April 28, 1902

LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

If that was the point, there might be something in it, although even then it should be done by a general law. -The city of Toronto has power already to acquire the company. It has power to do that, whether the company want to or not.

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An hon. MEMBER.

No.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon. If ' shall ' was inserted in the place of * may ' that might be the case, but there is not a man along the whole line of this company that can compel them to supply him.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Would the hon. gentleman read section 11a.

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CON
LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

What has that got to do with it ? 11a will be read in the light of

section 11. It says :

The Railway Committee shall, upon application of the company or any person, corporation or municipality, have power to make an order, in lieu of an agreement under clause II, which shall be binding on the parties.

Until we have a general law covering all such cases, I do not think we should commence with one particular company.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Where are you going to commence ?

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

Commence by bringing in a general law. Why did the hon. gentleman not introduce a Bill in that direction at the beginning of this session ? I regret that these amendments were not moved in the committee ; but at any rate I shall have to vote against compelling the company to do what is proposed, whether it wants to or not.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I have been listening now for four or five years to the argument which is made use of at times and abandoned at times, when it suits the particular exigencies of the case, that because a Bill has happened to pass through a Standing Committee of this House, therefore it ought not to be amended in this House.

Mr. FRASEJt. No, by no means. We can change the whole Bill here if we want to ; but what I said was that after a large committee had gone carefully into a Bill, they had a better opportunity of arriving at a correct decision than we have now.

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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Mr. WADE.

If the hon. member for West Toronto considers the matter a little more carefully, I think he will see that this amendment is not advisable. I had occasion last year to make inquiries from the very best authorities with regard to the transmission of electricity over long distances, and I learned from those parties that it is an open question to-day whether it is possible to tap a long distance line very frequently along its route. It has not been demonstrated that it can be done successfully ; but the amendment lays on the company the absolute burden of tapping their line from the time they start at Niagara Falls until they reach the city of Toronto. That is absolute and binding. Section 11a, if the interpretation placed upon it by the hon. member for West Toronto is correct, is in conflict with section 11. It seems to me we should have some very good reason before making such a departure as is proposed in the case of this company. We have been granting similar powers to other companies all along. .It may be suggested that we were unwise in doing so ; but if we were, and if a departure is now made, it should be in the form of a general law. If the city of Toronto is going to fall heir to its rights in the street railway in a few years, is there

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APKIL 28. 1902


any reason why we should lay this burden on these people ? There is no monopoly in electricity, because there will always be the check involved in the cost of producing it by steam. Besides, the city has the right to harness the power, and bring it in for itself if it likes. If the Bill is amended as the hon. member for West Toronto proposes, you will not find a capitalist to put a dollar into the enterprise, because it will be at the mercy of every person and municipality along the line.


CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I cannot undertake to express an opinion as to the soundness of the views, of the two hon. gentlemen who have last spoken, not being a lawyer ; but the simple object of these amendments is that this company, which now practically owns the street railway and the electric lighting of the city of Toronto, ought to be compelled, before the powers asked for in this Bill are granted, to supply power to every municipality along its line that may apply for it and may be willing to pay for it, provided the company has the power to dispose of.

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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Mr. WADE.

What objection would there be to these different municipalities through which this line passes before they give their consent to the erection of poles, saying: * We will only allow you to do this on condition that you supply us with electricity at certain prices ' ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

X am advised that the municipalities have not that power. This company being incorporated as a company to construct works for the general advantage of Canada, is given "a very great privilege.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

How does the hon. gentleman think the company could enter a municipality without its consent ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

The municipality, as I am advised-I speak, of course, as a layman- cannot declare that this company or any similar company must not enter within the limits of the municipality until it agrees to supply power to the municipality on reasonable terms. If the hon. gentlemen opposite, who are objecting to these amendments, will provide in this Bill that this company cannot enter into the city of Toronto or exercise the powers asked for under this Bill without the consent of the municipality, we shall be prepared to withdraw all these amendments. The gentlemen who are applying for this Act of incorporation control the Toronto Street Railway and the Electric Light Companies, and if this provision is not inserted in the Bill, they can sell to themselves all the power available at Niagara Falls.

There is nothing to prevent them from thus possessing themselves of all the power that will be available when these works are constructed. The hon. gentleman asks me why the city does not supply its own power. It endeavoured to obtain authority from

the legislature of Ontario to generate power at the Falls and bring it across for municipal purposes, but was refused that right; and now we have half a dozen private individuals, however worthy they may be, coming to this parliament and asking for authority to construct these works and be given practically a monopoly of all the power generated at the Falls, which they may sell to whom and at what price they please. Is that a reasonable proposition in view of the value of the franchise we are giving them under this Bill ? The hon. gentleman says that Bills giving similar franchises have passed this House time and again.

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CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRINGLE.

Will the hon. gentleman allow me to put a question to him ? The question I wish to put is : How this section 90 of the Railway Act, as amended in 1889, affects this question ? The amendment is as follows :

When any company has power by any Act of parliament to construct and maintain' lines of telegraph or telephone or lines for the conveyance of light, hear., power or electricity, such company may with the consent of the municipal council or other authority having jurisdiction over any highway, square or other public place, enter thereon, &e.

The reason I pnt my question is this: We

had this matter up in committee and it was there threshed out. The hon. gentleman was not present. The effect of this amendment of section 90 of the Railway Act was there thoroughly threshed out. I rather gather, from what the hon. gentleman says, that the section of the Act does not mean what it purports. Well, I understand that it means just what it expresses. All companies have to obtain the consent of a municipality before passing through it. And I want to ask, what is the effect on this question of section 90 of the Railway Act, as amended in 1899 ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I did not know that the hon. gentleman was going to make a speech when he asked permission to put a question. Well, I am not qualified to answer what the force and meaning of section 90 of the Consolidated Railway Act really are. But these amendments were prepared by the counsel of the city of Toronto, who considers them essential to protect the interests of the city, and therefore asks that they be incorporated in this Bill before it becomes law. It is surely not unreasonable to ask that a great municipality like the city of Toronto, which contains more than one-tenth the population of the whole province, shall be protected in its rights when a company is seeking incorporation giving it such great power ? There is no desire on the part of the city of Toronto to prevent the incorporation of this company. But what we do desire is that if the company is given power to erect works in order to bring electric energy from Niagara Falls to Toronto, it shall not be allowed to discrimin-

ate after it lias done so, against any individual or corporation, even tile corporation of the city of Toronto. What objection can there be to a provision of that kind, especially when, in case of disagreement or dispute, the Governor in Council is authorized to adjudicate between the parties ? It may be only a coincidence, but it is a fact that the people seeking incorporation control a lot of railway companies, whose franchises are becoming more and more valuable. They control the franchises of the Toronto Railway Company and the suburban roads running out of Toronto, connected with the Toronto Railway Company, and the franchises of the electric light companies, and when these franchises fall in-

Topic:   APKIL 28. 1902
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?

An hon. MEMBER.

When will that be ?

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April 28, 1902