June 26, 1908

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I would like to ask the Minister of Railways whether he is able to give us information respecting the cost of the Transcontinental Railway. I appreciate how busy he has been on account of this accident of the Cornwall canal. At the same time, we would be glad to get the information as soon as it can reasonably be given. I might ask him to let me know at the same time how far the estimate contained in the return brought down is based on the original estimate of the government with respect to the cost of that road. I will illustrate, in order [DOT] to make myself clear. A part of the road is under contract, I have no doubt that the cost of that is known within a reasonably narrow margin. Other portions which may not have been surveyed so carefully, are not now under contract, and it would be impossible In respect to them to make so accurate an estimate. I wish to know particularly, whether, in the statement of the probable cost brought down, the original estimate of the government has been adhered to, and in what respect it has been adhered to.

Topic:   COST OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Is that the Transcontinental portion or the whole portion ?

Topic:   COST OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

From Winnipeg to Moncton.

Topic:   COST OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I think, speaking from memory, the later estimates are given on the latest information, and are not based on former estimates. I may say that I have had my staff trying to work out that information for which the hou. gentleman asked th,e other day. But when you come to put it in a definite form it is not so easy to locate it. However, I will have all the information in a day or two.

Topic:   COST OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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THE LEAD BOUNTY.

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would ask the Minister of Finance if the statement that was asked for with reference to the Lead Bounty Bill, is ready yet ?

Topic:   THE LEAD BOUNTY.
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LIB
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It is not ready, but instructions have been given to prepare it, and the third reading of the Bill will not be pressed until the information is before the House.

Topic:   THE LEAD BOUNTY.
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DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.


House in committee on Bill (No. 181) to consolidate and amend the Acts respecting the Public Lands of the Dominion-Mr. Oliver. On section 12 the minister shall settle disputes between persons claiming the right to entry for the same. land.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

This is a pretty large power to refer to the minister. I think we discussed that a little last year. The minister said that he was not anxious to assume the responsibility but he did not know of any other way in which the matter could be settled. Where the rights of these people depend upon an enactment what is the difficulty about leaving a question of this kind to be determined by some tribunal ? I suppose there must be some practical difficulty or this section would not be proposed In other systems with which 1 am more familiar the matter has been left to the courts to determine whether one party or the other has acted according to the law and is therefore entitled

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. FRANK OLIVER (Minister of the Interior).

The difficulty in leaving it to the courts is, first, that neither party has a legal right that is a right established by .law, and, again, the right is of such an indefinite and, in many cases, trifling monetary value that a reference to the courts would be a denial of justice to the man with the shortest purse. This is merely to arrive at a summary decision in regard to what, at the moment, is a matter of comparatively trifling monetary importance, but in regard to which the different parties to the dispute may have very strong feelings and which may at any time turn out to be of very great value. The main purpose is to get a summary decision so that there may be as little time lost as possible.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Does this resolve itself into a question of the payment of money, or has it always to be settled on the basis of the allocation of land ?

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The allocation of land.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The minister has not the right to say that one party or the other shall pay a certain amount of money ?

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

No, there is no such right assumed.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But when an entry is cancelled and improvements have been made by the first entrant then the minister takes it upon himself to make an assessment of the value of the improvements made ?

*

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Why does the minister think that he has not a legal right ? I do not see why he has not a legal right.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

There may he cases in which there would be a legal right but still there are others in which there is not. For instance, we will take the ease of a squatter before survey. Two men, in the exercise of their ordinary rights as citizens, go on the public domain and, without any legal authorization and yet in contravention of no law, enter into occupation of some part of the public domain. It is only upon the survey being made that there is a possibility of their acquiring a legal title to the land. These two men are in occupation of the same quarter-section. They have no legal authorization for the occupancy of that quarter-section and yet we recognize the propriety of giving them a legal right. But, the question as to how much of the quarter-section each one is entitled to, or as to whether one Is entitled and the other is not, is a question of such a nature that it seems to us that a reference to the courts, by reason of the delay and the expense, [DOT] would, in many cases, result rather in a denial than a furtherance of justice. The main, essential point at the beginning of settlement is that there shall be as little delay as possible in deciding any matter in dispute because the delay is of greater financial importance in most cases than the matter in dispute. A man is entitled to earn his homestead in three years' residence. Suppose he gets into dispute with another man, one year's delay in the settlement of that dispute is one-third of the value of his ultimate proiperty. Better for him far to drop his dispute and acquire land elsewhere to which he might earn an undisputed title. I am quite aware that that i)osition is not in accordance with the view of the law generally taken, but it is in accordance with the facts of the case and is in accordance with the practice. The same authority is contained in this section as has been part of the Dominion Lands Act almost from the beginning. There is some variation which I may point out in this from the former Act, but the question of the summary exercise of authority by the minister is something that has been embodied in the Lands Act for many years.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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June 26, 1908