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The following article is from:
The Ottawa Times City and Council Official Paper July 1, 1867, p. 2
The first of July, A.D. 1867 will ever be a memorable day in the history of this country. It will mark a very solemn era in the progress of British North America. By the Constitution which this day comes in force will be solved the great problem -- a problem in which not we alone, but the whole world is intimately concerned -- whether British constitutional principles are to take root and flourish in the Western Hemisphere, or unbridled Democracy shall have a whole continent on which to erect the despotism of the mob. The issue is one of national existence combined with the enjoyment of rational liberty against the universal rule of an unrestrained Democracy.
Today it is a question involving the destiny of four millions, a few ages hence, of forty millions of people. The Upper Canada and the Lower Canada of yesterday -- the Ontario and Quebec of today -- should have agreed to serve in the administration of local affairs, which for a quarter of a century, with much bickering and many told and untold heartburnings, they have administered together to the general advantage of the whole and the mutual profit of each, is a comparatively small matter. They have but agreed, each with the other, to take the littleness of their own individual affairs under the management of their own household; that they might be able to join with great cordiality in the administration of the great questions common to both. That the Acadian Provinces have joined their fortunes with the future of the Canadian Provinces is indeed a great thing -- the immediate fruits of the triumph of Confederation up to this day -- but the Union Act, the supremacy of which is this day to be celebrated, contemplates results of which as yet only the first step has been achieved.
British American Union from Fort William to Cape Breton, is indeed a great triumph since the time that the people of the several Provinces began to emancipate themselves from the littleness of their local politics. But the spanning of the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the incorporation of every foot of British American territory, from Newfoundland to Vancouver is the ultimate object for the accomplishment of which every patriotic man should labor, as the laying of the foundation of the edifice of British American greatness. Let us have our whole country for the due development of the whole Constitution. To pause now in the onward march would be to endanger the security of what we have already accomplished. Let us not be blinded by old local prejudices, or our time filtered away in the bootless discussion of ancient quarrels. The only sectionalism consistent with the new state of affairs is that which will rest not until every section of British North America is brought within the boundary of the new Dominion, -- the only party is that which recognises the right of all parties to assist in, and labor for the accomplishment of the end contemplated in the formation of the new Constitution.
Sursum corda -- "Raise up your hearts" -- was the advice of the great French philosopher; but the heart of the philosopher is ruled by his head, and the heads of the people by their hearts. If the heart delights in the pride of knowledge or the mysteries of science, it is drawn thereto by the intellect; if the intellect rejoices in the progress of the world, in the planning of means for the alleviation of human misery, in the development of all that contributes to the enjoyment of life and the furtherance of social and material progress, it is drawn thereto by the heart. And today it lies more in the mouth of the patriot than the philosopher, to say to the people of the new Dominion -- Sursum corda -- "Raise up your hearts" -- above the petty strifes of an obsolete regime, above the narrow prejudices of a selfish sectionalism, above the bitterness of party politics and personal hatreds, above the low level of your cast-off Provincialism. "Raise up your hearts" to the new duties imposed by a new condition of things, to the fresh obligations created by a wider sphere of political action, and above all to a due appreciation of the imperative duty resting upon you to make of the new Constitution an entire and complete success -- territorially and politically, that here on this Western continent may be laid broad and deep the foundations of a solid superstructure of civil government, within the pale of which all men may find security for life, liberty and property.
To such ends the statesman and the patriot may well ask the people to raise up their hearts on this the inauguration day of the new Dominion, the first of the supremacy of the new Constitution, framed by the best political wisdom of British North America, sanctioned by the unanimous approval of the Imperial Legislature, and given to us with a blessing by Her Most Gracious Majesty THE QUEEN, as the charter of our liberties and the guiding line of our future national life.