Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
Where is the printing done ?
It is all done at the Printing Bureau, I am informed.
Salaries and disbursements of fishery inspectors, overseers and guardians, $85,000.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I would like to have one item in connection with the Marine and Fisheries Department reserved for any remarks in connection with the department by gentlemen not present.
There will be items in the supplementary estimates, both for the current and coming year, on which any information may be asked.
Before considering the item before the committee, I would like to take this opportunity of answering one or two questions put by the hon. member for Grey with regard to a hydrographic survey. In connection with the hydrographic survey ou the lakes, Mr. Stewart, the officer in charge, states that all the work on Lake Huron has been completed. The Americans having finished their work, the whole lake is therefore surveyed. The charts are about completed and will be forwarded to the hydrographic office in London, for engraving and publication. The expenses attending the printing, publication and issuing is made by the hydrographic office. As to the charts that have been issued, all, except this last season have been completed, accepted by the hydrographic office and will be on sale by the opening of navigation. The proof of the last one issued was received yesterday. As to the next year's operation, Mr. Stewart will leave with his staff on board of the ' Lord Stanley ' for the eastern end of Lake Superior, working from Point Aux Pins westward. Although the whole work has been completed on the American side, there is only the demarcation of the shore line on the Canadian side, and Mr. Stewart thinks that this work will probably occupy several years. With regard to the question put by the hon. member for North Grey, as to whether any award has been made to Captain McDougall, who had saved a number of lives from an American barge or steamer, and who had been given a very handsome testimonial for his conduct by the United States, I beg to say that I have looked up the records in the department and cannot find record of any application for an award to Captain McDougall. Other-1
wise his case would have received every attention. .
Where can these hydrographic charts be got. Will they be on sale.
They can be got at the Printing Bureau and also at Montreal, Quebec and Toronto. My deputy will have a circular sent to the hon. gentleman stating the places where these charts may be obtained.
In answer to the hon. member for Peel, with a regard to the silver medals promised to the men who saved life at Port Credit, Ontario, I may tell the hon. gentleman that I made inquiries by telegram and was informed that they were arranging to present these medals at an early date and I will see that this is carried out at once, and I thank him for drawing my attention to this matter. My hon. friend from Inverness (Mr. McLennan) wanted information about the light at Port Hood. I have looked into the matter and have directed that the Port Hood light be kept in operation during the season of navigation.
I would like to put the hon. minister a further question respecting a matter to which I drew his attention last night. I asked him whether he had received a petition from the National Association of Marine Engineers with regard to amendments they desired to the Steamboat Inspection Act. I understood him to say that he had received a petition and also had met a deputation from that body. Has the hon. minister anything further to communicate to us regarding the result of his meeting with that deputation ?
I said further that after I had heard the deputation, the chairman of the Board of Examiners for the steamship engineers had made out a report on the various matters which came up before us. I also had an interview with the president of the association this morning, at which the chief officer of the department was present. The president of the association and the chairman of steamboat inspection of the department came to an agreement with regard to several matters, and after I have had an opportunity of studying the report following that interview, I intend to give the president: of the association another meeting with regard to a few matters still left unsettled.
I was about to ask whether there had been anything done to define our rights in the fisheries, under the decision of the Privy Council. A few years ago the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided that the fisheries belonged to the provinces with the exception j of some ocean fisheries, and we naturally 1 expected that there would be a reduction
in the cost of looking after them. Last year, however, there was an increase in the item of salaries and disbursements of fishery inspectors, overseers, and guardians amounting to $15,000, instead of a decrease, and I notice that this year the item is $85,000, the same as last. Has the government reached any agreement with the provinces as to the rights we have or the duties we are required to perform ? And would it not be possible to reduce the expenditure on this item in view of the fact that the fisheries have been declared to be the property of the provinces ? There ought to be some understanding between the Dominion and the several provinces on this matter.
