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Alberta becomes a Province

Alberta's first cabinetResponsible Government in the Territorial Legislature in 1897 only led to greater demands for political independence.  In the 1904 federal election both Liberals and Conservatives supported the idea of provincial status for the Territories, but disagreed over how this could be achieved.

Downtown Edmonton on Inaugural Day, September 1, 1905F.W.G. Haultain , Premier of the Territories, wanted a single province, large enough to influence federal politics and with control of natural resources.  Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier believed two provinces roughly equal in size and population would be easier to govern, and many Conservatives also agreed.  

Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier at Inaugural celebrations

Laurier also felt federal control of natural resources, including public lands, was essential to encourage immigration.  Sceptics noted that two provinces doubled the opportunity for federal patronage, and lessened the influence of Haultain, who could not be premier of two provinces at once.  Whatever the motive, the Territories were split and Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces on 1 September 1905.


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Alberta Elections: Pre-1905
Wilfred Laurier's Liberal government creates two new provinces: Alberta and Saskatchewan.   
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