The key issue in this election was the French language question. Politicians had spent the previous three years divided on the issues of eliminating the status of the French language as an official language of the territory, and of assimilation of the French-speaking population. The appointed government made French an official language in Section 11 of the Northwest Territories Act of 1877 that gained Royal Assent April 28, 1877. Prior to that, French was an official language while the Northwest Territories was administered under the Manitoba Act from 1870 to 1875.
The issue was ignited by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Royal reading the Speech from the Throne in French on October 31, 1888. The outcry caused Royal to read his second throne speech in English only. On October 28, 1889, the issue was made dormant when a Record Division was taken on the "Language Resolution", a motion that stated the assembly did not need official recognition of languages. The vote was 17 for 2 against. But this did not last, because the federal government got involved, and warned the Lt. Governor Royal to start making speeches in French again, and tried to legislate official bilingualism back in the territory, through the Canadian House of Commons. The bill was defeated on second reading, however.
The interference by the Government of Canada resulted in members being elected to the assembly who favoured English as the only official language. On January 19, 1892 Haultain made a motion that English would only be used in the Assembly. The motion passed on division: 20 for, 4 against.
|Election summary||# of candidates||Popular vote|
Note: No vote returns, are currently available from the Batoche, St. Albert and Souris districts
|2nd North-West Legislative Assembly|
|Calgary #1||John Lineham|
|Calgary #2||Hugh Cayley|
|Kinistino||William Frederick Meyers|
|Lethbridge||Charles Alexander Magrath|
|Medicine Hat||Thomas Tweed|
|Moose Jaw||James Hamilton Ross|
|Moosomin||John Ryerson Neff|
|North Qu'Appelle||William Sutherland|
|North Regina||David Jelly|
|Prince Albert||Thomas McKay|
|Red Deer||Francis Wilkins|
|South Qu'Appelle||George Davidson|
|South Regina||Daniel Mowatt|
|St. Albert||Antonio Prince|