The Saskatchewan Act

From Academic Kids

The Saskatchewan Act is legislation passed by the Canadian Parliament that established the province of Saskatchewan on September 1, 1905. The Saskatchewan Act is actually the shortened title of An Act to establish and provide for the government of the Province of Saskatchewan published in chapter 42, pages 201-215 of the Statutes of Canada 1905. The act received royal assent on July 20, 1905.

Sections of the Act

The act consists of the following sections (paraphrased):

  1. Provides the shortened name of the act.
  2. Describes the physical boundaries of the province.
  3. British North America Act (1867) applies to Saskatchewan.
  4. Four members appointed to the Senate of Canada.
  5. Current representation in the House of Commons will remain in effect until the next election.
  6. Sets the number of parliament members based on population.
  7. Election guidelines of the Northwest Territories applies to the province until amended by Parliament.
  8. Lieutenant governor determines members of the Executive Council.
  9. Seat of government is Regina.
  10. Powers of the lieutenant governor of the Northwest Territories shall be same as those of the lieutenant governor in Saskatchewan.
  11. Lieutenant governor shall provide a Great Seal for the new province.
  12. The single house of the provincial legislature to be named the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.
  13. Initially 25 members of the provincial legislature until changed by said legislature. A schedule followed the main body of the act that defined the initial electoral divisions for the province.
  14. Current laws of the Northwest Territories shall apply to Saskatchewan.
  15. The first general election must be called within six months¹.
  16. Laws and courts: Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories may be abolished in Saskatchewan if replaced by a similar court.
  17. Section 93 override of the British North America Act, 1867: rights of Roman Catholics to separate schools continued.
  18. Subsidies from the federal government based on a fixed amount and population size.
  19. Annual payments of $405 375 to Saskatchewan from the federal government.
  20. Compensation for use of public lands by the federal government.
  21. Existing federal lands, mines and minerals will remain the property of the federal government.
  22. Properties and assets of the Northwest Territories to be divided equally between Saskatchewan and Alberta².
  23. Preserves the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company with respect to land surrendered to the Crown.
  24. Provisions for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
  25. Act comes into effect on September 1, 1905.

¹ First general election was held on December 13, 1905.
² The Alberta Act was passed at the same time.

Original Electoral Divisions

The original 25 electoral divisions were defined in a schedule following the main body of the act. These 25 divisions were:

  1. Souris
  2. Cannington
  3. Moosomin
  4. Whitewood
  5. Grenfell
  6. Wolseley
  7. Saltcoats
  8. Yorkton
  9. South Qu'Appelle
  10. North Qu'Appelle
  11. South Regina
  12. Regina City
  13. Lumsden
  14. Moosejaw
  15. Moosejaw City
  16. Maple Creek
  17. Humboldt
  18. Kinistino
  19. Prince Albert
  20. Prince Albert City
  21. Batoche
  22. Saskatoon
  23. Rosthern
  24. Redberry
  25. Battleford

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