February 10, 1905

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 49) respecting the Century Life Insurance Company.-Mr. Maepherson. Bill (No. 50) to incorporate the Calgary and Battleford Railway Company.-Mr. Turifif. Bill (No. 53) to amend the Act respecting the Department of Railways and Canals.- Mr. Emmerso'n.


TORONTO AND HAMILTON RAILWAY COMPANY.


Mr. CALVERT moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 48) respecting the Toronto and Hamilton Railway Company.


CON
LIB

William Samuel Calvert (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CALVERT.

It is to give power to the company to issue preference stock and pay dividends on the same over common stock.

Topic:   TORONTO AND HAMILTON RAILWAY COMPANY.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


CONTRACTS FOR GOVERNMENT WORK.

?

Hon. CHAS@

FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 51) respecting- contracts for government works. He said : This and two other Bills on the order paper in the names of Messrs. Emraerson and Hyman are practically to the same effect. The intention is to' provide that hereafter contracts in which the amount involved exceeds $5,000 will be let, not only af ter tenders have been called for, but also after they have had the sanction of the Governor General in Council. Hitherto the practice has been for the minister at the head of the department interested to dispose of such contracts. My hon. friend (Mr. Foster) will remember that in 1880 an Order in Council was passed authorizing the letting without tender of small contracts in which the amounts involved did not exceed $5,000. After I became Minister of Justice, I came to the conclusion that there was no warrant for such a proceeding. and in 1903 introduced a Bill to give legal effect to the practice. The intention now is to provide that when a contract involves expenditure of more than $5,000 it cannot be awarded by the minister alone, but must receive the sanction of the Governor General in Council.

Topic:   CONTRACTS FOR GOVERNMENT WORK.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


FRANCHISE ACT, 1898, AMENDMENT.


Hon CHARLES FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 52) to amend the Franchise Act, 1898.' He said: This Bill is'to facilitate proceedings in contested election cases. The effect of it will be to enable any list of electors bearing the imprint of the King's Printer to be produced in court as prima facie evidence of the original list. At the present time, in order to prove in a contested election case that the petitioner is a qualified voter, it is necessary to do one of two things, either to summon the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery to appear before the court with the original list, or to get from him a certified copy of the list. Either method is cumbrous and expensive, and to overcome the difficulty this amendment is proposed. Motion agreed to. and Bill read the first time.


$20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. CHARLES HYMAN (Acting Minister of Public Works) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 54) to amend the Public Works Act. He said : The purpose of this Bill is explained by the statement of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) concerning the Act respecting contract for government works.


CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER.

How will that affect the practice, which was in vogue in 1890 at least, of giving work out without tender or doing it by day labour if it did not exceed $5,000 ? Is that excepted now under this Bill ?

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

These Bills do not affect that question. That was affected by the Bill of 1903. As I said a moment ago, my hon. friend will remember that in 1880 an Order in Council was passed authorizing the Minister of Public Works to let contra els for works that did not exceed $5,000 without tender or by private tender. I came to the conclusion that there was not statutory authority for that practice, and it was doubtful whether the Order in Council was effective. And, in order to make it effective I introduce the legislation of 1893.

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

So that works below $5,000 could be carried out in tin's way ?

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Yes.

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

There is an ingenious way of getting around that provision, by cutting the work up in sections of $5,000 of less and spending, it may be $30,000 or $40,000 in the end. That is very much like an evasion of the spirit of the Act, and ought to be provided against in some way. I know that it is a little difficult because the minister may say : What I propose to do amounts to $5,000 or less, but when that is done, his intentions may broaden and he may want another $5,000 worth done.

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

I think it is the intention of the House-and after all this legislation is intended to give effect to the intention of the House-that a contract that involves $5,000 or more shall not be let except by public tender. Still, of couse, we know there are works of immediate pressing necessity that must be done without tender. When the Bill is in committee, I shall be glad to consider any amendment that will make in the direction of requiring public tenders for contracts of over $5,000.

Topic:   $20 PUBLIC WORKS ACT AMENDMENT.
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February 10, 1905