However, I believe the time when Canada is sufficiently populated lies in the distant future! Whatever has been said on the subject, this region's harsh and long winters are a major cause of trouble to men and agriculture; in such cold regions of the Earth, man's needs are greater than elsewhere: men need furs and other thick clothing for winter, houses need intense heating, and men's work has to be interrupted here longer than in temperate countries, the result being a lower annual production. Even plants are deeply influenced by this situation. Forests contain much less species and each one grows much slower; vine doest not withstand frost; as for corn and more so for wheat, while they grow wonderfully on new and deep soil, it should not be forgotten that early frosts often destroy harvests just on the eve of harvesting; thus, on the territory of Manitoba which is famous for its wheat, only two or three harvests are completed over ten years: a remarkable finding was made, i.e. that around the Great Lakes and up to sometimes quite a distance, harvests never freeze, and this is why the famous Canada apples are grown there. The lakes' mass of water therefore acts as what can be called a heat regulator, which retards the onset of late summer's first frosts. If we note that the most populated areas of Canada today are also the most southern, and that the areas still free for the taking are generally the most unattractive because more northerly, we understand the slow development of this country compared with that of the United States, which is lucky to enjoy the more temperate climate prevailing south of the Great Lakes.
Canada differs from the United States in another major way: negroes cannot live there; they die of consumption. This is a sad and somewhat humiliating fact, but to the English, in English provinces such as Ontario, the French Canadians seem to replace the negroes in the sense that the English, usually the owners of mines and factories, will always assign them to the lowliest and hardest tasks, saving the others for men of their own race; this explains the saying that the English colonize with their money and the Latin races with their hands; but of all the races called Latin, the French (and only those from the north of France) can easily endure the Canadian climate as well as the harsh years required first to clear the land, then to build a log cabin, and finally to sow and wait for the harvest.
Our gallant farmers, most of them Bretons, who will thus provide working hands to the English capital, do not fear hard work and do not linger in contributing to the vast production of wheat, a source of wealth. The only income of CPR's (Canadian Pacific Railroad) English shareholders is provided by the transportation of wheat; moreover, English agents and middlemen, most of whom trade and speculate on wheat, leave only the strict necessary to the farmers. In a nutshell, the Englishmen of the Canadian Dominion having at their disposal vast uncultivated territories, not being able to use negroes as in the United States because they die there, and not wishing to toil the soil themselves, find it more expedient to appeal, in France, to patriotic, political and religious feelings.
Therefore, to that end, they set up agencies in our country and take as many as they can of the best among us, meaning our hard-working and robust farmers. I know that a number of Frenchmen act in very good faith. The French assistants to these agencies push them to emigrate to Canada with all the more energy that they are driven by moral feelings; I am well aware that I shall hurt their firm beliefs, but they should also know that I am not lifting this veil thoughtlessly. I too did share their perspective, I too did dream of resurrecting a new France on this far-off land drenched with the blood of Montcalms, studied by our explorers during several centuries, and this at the cost of countless hardships and even lives.
I too did talk in their own city with excellent French Canadians of all classes who, in good faith I like to believe, praised the benefits and chances their country offered to French farmers: « chaque oiseau trouve son nid beau » ; this is the best excuse forwarded by these good people but, when I saw, in most mines, the hardest tasks being assigned to the French while the foreman is of English stock, when I saw, at very close quarters, the contempt displayed here towards our race, I felt it was my duty to warn my fellow citizens. Indeed, when I talked to people of English race, civil servants in the Ottawa ministries or elsewhere, it is with the utmost eagerness that they praised our good French farmers "who should come here in far greater numbers"; but we too would like to see farmers from the United Kingdom bring their hands to clear our African lands and contribute, under our flag and respecting it, to the greatness of our colonies. They would not take long to embrace our customs, to speak our language; their children would speak French, would be French and, attached to the glebe, would contribute to our wealth in return for a modest salary.
To recap, if we wished to compete on equal terms in Canada, and this in a worthy manner, if we wished to reconquer a bastion of our great nation, especially the standing we once enjoyed, it is not our modest workers with their only arms that we should encourage to emigrate to this Dominion, but our capital, handled by men able to hold their own against the crafty Anglo-Saxons; we should create direct shipping services, banks, trading posts. We would then be on equal footing. This would enable us to have our goods enter the country directly and not through English ships and agents. It is a fact that specific French products such as wines are subjected to such high custom taxes and licenses that this hygienic liquor is sold at tremendous prices, and therefore French Canadians practically don't drink wine. Tea is their favorite drink during and between meals. One must admit that tea-drinking peoples hold an advantage over those who drink wine: the latter is bulky to store, while a year's consumption of tea can fit inside a simple box; furthermore, while tea overexcites the brain, just like wine, and also causes the blood to circulate faster, it cannot cause drunkenness and the ensuing dejection. I was assured that it is only thanks to their enormous absorption of strong tea that the fishermen operating in the icy areas at the mouth of the St Lawrence can resist. Therefore, the consumption of tea is enormous in North America and I have seen statisticians concerned with the possibility of supplying these areas in the future, when they are populated, with all the necessary tea; this is why they are happy to learn of the success of tea cultivation in India, even though they regret that Indian tea is of a lower quality and that the swamplands where it grows well mercilessly kill most of the whites charged with overseeing this cultivation.
| Carte Ouest Canada d'époque
At some distance west of Montréal, we find the mouth of the Ottawa, which is just another river in this large-scale country, but which would be a major river in France, due to the width of its bed and the volume of its waters. The Ottawa, which flows from the north, slightly west, marks the dividing line between Lower Canada and Higher Canada; we are thus going to enter the English part of the country. The Dominion's capital city was established around 1864 right on this dividing line between the two races, this in order to arouse no envy. Tired with the bickering caused by the rivalry between the two former capitals: Montréal for the French province and Toronto for the English province, the government decided to establish, on the Ottawa River, at about 100 km from its mouth, a new city that would be the capital. The program was completed in all respects: the territory around this new city is still uncultivated and wild, but the capital itself is surprising by its elegance, cleanliness, and comfortable appearance, this though the streets are quite tranquil when compared with the bustling other American cities; but we have here a world of civil servants and not of traders. Each one has his own small villa, smart and pampered, surrounded by carefully mowed green grass with a lawn tennis court, the national sport. The climate not permitting anything else, some fir trees and larches form small groves, while some scentless and underdeveloped flowers in baskets attempt to strike a touch of cheerfulness.