Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1st Council of the Northwest Territories

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Type  Unicameral
Disbanded  1888
Established  1876
Seats  ?
1st Council of the Northwest Territories
Last election  1885 Northwest Territories election

The 1st Council of the North-West Territories also known as the North-West Council in Canada lasted from November 7, 1876, to 1888. It was created as a permanent replacement to the Temporary North-West Council which existed prior to 1876 and was replaced by the 1st North-West assembly when the quota of elected members was reached. The numerical denomination 1st was applied when the 2nd Council of the Northwest Territories was created to differentiate between the two councils.


Early history and development

The first members of the new council were appointed under the Northwest Territories Act and consisted of the Lieutenant Governor, appointed men and Stipendiary Magistrates. Elected representatives were added later and could join the council if an area of 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2) had 1000 people an electoral district could be set up. This created a patchwork of represented and unrepresented areas, and there was no official or independent boundaries commission, all electoral law at the beginning was under the purview of the Lieutenant Governor.

Three electoral districts were created in 1881 and for an unknown reason writs were only issued in the district of Lorne which returned the first elected member Lawrence Clarke.

Early sessions

When the first council formed under the new appointed government in 1876, the council consisted of the lieutenant governor who acted as the chairman (speaker), and two appointed members. Because a quorum could not be maintained, the council had to be adjourned if one member went to the washroom.

By-election dates and summaries

Twelve elections took place during the period of 1876–1888. The biggest was the election of 1885 that took place on September 15, 1885. The election saw 11 members in 9 districts returned to the council, due to high population growth in the Northwest Territories at the time. After the 1885 election, elected members gained control over the council, and it became a full assembly. These are not considered general elections, as there was no dissolution of the assembly. However, after four years from the first election, a district had to have another election, and the incumbent had to run for re-election.

For list of elected candidates please see below.

Legislative session dates

  • 1st Legislative Session, March 8, 1877, to March 22, 1877
  • 2nd Legislative Session, July 10, 1878, to August 2, 1878
  • 3rd Legislative Session, August 28, 1879, to September 22, 1879
  • 4th Legislative Session, May 26, 1881, to June 11, 1881
  • 5th Legislative Session, August 20, 1883, to October 4, 1883
  • 6th Legislative Session, July 3, 1884, to August 16, 1884
  • 7th Legislative Session, November 5, 1885, to December 18, 1885
  • 8th Legislative Session, October 13, 1886, to November 19, 1886
  • 9th Legislative Session, October 14, 1887, to November 19, 1887
  • Elected members of the 1st Council of the Northwest Territories

    For complete electoral history, see individual districts


    1st Council of the Northwest Territories Wikipedia

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