Canada History

Canada History   timelines 
AskAHistorian    blog 




Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

Sunny Way | Settling the West  | The Klondike | New Railways | Industry | Workers & Farmers | Empire | Boer War | Canadian navy | 1911

Laurier declared that the twentieth century would be Canada's century. He opened up the 1886 Federal campaign by applying a masterstroke of politics when he essentially diffused the Manitoba schools question by proclaiming that the confrontation of remedial action should not be required and that "the sunny way" was better then forcing Manitoba to abide by the wishes of the Federal Government.

Laurier's address on October 8th, 1895 at Morris burg, Ontario about the Premier of Manitoba Greenway

"Well, sir, the government are very windy. They have blown and raged and threatened and the more they have raged and blown, the more that man Greenway had stuck to his coat. If it were in my power, I would try the sunny way. I would approach this man Greenway with the sunny way of patriotism, asking him o be just and to be fair, asking him to be generous to the minority, in order that we may have peace among all creeds and races which it has pleased God to bring upon this corner of our common country. Do you not believe that there is more to be gained by appealing to the heart and soul of men rather than by trying to compel them to do a thing?"

Once elected, Laurier put his "sunny way" solution into action and quickly brought the two sides of the Manitoba Schools question together to formulate a compromise solution to the bitter battle.

Government money for the Catholic schools was denied but the right of Roman Catholic to receive religious instruction was accepted. In schools where numbers warranted it, instruction would be given in French. The backlash against the agreement emanated mainly from the bishops in Quebec but once again Laurier found the subtle and effect way to deal with this by recruiting the Pope to his point of view, for the good of the Catholic church and allowing him to lay down the law to the bishops. It worked and the "sunny way" seemed to be a success.