April 29, 1901

VICTORIA DAY.

?

The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. lion. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

I stated some time ago that I would make an announcement to-day upon the celebration of the 24th of May. The government. I think, is right in assuming that it is the general, if not the unanimous, desire of the people of Canada that the 24tli of May, which has been celebrated as a national holiday, should continue to be so celebrated. I beg, therefore, to move that the order ' that the House resolve itself again into committee on Bill (No. 33) respecting Victoria Day.' be transferred from Public Bills and Orders to Government Orders.

Topic:   VICTORIA DAY.
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


SS. WILLAMETTE.


Hon.. Mr. PRIOR. Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to ask the right lion, leader of the government whether he can inform the House concerning the wrecking of the steamer Willamette, which I brought to his notice last Wednesday. Has the right hon. gentleman any information with regard to the same ?


?

The PRIME MINISTER.

I regret that I have no information to give to-day, but will take a note of the question, and, perhaps, will have the information to-morrow.

Topic:   SS. WILLAMETTE.
Permalink

THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.


House again in committee on Bill (No. 20) respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway.- Mr. Fortin.


LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

When the House went into committee on this Bill on Wednesdey evening, the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) asked that it be allowed to stand over, and gave his reasons for his request. He stated that intimation had been received from the Canadian Pacific Railway that before this Bill was put 'through the House, they would agree to build this year sixty miles of the line known as the Great North-west- Central, westward from Brandon. Objection was taken to that course, and to the remarks of the hon. member for Saskatchewan. That hon. gentleman is not present, and I wish to1 ask if the promoter (Mr. Fortin) is prepared to state here whether the Canadian Pacific Railway Company are prepared to consent to such an agree ment. One objection taken to the request that further consideration be postponed, was that the Bill had been adopted by the Railway Committee. It seems to me that such an objection is not well taken. I can quite conceive that a railway Bill might be adopted unanimously by the Railway Corn-

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

mittee and still not meet with the approval of the whole House, and unless the position is taken that the House of Commons is merely a registering body for the Railway Committee, such objection should not prevail against a request for further consideration of any railway measure passed by that committee.

The objection stated by the hon. member for Saskatchewan in this House last Wednesday would have been presented in the Railway Committee were it not for the fact that the time of the committee expired just when the representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway had agreed to a certain amendment advocated by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary), and the committee then adjourned. There was, therefore, no opportunity then to bring forward any further amendment. The next meeting of the committee was called for the unusual hour of 10.30 instead of 11 o'clock. I am a new member, and have not had the opportunity of attending the Railway Committee before this session, but older members have told me that not for years has that committee been called together before 11 o'clock. Had it not been for the unusual time of meeting, the objection I am about to -present would have been stated to and threshed out before the committee, and in view of the fact that it is merely due to an accident that the matter was not brought before the committee, I think I am perfectly in order in asking its consideration now by the House. What the members from the North-west ask is, not to have any further amendment inserted in the Bill. What we ask is quite in spirit with what was asked by the hon. member for Selkirk, and of the amendment adopted by the Railway Committee at his suggestion. The Canadian Pacific Railway are asking for power to construct 100 miles from Teuton north-westward to the narrows of Lake Manitoba. Before the committee, the hon. member for Selkirk contended that before granting that charter, the company should be compelled to consent to build a certain portion of another branch into another district.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Did that belong to the same line of road ?

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

To some extent. What the members from the North-west asked and what I ask this afternoon is that before this permission is granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway, they shall consent to build sixty miles of the line under the old North-west Central charter. It may be contended that this is in a different part of the country, but I will contend that they are the same people who are asking for this permission as those whom we wish parliament to compel to build sixty miles under the North-west Central charter. The hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) the other

