JOHN BIGNELL TO HON. PIERRE FORTIN, M.P.
THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.
Quebec, 3rd May, 1879
To the Honorable Pierre Fortin, M.P.,
President of the Quebec Geographical Society.
I beg to bring under your notice a subject interesting to all Quebecers, viz. : the defining of the northern boundary of the province of Quebec.,
Last year the north-east boundary of the province of Ontario was defined and fixed by a commission, thereby adding very largely to the area of that province ; this boundary is the former boundary from the head of Lake Temiscamingue to the height of Land prolonged on a meridian to James' Bay, and being the north-east boundary of Ontario, should naturally be (for that extent) a portion of the north-east boundary of Quebec. Now the question arises : Where should be our northern boundary ?
On looking at the map, one would naturally decide that all the territory lying to the north of us, extending as far as Hudson's Straits (and bounded on the east by Labrador), should belong to Quebec ; but, if it were thought inexpedient to assume the jurisdiction of so large, so distant and uninhabited a territory, then the boundary might be fixed from the northern extremity of the above-mentioned meridian line, along James' Bay, northerly as far as the 52nd parallel of latitude, thence easterly along the same parallel to the Height of Land or Otish Mountains at the head-waters of the rivers aux Outardes, Perinbonks and Moos-a-u-lagan (west branch of the Manicougan) thence north-east along same H eight of Land to the west outline of Labrador ; or, if a natural boundary were preferred, the East Main River might be adopted from its mouth to source and from its source or head-waters north-easterly to the west line of Labrador or Height of Land dividing the waters flowing easterly into the Atlantic from those flowing westwardly into Hudson's Bay.
If, in the future, any question should arise (such for instance as the fishery award) which possibly might be decided by area, an immense advantage would accrue to us from the greatly increased extent of the province.
I have thrown these few remarks together as a suggestion, possibly the Society may take action in the matter.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,