Soldier settlement remained an important supplement to the dominion government's predominant and traditional role in settling and developing the agricultural resources of western Canada. The urgency with which Canadian politicians and civil servants viewed the problem of continuing rural depopulation, and the seriousness with which they viewed soldier settlement as a partial solution, was echoed by Henry Scammell. Rider Haggard's tour captured the public's imagination and turned what was simply a fact finding mission into a tremendous public relations victory for the Royal Colonial Institute (RCI) over an intransigent British government. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) took the opportunity of Haggard's visit to disclose its plans to provide agriculture farms on its extensive holdings in western Canada for returning veterans from Canada and Britain. Ontario became the first province to respond with a land settlement scheme for returned soldiers in February 1917.