The West Versus the Rest

A Timeline of Important Events

Scroll down or use the date navigation below to reveal influential moments in history.


July 1, 1867

The Constitution of the new Dominion of Canada foresees the entry of Rupert's Land and the North-western Territory.

Louis Riel and the Red River Métis resist Canada's purchase of Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company.

Fall 1869


Spring 1870

Macdonald agrees to create the province of Manitoba but he refuses demands for resource control.

British Columbia joins Confederation. Ottawa promises a trans-continental railroad and a subsidy in return for the use of B.C. land for the railway.


July 20, 1871


Parliament ratifies a deal to build the Canadian Pacific Railway for $25 million and twenty-five million Western acres.

Manitoba Premier John Norquay secures a precedent-setting subsidy in lieu of resources.




June 23, 1896

The Liberals under Wilfrid Laurier win a majority government.

Frederick Haultain secures responsible government for the North-West Territories.


June 1897

July 28, 1930

King loses the federal election to R.B. Bennet's Conservatives.

The British Parliament approves the Constitution Act 1930, which transfers resource control to the West and the unused railway lands to British Columbia.

July 1930

Early 1930

King and Anderson agree on a deal to transfer of resource control.

After Laurier calls an election, he promises to open negotiations for provincial status after the vote.

Fall 1904

February 1905

Laurier introduces bills to create Alberta and Saskatchewan: Ottawa retains resource control but the new provinces receive subsidies in lieu of resources.

As their clout within Canada wanes, the Maritime Provinces fail to secure their existing allotment of House of Commons seats as a basic minimum.

December 1910

Winter 1910 – 1911

Alberta and Saskatchewan separately demand resource control.

Laurier loses the federal election to Robert Borden's Conservatives.


September 21, 1911

Fall 1911 – April 1912

Borden extends the boundaries of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, increases Manitoba's subsidies in lieu of resources and offers to study British Columbia's special needs.

Borden sets conditions on any transfer of Western resource control.

October 1913


December 1913

The Gang of Three is born: Alberta Premier Arthur Sifton, Saskatchewan Premier Walter Scott and Manitoba Premier Rodmond Roblin demand resource control along with continued subsidies in lieu of those resources.

With Britain's declaration of war on Germany, Canada is at war.

August 4, 1914

10 Tobias Crawford Norris

Spring 1915

Conservative Roblin resigns, and Liberal T.C. Norris replaces him. British Columbia and Ottawa get nowhere on the commission to study its special needs.

Former MP William Martin replaces Saskatchewan Premier Scott.


October 1916



Borden introduces conscription, splitting the Liberal Party. In September, the PM forms a Union government that includes Arthur Sifton; Charles Stewart replaces Sifton.

At a First Ministers gathering, the Maritime premiers refuse to discuss the transfer of Western resource control.

February 1918


Fall 1918

Borden convenes a First Ministers Conference and then leaves for Britain. The talks on resource control deepen the rifts between the West and the Rest of Canada.

William Lyon Mackenzie King wins the federal Liberal leadership.

August 1919


July 1920

Borden steps down in favour of Interior Minister Arthur Meighen.

Meighen fails to resolve the transfer of resource control.

December 1920 – May 1921

July 18, 1921

Alberta Premier Stewart loses power to the United Farmers of Alberta. Herbert Greenfield is the new premier.

Charles Dunning replaces Martin as Saskatchewan premier. King meets with the three Prairie Premiers but he can only reach a deal with Norris.


Spring 1922

July 18, 1922

Norris loses power to John Bracken of the United Farmers of Manitoba.

Bracken rejects the deal that Norris endorsed.

Fall 1922

December 1922

Prince Edward Island claims a share in the West as an asset of the partnership.

King and Greenfield do a deal that includes a cash settlement.

November 1924


Fall 1925

The UFA caucus replaces Greenfield with Attorney-General John Brownlee.

Meighen wins more seats than King in the federal election but King waits to test the will of Parliament before resigning.

October 29, 1925

December 6, 1921

William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberals win the federal election.

King and Brownlee finalize their deal for resource transfer. King wins a vote of confidence. James Gardiner becomes Saskatchewan Premier.


January – February 1926

June 1926

King asks Governor-General Lord Julian Byng to dissolve Parliament to avoid a motion of censure. Byng refuses, and asks Meighen to form a government.

King appoints a Royal Commission to examine Maritime grievances.

April 1926

July – September 1926

The Conservatives lose a vote of non-confidence, and call an election. King campaigns against Byng, and wins.

In response to the Maritime Royal Commission, King raises subsidies. He asks a Royal Commission to examine British Columbia's grievances.

Spring 1927

October 1927

Calgary lawyer R.B. Bennett replaces Meighen as Conservative leader.

At a pivotal First Ministers Conference, King secures general agreement to resolve regional grievances, including the transfer of resource control.

November 1927

February 6, 1928

The British Columbia Royal Commission calls for the return of the railway lands along with continued subsidies.

Conservative James Anderson becomes the new Saskatchewan premier.


September, 1929

December 11 – December 14, 1929

King signs deals with Brownlee and Bracken.

Anderson loses power to Gardiner's Liberals. Alberta Premier Brownlee resigns amid a sex scandal.

June – July 1934

August – October 1935

The United Farmers of Alberta lose power to Social Credit. King defeats Bennett in the federal election.

The Alberta government defaults on its bonds.

Spring 1936

February 13, 1947

After 133 dry holes, Imperial Oil hits black gold at Leduc.

As oil prices rise, Ottawa clamps an export tax on Western crude and freezes the domestic price.

1973 – 1974

October 28, 1980

The National Energy Program creates a blended price for old and new oil, and slaps new taxes on gas at the wellhead, the refinery and the pump.

The Constitution recognizes the provincial right to exclusively make laws for the exploration, development, conservation and management of its resources.

April 1982


April 2012

Progressive Conservative Alison Redford wins the Alberta election with the promise of forging a new energy strategy with the Rest of Canada.