evening contended that what we are asking for in regard to this matter would create a precedent, that it was something that has not been done before in this House. Whether it has been done prior to this session or not, I am not aware. But the action which this session was adopted on the suggestion of my hon. friend from Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) is a precedent for the action which I suggest. And. although my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works contended against the view, I think the action taken in connection with the charter granted to the Crow's Nest Southern Railway Company may be held to be a precedent for the action which I ask the House to take. The Crow's Nest Southern charter was before the Railway Committee not many days ago, and tlie committee laid down the principle that these private parties should not be granted the charter until they had agreed to certain provisions in the interests of the people of' Canada. That is exactly what I ask. I ask that this charter should not be granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company until they agree to certain conditions whieli, I contend, are manifestly in the interest of a certain portion of the people of Canada-a large number of the people of the North-west Territories. The country through which the North-west Central road will run, and the present condition of that country were well described by the member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis). Hon. members are aware, I suppose, that the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway almost parallels the Qu'Appelle valley through a portion of the North-west Territories. commencing say, at the Manitoba boundary line, and continuing for some 150 or 200 miles westward to Moosejaw. The road is south of the river at an average distance of about twenty miles. Almost twenty years ago a large number of settlers went into the country north of the Qu'Appelle valley. These people, in the North-west, are strung along from the Manitoba boundary to Long Lake, north of Regina. Fort Qu'Appelle is in that district. Year after year since the Canadian Pacific Railway acquired the North-west Central charter, delegates representing the people in that country have gone to Winnipeg and have endeavoured to prevail upon the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to extend the road and give them the railway communication they need. And year after year, the representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway have, represented to these people that the company was financially unable to extend the line. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company admit, and will admit to-day, that, as soon as the road is completed through that country, it will be a paying road ; but they say that the people in that district will have to exercise patience until the company becomes financially able to construct the road.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

Hon. Mr. HAG CART@

For how many years have the Canadian Pacific Railway had control of the charter ?

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I understand, about four years. It was, I think, three years ago this last winter that, travelling westward from Winnipeg, I met gentlemen on the train who were delegates and had been down to Winnipeg to interview the Canadian Pacific Railway officials. I had considerable talk with these delegates, and they explained the situation as I am endeavouring to explain it to the House. They met Mr. Whyte, the general manager, and other repesentatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in Winnipeg, and placed the case before them as I have stated it. These representatives of the company said that the company would build the road into that country as soon as it was able to do so. It seems to me an entirely . reasonable proposition that, when the company come here and ask power to construct 100 miles of road into a portion of the country where there are few people and where, so far as I am aware, there is no person particularly anxious to have the road built, we should make it conditional upon the granting of this charter that the company should spend their money first iu the portion of the country where railway communication is very urgently needed. The hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) the other evening read a petition, which I have in my possession, but which 1 will not take the time to read again. He stated, and I believe stated correctly, that at the present time in the district through which the projected North-west Central line runs, there is a production of wheat amounting to about half a millon bushels a year. There is something like 50,000 acres of land under cultivation there, and there are many settlers. All that wheat, or the greater part of it, has to be transported an average distance of 25 or 30 miles. That is not the worst of it, the wheat has to be transported across the Qu'Appelle valley, the banks of which are 240 or 250 feet high. So I say that even if we are creating a precedent in this matter, it is a very good precedent to create.

Now, the hon. Minister of Public Works, the other evening, made some remarks about the general attitude of the North-west members towards the Canadian Pacific Railway to which I wish to refer for a moment. I think it would be unfortunate for the North-west Territories if the impression was allowed to be created in this House that the members from that country were unduly hostile to the Canadian Pacific Railway or were ready to oppose any proposition that the company may bring before parliament. Speaking for myself, I-I was about to say T resent that imputation, but perhaps some more moderate word would be better. However, X do not wish the impression to prevail in this House that I am willing to

take action with regard to any proposition brought before the House by the Canadian Pacific Kailway that would have the effect of denying to that company full and entire justice. X think I am willing at all times to do the company full justice. In proof of that, I can point to my action upon a matter that has been before the House twice already this session, a matter affecting the Canadian Pacific Railway and seriously affecting the North-west Territories and on which strong opinions are held by the people of the North-west Territories. I refer to the Canadian Pacific Railway land tax exemption question. When that matter was brought before parliament in a way which I did not think just to the Canadian Pacific Railway, I did not hesitate to place myself on record in a way which was undoubtedly not in accord with the feeling's of a large majority of my constituents. So I think the Minister of Public Works was not quite just in the remarks he passed respecting the attitude of the North-west members towards the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. I am willing at all times to accord to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company a full measure of justice, but when they make propositions before this parliament which I think are not entirely .in the interests of the Northwest people, I am going to retain my liberty to take a stand against such propositions at all times. I think in this proposition now before the House, there is every reason to ask that the action which I suggest this afternoon should be taken, and if the hon. gentleman wlio is promoting this Bill is not prepared to announce that the agreement, which I understand has been given by the Canadian Pacific Railway authorities, will he carried out, then I am going to ask him to defer the consideration of the Bill to a future occasion.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OP PUBLIC WORKS.

