By A. A. den Otter
Alexander Galt and his son Elliott labored tirelessly to advertise source exploitation on Canada's huge western plains. Their coal mines in Alberta gave start to town of Lethbridge.
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Extra resources for Civilizing the West: The Galts and the Development of Western Canada
His incisive mind quickly grasped complex details, exposed fuzzy thinking and, by placing the problems in broad perspective, emerged with clear and novel solutions. He was a romantic imbued with grandiose ideas, but like his father he was also very practical and efficient, always determined to force his visions to fulfilment. Innovation and expansion were his trademarks, two attributes he clearly demonstrated soon after arriving in Canada in 1835 as a junior clerk with the British American Land Company.
He helped to pacify the restive Maritimers with an ingenious system of subsidies, division of revenues, and the absorption of provincial debts by the federal government. 26 Once again Gait's keen sensitivity to the aspirations of his generation had made him a leader in a popular movement. 27 While other speakers covered the political, national, and defensive advantages, Galt, in one of the greatest speeches of his career, painted a vivid picture of a new mercantilistic economy with commerce and manufacturing centred on the St.
These men were truly entrepreneurs because they almost instinctively sensed the worth of new ideas; they were receptive to untried processes as long as they promised greater efficiency, greater profits. To them, the novel technologies of railways, steamboats, telegraphs, mines, and even business itself opened up exciting new vistas sure to lead them into a promised land. To their surprise, no one limited their ambitions, no one restricted their growth. Progress became a dream shared by everyone.