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Canada's Future

In a most able and eloquent address during his recent visit to Winnipeg, Lord Lansdowne concluded as follows:

All this country over which we have been passing, its natural resources and physical beauties, belong to the Dominion of Canada. You are entitled to write the word Canada across the northern half of this continent, placing, if you like, the letter C on Vancouver's Island, and the letter A on the Maritime Provinces. But, gentlemen, the map is, after all, a merely geographic expression, and the feeling which remains strongest in my mind when I contemplate it is the necessity that we should each and all of us endeavor to do what lies in our power to render that Dominion something much more than a geographical expression. (Loud applause.) It is impossible to look upon this continent, now sparsely inhabited by a few millions of human beings, without reflecting how small are the interests of the present compared with those of the future which lies before us. Let us then keep our vision fixed upon that future, and let us remember how vast is the load of responsibility involved by the ownership of this great country. Its destinies are in your hands. By the vigor with which this national enterprise—this national highway over which we have just travelled—is being carried out you have shown your intention of leaving nothing undone for the material and political consideration of the Dominion, but the work is not ended. The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway has merely supplied a condition without which that work could not have been carried out successfully. Confederation without the railway was not worth the paper on which the British North America Act was printed. But the railway will not achieve the results which you expect unless from one end of the Dominion to the other your people endeavor by mutual consideration and forbearance, by the sacrifice of all sectional interests, by fostering a national spirit, to bind province to province and city to city. If I could venture to give you advice I should say, let us all, let the Dominion Government at Ottawa, the Provincial Government in each province, the municipal authorities in your cities, let every citizen in his own place keep before themselves a consciousness that the present generation is not here in order that it may shape the fortunes of the country for its own selfish ends or temporary convenience. (Great applause.) Let them bear in mind that they are trustees for those who will come after them, for the millions who will one day replace the thousands now upon the soil. That their first duty is so to regulate their conduct at whatever point it touches the public affairs of the nation that when they are gone their successors may say of them that in the early days of the history of their country those who were in the position to mould its young destinies used with wisdom and foresight, and with a full sense of their responsibilities, the tremendous opportunities which Providence placed within their reach. (Tremendous applause.)