P.G. Laurie : the aspirations of a western enthusiast
Hildebrandt, Walter H.
Patrick Gammie Laurie was a western enthusiast who came west to work as a writer and printer on various newspapers in Manitoba between 1869 and 1878. Eventually he established his own newspaper, the Saskatchewan Herald, which he published from 1878 until 1903. His aspirations for the West were remarkably similar to the national and imperial sentiments expressed by the Canada First Movement. He envisaged an organic, "holistic" society for Western Canada which would be modelled on British customs and institutions.A Conservative politically, Laurie was an ardent supporter of the nation building policies of Sir John A. Macdonald. He was a stern critic of those who disagreed with his visions of an Anglo-Canadian West. Laurie believed that such a society was the only factor to prevent the West from being absorbed into the United States. Laurie was frustrated with the slow progress of settlement. He had difficulty, at times, reconciling his position as a westerner and as a Conservative, and his writings reveal ambiguous and sometimes contradictory arguments on policies that affected Western Canada. Laurie's uncertainties: were due, in part at least, to the difficulties the federal government had ironing out the details of their Land, Railway, Tariff and Inmigration policies to the satisfaction of most westerners.But in spite of the many criticisms Laurie had of government policies, he renamed a loyal Conservative. As an immigrant from Eastern Canada he remained essentially dedicated to the imperial and national ideals as expressed by the Canada First Movement. Laurie saw the West as an integral part of Canada and the Empire and not primarily as a separate region.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorRegehr, Theodore D. (Ted)
Copyright DateJanuary 1978
Patrick Gammie Laurie; Canada first movement;