Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to Start a University

This photo of B.C.'s 16th premier was taken from the Canadian Encyclopedia website. That is also where I am getting the information for today's entry.

This photo I got from Wikipedia.
Our sixteenth premier was a man named Richard McBride. McBride was born on December 15, 1870 in New Westminster. Educated in New Westminster and at Dalhousie University, McBride was first elected MLA in 1898.

Richard McBride was a personable individual and he briefly served in the cabinet of James Dunsmuir. After the government of E.G. Prior resigned, McBride helped to form the first B.C. administration based on party lines on June 1, 1903. In fact, McBride is considered by some to be the founding father of the provincial Conservative party.

In the first election held with actual political parties, McBride and the conservatives won by a narrow margin of two seats!
One of McBride's first duties as Premier was to restore financial stability to the province. He did this by cutting expenditures and raising taxes. In order to secure socialist support, McBride's government made many minor reforms, especially to labour laws.

By 1909, the economy was booming and McBride and his government were able to plan for a provincial university and promised continued prosperity through such means as the construction of railways. In the 1909 and 1912 elections, McBride's Conservatives just about eliminated the opposition.

McBride was also popular due to his constant agitation for better terms from the federal government. In 1908 and 1911, he campaigned for the federal Conservative Party and helped them take power. 

McBride was an imperialist and a friend of Winston Churchill's. He enthusiastically supported the idea of Canada contributing to the Imperial Navy. So much so that on the first day of the First World War, B.C. purchased and took possession of two submarines in order to defend our shores from the threat of a German attack. There was a problem with that. Provinces are not constitutionally allowed to maintain militaries so the subs were quickly transferred to the federal government.

However, nothing lasts forever. By 1914, McBride and his cabinet were losing popularity. The economy was depressed and B.C. was in danger of having to meet heavy railway debts. McBride also wasn't paying attention to popular reform movements such as Women's Suffrage and Prohibition. On December 15, 1915 - his forty fifth birthday - Richard McBride resigned as premier.

McBride became the province's representative in London. He hoped to get treatment for Bright's disease, which he suffered from. Unfortunately, the kidney disease took his life on August 6, 1917.

But that premier left us the University of British Columbia - or UBC as it is more commonly known - and that fine school opened its doors in 1915. I go out to UBC once a year to the MS Clinic. It is like a little city out there and it is easy to get lost. I go from the bus stop to the hospital and back again. I don't wander much!
I hope you find the beauty around you.

, , , , , , ,,


  1. What kind of tree is that puny pine tree (13 pic) and the wide leaf tree (15 pic)in these pictures. Nice piece you wrote.

    1. Lee, I have no idea on what kind of trees they are. I just saw them. LOL Thanks for the compliment and your devotion to the Vancouver Vagabond.