Hon. G. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals).
Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, I would ask the permission of the House to make a statement with regard to an accident of considerable proportions that occurred to the Cornwall canal this morning at about five o'clock near lock 18, the first lock west of the town, about a mile from the centre of the town and a little west of the bridge of the Ottawa and New York Railway. In the southern bank of the canal there is a break, which has widened until I understand, from a message just received, it is about 150 feet long. The pier of the swing portion of the New York and Ottawa bridge, which was located just inside the south bank of the canal, toppled over, and the bridge being swung out of place now lies lengthwise along the southern bank of the canal. At last reports the water was pretty well out of the canal ; it was below the bed, and no further" damage will be done, although the damage is very serious. The loss will be heavy, not only to the country, but to the shipping interests. The through traffic on the railway will be stopped, or can only be carried on by a system of transfer if that can be established. Being under the disability of having my chief engineer ill in the hospital, I immediately wired to Mr. Waller, the engineer of the Welland canal, a very capable man, to report at once and to act ns chief engineer, and he has wired me that he is leaving St. Catharines this morning. I have sent Mr. Bowden, of the designing engineering staff, to Cornwall, to look over the ground, so that we will know how matters stand.