Mr. E. F. CLARKE.
aian ports should not hare it. if the government providCTrUTe facilities for handling it.
If that statement meant anything, it meant that Mr. Hays was prepared to make an agreement with the government and to give the necessary guarantee that every pound of freight that could be handled at St. John and Halifax would be delivered at these ports over this new Grand Trunk Pacific. But it is nevertheless an extraordinary fact that under this agreement we have to take our chances ; we have to appeal, (as has been stated by the Minister of Finance) to the patriotism of the people, while every energy of the Grand Trunk Company will be bent to divert as much of that traffic as possible from Halifax and St. John to Portland, the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway system on the Atlantic coast. There is not much fear felt in Portland as to the injury . that will be done to that port as a result of this amended agreement becoming law. The newspapers of that city are not very despondent over the discussion which has taken place here, nor over the contract which the government has entered into. The Portland ' Press ' the other day referring to this matter said :
With its close and the final ratification of the contract it appears that there will he no further obstacle in the way of beginning very soon the work of building another great transcontinental railroad line. It will not be so vast an undertaking as the Panama canal, but it will probably he of even greater interest and importance to this section of the country.
I am satisfied that that paragraph expresses the views of those who are interested in the future of the Grand Trunk system's terminals in Portland. I repeat that the government have been derelict in their duty in not compelling the Grand Trunk Railway Company to accept the obligation of delivering all its western trade over to the Intercolonial Railway, so as to secure for our own maritime ports that advantage which they have the right to expect from the construction of this transcontinental line.
I wish to say three or four words with regard to the position of the province of Ontario, as I understand that position. We have been charged with being sectional. 1 deny that allegation. The people of the province of Ontario are willing to assume their share of responsibility for the liability which may be imposed on the people generally in connection with the construction of a new transcontinental line. But the people of Ontario do not see what particular benefit is to be derived by that province from this expenditure. They think that the expenditure in any event is a lavish expenditure, and believe that greater good could be accomplished not only for this province but for all the other provinces of the Dominion by the adoption of the amendment which the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mr. CLARKE.
R. L. Borden) has presented. It is said that this new scheme will give depth to the province of Ontario, and will open up a great tract of land suitable for colonization and settlement. It has been pointed out in this House again and again that the province of Ontario is doing its duty in the way of opening up to colonization whatever portions of northern Ontario are fit or available for colonization. The hon. member for ' Both-well (Mr. Clancy) gave a list of the companies which have been incorporated, and of the railways which are being constructed to open up the northern portions of this great province of Ontario. This road, therefore, is not required, so far as the province of Ontario is concerned, for colonization purposes, at least for many years to come, and as far as being of any benefit to the older settled portions of the province it is impossible for any hon. gentleman opposite to show wherein that benefit will obtain. It is an astonishing fact, Mr. Speaker, but it is a fact, that the main line of this new transcontinental line will run practically as far north from the city of Toronto or of any other, of the great centres of the industry and commerce of the province as the city of Quebec is east of Toronto, as the city of Chicago is west of Toronto, or as New York or Philadelphia are southeast of Toronto. You are not surprised, therefore, that there is not a very great deal of excitement in the older portions of the province or a great deal of enthusiasm over the construction of this new line. It will not shorten the distance by one mile between the great centres of production in the east and the great centres of distribution in the west. It has been placed entirely out of connection with the old Grand Trunk. The main line runs 470 miles north of Toronto, and during the greater part of the year it will be of no possible advantage to the city of Toronto, or to any other industrial centre of this province. I think that so far as Ontario is concerned a more feasible, a more practical, a more patriotic scheme would be to adopt the suggestion of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), made last year and repeated again this year. We want to see the Intercolonial Railway carried westward from Montreal. The present western terminus of that road is at the head of ocean navigation. So long as that situation exists, the Intercolonial Railway, owned by the people of Canada, can never exercise the slightest influence as a factor in regulating freight rates. The problem of transportation is to a great extent solved when the surplus products of the west reach Montreal, because that city is at the head of tide water. What we desire, the policy we approve of. is that the people's road, owned and controlled by the people, should be extended westward, first to the waters of the great lakes, where it can procure its share of traffic destined for the Atlantic ; afterwards the road can be continued west-1
ward to the prairies, to enjoy for all time a measure of the prosperity which will undoubtedly be enjoyed by that country. _We in Ontario do not object to the liability devolving upon that province of $60,000,000 in carrying out a necessary national undertaking, but we would prefer to see that sum, instead of being expended in building a railroad through a wilderness 500 miles north of the centres of population, expended in the purchase of the Canada Atlantic and the extension of the Intercolonial Railway further west. If we are to be mulcted in $60,000,000 for the cost of construction of a road which, when completed, is to be given to a private company, we would prefer to be mulcted for $66,000,000, an addition of $6,000,000, for the purpose of constructing a road that after it has been completed will not be given away to a private railway company, but will be used by the people of Canada in the interests of the people of Canada. The Intercolonial Railway has not paid in the past. It has been, shall I say without meaning to be offensive, a sinkhole. We have had to meet deficit after deficit in the conduct of the affairs of that railway The people of Ontario have had to bear their