I desire to say at first that when I spoke the other day I did not wish to put an unfair interpretation on the action that had been taken by our friends from the Northwest. I think that in this connection they are going very far indeed. The preamble of this Bill, as all members of the Railway Committee will remember, had been adopted ; there had been a vote, but the preamble of the Bill had been adopted by a majority of seven, therefore the very principle of the Bill had been adopted. Then the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) created a very good impression in favour of his Icelandic friends from Gimli. I was favourably struck by his appeal, and both the Minister of Railways and myself agreed that the Canadian Pacific Railway could properly be asked to extend twenty miles further this year a line that they had started building, and of which they had built, I think, twenty miles. It was unanimously resolved to adopt an amendment making a condition for the granting of this charter that the Mr. SCOTT.

Canadian Pacific Railway should build twenty miles more this year. That was agreed to unanimously, and the Bill was voted by the House. Now, my hon. friend from Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) came up the other day and asked that a new condition be put into tbe Bill, namely, that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company should he obliged to build sixty miles of a railway m another direction. Now, I know there are some hon. gentlemen from Quebec who are anxious to see the Canadian Pacific Railway build branch lines in their! constituencies, my hon. friend from Lahelle (Mr. Bou-rassa) for one. I know that he and some others have pressed us very hard to use our influence with the Canadian Pacific Railway to get them to build branch lines. Suppose some of those hon. gentlemen should rise in their seats and say : Before this charter is granted the Canadian Pacific Railway must build a branch in my riding. We sympathize deeply with our friends, but is it a fair precedent to ask this House to adopt . Of course they will realize immediately that instead of promoting the object they have in view they would simply defeat it. Perhaps they would permit me! to say that the Canadian Pacific Railway have never given any specific pledge that they would build tliis sixty miles. I know that communications have taken place since we met the other day. This morning I saw Mr. Drinkwater, who is acting president, and he told me that their intention was to build that Great North-west line as soon as they could. Explorations are'not yet completed, and it is not fair to ask them to bind themselves in the Bill to do so. Of course I do not speak for the Canadian Pacific Railway here, I happen to live in Montreal, and am not in very close touch with them. But Mr. Drinkwater stated to me this morning that he has understood from Mr. Shaugh-hessy that they would build that line as soon as possible. But the surveys are not completed and they cannot consent that that clause be inserted in the Bill. I think with this explanation our friends could allow the Bill to pass.

Ml-. MeCREARY. In regard to this Bill, I am sorry indeed to have to disagree somewhat with my colleagues from the west. The history of the Bill is this, so far as I can recollect. The first Bill that the Canadian Pacific Railway submitted to the committee was a Bill asking for five years in which to complete the North-west Central road, without any condition and1 without promising any extension of that road this year. That Bill was introduced, I believe, by tlie hon. member for Provencher (Mr. LaRiviOre). Tbe Minister of Railways and Canals, the hon. member for Western Assiniboia (Mr. Scott), myself and others spoke upon the subject, and the Bill was finally referred to a snb-committee, which brought in a report by which the company was bound to complete twenty miles this

year, and to have tlie time for completion of the road limited to three years instead of five, so that the Bill as brought in by the Canadian Pacific Railway was materially changed. I supposed that the Bill was at an end at that time. It was taken into consideration in the committee, as it should have been taken into consideration now, that the Canadian Pacific Railway are being punished for a sin, probably, that they did not commit. The Canadian Pacific Railway have only had that charter three or four years at the outside ; prior to that time, and when the whole dereliction of duty took place, it was in the hands of the Great North-west Central road, so that the Canadian Pacific Railway had not exercised very much delay in the construction of the Northwest Central. I submit that if there was any argument why sixty miles of an exten-tion should be asked, it should have been made either on that Bill or on some other Bill relating to that portion of the country, such as the Saskatchewan and Western, where they were granted an extension of time. That is the occasion upon which the sixty miles should have been demanded by the members from the west. But having been dealt with by the committee and that Bill having passed the House after coming from the committee, I submit it is now at an end.

