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History: Canadian Railway Transportation

Reprinted from the April 1953 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

History: Canadian Railway Transportation

Canadian Railway Transportation
By Francis Olson

‘The first settlement of Western Canada was dependent upon the development of a railroad system whereby raw materials could be exported and supplies imported to the prairie region. The confederation with British Columbia in 1871 required that a railway be completed to the Pacific Coast in order to link the east and west coasts. On February 16, 1881, the Canadian Pacific Railway was incorporated under a special charter and was given $25,000,000 in cash and 25,000,000 acres of land. Sections of the railroad were built by the government and handed over with subsidies in land, mineral rights and money to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Imperial government guaranteed a minimum rate of return to those who first invested in the C.P.R. In 1897 the National policy of high tariffs was introduced to guarantee protection to Canadian industry, to guarantee traffic for Canadian railways and canals, and to secure revenue to meet deficiencies and interest on the government debt which existed at the time.’

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‘Our History’ is curated by former Canadian Cattlemen editor, Gren Winslow.

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