"Sir Wilfrid Laurier - Prime Minister of Canada, 1896-1911"
Macdonaldâ€™s plan for western settlement and Canadian prosperity finally began to become a reality during the last half of the 1890sâ€™. Several factors fell into place during this time period. Two external factors that worked to Canadaâ€™s advantage were the favourable world economic conditions and the American west filling up. However, most of the credit for western settlement had to go to Prime Minister Laurier and Clifford Sifton, the Minister of the Interior. Sifton launched a massive advertising campaign which effectively sold the benefits of the Canadian west to prospective immigrants in England, the United States, Central and Eastern Europe. The success of the campaign was evident in the numbers. The population of Saskatchewan increased from 20,000 in 1880 to 492,000 in 1911 and the number of farms went from 1,500 in 1886 to 56,000 in 1906. (The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, page 450)
For all intents and purposes the soul of Saskatchewan was formed during the latter half of this and the next decade. Bloc settlements and ethnic diversity led to a multicultural land. The hardships of farming the land formed a bond between the homesteaders and created a cooperative spirit as they struggled to cope with the climate and the external forces affecting the sale of grain. Out of these struggles a unique Saskatchewan identity was created. It is reflected in the provincial motto â€“ â€śFrom Many Peoples, Strengthâ€ť.
|Sir Wilfrid Laurier|
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