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Agreement to transfer natural resource administration to Alberta
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Agreement to transfer natural resource administration to Alberta

With Confederation, the British North America Act accorded the four signing provinces rights to the management of public lands and to all natural resources thereon. However, under the Manitoba Act (1870) these rights were vested in the Crown and were to be administered by the Government of Canada "for the purposes of the Dominion." Ottawa's control over western resources was subsequently reaffirmed under the Northwest Territories Act (1875) and by the two acts creating the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan (1905). Ottawa argued that this move was necessary in order for it to oversee the national goals of populating the West. But to many westerners it became a popular grievance since it relegated their provinces to second-class status in Confederation. In the 1920s, the resource question resulted in a series of federal-provincial conferences, of which this original signed agreement between Alberta and Canada was an outgrowth. Finally in 1930, the federal government and the three Prairie provinces came to an understanding which resulted in three separate resource agreements that were ratified by Parliament.

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