Now, with regard to this particular Bill which I speak of, and the amendment which was inserted at my suggestion, the line lies In the same territory, it is part of the same line that Bill (No. 26) covers. When they asked for a charter from Teulon in a northwesterly direction to Sifton's Landing, I brought to the attention of the committee the fact that 6,000 or 7,000 Icelandic settlers who had gone in there on the west side of Lake Winnipeg in October, 1875, had been promised by the then government a railway, and this was a condition of their settling there. But they have never yet had any railway, the excuse given being that it was timber land, that it was a difficult country in which to make a road, that there was no prairie land. Consequently these Icelandic settlers have not been able to clear up and cultivate their farms because they have not been able to get a road, and the timber would not pay them to clear up the land. With the assistance of the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Railways and Canals, we got the Canadian Pacific Railway to consent to a clause that the road from Teulon to Sifton's Landing should not be constructed until they had built a certain portion of the line towards the Icelandic settlement. I submit that in the amendment to the Bill, the town of Gimli should not be stated, it should, if possible, be to the Icelandic river, or to a point thirty miles north of Teulon ; that would not take it up to the Icelandic river, but sufficiently far to be considerably useful. AVhile I would be pleased to assist the members for Saskatchewan and Assiniboia in their commendable efforts, I do not think this is the proper time for bringing up that matter. They might almost as well say to the Canadian Pacific Railway : You shall not build this road from Teulon to Sifton's Landing or up to the Icelandic settlements until you have constructed an elevator at Fort William, or a wharf somewhere in Nova Scotia. One matter does not agree with! the other matter, they are not on all fours. Next year when this Bill comes before the House for another extension, or the year after, I will be willing to put up as good a fight as any one for the settlers in the Qu'Appelle valley. But, I submit, that just now, it is not proper for parliament to compel the Canadian Pacific Railway to do something for which they are not guilty, and in the second place I submit that the time is not opportune.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

Mr. Speaker, as representing East Assiniboia, through which this proposed extension of the Great North-west Central passes from the entire east to the west, it may be naturally taken for granted that personally I am largely interested, not only because I represent the people who are urgently in need of a railway, but, even from a personal standpoint, having invested as far back as 1883, and wanting that railway all these years, I am certainly very urgently desirous of pressing upon the House the importance of compelling the building of this road at the earliest possible date. I feel somewhat in a peculiar position in connection with this proposal of my neighbour the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott), for the reason that I was a member of the sub committee of the Railway Committee that came to a conclusion as to what should be done during the present year with the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I personally agreed to the finding, and supported it. Therefore, the objection might be taken against anything I might projjose here, that, having'agreed to a thing, I should not fall back from it. Well, I wish to impress upon the House the fact that there is perhaps no district more urgently needing a railway than the colonies along the north side of the Qu'Appelle river. I wish to state that since this Great North-west Central Bill passed the Railway Committee I have had communications from the Swedish colony demanding a reply ' yes ' or ' no ' as to the building of this road. These settlers stated that they had resolved by resolution in a public meeting duly called that they would leave the results of their labour for eighteen years, and seek to make their homes somewhere else. That fact alone ought to be taken into consideration. If we are spending money for immigration purposes and endeavouring to bring people to our country, it is of importance that we should give them the condition of success. I have read articles in the newspapers headed in this way: ' Betrayed and victimized,' and then

under that heading giving the treatment that the people have received, and commenting upon this treatment as against the government. When one is aware of the condition, when you know that these people have for nineteen years been waiting for a railway, that they have been losing about 14 cents on every bushel of grain they have marketed, that they have patiently gone forward doing their best, it is evident that no stone ought to be left unturned by this government to get them this railway extension at the earliest possible date. We have urged it upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, we have sent in petitions until the hearts of the people are sick preparing petitions. I have taken the trouble of going to Montreal and talking this matter over with the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and to urge it upon Sir William Van Horne. We have discussed it. It is no use to tell us that the Canadian Pacific Railway are not able to build that road, when they come forward with a Bill, as in this case, and propose to build a road where there is no population, which goes through a country in which there is no one calling for a road, while here we have a populated district through which this proposed extension of the Great North-west Central would go for its entire length. It would be amusing perhaps if I read to the House the beautiful words that are recorded in these pamphlets in reference to Assiniboia, the very distinct through which this road is to pass. I might make a very good argument on them. If the government give to the world such a statement in reference to the character of the country and its hopes, why do they not also state that it is without railways, and that the people have suffered severely for want of railway facilities ? It is true that we have the prospects of probably getting 40 miles of railway built this year, but we ought to have 100 miles of railway built this year. While it would be inconsistent for me. having agreed to the other proposal when this Bill passed the Railway Committee a few days ago, to urge this strongly, yet, I do seek here and now to impress upon the House that this is a case where the government ought to step in and say to the Canadian Pacific Railway, or any other railway company, that when it is proposed to spend money in opening up a country where there is no settlement, it is in the interest of the government, and in the interest of the country that the people who have been settled for eighteen or nineteen years should be the first to have their wants attended to. That is the point that I desire especially to enforce. I need not dwell upon it at length. I spoke at length in the Railway Committee on this question not long ago, but, I would wish, before sitting down, to allude to the feeling against the Canadian Pacific Railway on the part of North-west members. I do not think it is in the minds of the North-west members, Mr. DOUGLAS.

