October 13, 1903

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

While it was not rescinded, so far so good.

Topic:   YUKON TERRITORY-DOMINION LANDS -APPROVAL OP REGULATIONS.
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The TRIME MINISTER.

Order No. 973 provides that:

The Governor in Council is pleased to order that clause 3 of the regulations for the disposal of mining locations in the Yukon Territory to be worked by hydraulic mining process made and established by the Governor in Council on the 3rd of December. 139S, as amended by Order in Council of 2nd March, 1900, which provides that an application for a location shall be filed in the Department of the Interior at Ottawa, was amended so as to provide that the application shall be filed with the commissioner of the Yukon Territory at Dawson ; and that no lease. be issued for a location unless it is recommended by him.

And further, the exemption of royalty on $25.000 of the annual output of a location, provided for in section 5 of the aforesaid regulations, was rescinded on, from and after the date hereof.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

What is the meaning of the provision that no lease shall be issued for a location unless recommended by the commissioner ?

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The PRIME MINISTER.

It was to avoid a conflict, as far as I remember, between the applications which might be made at Dawson and the applications which might be made here, under which circumstances the same location might be granted to two different parties. The department came to the conclusion that all applications should be made at Dawson to the commissioner and forwarded by him for approval to the department here.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

It seems to go a great deal beyond that. It seems to vest in the commissioner of the Yukon an absolute discretion as to whether a location shall be granted or not. I do not regard that as a fair provision of the law. In the province of Nova Scotia we have certain laws governing this matter. A man who applies for a gold or a coal area is entitled to it as a matter of right. If it is open, if no other person has covered it by his application, and if he has made his application in the usual way, he is entitled to certain rights under the law over the area. But here you do not have that. You have an applicant going to the Commissioner of the Yukon, and finding that it is absolute-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

ly necessary that the commissioner should recommend his application - before he can have it granted. I do not understand why a discretion of that kind should be conferred upon the Commissioner of the Yukon or on any one else. It seems to me there should be a mode of defining the rights of public property so that any citizen of this country, conforming to the regulations, should have the right to make an application in respect to lands not already covered by some one else. Neither the Commissioner of the Yukon, aior the Minister of the Interior, nor any one else, should have the right to say : You shall not receive this, because I do not see fit to recommend it. I cannot attach any other meaning to the language of this Order in Council than that which I have just expressed.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BEDCOURT.

The reason of this is that in the case of these applications, the applicant has to submit for consideration evidence of certain facts ; for instance, the fact that the ground for which he applies is capable of being worked in the manner which lie describes, that he has a sufficient dumping ground on which to deposit his tailings, and that there is a sufficient supply of water to provide for the working of the claim in the manner applied for. These matters have all to be verified by affidavit or evidence sufficient to satisfy the Commissioner of the Yukon. Evidence having been submitted to him, it became necessary under the old regulation to have the evidence sent down here, though the commissioner had, in his discretion, to decide these matters. That is the reason the regulation was passed some time ago. As everything has now to be decided there, the regulation has no longer any raison d'etre. The case would be entirely different in regard to an application for coal lands in the province of Nova Scotia, where the applicant is entitled to the land from the simple fact of having prospected, located and made application. In the Yukon something else is required. Not only must he have discovered the ground, prospected and located it, but he must have satisfied the commissioner as to the conditions as to water, dumping ground and so on.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Why should he be obliged to do so ? Are not these matters as to which he must take the risk ? If there is no water, he perhaps cannot work the area, but that is his own matter. If there is no dumping ground, perhaps he cannot work the area. Why this paternal care on the part of the Department of the Interior with regard to these matters ? In the province of Nova Scotia you might have the government interfering with a gold mining area, and pointing out that there are certain conditions which render it impossible, perhaps, to work it at a profit. These are matters as to which the applicant

takes bis own risk, and, provided he pays his fee, he is entitled to take that risk.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

The complaints which we have heard in this House would be sufficient reason for the enactment of this legislation. I have not discussed the matter with the minister, but I would imagine that it is felt that in order to entitle the person to get a larger area than the area fixed for the ordinary placer claim, and, to facilitate his working it toy hydraulic means, this regulation is necessary.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

But this is dealing with an application for an ordinary location, and not an application for a large territory.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

This refers to hydraulic process mining alone.

Topic:   YUKON TERRITORY-DOMINION LANDS -APPROVAL OP REGULATIONS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

It is an ordinary application to work toy hydraulic process. There is nothing iu this Order in Council about a large location.

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Tbe PRIME MINISTER.

The hydraulic process requires capital to carry it on, and everybody cannot procure the means; but in the case of an ordinary location you require nothing but strong arms to work it.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I know; but all that can be covered in an entirely different way. In our Nova Scotia mining laws we have the provision that unless the person works his claim in a particular, effective way it will be forfeited. You could cover everything my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) has said, by making a provision, that unless effective work of a certain character is done within a specified time, the location shall become forfeited. Thus yon get rid of tbe disagreeable feature of having the right to this location depend upon the opinion of an officer of the department, which I regard as a very vicious kind of legislation, which should toe avoided, because it will always give rise to more or less suspicion on the part of those whose locations have been denied. It is not desirable that power of that kind should toe vested even in the most capable and upright officer of the government.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

There are regulations in the Department of the Interior with reference to placer mining, hydraulic mining and dredging, and these regulations differ one from the other. The placer mining regulations require nothing but staking, and an application for the grant; dredging leases require certain conditions and the payment of a certain rental, and in the case of hydraulic leases, the regulations provide that the applicant must satisfy the commissioner {Eat the ground applied for is suitable for the work, on a large scale; that it has sufficient water to enable it to toe worked, and that there is sufficient dumping ground.

432i

These conditions are imposed for the protection of the miners generally. If my hon. friend's suggestion were adopted, any one could go to the commissioner and make an application for one mile, or two miles, or more, and though he would not be able to work it, this large area would be tied up. In the meantime the prospecting miner would complain that this large area was tied up without any advantage to the community, or even to the applicant himself. It is to prevent the 'tying up of large areas of land, to the alleged detriment of the miners, that these regulations were passed, and they are still in force. It was no doubt felt by the department, that it would be more in the public interest for the commissioner himself to have the whole discretion, and that the matter should not be brought to Ottawa to be pronounced upon by the department here. It is no doubt easier for the officer who is on the ground to verify the accuracy of the facts and to pronounce upon the matter. I take it, that there is no other reason for the cancellation of the Order in Council, than to leave it for the proper officer in the Yukon to decide. I would again point out to my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) that the regulation itself is not abolished. It may be that the hon. gentleman thinks that the regulation itself should be changed, but I am of opinion that the granting of hydraulic concessions on a large scale should be subject to the conditions which are at present imposed. However, the only effect of the cancellation of the Order in Council is to leave the decision under the regulations in the hands of the commissioner, rather than in the hands of the officer here.

Topic:   YUKON TERRITORY-DOMINION LANDS -APPROVAL OP REGULATIONS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Does the Order iri Council provide that no lease shall be issued for a location unless it is recommended by the commissioner ?

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The PRIME MINISTER.

That is iu the hydraulic mining regulations.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

But on whose recommendation is it V ,

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I think it is the gold commissioner, but I am not quite sure.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The hon. gentleman himself is not sure about that.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I am not sure whether it is the gold commissioner or the commissioner of the Yukon.

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October 13, 1903