There really has been no progress made since last session with regard to this matter. The decision of the Privy Council is difficult to understand. So far as I have been able to inform myself, after looking into the communications between the different provinces and the department, the parties seem to be further away from an agreement as to the meaning of this matter than when they started. It appears to me, not being a lawyer, that this matter will have to be settled by one or other of two courses. So far as the present condition of affairs, it is certainly very unsatisfactory. Either the points in dispute must be referred to some tribunal for settlement, aud both the Dominion and the provinces must abide by that decision, or there must be a conference and an agreement reached satisfactory to both parties. Before coming directly to the estimates, I may say that we all recognize the great importance of the fisheries of the Dominion and the necessity of having proper regulations to govern them. This one point is not in dispute-that the power to regulate the fisheries remains within the jurisdiction of the Dominion. That being the case, I think all will agree that, until some arrangement is made, it is the duty of the Dominion to see that the regulations are enforced and the fisheries protected. With regard to the item to which my hon. friend referred, that of $85,000, I find that at the time the judgment was given, the minister reduced the item, for some reason or other, by $25,000 or $30,000. It so remained, I think, for two years. But the expenditure remained the Lame as it had been an,d the result 'was a deficit* which, I believe, was made up bv a supplementary vote last session. After careful investigation it is found that nothing less than $85,000 would do for this item. Previously, I think, it was $90,000.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I think it is very desirable indeed that any difficulties with regard to the relative position of the Dominion and the provinces, if there are any such, should be settled at ouce. I have not recently examined the judgment of the Privy Council and am not sure now how
far it goes. But I think that the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries, during last session of parliament, told us that negotiations were to be had, or a further case submitted to the courts for the purpose of determining certain further questions. I may point out to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. James Sutherland) that the matter is of some immediate importance, because, as I understand, the provinces are about making a claim upon the government of Canada in respect of the fisheries award. I believe that the Attorney General of the province of New Brunswick has recently announced to the people of that province in an election manifesto that he proposed to make, or has made, a formal claim on this government for a portion of that award. If, while we are subject to a claim of that kind, we continue to pay for services, which, perhaps, legitimately belong to the different provinces, we are, certainly, not pursuing a very wise course. If these difficulties and uncertainties exist I would suggest to the hon. minister that he should lose no time in putting himself in communication with the Department of Justice aud having a matter so serious dealt with at once.
In the decision of the Privy Council on this question and others that were submitted by the Dominion and the provinces, there are specific findings that it is well to understand. It was contended on the part of the Dominion that the Dominion had the proprietary right in certain of the fisheries. That was settled adversely to the Dominion, it being held that proprietary right of the fisheries were vested in the provinces or in the individuals who possessed the same at the time of the British North America Act. But it was also held that the Dominion has absolute control, so far as the regulating is concerned, and that in regulating, they can interfere to any extent with the proprietary rights, except to the extent of granting an absolute right of fishery to other parties. It is also decided that the Dominion, under subsections 3 and 12, has the right to raise a revenue by taxation on the fisheries by way of license, and that the provinces have a similar right. The whole question is reduced by that judgment, as I understand it, to this-that the Dominion government has the sole right to regulate the fisheries and the provinces cannot interfere with that in the slightest degree. Thus, the Department of Marine and Fisheries is left in the same position as before in this matter and must make the same expenditure as before, in order to enforce the law, because this parliament is the only parliament that has power to make regulations about the fisheries. Back of this, there is a question that may arise in the future, and that is whether the Dominion has or has not, in days past, undertaken to give an exclusive right of fishery when they
granted licenses for the use of traps and other engines for the capture of flsh. If they did so, the question arises whether the parties who paid these license fees supposing that they were receiving exclusive rights of fishery would have a claim upon the Dominion for the refund of that money. But this does not question in any way the obligation upon the department to make and enforce fishery* regulations, for. in that respect, the provinces are absolutely powerless.
I take it that a great part of what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wade) has told us was generally known. What I wished to know was whether any effort was being made to have a conference with the provinces with a view to a determination of the powers of either side.
There have been a great many negotiations in this direction. I may explain that, by agreement, we still receive all the revenues, except from the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, pending final arrangements. Negotiations have gone so far that we have in the department now a memorandum from the province of Quebec of a case that they would like us to join in submitting to the courts. The province of Quebec also has recently sent a very formidable statement of claim with regard to the province's rights in the matter. I agree with the leader of the opposition that, as soon as possible, some conclusion must be come to with regard to these difficulties. It will probably be slow work at the best, but it is my intention, as far as I can, with the assistance of the Department of Justice, to put the matter in shape and have it settled.
Who issues the licenses, the Dominion or the provinces ?
The province, in the case of Ontario and Quebec ; but, in the other provinces, the Dominion.
I understood the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) to say that it was clearly decided by the Privy Council that both the province and the Dominion have the right to raise revenue from the fisheries. In what way does the Dominion propose to raise a revenue to recoup us for looking after the fisheries and control-ing them ?