Celebration at Bouctouche: Speeches by the Candidate, Premier Blair, J. A. McQueen and Others

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Celebration at Bouctouche: Speeches by the Candidate, Premier Blair, J. A. McQueen and Others
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CELEBRATION AT BOUCTOUCHE. SPEECHES BY THE CANDIDATE, PREMIER BLAIR, J.A. MCQUEEN AND OTHERS. BOUCTOUCHE, Sept.16. – [Special.] – the country about here is wild with enthusiasm. Last night an immense crowd surrounded the Bay View Hotel and as the returns announcing the success of Mr. Legere, the Blair government candidate came in the cheers were almost deafening. The cheers, as one man remarked, were such as to indicate that the defeat of Messrs. Phinney, Hannington, Gogain et al gave immense satisfaction. About seven o’clock, Mr. Legere arrived here from Dundas and was received with the wildest enthusiasm. A crowd gathered about him and carried him from his carriage to the Bay View Hotel, where from the front of the hotel and amid thunders of the most deafening applause. He made an address to the electors. He spoke first in English and afterwards in French. He thanked the people generally and more particularly those of the Parishes of Wellington and St. Mary’s whom he was addressing, for the splendid vote they had given him. He said he would never forget it, and while serving the people of this country he would endeavor to discharge the duties with equal fairness to all classes. He felt that a great victory had been won and Mr. Phinney and his clique were deservedly defeated. (Cheers.) MR. J. A. M’Queen, M.P.P. being repeatedly called for stepped to the front and was received with prolonged cheers which must have recalled the pleasant situation in Westmorland and a few months ago when he was elected representative at the head of the poll. He began his address by thanking the people as a supporter of the government and on behalf of the administration for the splendid manner in which they all supported Mr. Legere, the government candidate, in this contest which had terminated in such a magnificent victory. He congratulated the county that on its first opportunity it had placed itself in line with its neighbor, Westmorland, and returned as a representative a government supporter. The occasion which they cheered was not only a victory for the Provincial Government, but a personal triumph for Attorney General Blair who had been maligned and whose position and personal character had deliberately been falsely assailed by Mr. Phinney and other oppositionists from outside of the county. Kent county electors had administered a fitting rebuke to these false and unmanly canvasses, a rebuke which all race, classes, and creeds took great pleasure in celebrating. He said it was with great pleasure he noted the fact that the Acadian electors of this county were falling in line with their compatriots in Westmorland and refuting in such a distinct manner the false and malignant charges against the government in respect to its attitude towards the Acadian people. Mr. McQueen spoke in a most feeling manner and was rapturously cheered as he referred to his warm feelings towards the Acadian people, many of whom were his personal friends and amongst who he counted some of his warmest and best supporters. As he condemned Mr. Phinney’s manifesto to the electors and Dr. Atkinson’s fruitless attempt to raise race prejudices, he was almost prevented from speaking by the applause. He said that he would always show all creeds attention, but there would be no favoritism as his motto was, “equal rights to all.” After congratulating the electors and telling them that the great majority of the people of the province rejoiced with them, Mr. McQueen promised to work with Mr. Legere for Kent as he would expect Mr. Legere to do in regard to Westmorland; the interests of the counties were identical. (Cheers). HON. O. J. LEBLANC was the next speaker. He said that by the victory won by the government he felt that his course in the past as the people’s representative had been endorsed. He was firm in the belief that Mr. Legere would make a good representative, and in Mr. McQueen they had a friend who, besides looking after the interests of his own county, which he did, would always be ready to assist Kent. After Mr. Leblanc’s speech a huge bonfire was built and cheer after cheer given for the government and the new representative. As Mr. Blair arrived from Richibucto, the Bouctouche band played, “see the conquering hero comes.” The reception given Mr. Blair was something magnificent; he was carried from his carriage to the hotel steps from which he spoke. MR. BLAIR’S SPEECH. The Attorney-General in addressing the multitude said that language failed him to express adequately the emotions of the present hour. He had come among them a stranger unto all but a few; he went away personally acquainted, he might say, with thousands and entertaining for all who had so loyally supported his government, the warmest sentiments of friendship and self-esteem. We are now celebrating one of the grandest victories ever achieved in Kent. The county had been invaded by a host of his opponents and these opponents had met their answer. He thought the campaign on behalf of the government had been conducted in an honorable way. Looking back he could see nothing to regret. But he thought as much could not be said for the opposition. They had resorted to the most unworthy methods; circulars and dodgers both in French and English had been freely distributed containing the most calumnious statements against him (Blair) and the government; his friends had to face the influence of Dr. Legere, their M.P. and the Dominion Government; the Conservative party organization and worse than all, the pretended independence and friendly feeling of Mr. Gogain towards the government. He, Blair, had been openly charged by Dr. Legere, M.P.. at public meetings as the enemy of the French people and the Catholic religion, and Dr. Legere had been charging him with having thrice imprisoned for non - payment of taxes. Father Ouilette one of their priests. This statement was scandalously false as to Father Ouilette, and he was not the enemy of the French people, or an enemy of their religion. True, he was not of their religion, but this he did say. FRANKLY AND OPENLY that while he would not consent to give them more than was right and just, and would extend to them no undue favor, so long as it was in his power they should have fair play and justice at his hands. One thing in the campaign he deeply regretted and he believed the opposition would live to regret it. At North Weldford they had held a meeting the night before the election; this was an exclusively Protestant section and there were a number of Orangemen living there. Mr. Stockton had made a most inflammatory speech exciting Protestant feelings and denouncing the government as violators of the school laws in the interest of the nuns and Catholic separate schools, and endorsed the Bathurst school agitation. It was deplorable that such a question should have been dragged into the political arena. The effort to rob the government of Protestant support in that way had, however, ignominiously failed, as witness the result in the English speaking parishes. The Attorney-general in eloquent language alluded to the more pleasing features of the struggle. Mr. Phinney and Dr. Legere had made this their individual fight and they had fallen in the struggle, slain not by bullets but ballots. He thanked the people of Wellington for their magnificent vote. He knew when he met so hearty a reception the other might, and saw the men who had organized for the work that this Parish would tell a great story to-night and it had done so. Dundas and St. Marys were sisters in the triumph and shared in the glory. Mr. Legere must be a proud man to-night. He (Blair) was proud the government was vindicated. THE PEOPLE HAD STRUCK a blow in defence of good government and equal rights to all. He was proud for his old friend (Mr. O.J. LeBlanc), now standing loyally by his side on account of the splendid vote his parish had rolled up. He thanked them all personally and would leave the grand old county of Kent with a high appreciation of her capabilities in many ways and with a feeling that he held a warm place in their hearts and that a bond of personal and political friendship had been cemented between him and them in this great struggle which would not soon be sundered. It would not be needful to counsel his friends to bear their honors with moderation, as he believed they would do. Closing he said: Well gentlemen the battle is now over, you have vindicated our administration, you have vindicated your freedom from Dominion party domination, and our claim of Mr. Labillois as a fitting representative and leader in local politics of the French Acadian people. At the conclusion of Mr. Blair’s address the applause was something terrific and lasted for a long time. He was showered with congratulations on the magnificent victory.