A Decade of Turbulence


Canadians Presume Continued British Garrison

Despite unification and strengthening of the military establishment, there was no doubt in the minds of Canadian politicians that Great Britain would continue to provide the basic defence of the country. Even though Great Britian would eventually be able to reduce the size of its garrison, people believed it would keep a few regiments in Quebec City, Montreal, Kingston and London. London, located between Windsor and the Niagara Peninsula, had since the 1840s been the main British base in western Ontario, its central location making possible the deployment of troops to the east and to the west. The system of a regular British garrison of modest size supported by a volunteer Canadian militia was considered virtually immutable. As it happens, there were several differences of opinion between the British and Canadian governments with respect to the costs involved: the Canadians expected the British to pay for all the costs of maintaining the regular fortifications and garrisons, whereas the British asked the Canadians - without success - to ease their financial burden.