
 
Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada and Ontario - Parliament of Province of Canada 1849-1850 and 1859
 
Parliament at St. Anne's Market
 
Parliament Buildings in Ottawa 1866-1867

Parliament for the United Provinces of Canada drifted around the cities of Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa. For exhaustive detail on how Parliament tried to resolve the issue of a permanent capital, see below David B. Knight, Choosing Canada's Capital: Conflict Resolution in a Parliamentary System (Carleton Library Series, 1991).

List of ParliamentsEdit

SpeakersEdit

The role of speaker began a tradition of alternating between English and French Canada. This tradition carried onto the role of the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada.

Speaker Term Parliament Affiliation Residency
Austin Cuvillier 1841–1843 1st Parti canadien Canada East
Sir Allan Napier MacNab 1844–1847 2nd Reformer Canada West
Augustin-Norbert Morin 1848–1851 3rd Parti patriote Canada East
John Sandfield Macdonald 1852–1853 4th Liberal-Conservative Canada West
Louis-Victor Sicotte 1854–1857 5th N/A Canada East
Sir Henry Smith 1858–1861 6th Tory Canada West
Joseph-Édouard Turcotte 1862–1863 7th Reformer Canada East
Lewis Wallbridge 1863–1866 8th N/A Canada West

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Upper Canadian politics in the 1850s, Underhill (and others), University of Toronto Press (1967)
  • Alfred Todd. General Index to the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Parlaments 1852-1866. (Ottawa: Hunter Rose & Co., 1867) https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.9_00957/3.
  • David B. Knight, Choosing Canada's Capital: Conflict Resolution in a Parliamentary System (McGill-Queens University Press, 1991) https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt80qgn.

External linksEdit

  1. ^ Ged Martin, John A. Macdonald: Canada's First Prime Minister (Toronto: Dundurn, 2013), p. 57.