In response to the lack of attention being paid to these problems by the territorial authorities in Winnipeg, a local group of concerned citizens, led by grocer Thomas Spence, declared independence and founded the republic of Manitoba. They set up a courthouse and jail, and they even tried to collect taxes.
Hmm, but ....
"The republic never had clearly defined borders, and could not persuade local Hudson’s Bay Company traders to pay their taxes. By late spring 1868, the Republic had been informed by the Colonial Office in London that its government had no power. The Republic's problems were compounded by misappropriation of tax funds, and a botched treason trial. The Republic of Manitobah collapsed before it had a chance to blossom."
Wikipedia, "Republic of Manitobah"
Here, Pallister is praising the memory of Portage's very own Republic, which symbolizes for him some kind of anti-urban rural independence movement. Ah, the mighty republic of Manitobah, beacon of law and order, according to Pallister.
Not so much, according to history, which describes it more as a trumped-up exercise in foolishness led by a crank who wanted to make himself king. It was a "a comical experiment" according to the Manitoba Historical Society. And it ended with a ridiculous show trial over the powers that be misappropriating funds to buy booze.
Makes ya wonder about Pallister's standards of governance and grasp of history. I mean, remember how he included this confederacy of dunces in his list of Manitoba First Nations?
And just for fun, here's how the National Film Board remembers the Republic: