February 22, 1905

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

The grievance to which I wish to call my hon. friend's attention is one which we suffer from at Cote St. Paul. I endeavoured to obtain a redress of that grievance by writing to the employees of the department on the canal at Cote St. Paul. Last year I had some communication [DOT]with the minister ; but I think it is absolutely necessary to bring the matter before the House, and I would ask my hon. friend to give a strict order that the proper rem-Mr. EMMERSON.

edies be applied to that grievance. As the hon. gentleman is probably aware, on the Lachine canal at Cote St. Paul, there are a certain number of manufacturers who use the water-power from the canal. They depend upon that water-power to a very large extent in carrying on their manufacturing business. The complaint which I urged last year on their behalf and brought to the notice of my hon. friend, was that the water levels during the winter months are not properly kept up on all parts of the canal. There is a part of the canal below Cote St. Paul which, according to the complaints that have been made to me, is kept abundantly supplied with water, or at any rate receives a larger portion of water than the part at Cote St. Paul itself. This grievance only appears in the winter, because in the winter the supply of water in the canal for the purpose of manufacturing is not as regular as in the summer, because as is contended, the levels vary in the lake, and perhaps on account of the ice also. I will read to the House a letter I have received in connection with this matter, and then I will send to my hon. friend at his department a tabulated statement of the variations of the levels, which would be too long to read here. I really believe, after the efforts I have made to secure from the employees of the canal proper attention to this-matter, that it has been neglected, and that by bringing it to the notice of the department a word from the minister will probably suffice to procure the necessary degree of vigilance. These manufacturers suffer a great deal of annoyance, and some loss, which could be avoided if proper care were taken. This is the letter I have received from one of the manufacturers :

Dear Sir,-Attached is a copy of a letter written yesterday to Mr. O'Brien

Mr. O'Brien is one of the chief employees on the canal.

__-which is largely self-explanatory. We are

also returning his letter of the 11th instant, as sent you, having carefully noted his contentions.

If our trouble was caused entirely by low water in Lake St. Louis, as he contends, our demands would be unreasonable to say the least We have asked nothing unreasonable, however. What we have all along held is that the level below is kept up regardless of any and all conditions, while our supply level is continually fluctuating. The figures we give him in the letter attached show our position. On Monday the level below was 14 feet 4 inches, the level above was so low as to be entirely useless. No doubt some shortage at Lachine is a frequent occurrence at this season of the year, but we only ask a fair division of such shortage. Surely there is nothing unfair or unreasonable in our asking that the other users of the water bear their proportionate burden of existing conditions rather than have it all fall upon us as at present.

You will also observe the fact of the fluctuation in our supply level. One day it is up, the next it is down. Some days it is up in the-

morning and down again in the afternoon. Now if the whole cause was a shortage at Lachine, would there he this rapid fluctuation ? Would there not be a low level of more permanency than this ? We think so. The difficulty is simply that the man at St. Paul locks is instructed to keep the level below at some 14 feet 4 inches, and he does it regardless of whether we have an inch of head left or not.

Last year the trouble started in December, 1903, but this year we did not feel it until January. It always lasts until the canal is emptied, so that our period of difficulty is somewhat lengthier than the two months which Mr. O'Brien speaks of, being more like four months.

Now instead of complaining of this, which I think amounts to neglect and carelessness, at the beginning of the session when this trouble recurred, I wrote to the employees of the canal. I wrote particularly to Mr. O'Brien in regard to this. I do not think Mr. O'Brien is at fault, but X think there are some men in charge of the regulation of the levels who require to be informed by the department that they must more carefully attend to their duties. If the hon. minister will be kind enough to give such an order, I think that fact, with the fact that the matter has been discussed publicly, will bring some relief to these manufacturers who are certainly entitled to it. There is just one other point to which I wish to call the hon. minister's attention while I am on my feet. As the hon. gentleman is aware there is going to be. a bridge built at Atwater avenue this spring. I have no doubt that the bridge is at present ready, that all the structural pieces have been completed, and I have no doubt whatever that if the pieces were brought upon the ground, all the work along the canal done and everything ready it would not be necessary to take the water out of the canal for more than three weeks. That is not the opinion of an expert which I express, but it is an opinion which I have arrived at from what I have been told by builders and contractors. There is a question this spring of drawing off the water from the Rachine canal for six weeks and the opinion of the superintendent of the canal in Montreal is that it will l>e necessary to remove the water from the canal from March 15 until May 1, even though day and night work is resorted to.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

That 'is always required.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think so.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I think that is part of the contract.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

No, I do not think there can be any such stipulation in the contract. I do not know what this contract is. but I do know that there is no clause in the contract which provides that the water shall be drawn off from the 15th March to the 1st of May ; in fact I am morally sure there is no such clause.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

There is a clause requiring them to work day and night.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

No doubt, and no doubt there is a stipulation on behalf of the contractor that the water shall be drawn off for a sufficient time to allow him to perform his contract. I believe that if the contractor is told that he will be kept strictly to his contract it is possible to put that bridge across the canal in less time than six weeks. I am sure it is possible and I would invite my hon. friend to endeavour to secure from the contractor an undertaking that the day the water is drawn off he will be ready to go to work, put on day and night shifts of workmen and endeavour to complete that work in a shorter time than six weeks. As my hon. friend can readily imagine it is a severe privation for the manufacturers who use the waters of the canal to be deprived of water during such a long period as six weeks. They are obliged to have recourse to electricity or steam power, and it is a serious interruption to their work and it is a serious loss not only for themselves but for the men whom they employ. I think if my hon. friend will give instructions to the superintendent of the canal at Montreal to endeavour to secure the performance of this work in a shorter time than six weeks lie will undoubtedly succeed and will deserve the gratitude of the people interested.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I would inform my hon. friend that the department has already taken the steps to which he makes reference. If we only had the Atwater avenue bridge to build we might complete that within a certain time, but there are other works which necessitate the removal of the water from the canal. There is a retaining wall that has to be rebuilt and there is some stone lining that is absolutely necessary and the canal will have to be dewatered to provide for these. As respects the complaint of those who utilize the water power on that canal if it is due to the negligence or inattention of any of the officials of the canal I shall certainly see that it is remedied. If by any precautionary measures, the officials can prevent the difficulty complained of, it is certainly the duty of the department to have it done. There is, however, a question whether the cause is due particularly to any want of care on the part of the officials. The question of ice is one that has arisen in connection with the Cornwall water-powers, and the department has contended that the remedy should be applied by those who use the water-powers. Those who use the water think that the expense should be borne by the department. Of course, many of these water-powers, as my hon. friend knows, are leased for practically a nominal sum. Years ago the rental was fixed at a very low rate and it has continued necessarily because the leases were for long

periods. The department does not operate the canals simply to develop water-power, That is only an incident. The department is not, I think, justified in expending large sums or any sum with the view of developing water-power. I think it very properly leases these water-powers where they do not interfere with navigation, but I doubt whether tfie department is justified in making expenditures or going to any expense to provide water-powers. That should be borne by those wishing to develop and utilize these water-powers.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think the ice has anything to do with the shortage of water. It is possible-I do not know very much about the matter myself-but I do not think so because it has never been mentioned by any of the parties interested. In regard to what my hon. friend says about the government not being bound to furnish waterpower or to make any expenditure in that connection, and in regard to what my hon. friend has said as to the advisability of manufacturers securing power elsewhere if they are not satisfied

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I did not make that statement.

'Mr. MONK. Well, my hon. friend said that it was an incident of the canal that water-power is furnished and that if it caused inconvenience to these gentlemen they might secure their power elsewhere. That is what I understood the hon. gentleman's statement to be.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

No, I do not think I made that statement nor did I make any insinuation of that kind. I said it was only an incident and that the department was not justified in making expenditures with a view to developing water-power.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

That is the point I am coming to. The department is justified in seeing that its servants do-their work properly. We have men there who are paid to look after the levels. The work which they have to do is to see that the proper level is kept up in the canal. If these water-powers did not exist on the line of the canal it would not be necessary to keep the staff which we have there, but being paid to do that work all we ask is that they shall do it properly. As I stated to my hon. frieDd a moment ago I would not have brought the matter up here ; I fancied that I could secure vigilance in the performance of their

duty from these men, whoever they are____

I do not know them-by correspondence with themselves, but my efforts have proved fruitless. I do not blame the government for this state of affairs. If there is anybody to blame it is these men who are not under the continual superintendence of the minister, but I know perfectly well that if the minister give them a warning that this matter is being closely watched and that

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

being paid to do this work of watching these levels they must see that the water which is there, whatever may be its quantity, is supplied evenly to those who use it, I know that will be more effectual than anything I can do.

Now, in regard to the bridge. Of course, if my hon. friend is right in saying that a contractor cannot be expected to do this work in less than six weeks, there is an end to the matter. But I am not aware that there are other bridges to be put on the canal, nor am I aware that this particular contractor, whose name I forget for the moment, has any other work to do on the Lachine canal than the erection of this bridge. If that is the case, and if my information is well founded that the bridge itself can be set in position in half the time, in three weeks or even in four weeks, why should the manufacturers who happen to be there be deprived of the use of this water which is so essential to them for the carrying on of their industry? If my hon. friend will ask the superintendent in Montreal to give his special attention to this question of time he will find that within the period of four weeks he could have the bridge erected and the work which my hon. friend mentioned, which is to be done on other parts of the canal, not so considerable as the erection of the bridge, all complete with a very great saving of time.

Surveys and inspection-railways, $18,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The minister passed an item the other evening of $20,000 for a special survey of the Welland canal. I wrould ask the minister how much money was expended last year for surveys of all the different canals of Canada?

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

This is for surveys and inspection of railways. Every railway to which is granted a charter and a subsidy given has to be inspected and for this purpose we have to send out engineers all over the country. The usual vote has been $18,000 per annum. Last year up to the 31st of January, 1905, we expended about $7,650 on the inspection of railways. ,

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

That is not the survey and inspection of canals, which is the item under discussion. The railway item comes next.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

We have passed that, we are at the $18,000 item. Reverting to that I would say that this is in connection with the inspection by our officers of the canals, especially in relation to the granting ot water-powers. The hydraulic engineer from time to time goes out and visits the several canals when applications come in asking for powers. He makes a report to the department and it is upon those reports that I am able to determine whether these applications shall or shall not be granted. The amount expended from July 1st last to Jan. 31st was a shade over $1,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Will the minister give the different canals which have been inspected since last year?

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

The hydraulic engineer went to the Welland canal, the Cornwall canal, the canal at Morrisburg, and the Trent canal. We are constantly receiving applications for the granting of water-powers and I find it necessary to spend a sum of money in connection with the reports and surveys of the different canals.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Do I understand that all these ware surveyed last year?

Topic:   SUPPLY-MANITOBA ELECTION RETURNS.
Subtopic:   SEIZURE OF THE SCHOONER 'AGNES G. DONOHUE.'
Permalink

February 22, 1905