His3813 - Rumas - The C.P.R. : A Vital Connection

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Introduction M930.50.1.72 09346 MP-0000.49.9 I-5064.0 I-63545.1 II-42806.0 M2006.142.3 I-14179.1


Canada was created as an independent nation on July 1, 1867. At the time only Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick agreed to join Confederation. At the time of Confederation, British Columbia did not want to join Canada because there were few benefits to joining. There was no efficient form of transportation that connected British Columbia to the rest of Canada. However, in 1871 Prime Minister John A. MacDonald promised British Columbia that if they joined Canada, the federal government would construct a transcontinental railway from eastern Canada to British Columbia. Under this agreement British Colombia joined Canada and plans quickly began to construct Canada's first transcontinental railway, which would come to be known as the Canadian Pacific Railway.