Cancellation of Land Entries by the Government for Non-acceptance of Allegiance to the British King Edward
January 28, 1907. During this time, Pëtr Vasil’evich had made acquaintance with many government officials, with whom he seriously addressed the issue of citizenship. For example, he got to know the Governor Spears quite well. He discussed this matter with him and asked in detail whether citizenship is required in Canada. [Spears responded,] “I can tell you that I have not met in this country a single person who did not accept citizenship, but this is not required. If you do not want to, you do not have to accept it. I repeat that I have never met a person who would not accept citizenship, so I do not know how the government would handle such a person. All of the newly arrived people want and demand citizenship, because after a person accepts citizenship, the land becomes this person’s property, and this person can vote at the elections of the new government and such other affairs.” Of course, while explaining this, Spears thought that we would want citizenship. As already known to the reader, citizenship could be accepted after three years of working on the land. During these last three years we had built 40 giant Russian villages, good houses, warehouses and stables; we had cleared and cultivated a lot of land; grains were no longer bought as we had done in the past, but we began selling grains. Therefore, when the commissioner for special affairs MacDougall came to bestow citizenship, all the villages refused to accept it. He then left three legal forms in each village and left for another village. In this manner, he travelled around all the villages.