Note: In order to increase colonization and the birthrate, in 1890, the Honoré Mercier government passed a law entitled An Act to confer a privilege upon fathers and mothers of families who have twelve children living. Why did this law specify that the 12 children had to be living for land to be granted?

Extract:

The Law of 12 Children

Observing that it is advisable, following the example of past centuries, to give marks of consideration for fruitfulness in the sacred bonds of matrimony, his Majesty, with full consent of the Quebec Legislature decrees the following:

Any mother or father who was born in Quebec or who is a  naturalized citizen, living in Quebec and having 12 living children born in lawful wedlock, may claim 100 acres of public land of her or his choice subject to the conditions specified by the Commission of Crown Lands.

Source of extract: Free translation of  Les débats de l’Assemblée législative, 2 juin 1910. http://www.assnat.qc.ca/Indexweb/Recherche.aspx?cat=ex&Session=rd12l2se&Section=sujets&Requete=740-1&Hier=Parc_Montr%E9al%20%28ville%29_Bill%2029_740-1

French if available (si disponible)