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A Great Question

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i Vi Canada, as in New York State, there are persons who oppose a liberal canal policy on the ground that only certain localities will be benefited. The extensión of free tolls on the Weiland and St. Lawrence cañáis creates opposition in some parta of Canada, because it is said Montreal will be the great gainer. We see the same illiberal, obstructive policy in New York when the argument is made that if the canato are freed this city will derive the principal adrantage, and so every move that is made to that end is sharply combatted. The ists in Canada do not make as mnch headway as tliose in tliis State do. Canada has spent $30,000,000 in developing her canal system, and her statesmen say they should le a free highway, to the sea. ïheir views seem almost certain to prevail, as they should, for they are the einbodiment of the wisest statesmanship. In adopting a broad and liberal policy, Canada obtains an advantage over us tliat we should not allow her to remain in disturbed possession of for any length of time. Her canal systeru is so formidable that do the best we can Canada is bound to prove a great competitor. The immense sum of money that has been spent in perfecting it was not done blindly nor without counting the risks. The fact that Canada has put so nmcli money into her canals should open our legislators' ej es to the necessities of the case. But even if this powerful competitor was not coming forward to wrestle for the great trade of the West, prudence would dictate freeing the canals and making them what they can be - the protection of the people against the railroads. It is claimed by the opponents of a free canal that this city has the greatest interest in this question. This is puerile, but itis believed by sensible people, who have never given the canal question any thought. What would not the railroads be able to do i f the cunáis did not exist? Millions of dollars are saved through them. Jiist how much will never be known, for the simple reason that no one can teil what the railroads might do if they possessed the great power that theantirailroad people usually assign them. But anyone can see how they might exact millions where now they do not getacent. Every one is interested in cheapening breadstuffs and provisions. These are the products of the West. They make up the volume of the freights that pass over our canals. Fieeing the cañáis means reducing the prices of the necessaries of Ufe, and therefore everybody, rich and poor, high and low, is interested in this question. To the poor especially, a free canal would be the


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat