No, from a point on the Joggins Railway to Minudie.
To the Middleton and Victoria Beach Railway Company, Limited, for a line of railway from Victoria Beach to Middleton, not exceeding forty-one miles, in lieu of subsidies granted by chapter 8 of 1900, section 2, item 28, and chapter 7 of 1901, section 2, item 21.
This road starts from Middleton, in the Annapolis valley, and follows the Annapolis river down the Granville shore to Victoria Beach, which was the objective point of the original designs for railway construction in western Nova Scotia. At present this railway is being amalgamated-I do not know whether legislative proceedings have been taken-with the Mackenzie & Mann system of railways in the western part of Nova Scotia. It was originally undertaken by another company, but I understand that it is to be consolidated with the Mackenzie & Mann system. It will run through some of the finest farminig land, I think I may say. in the world, because the Annapolis valley is the garden of the world.
To the Halifax and South-western Railway Company for the following lines of railway:-
(a.) for a line of railway from a point at or near Halifax to a point on the Central Railway at or near Mahone hay, not exceeding sixty-eight miles.
(b.) for a line of railway from a point on the Central Railway at or near Bridgewater towards Barrington Passage, not exceeding 77 miles.
(c.) for a line of railway from a point at or near New Germany on the Central Railway to a point at or near Caledonia, not exceeding 22 miles.
(d.) for a line of railway from a point at or near Caledonia to Liverpool, not exceeding 29 miles.
The subsidies to the said lines of railway being granted in lieu of the subsidies granted by chapter 7 of 1899, items 17, 18, 35 and 36 of section 2, by chapter 8 of 1900, items 26 and 40 of section 2. and also chapter 7 of 1901, items 5 and 23 of section 2, respectively.
To the Halifax and South-western Railway Company for a line of railway to Barrington Passage, in addition to and in continuation of the 77 miles mentioned in items 23 (b) of this section, not exceeding 35 miles.
Subject to the addition of 35 miles, the vote for which you have just read, Mr. Chairman, these votes are a consolidation of a number of votes which have been given in past years for railway lines in the western section of Nova Scotia, westward of Halifax, running through the western part of Halifax county and the counties of Lunenburg, Queen's, Shelburne and Yarm'outh. These roads have been chartered in times past by various companies, and subsidies have been granted fron>
time to time to different companies. These various companies have not made very great progress. One of th'em built some part of one of these roads, but they were not able to carry it out. During the last year a consolidation of all these interests was effected by a company promoted by Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann. They have made a contract with the government of Nova Scotia for the greater part of this enterprise on, the basis of a loan which the government of Nova Scotia are making to them on the credit of the road.
Thirteen thousand per mile. Of course, they have proceeded on the assumption that they would get revotes of the Dominion subsidies. There are practically two lines, although there is a point at which they join. The main line will run from Halifax through the western part of that county, and through Lunenburg to Mahone bay. There it will form connection with the Central Railway of Nova Scotia, which is already owned by Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann and their associates. It will use the Central Railway for a few miles, until it reaches Bridgewater. It then runs down the south shore of Nova Scotia to Barrington Passage, where it meets a road built from Yarmouth eastward. For the present this road is in different hands, but it is reasonable to expect that it will come into the possession of Messrs. Mackenzie & Maun. This vote, therefore, is to secure a road by the south shore of Nova Scotia from Halifax, passing through the western portion of that county, through Lunenburg, Queen's and Shelburne as far as Barrington, where it will meet a road already in existence running into Yarmouth. From Middleton, in the county of Annapolis, to Lunenburg the Central road has been in operation fcr a number of years. The second part of the new scheme leaves the Central road at New Germany, and runs to Caledonia. About 22 miles have been constructed, but not completed, under the charter known as the Hervey charter. That road has now been acquired by Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann, who are pushing it down to the town of Liverpool. This is a revote of various amounts for railways through these counties, with the addition of 35 miles necessary to complete the whole enterprise.
They have no terminal facilities at Halifax as yet, but I presume they will approach the government and try to make arrangements for using the government facilities; but there is no understanding on that point yet.
have given a loan of $13,000 per mile to most of the line with a provision, I think, that in the event of the loan being repaid, the usual subsidy be deducted. For the present there is no subsidy, but if the enterprise is successful and the railway can repay the loan, then they may repay the loan less the subsidy.
Mr. IvAULBACH. Permit me to say, Mr. Chairman, that I am pleased that the government has fully realized how essential the completion of the work on this railway so long delayed, is to the people residing in the near vicinity of this road, running from New Germany to Caledonia.
Northern Queen's-part of the country represented by my hon. friend the acting minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Fielding)-has come into prominence as an agricultural and mining centre, the latter so far being only in its infancy. The same may be said of Northern Lunenburg, taking in Pleasant river, Ninevah, Hemp-ford, Ohio, and New Germany, places through which this road passes, abounding in farm, forest and mineral resources; interspersed with lakes and streams, presenting a perfect panorama, and unsurpassed in any part of Canada, and it is not confined I may say to this section alone, for after leaving New Germany-a railway centre-as well as a land of promise, and passing eastward we enter a still more beautiful country with rich and varied resources. I refer to Foster Settlement, New Burn, Woodstock and New Ross, admirably adapted for agriculture, with forests, lakes and streams and thickly settled by a progressive people but without the advantages of a railway, and in this connection I must here state, that I will never feel satisfied until I can see a road built from New Germany passing through this country to New Ross, and down the valley of the Gold river, connecting with the Halifax and South-western Railway at Chester Basin, now under construction, for the purpose of giving these places the same facilities as their neighbours. There was a railway subsidy granted east from New Germany some years ago but for some reason unknown to myself it lapsed, which was unfair to these people.