but it is in the minds of the people they represent, and as I have told the Canadian Pacific Railway In their, own office, it is as much as a member's political head is worth to say a word in their favour in the west. It is just as well that the House should know that, and if they wish another condition of things to be brought about, they should adopt a new policy to meet the wishes of the people, to develop the country and seek to give them such railway facilities as the country demands. The feeling exists against the Canadian Pacific Railway, and there is no use of hiding it. It is strong, and members must necessarily speak the minds of the people they represent when they come before the House. Therefore, I would impress upon the government, at least, to give the people that we have brought into the country, who have been in the country facing difficulties and passing through the hardships of early settlement, the conditions of success, including railway facilities at the earliest possible date.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I do not wish to delay the House, but I wish to allude to the general question that is involved in this discussion. There are some important particulars in connection with this North-west Central Railway, and with the request that is being urged upon the House to compel the building of the road under the charter that I think should be emphasized. This is one of the most important charters that exists in the western country. It was a charter that was granted in the early days for the construction of a parallel, competing line with the Canadian Pacific Railway from end to end of the country. As a result of the granting of that charter, settlement went in along its proposed line. It is because of the existence of the charter, rather than merely the capabilities of the country, that these settlers are along that line today. When this parliament grants a charter, if it means anything, it means that there is an understanding that that charter shall be built under. This parliament, I say, is in the position of having been a party to a distinct breach of faith, if not the principal party to a distinct breach of faith as between the settlers of that district and this railway.

The condition is entirely different from that suggested by the Minister of Public Works in the case of a district in eastern Canada. He said : There are many places in eastern Canada which call for branches of the Canadian Pacific Railway. That is true. But there are not many places in eastern Canada where the Canadian Pacific Railway own a charter which has been in existence for twenty years, where the people went in and settled in the country because of the existence of that charter, expecting the line to be continued, but with reference to which charter the Canadian Pacific Railway have so far failed to build their line. These conditions here are spe-

eial and peculiar. There are many places in the North-west where railroads are required ; there are many places where they are desired ; there are many places where charters are held ; but there is no place in the North-west where the conditions are as they are along the line of the North-west Central Railway. Now, a word as to the propriety of using what might be called coercion upon the railway company to compel it to give accommodation to these people. It is argued that because the locality mentioned in the present Bill is distant from the scene of the operations of the Northwest Central charter, that therefore there is no connection between the two. It makes no difference how distant the field is, the company is the same. We find that this company does not fail to exercise its influence in Manitoba at one end, and in British Columbia at the other end, nor yet in the North-west Territories between. If it is competent for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to interfere with competitive enterprises in Manitoba, in the North-west Territories, and in British Columbia, it is just as competent for this parliament to compel the Canadian Pacific Railway Company when making over to it power to build, as has already been said, through an unknown as well as uninhabited country ; it is competent for this parliament that when the company is asking for this power, and before it is granted this power it shall be compelled to carry out engagements which have been entered into on its behalf by this parliament-and on its own behalf with this parliament-with the people of the western country in whatever part they may be, or in the eastern country, if you like, if the conditions are the same.

