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Let the people unite with us in demanding
a speedy and thorough purgation of the public service and economy on the
part of the Administration. We shall advocate the abolition of the Road
Tolls throughout the colony, believing as we do that they are not only part
of the unequal taxation which oppresses a portion of the people, but they
operate as a barrier to the freedom and progress which should be established.
At present, miners and traders are the only class in this community who
contribute to the revenue in the shape of an annual License Duty. On what
principle of justice or equity is the muscle of the hardy miner, whose laborious
and precarious employment all are well aware of, taxed to the utmost and
the profession of the lawyer, doctor and banker exempt?
Why again, we ask, should the British born
subject, the American citizen, the Frenchman and Italian, all of whom are
desirable colonists, and have done much for the country, taxed with mining
licenses, recording fees, &c., and the thousands of Chinese miners who
are now swarming every bar and bench of our rivers exempt? The answer is
because Britons, Americans, Frenchmen and Italian miners are long suffering,
patient and submissive subjects. They are now alive however to the injustice
that has been practical upon them, and we demand in their name, and at their
bidding, equality of taxation. The subject of Union of these Colonies is
one of the highest and noblest that can engage our attention. We rejoice
to think that we can approach it and discuss it with free from every taint
of prejudice or bias or personal interest.
We hold no town lots in Victoria or New
Westminster to prop up in value by carrying Union or opposing it, and our
opinions have been formed, not hastily, but after the most mature reflection,
on grounds which every day's experiences only serves to profoundly impress
us with their soundness. We had intended deferring any declaration on this
subject until our next issue, but it might look like pusillanimity or fear,
and knowing the anxiety that exists in regard to the views which we held
on the subject, we therefore hesitate not to state that we are in favour
of annexing Vancouver Island to British Columbia, under a free constitution,
with population as the basis for representation in the united Parliament.
Our space forbids us to dwell longer or give any fuller exposition of our
views and principles in this issue.
We shall have time and opportunity enough
in future numbers to elaborate our opinions and give our views on all question
affecting the public welfare. We should much rather however be judged by
our acts as we proceed on our career, than by any professions which we may
offer in the first issue. All measures calculated to benefit the country,
all in its settlement or to develop its vast resources in mineral wealth,
will receive our most cordial support. Our columns will be open to the admission
of correspondence on public questions and fair play will be given to those
The "Sentinel" when on duty, will
know no distinction of persons and the poor man's complaint will always
find as ready admission into its columns as the rich man's card. Let all
who approve our principles and desire to perpetuate the services of an honest,
fearless and independent journal lend a helping hand to maintain the "Sentinel"
in doing its work of reform efficiently.
Tuesday June 6, 1865
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