On today’s date in 1905, Sir Clifford Sifton resigned from Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s cabinet.
In 1896, The Franklin Mint featured Sifton on a sterling silver Canadian Historical Association medal, commemorating his time as minister of the interior under Laurier.
Sifton encouraged the massive amount of immigration Canada experienced in the early 1900s, beginning an attractive policy that brought people west. During his time as minister of the interior, he also established colonial offices in Europe and the U.S., where many people would come from. Although his policies were less restrictive in a revolutionary way, he still sought to keep Asians, Jews and Blacks from immigrating to Canada. More than 3 million people immigrated to Canada 1891 and 1914.
However, on Feb. 27, 1905, amidst a dispute with the prime minister about publicly funded religious education, Sifton broke from Laurier’s cabinet. He died while visiting a heart doctor in New York City on April 17, 1929.