April 23, 1909

THE NAVIGABLE WATERS PROTECTION ACT.

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Hon. L. P.@

BRODEUR (Minister of Mar rine and Fisheries) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 152) to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act. He said: The object is to give a better definition of the word 'vessel' in the Act. A wrecked vessel is there defined to include merely the keel, hull and machinery, but not the equipment, tackle, cargo, stores and ballast. When a vessel is wrecked, they generally remove at once all that is of value in it, and nothing is left except the hull and machinery, which is most of the time not of much value. Consequently when we call for tenders for the removal of a wreck, we have to deal with an article which is almost of no value and becomes a loss to the country; and the object is to declare that when a vessel is wrecked, the cargo should not be removed but form part of the claim which must exist on the vessel for the cost of removal of the wreckage. We ask also to be allowed to amend the law in order to declare that wrecks shall be removed immediately without the necessity of obtaining a formal order in council, but simply on the order of the minister. The reason for the change is this: When a wreck takes place, it sometimes is absolutely necessary to have it removed without delay, but when we have to go before the Governor in Council some time is lost. It may take a good deal of time before we can get an order in council, and in the meantime navigation may be seriously affected. We are asking also for power to regulate the cables which are

put in rivers for ferry-boats. The request to do this has been made to the government by different provinces and especially by the province of Manitoba. In that province the complaint is made that cables are put in some of its navigable rivers and there is no provision in the law to regulate them. The object is to provide that they shall only be laid in such a way as not to interfere with navigation. We wish also to improve the regulations for the opening and closing of draw-bridges and their operation. This gives power to the government to make some regulations in that connection.

Topic:   THE NAVIGABLE WATERS PROTECTION ACT.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


THE NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.

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Hon. G. P.@

GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 153) respecting the National Transcontinental Railway. He said: This is a very trifling Bill. A bridge has to be constructed over the Red river between the cities of Winnipeg and St. Bonifice by the Transcontinental Commission. These cities are anxious to make some arrangement by which they can construct a bridge for vehicles as well in connection with this bridge. The legislature of Manitoba has given the city of Winnipeg the power to make such an arrangement if it can, and this will allow the Intercolonial Railway Commission to make arrangements, if they think it is advisable, for the construction of a traffic bridge in connection with the railway.

Topic:   THE NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS OF MONTREAL.

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Hon. L. P.@

BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 154) to amend the Act respecting the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal. He said: The object is to ex tend the boundaries of the harbour of Montreal. To-day these boundaries extend from Verdun to Longue Point, and it is proposed to continue them from Longue Point to the extreme north eastern end of the island. We are also seeking power to declare that the port of Montreal shall be in the future under the Department of Marine and Fisheries. The port of Montreal is now that part of the River St. Lawrence which extends from Portneuf to Montreal. That part of the river was declared some years ago the port of Montreal for pilotage purposes. In 1903, a change was made by which the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal ceased to be the pilot-

age authority, and that authority was then vested in the Department of Marine and Fisheries. No change, however, was made in the law itself, and as we are amending the law this year for the purposes that I have just mentioned, I thought it would be just as well to declare that the port of Montreal should, in that respect, cease to be under the control of the Harbour Commissioners. As a matter of fact, that has already been done. However, the right to make the rules of the road on that part of the river has hitherto been exercised by the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal. In all other ports of this country, the rules of the road are made by the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and it was thought advisable, as the harbour commissioners had ceased to be the pilotage authority, that the rules of the road should be made by the Department of Marine and Fisheries, as is the case in all the other navigable waters. These are the only changes proposed, except a small change declaring beyond doubt that the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal have the right to operate railways within the limits of the harbour.

, Mr. MONK. Are we to understand that the commission itself is to be abolished and the department to take over the entire management of the port?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Oh no, the Bill simply provides that the commissioners will cease to exercise any authority with regard to the rules of the road and pilotage in the port of Montreal; as; to the management of the harbour itself the authority of the existing Harbour Commission will continue.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Is it intended by this resolution to give effect to the report of the Transportation Commission that the port of Montreal be made a national and a free port?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I do not understand that the Transportation Commission ever asked that it be made a free port. I know it was suggested it should be made a national port, but it is not the intention by this Bill to make any change in that respect.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Did the commission not recommend that the port be made a free pori?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I do not remember that.

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

Before the Bill is read the first time I wish to make a suggestion for the consideration of the minister. I would ask him to consider the advisability of extending the jurisdiction of the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal to the south side of the St. Lawrence. Their jurisdiction now extends, I believe, only to the centre of the river. The business of Mr. BRODEUR .

the harbour of Montreal has increased so that the harbour is now somewhat congested and the change I suggest would undoubtedly be an advantage. They might be given jurisdiction over the south shore of that part of the river commencing at the Victoria bridge and including St. Lambert, Longueuil and Boucherville. With comparatively little dredging a channel could be provided affording navigation there, and wharfs and probably elevators could be built which would relieve the congestion now existing in the harbour of Montreal. I do not see why we have not navigation upon that side of the St. Lawrence. St. Lambert is a town which is increasing rapidly and so is Longueuil. The minister knows that there are several railways now in those towns. The Delaware and Hudson Railway is building a very important road from Montreal to Quebec. Then we have the Grand Trunk Railway and several American railways besides the Intercolonial Railway, all coming to St. Lambert and an electric railway will soon connect the town with Montreal. That part of the St. Lawrence is fast increasing in importance and I think it would be to the general advantage if jurisdiction over it were vested in the Montreal Harbour Commission. I hope the minister will take this matter into consideration and consult the Harbour Commissioners, who have promised to consider it. Of course I do not make this proposition solely for the advantage of that part of the country; the suggested change would also be of advantage to the port and city of Montreal because it would be very easy to build elevators there which cannot be built on the Montreal side.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me we are drifting into a general discussion.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

This is the first reading of the Bill.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

It is perfectly in order.

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

The minister has explained his Bill and before he proceeds with it I wish to make a suggestion and to 'explain to him as fully as possible the advantages to be derived from my suggestion. The minister knows that the valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Richelieu are probably the most fertile and prosperous

arts of the province of Quebec and now

e has an opportunity to come to our relief. We have been deprived of all these communications with the city of Montreal and it is thought that if jurisdiction over the south shore was vested in the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal there would very soon be a great change in that part of the country. I need not go further at present as the Bill will come up for discussion in the committee. I hope the minister will be able to favourably consider

my suggestion before the Bill again comes before us.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


BANK ACT AMENDMENT.

April 23, 1909