share of those deficits ; but I believe and I think that the majority of the people of this province believe that, managed under proper auspices, removed as far as possible from party or political influence, placed under and managed by a commission appointed by those responsible to the people, and extended westward, the Intercolonial would certainly have a bright future before it. We are prepared, or rather I am prepared, for I am speaking now only for myself, to vote that the province of Ontario shall become liable for $66,000,000 rather than for $60,000,000 if, as a result of that additional liability, we shall have control for all time to come of a transcontinental railway owned by the people of Canada and, if necessary, operated by them. We demonstrate, I hope, by that assertion that instead of acting from a sectional standpoint we are desirous of joining with those in the maritime provinces and in the west who believe that the Intercolonial Railway has a future and in giving it every possible chance. It is surely in the interests of the maritime provinces that that road should be maintained ; it is not in the interests of the maritime provinces that that road should be paralleled and side-tracked. We believe in a policy that will extend the Intercolonial Railway westward to Parry Sound and to Winnipeg, and also to the business centres of the province of Ontario, and we hope the time is not far distant when the cars of the Intercolonial Railway will have become as familiar objects on the sidings and tracks of the great industrial centres of Ontario as are the cars of the Grand Trunk Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway at the present time. What advantage will accrue to the people of the maritime provinces, of the west,
or of Ontario under the proposition of the government that will not accrue under the proposition of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) V The advantages in favour of the proposition of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) are manifold, and that proposition will cost much less money. The money that will be saved in carrying out his scheme could be utilized to great advantage in improving and developing the St. Lawrence route and the ports on the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coast. We are willing to bear our share of the expenditure in connection with that matter, willing to bear that share cheerfully, to assist in every possible way to further the scheme of a national transcontinental railway, but we abject to be taxed for the construction of a road that will be operated by and in the interest of a private corporation. There was no demand made by the people of Ontario for the construction of this new line; there never was one word heard about the construction of a trunk line 500 miles north of Toronto, Hamilton and London for the purpose of colonization.
The people of the province of Ontario have borne their share of the burden that was imposed upon them by the construction of the Intercolonial and its maintenance and by the aid given the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific Railways. There is nothing for them that I can see in this new proposition. There would be something in it if we had a government owned road, a road owned by ourselves extending into the heart of Ontario, because such a road would benefit all parts of Ontario, and all interests, manufacturing, cofiimercial and agricultural. I believe that when an appeal is made, so far as the province of Ontario is concerned, a substantial majority will show their opposition to this contract. The people have had no opportunity of expressing their opinion on the policy involved except in the by-elections some two or three months ago ; and if the expression of opinion given on that occasion be any criterion, I am justified in saying that when a general appeal is made,' the verdict rendered in East Bruce and East Lambton will be repeated more emphatically and signally in the whole province of Ontario.
Before I take my seat I desire to propose an amendment to the motion now in your hands, Mr. Speaker. I desire to move an amendment to the proposition submitted to us- a proposition which, from whatever standpoint you regard it, is a most extraordinary one. The proposition gnVqpittpd to ns calls upon this country to_hnilfl -L9Q0 miles of road-arrtniand it over to be operated by a company for fifty years, during only forty of which we can hope to receive any return. By this proposition we take the responsibility of building 1,900 miles of road and handing it over to a company, and we become liable for three-quarters of the cost of the remain-
ing 1,500 miles, which, after it is built and completed, becomes absolutely the property of the company. The people of Canada will have the privilege of becoming responsible for nine-tenths of the cost of construction and then have to hand the road over to a company. I do not believe that the intelligent electors of the Dominion will support a proposition of that kind. I think therefore it is only fair, reasonable and just that they should have an opportunity of expressing their opinion on the proposition of the government, and the amendment I propose is in that direction. I beg to move in amendment :
That the Bill he not now read a second time, but that it be resolved :
That the Bill is intended to ratify and confirm agreements providing for the construction of a transcontinental railway system, a large portion of which is to become the property of a railway corporation to whom the remaining portion is be |,n1~ fifty years on terms
burdensome to the country ;
That under the proposed agreements Canada must incur enormous obligations, both direct and by guarantee, while the obligation assumed by the other guarantor is comparatively small ;
The House believes that before committing the country to such enormous obligations the government ought first to submit to the people the whole question, and especially the question whether Canada should not rather assume the entire obligation and thus own and control the entire proposed line of railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
-In the contract submitted to us by the government the liabilities of the people are very great and the advantages very small, whereas the liabilities of the company are very small and the advantages very great. I believe that the country is in favour of the amendment I propose. I think that the people should be given an opportunity of saying whether they would not prefer to go one step further-since they are assuming *such large liabilities and responsibilities in connection with this great transcontinental line-and become responsible for the small sum for which the Grand Trunk Railway renders itself liable, and take over the whole enterprise from end to end, and operate it in the best interests of all sections of the people of Canada. I must apologize to the House for having taken up so much time, and beg leave to move the amendment I have just read.