Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
Before this motion is carried, I would like to say that a great many objections to the Bill, in the first instance, seem to have been removed. The Prime Minister last evening expressed the opinion that this parliament has power to expropriate land belonging to and used or about to be used by a provincial government. I take absolute issue with him on that point. On principle, I think that this parliament has no power whatever in that respect, and the exercise of such power would lead to most absurd conclusions.
If this parliament, acting within the ambit of its jurisdiction, can expropriate or authorize the expropriation of lands belonging to the provincial government, then the legislature of the province, acting within the ambit of its jurisdiction, can authorize the expropriation of lands belonging to the government of Canada. There is no escape from that. If my right hon. friend's view were correct, the western provinces could get their lands back from Canada by expropriating them. They are the property of Canada, but the western provinces could expropriate them, and probably expropriate them without much compensation; because the ordinary principle of compensation, as any one who has bestowed the slightest attention upon the subject knows, is the value of the land, not to the person who expropriates, but to the person from whom it is expropriated. I have only to recall a very familar instance in which land in the very heart of London, owned by church wardens and vestry and incapable of being used by them except to let it remain as a churchyard, was expropriated by a railway company, to whom it was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but the church wardens and vestry could get no compensation for it whatever, because the basis of compensation was the value of it to them, and not the value to the railway company. So, if the power contended for existed, I would invite my friends from the west, who are interested in
the point to seize this opportunity and have the lands expropriated, because I can assure them that under the ordinary principles of valuation in such cases, very little would have to be paid for them. But, as a matter of fact, it seems to me that no such power exists. If it did exist, could not the parliament of Canada authorize the expropriation of the parliament buildings at Toronto, could not the legislature of Ontario return the compliment by authorizing the expropriation of land upon Parliament Hill, including, no doubt, $he site of the new hotel to be built in Major's Hill park. These powers do not exist. Nor, as I understand it, does this Bill purport to confer any such powers. It is an elementary principle of the construction of a statute that the Crown is not bound unless the Crown is named. That is a principle that has prevailed in the construction of statutes in Great Britain for the last six hundred years, and it prevails in the construction of our statutes as well. Therefore, inasmuch as this Bill does not purport to bind the Crown, it does not bind the Crown; it would not bind the Crown even if we had the power to bind it in this regard, which I contend we have not. Under these circumstances, with all deference to the members of the government of Ontario, and to the Attorney_ General of Ontario, I do not think that this Bill is so drafted that the province of Ontario has anything to fear from it in that Tegarcl. I agree with the view expressed by my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Graham), and I think by the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), last evening, that the Bill does not purport to do anything of that kind. 1 think the Prime Minister did make an exception with regard to the Nipigon river. But I do not know any authority for that. I think authority must be got from the legislature of Ontario before that can be done. Ontario could take proceedings to prevent trespass upon its lands, notwithstanding the enactment of this statute, and properly so. Why should this parliament undertake to give access to Ontario lands without the authority of the province, when the province, through its government and legislature, could give all necessary powers P Each government is sovereign within the ambit of its jurisdiction. And the principle of home rule in the Dominion of Canada has been carried out to that extent. Not only is the government and parliament of the Dominion of Canada all powerful within the ambit of its jurisdiction, subject, of course, to the legal power-but not the constitutional right-of the imperial government and parliament to interfere, but the provincial government and parliament is all powerful within the ambit of its
jurisdiction, subject to the powers reserved to this government under the British North America Act, especially the power to check provincial legislation -by means of disallowance. So, in that regard, I do not see any difficulty on the part of the government of the province of Ontario. But it does seem to me that the Bill is open to objection in another respect, and that is that the powers of expropriation undoubtedly will enable this company to gather up the interests of private persons in the localities which are mentioned in this Bill, and possibly to make a monopoly of them. I do not know enough of the local conditions to justify one in saying that a monopoly will be created, but it does seem to me that the granting of expropriation powers such as are given in this Bill has a tendency in that direction.