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five hundred miles in length, as big as the Coppermine. Even on our mainland there is need for exploration. For many reasons I am hoping that Canada, either the Government or the Institutions of Canada, or individuals, may think it worth their while to support our enterprise. (Applause)
But really what I have more at heart than anything else is that you do something, something intelligent, for the Eskimo. That is the thing, really, that I am pleading for now.
That is what brought me to Canada, and it is more or less incidental that I am trying to get support for another expedition. It seems to me so selfevident that you ought to lock the door before the horse is stolen. It is also unfortunate that nobody seems to see the need of locking the door, usually, until the horse is stolen. Consider all that you know of Alaska and the effects of civilization in general on a primitive people; and then look at Greenland where the Danish government is maintaining an intelligent quarantine, and where the population is increasing Canada allows the population, as in Mackenzie, to dwindle from two thousand down to forty, while Greenland is building it up until it is now about eleven thousand. That is what you should do,—take a leaf from the book of Denmark and do likewise. (Applause)
A vote of thanks was moved by Mr. Stewart, and seconded by Bishop Reeve, both of whom gave reminiscences of the trip they had taken with Mr. Stefansson.
An Address by the Most Rev. Neil McNeil, Archbishop of Toronto, before the Empire Club of Canada, on February 13, 1913
Mr. President and Gentlemen,
As I understand, you receive here two classes of discourses, one that is finished and elaborated in such a way that it can be published in your Annual Reports, and the other just informal talks from men who are too busy to prepare anything for publication; and I wish to tell you that the discourse to-day is of the latter kind. I am just going to talk; I am not going to try to make a speech.
I wish to tell you something about British Columbia, perhaps nothing new. I know that when I went out there I learned a great many things that I never knew before. For instance, it may not add anything to your knowledge of geography, but I learned something new when I had to travel from Vancouver to visit the southeastern corner of British Columbia. British Columbia is bounded on the south by the State of Washington, the State of Idaho, and about a hundred miles of the State of Montana, and we found, as railway matters are at present, that the quickest way to go from Vancouver to Fernie, for instance, in the Crowsnest Pass, is to go into the State of Washington and by the Great Northern Railway till you get opposite the Kootenay District, and then turn in and travel east in British Columbia. They are now building roads that will shorten the distance and make the route a very much straighter one between Vancouver and the Kootenay District. It was a great problem how to get over the Hope Mountain, as they call it, about seventy-five miles east of Vancouver. But they are at work now, two different railways, the Canadian Pacific and the Great Northern, or Jim Hill's road, as they say out there, and
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they are going to be over the Hope Mountain perhaps next year, perhaps the year after.
British Columbia is a vast territory. You might take out of it a territory large enough to make the German Empire, and then after that take other countries as large as England, Scotland, and Ireland, and still have territory enough left to make a very respectable province. You may imagine it as a rectangle approximately some five hundred miles wide and eight hundred miles long. What is going to be the future of that country? I have come back from the west with this impression that, if Ontario is going to continue to be called the Banner Province, it has got to hustle, as they say out west. When you consider the vast extent of that territory and its geographical position and resources, I think, really, that it is going to be one of the most influential and one of the most populous provinces of Canada in the future.
You have there almost every variety of climate, every variety of the temperate zone anyway, and that variety of climate is one of its advantages. You have, on the coast, a climate very much like that of the British Isles, and for the same reason.
British Columbia occupies, relatively to the Pacific Ocean, exactly the position of the British Isles relatively to the Atlantic Ocean. The same movement of currents and that north-east trend of warm water that modifies the climate of the British Islands has exactly the same effect in British Columbia. I know by intercourse with them, that people who come from England, Scotland, and Ireland and settle in British Columbia, feel perfectly at home as regards climate. They see very little difference. Of course I speak of the coast climate, such as the climate of Vancouver Island or of the mainland, no matter how far north you go. That is the peculiarity of it; without the influence of the ocean, Prince Rupert, between five and six hundred miles north of Vancouver, would have a totally different climate. That difference of latitude would in itself make a vast difference in climate, but the influence of the ocean is such that the change is very slight. The climate of Queen Charlotte Islands, opposite Prince Rupert, is almost exactly like the climate of Ireland, the latitude is about the same, the length of day in summer is about the same, and the aspect of everything, the farming lands, minerals, and other things is very similar.
With regard to the resources of the country, if you take them in the order of their importance I do not know exactly with which one to begin. When I was coming away from Vancouver I was so very busy that I did not gather up the books that would serve to give me statistics in detail, and give you detailed knowledge. You can get it from any library; but, in a general way, the industries are mining, lumbering, fishing, and farming. As a compliment to the Empire Club, I should perhaps begin with fishing, because there is just a little bit of Imperialism involved,—and it may not be small either. Although fishing as yet is not the most important industry in British Columbia, -important as it is, and extensive as it is,-three years ago one would have been justified in saying that the Japanese were going to control the fisheries. At that time there were some eight or ten thousand Japanese in British Columbia—I have not seen the last census on that point, so I am not sure of the figure—but the Japanese really seemed to have control of the fisheries, not merely in the number of men employed, but in the management of the crafts, and in the financing of the business, and that would be a serious matter if it went on and developed. If, for instance, one were told to-day that the headquarters of the Japanese Navy knows more about the charts and details of the coast of British Columbia than is known at headquarters in London, I for one should not be very much surprised. They have their men there, and we do not know how many of them are taking soundings, mapping out charts, and so on,—with no hostile purpose at all perhaps, but still they have their men on the ground. To-day that is being modified. A certain number of companies have been organized, and have gradually taken hold, and are getting control of the fisheries of the coast of British Columbia, and these companies apparently have made it their policy to secure British
control instead of Japanese control on that coast. (Applause)
One of the forms of fishing out there, if it can be called fishing, is killing whales and using various parts of the animal; and a fishery that will probably develop to a great extent is the cod fishery. I am told—I do not know, for it is not yet exploited—that on the banks that are out from the Queen Charlotte Islands they find cod exactly similar to the Atlantic cod. You all know how important the salmon fishery is. The salmon comes into the rivers there, crowds into the rivers ; locally they call it sockeye, that is one of the species that is sought for most in the rivers. When our missionaries went to evangelize the Indians up the Fraser River they found that they did not know anything about bread, and it was a puzzle how to teach them in the Lord's Prayer to say: "Give us this day our daily bread.” The Indians, did not know what it meant, but the missionaries found that they would understand very well the substance of it if they said, “Give us this day our daily salmon.” The Indians apparently lived practically on salmon all the year round. That fishery, as regards the Fraser River, is likely to diminish. The industries that the growing up on the banks of the Fraser, the result, in a word, of civilized life, will probably interfere largely with, and perhaps even hinder altogether, the ascent of the salmon up the Fraser River. But even if no salmon ever went up the Fraser, there are still many rivers up the coast, the Skeena, and many others, into which the salmon will always go, and it is not likely that those northern inlets will ever be sufficiently inhabited to interfere very materially with this product of British Columbia.
The mineral resources are as yet barely touched. Copper is the most important mineral at present dealt with in British Columbia ; it goes up to eight or ten million dollars a year. After that comes gold, and then, I believe, in the order of production, coal, lead, silver, and some other metals of various kinds. Men are always experimenting, always prospecting and, of course always speculating. Mining is one of the most tempting forms of gambling that one can meet with. Those who get