Catholic Problems in Western Canada eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 284 pages of information about Catholic Problems in Western Canada.

The organization of units for a concerted action is a work of time and patience.  Like the incoming tide it creeps in.  This will suppose, to be efficient, a recognized leader and an established and well thought-out plan.  This should be the definite result of this conference.

2. Warning.—­But all is not gold in the El Dorado of the West.  Many schemes and laws have its lustre; but they have the brassy sound of the neo-pagan state-monopoly ideal.  This thought of the supremacy of State in matters of education permeates Dr. Foght’s report from cover to cover.  In general, legislation is looked upon in our new Provinces as the universal panacea for all evils.  The West is the land of experimental legislation.  In this we should not imitate our younger sisters.  Let us beware of fads!  Let us never forget that legislation, to be just and beneficial, should but help the individual and the family in the forwarding of their true interest and in the protection of their inalienable rights.

This extent of State Monopoly is noticeable in two of the most important recommendations of Dr. Foght’s report.  They are the enlargement of school districts, so that the limits of the district will coincide with those of the municipality, and the consolidation of rural schools.  Reasons of better administration and great efficiency, no doubt, militate in favour of this change.  Particularly “Consolidation” is on a working basis in many Provinces.  But the great danger we see in this change is the placing of primary schools further away from the influence of the parents.  The school ceases, to a great extent, to be “the extension of the home.”  The control of the parents is less direct.  The doors are wide open to State interference.

These are the lessons we may take from the “Better School Movement” in Saskatchewan.  Let us accept the invitation and heed the warning.

* * * * * *

One parting word.—­Let the people of Nova Scotia be up and doing!  The West is draining the East to its advantage.  Your sons and daughters are doing the thinking for those new Provinces and creating another Dominion beyond our Lakes.  If conditions are not changed, the Provinces “down by the sea” will lose their influence and cease to play their part around the family table of our vast Dominion.  “Light comes from the East”—­our Maritime people will proudly claim.  “Yes! . . . and it travels westward!” . . . answers the Westerner.

[1] This chapter is the substance of a lecture given in Antigonish, N.S., at the Educational Conference, Aug. 11, 1919.



Principle on which should be Based the Division of Company-Taxes between Public and Separate Schools.

When a point of law is ever before the courts it is an evident sign that the legislation governing that issue has been either defective in its basic principle or deficient in its proper application.  Such has been the case of the “Company-School-taxes” in the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Every court in the land has had to deal with this problem, and if legislation is not changed and placed upon a more just and solid basis, it will ever be a source of trouble for the community.

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Catholic Problems in Western Canada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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