British Columbia joined in 1871 in hopes of better economic prospects and a transcontinental railway. Prince Edward Island had stayed out in 1867, discontented with the proposed financial arrangements, fearful that high taxes would be imposed, and worried that it would have little influence on the councils of the nation. The island entered in 1873 to extricate itself from heavy debts it had incurred in building railroads. Britain gave Canada the Arctic Islands 1880. In the meantime, federal and Ontario politicians had been trying since 1871 to set the western boundary for the province. In 1881 Sir John A. Macdonald extended Manitoba's boundary to Ontario's yet-to-be-established western border. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the highest court in the empire) settled the issue in 1884. In 1927 it also settled the border between Quebec and Labrador. These four stamps are the work of graphic designer Raymond Bellemare of Montreal, using a colour scheme based on the rainbow, symbol of hope and joy. The pane layout, in chronological progression, emphasizes the growth and organization of Canada from a largely undeveloped and unmapped territory to a colourful and vibrant nation.
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