The question to my mind is this : Are we to consider the interests of the people of the North-west, or are we to consider the convenience of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company ? I understand, and I wish to suggest to this House, that the interests of the people of the North-west are very much more important to the general welfare of Canada, and are very much more worthy of the consideration of this House, and very much more worthy of support by means of legislation on the part of this House, than are the interests of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, great though these interests are, and important though they are to this whole country. I had occasion to point out to this House some time ago, that it is upon the further development of the western country that the prosperity of this Dominion of Canada depends That proposition, I think, will not be challenged at this time and under these circumstances. Then, if the prosperity of the Dominion, the aggrandizement and enlargement of our manufacturing enterprises, and the enlargement of our wholesale inward and outward trade ; if these depend upon the further and continued development of the North-west; I say that on such an occasion as this where a vast area of the most magnificent country in the North-west, already peopled, is concerned, such a question is worthy of the most careful consideration of this House and well worthy of its consideration over and above, and far and above the interests of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

The House must come to some conclusion upon this Bill, and the question before the House is : Whether or not this Bill, which provides for the construction of, I presume, an important piece of railway in one section of the North-west Territories, is to be passed or not. The matter has been investigated by the Railway Committee, and for my part I see no reason to depart from the rule which I have invariably followed, that whenever a matter has been threshed out before the Railway Committee and the Railway Committee has come to a conclusion-not necessarily a unanimous conclusion, because we cannot expect that-but when the Railway Committee has come to a conclusion, that conclusion ought to be supported by the House unless a very strong case be made out to the contrary. So far as I understand, the reasons advanced against this Bill are not against the merit of the Bill itself. It is not pretended that this road would not be useful.

It is not pretented that the road would not seiwe a good purpose, but the argument advanced is that this Bill should not be passed unless another important section of the country should also be served with a railway. In other words, the argument of my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) and my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) is this : While we do not pretend that this road may not be a good one, yet we do not want this section of the country to be served by a railway unless we are also served by another railway in another section of the country. This railway may be a benefit to the people, Dut these . hon. gentlemen argue that it shall not be chartered unless they get another railway which would also benefit the people. They say : We have been suffering from want of railway communication and unless we have railway communication ourselves we want the people in another section of the country to suffer as we do. That is hardly a fair argument to present to this House. It seems to me that our friends from the North-west Territories who represent a section of the country which has suffered for the want of adequate railway communication, should have some sympathy for other people who are suffering likewise. So far from preventing this railway from being built, they ought, in my opinion say : Well, let this road be built and let some effort be made to have the Northwest Central Railway built also. In my

opinion, by far the best course to follow, would be to allow this Bill to proceed and at the same time to make the best efforts possible to cause the other railway to be built also. I sympathize deeply with my kon. friends from Assiniboia and Alberta. I understand not only the advantage but the necessity of railway communication to the settlers, and I am not without hope that the Canadian Pacific Railway will be prepared to make some announcement upon this matter perhaps during the course of the present session.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
IND

Robert Lorne Richardson

Independent

Mr. RICHARDSON (Lisgar).

I wish to endorse very strongly the facts and the views which were put before the committee by the hon. member from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) with regard to the length of time this charter has been in force without being carried to completion, and with regard especially to the fact that a great many settlers went into that country eighteen or twenty years ago in the expectation of having this railway built. From time to time during the last five or six sessions, when this question has been before the House, an effort, has been made to compel the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (into whose hands the charter has fallen) to extend that road in order to furnish railway accommodation for the benefit of the settlers.. We attempted at least on one occasion a little coercion in the matter, and the House will probably remember that that coercive policy which we adopted resulted in the extension of the railway by at least twenty miles. The argument which the right hon. gentleman who leads the House has made must necessarily have a great effect on the members of this House, because it is logical, strong and conclusive. But, we are up against this position in the North-west : we want that road extended, and the point is, how are we going to get it ? I have a good deal of sympathy with the position which the North-west members take, that it is desirable to use the club. They could probably prevent this Bill going through, and in that way force the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to extend that line where it is very much needed. It seems to me that it would pay the company to build that extension of the North-west Central, whereas I do not see how they can derive one penny's advantage from the construction of the line along the shore of Lake Manitoba up to Sifton's Landing, because I do not think there are many settlers there. The suggestion I would make would be that the right hon. the premier might consult with the authorities of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and endeavour to induce them to agree to a compromise in the form of a reasonable extension of the road, with a view to meeting the unanimous wish of the people of that district. It would be better for the people of the country, and better for the Canadian Pacific Railway itself, which one member was perfectly correct

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

in stating has become very unpopular in that country because of its policy. It is to suggest some such compromise that I intervene in the discussion at the present time.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Permalink

April 29, 1901