Probably you don’t realize that building railway in Canada was an important political factor. In such a big country it was crucial to connect distant provinces. So it became one of political promises of conservative party. The plan was to connect Montreal and Vancouver. Building the railway was also a condition which convinced British Colombia to join the confederation. Empty western territorries were perfect to populate them as members of young country. They had huge economic potential, but without fast means of transport it would be impossible to transfer new settlers.
It was not easy to find investors, who would like to build miles of railways on wild territories. It was additionally made difficult because of scandal between director of companies which were building railway and conservative party. It was called Pacific scandal and looked like director bribed parliment. People lost their trust to those in power and next cadence belonged to liberals. New government choose new companies and finally railway was started.
Railway in Canada- consequences
It was not an easy task and took much longer than expected.It finally took 4 years- between 1881 and 1885. Unfortunately, the consequences were serious for non- Canadians. Native people were uprooted. Blackfoot First Nation which was living on the territory where railway was planned were convinced by a missionary priest. Albert Lacombe, persuaded the Blackfoot chief Crowfoot and rewarded him with a lifetime pass to ride the CPR. What is more many Chinese people who were hired for the construction died or got sick during their job.
It was Canada’s first transcontinental railway, but no longer reaches the Atlantic coast. This huge investition influenced a lot future immigration. Among the people who colonized western parts of Canada from the second half of the 19th century, apart from the British, were by Scandinavians, Germans, Ukrainians, Poles. As you can see it was really important investition which inluenced the future history of the nation.