The British North America Act of 1867 ended the brief experiment with the Province of Canada, separating its territory between Quebec and Ontario. These new provinces were then joined with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to form the Canadian Confederation (Newfoundland became self-governing in 1855, and would not join Canada until 1949). The colony was recast as a ‘dominion’, the first in the British Empire, with a high level of autonomy. The new dominion’s gestation was not smooth; a Parliament was created but in Nova Scotia 18 of its 19 elected members were opposed to incorporation into the Confederation, and fought a rearguard action for separation. In British Columbia, a succession of gold rushes had resulted in an influx of settlers and a capital, New Westminster, had been founded in 1860. In 1866, governance there was streamlined by the incorporation of Vancouver Island and Stickeen into British Columbia.
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