In connection with construction work between New Germany and Caledonia I desire to again bring to the notice of the acting Minister of Railways and Canals and the government, that there are (quite a number
of claims held by parties against the railway company for labour and material supplied on construction, and 1 would here ask what provision has been made for the liquidation or payment of these claims ? I contend the government have the right-nay they have the power, and they should exercise it-to see that provision is made for the payment of all such legitimate claims, and to see that they are deducted from the cash subsidies due by the government to the company, notwithstanding the company having sub-let the work of construction to others. In any case I hold the government should arrange for the payment of these bills.
The work of construction and the material supplied on the road represents the true value of the road, and the labourers and the party suppliers, as I view it, are really creditors in every sense of the term, and should have the first lien on the road for their bills, and anything short of this would be viewed by a reasonable mind as unjust.
We find the grocer or trader who supplied stores, and other commodities, to the labourers and sub-contractors during construction, remaining unpaid, as well as parties who furnished sleepers, mechanics who furnished cut stone, and numerous other commodities, remaining unpaid. I would ask, are they not to be recognized as creditors, and their claims paid before one dollar is paid over to the company, or the president of the road, by the government, in the way of subsidies ?
The law recognizes every mechanic and labourer employed in the construction' of a ship as having an equitable lien on the vessel until all bills are paid, and in default of payment they can distrain or replevin the ship at will, the customs refuse a register and prevent her sailing until every bona fide claim is actually paid, or as an equivalent, a voucher shown of the claim being settled.
I contend that if claims such as I have described hold good against a ship, the same is applicable to a railway; the two are analogous, and the parties claiming bills for work performed and material furnished to this railway company, their contractors or sub-contractors, come under the same category, are creditors in every sense of the term, and entitled to the payment of all claims.
It has always been the policy of the Ontario government to withhold all subsidies for railway construction until all wages of workmen, in fact, every employee and supplier of material on construction have been fully paid, and I sincerely hope the same policy will hold and be observed by the government as respects the road from New Germany to Caledonia.
The advantage in this case as respects the New Germany and Caledonia road is that the federal and provincial governments have the matter of subsidies entirely in their
own hands, in so far as the payment is concerned, and I here appeal most earnestly, on behalf of the creditors, that the government pay not a dollar to the company for construction, neither to the promoters nor contractors, nor any person else on this road, until a public notice is given by posters, and in all the county newspapers of Lunenburg and Queen's, asking that all bills unpaid be sent to an agent or adjuster, appointed by the government to receive such claims, and they to decide upon the merits or demerits of the same. The payments should be made by the government.
I may be told the government are dealing only with the present company, and have nothing to do with the original contractors. This would be unjust, as the road would really this day have no value had it not been for the hard labour bestowed by the operatives and the material and supplies, such as sleepers and cut stone, furnished by traders. Should these parties, as creditors, now be told that their claims cannot be recognized, when the government have it in their power to pay them 1 I would consider it unjust. I know of some poor farmers and labourers who have had to sacrifice the little they possessed, and their families suffer, in consequence of the delay in payment of bills. I sincerely hope the government will realize the importance of this situation as respects these people, and see that the bills are paid after the manner I suggest.
We have been so long in Ottawa this session that some of us may be pardoned for being a little rusty on what is going on in our provinces. I am glad to say to my hon. friend (hat what he suggests has actually been done and that arrangements are being perfected at the present moment to carry it into effect. There is a full understanding between the Nova Scotia government and myself that the governments at Ottawa and Halifax will have to co-operate in the construction of these roads and that we shall jointly see that whoever undertakes to carry out the new enterprise, will have to provide for the paymeut of the honest claims of the workmen under the old contractors. I am glad to be able to assure the hon. gentleman that in carrying out this arrangement a commissioner was appointed by the local government some time ago. He is at this moment holding investigations in order to obtain correct statements of the amounts of money due, and I am satisfied that in every case in which a claim can be substantiated to the satisfaction of the commissioner, the money will be paid.
The portion of the road from New Germany, in the county represented by my hon. friend, down to Caledonia was graded and the bridges built, but the rails were not laid. The new company is now laying the rails. The portion from Halifax towards Mahone Bay has been under construction, and considerable progress in that heavy section has been made. Workmen are now employed working westward from Bridgewater in the county of Lunenburg and on other sections. There is now more evidence of good faith in pushing on the work than has ever been shown before, to the great satisfaction of the people along the line ?
I am pleased to hear the statement made by the acting minister. May I ask him if they have fully settled on the location of that portion of the road near Fort Medway, whether it is to go east or west of Mill Village ?