from The Fort Steele Prospector, January 6, 1900 (p4)
ARRIVAL OF COLONEL BAKER
His fine Italian hand is again pulling the political wires of the Fort Steele district, to the detriment of the central mining town of the district.
Col. Baker has returned from a trip to the old country filled to the brim with new projects for the advancement of his town of “Beautiful Cranbrook.”
The Colonel came in over the Crow’s Nest railway making his first stop at Fernie, by wire, his political henchmen were notified that the Colonel was enroute home.
Hastily a meeting was called by the faithful, to give the member for this constituency an opportunity of learning the wants of that portion of the district.
At the meeting the Colonel jollied the good people of Fernie with the old time political chestnut of what he would do for them; suggesting the appointment of a committee to draft a requisition of what was needed, promising that he would see that it was granted. A committee of five was appointed.
The committee of five met and proceeded to draft the most important section of the requisition, that is, to Colonel Baker and his political workers, but not for the good citizens of Fernie.
Section 1, of requisition.
Be it known that we a representative committee of the citizens of Fernie, “really a Baker committee,” consider that it is necessary for prudential reasons known only to the Baker outfit, that the government offices at Fort Steele be removed to Cranbrook. The resolution was agreed to by four of the five committee men.
The fifth committee man objects to the resolution, on the ground that the committee was appointed to consider the requirements of the town of Fernie during the coming year, and therefore had nothing to do with the government offices, Cranbrook or Fort Steele. Also that they should attend to their affairs in regard to Fernie, and let other towns attend to their own affairs.
It is needless to say that the resolution was not embodied in the requisition as a want necessary to the town of Fernie.
THE PROSPECTOR, during the past three years, has called the attention of the people of the district to the fact that Colonel Baker, was trying to boom his ranch, “Beautiful Cranbrook,” by the removal of government offices to that place. The Colonel has repeatedly denied this statement. “His organ” the Cranbrook Herald, during the past month, has demanded, and would force the government to accede to the wishes of the Colonel, petitions have been circulated, and promises of every description made to other towns for their assistance in trying to accomplish this removal.
If Cranbrook was a mining town, and were it the wish of the people of the district, we would have nothing to say. But to boom one town at the expense of another; and that town the acknowledged mining center of the district, is a feature of political impudence and dishonesty, only undertaken by politicians of the Baker stripe.
The situation in the Provincial House, as viewed by Colonel Baker, would lead one to think that a most unique state of affairs existed. “The government will be defeated on the first vote. There are four political parties in the house, and they will have to form a coalition, says the Colonel, and I shall be back in the council if I can get there.
If Colonel Baker was true to the interests of the Fort Steele district, and not trying to serve his own personal interest by booming Cranbrook at the expense of other towns, it is possible that he might have gained the good will of his constituency. As it is, he will fall, as did his “decoy duck” government.
Cranbrook is to have a smelter early in the spring, so says Col. Baker. That is, if in April, when the expert looks over the situation, and he reports favorably.
It is dollars to cents that Moyie will have the first smelter erected in the district.