By Frank Leonard
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Extra info for A Thousand Blunders: The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Northern British Columbia
T. Kane, a Vancouver millwright, took up six transferable grants of 160 acres each from South African veterans and filed for 960 acres and a 160acre preemption on Kaien Island. F. Green attempted to return Kane's application and deposit with the ludicrous explanation that Kaien Island was part of the Tsimpsean Peninsula on which a provincial reserve had been established in 1891. Kane responded with a series of court actions from 1904 through 1909. The attorney general's dismissal of one of these actions in early 1905 pleased the company.
And the GTP general manager who oversaw the day-to-day negotiations in 1904 begged off appearing on the excuse of pressing business in Montreal. 49 The closing of the investigation without serious damage to the government meant that the company had also apparently preserved its windfall. 20 per acre, much less than it would have paid elsewhere. With such a low cost, the GTP could preserve the returns Hays expected from townsite development. 34 A Thousand Blunders With its purchase of Kaien Island in May 1904, the company had secured a valuable concession from the provincial government.
When it sought to enlarge its holdings, it again looked to Bodwell, the lawyer who had brokered the company's original purchase on Kaien Island. 70 His initial approach on behalf of the company to Lands Commissioner Green in February 1905 demonstrates that he, at least, recognized that provincial actions could hinder transfer of title to Indian reserves, if not determine it. ' As it was, the GTP legal agent argued, the reserve land was worthless to the province. Following the arrangements in the Kaien Island purchase, the GTP would convey back to the province one-quarter of the additional property, but it wished to hold its three-quarters as an undivided parcel since it would be devoted exclusively to railway service.
A Thousand Blunders: The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Northern British Columbia by Frank Leonard