[Enclosure in No. 1480.]
OPINION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL FOR THE PROVINCE
OF CANADA re WOODY ISLAND.11
|On reference from the Secretary of his Excellency the Governor General, of a Despatch of the 13th of April 1860, relative to Wood Island, on the Coast of Labrador.
||Crown Law Department, Quebec, 2nd November, 1860.
On the above reference and in consideration of the Imperial Statute (6 Geo. IV, cap. 59, sec. 9), and the report of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, it seems to us clear that Wood Island is within the limits of Canada.
GEO. ET. CARTIER,
Atty. Genl. L.C.
JOHN A. MACDONALD,
A. G., U.C.
11 File No. 1655 (1860), Secretary of State, Canada.
E. T. FLETCHER TO COMMISSIONER OF CROWN LANDS,
26 APRIL, 1858.12
Capt. P. Fortin enquiring whether Isle à Bois belongs to Canada.
Referred 12th April, 1858.
Department of Crown Lands,
Toronto, 26th April, 1858.
Having carefully examined the Hydrographical Chart No. 1 by Admiral Bayfield, of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it would appear that, the island designated as Wood Island, situate in Blanc Sablon, on the Labrador Coast,
12 File No. 1778 (1874), Dept. of Justice, Canada.
as shown on the annexed trace, lies, according to the Eastern limit or boundary line of the Province, established in virtue of the Imperial Act 6 Geo. IV, ch. 59, in greater part within this Province, there being only about one-third of the said Island, at its Eastern extremity, lying on the East side of the said line, prolonged into deep water, and therefore, out of this Province until such time as the province line shall have been drawn bounded in the field by competent authority.
E. T. FLETCHER, S. & D.
In the absence of the Dy. Survr. Genl.
To the Honble.
The Commissioner of Crown Lands,
DEPUTY SURVEYOR-GENERAL BOUCHETTE TO COMMISSIONER OF CROWN LANDS, 18 JAN., 186013
P. Fortin, Esquire, commanding the
Government Vessel “ La Cana-
dienne.” Respecting the Eastern
limit of the Province, on the
C.[rown] L.[ands] Department,
Quebec, 18th Jany. 1860.
The question submitted in Capt. Fortin's Communication under date 31st July last, relative to Wood Island (better known as Isle au Bois blanc), in a mean latitude 50° 23' 40” & Longitude 57° 10' 30”, Bayfield's Chart),at the Eastern limit of the Province, which has already formed the subject of a report from this Department, dated 26th April 1858, is becoming, under the increased developments of the resources of the Gulf Shores & its fisheries, of the first importance, and would appear to demand of the Government this Province some early action with the cooperation of the Government of Newfoundland, for the demarcation on the ground of the line of boundary
13 File No. 1778 (1874), Dept. of Justice, Canada,
between these Provinces, in accordance with the Imperial Acts defining the limits of the territories respectively belonging to either province, on the Labrador Coast, Gulf of St. Lawrence. With reference more immediately to the Isle au Bois Blanc, this Island, which, were a line drawn due south from the middle of the Bay or Anse au Blanc Sablon, would be divided between Canada & Newfoundland, in the proportion of about two thirds to the former, and one third to the latter, appears, from its geographical position, at the outlet of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by the Straight of Belle-Isle, into the Atlantic Ocean ; also in a maritime point of view, as a shipping or naval depot on the direct route of Our Canadian line of Steamers, and for inward or outward bound vessels, to be of permanent importance to this province ; while it is comparatively of lesser consideration to Newfoundland, and in the case of its two fold occupancy, that circumstance could not otherwise than be attended with much inconvenience in regard to the different custom duties to be levied for either province, as even now appears to be a subject of difficulty, for those cogent reasons, besides other minor considerations, this Island should obviously belong in whole to this Province.
The Imperial Act 6th Geo. IV, ch. 59, which fixes the Eastern limit of Canada along the Labrador Coast, by a line to be drawn
“ due North to the 52° parallel of North Latitude,” makes no mention of any Islands in front of the coast, consequently, contains no provision as to the mode in which any Island or Islands that may be situate in front of the conterminous point of boundary of both Provinces, may be assigned.
The question would, therefore, appear to be open to Imperial adjudication, on the respective merits of the claim which either Province may lay to the jurisdiction of the Isle au Bois Blanc, and the Islands in the Bay of Anse au Blanc Sablon.
JOSEPH BOUCHETTE, D.S.G.
To the Honorable the
Commissioner of Crown Lands,
The undersigned desires to bring under the notice of His Excellency in Council the subject treated of in the within report, in order that such action, as may be necessary on the part of the Imperial Authorities, can be invoked before the British Parliament closes its next Session.