March 14, 1910

CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

If you do not use coal and timber, they are still there as an asset.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

You can conserve coal and timber, but you cannot conserve a water-power.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON

Arthur Samuel Goodeve

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOODEVE.

May I ask this question? Does not the hon. member know that all these powers are alike in this-that if you give away a water-power, a coal mine or a timber tract, they are all equally gone so far as the public is concerned.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

If you give a waterpower to a private individual, there might be some logic in the hon. member's question. But who has ever proposed to do anything of that kind? It is true that, twenty years ago, legislation might have been passed to give private control over water-powers. But does any hon. member pretend to say that parliament under recent legislation loses control over these water-powers, because it gives a charter to a company to develop them? Does anybody pretend to say that parliament loses control over a railway because it gives a charter to a company to build a line? I have here an Act of the legislature of Ontario, passed in 1907. It empowers the Hydro-Electric Commission of Ontario to take any water-powers they please.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

My hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) says ' for the people.' This is not the place to discuss that question. But it does not make any difference whether it is in the interest of the people. The principle is that the Ontario legislature acted upon the principle that it had the power to take water-powers from private corporations, whether incorporated by the Dominion or incorporated by the province, and they empower their commission to take any water-power within the boundaries of Ontario. I grant that, in their view, they believed it was for the benefit of the people. But who knows whether it is going to be for the benefit of the people or not? Why, they got behind a private company and gave it plenary powers of monopoly for thirty years over the cities of Port Arthur and Fort William. I have the contract in my possession.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

The Kakabeka Power Company. They give them a monopoly for twenty years of power that will cost the consumer at least $30. But I am not discussing that; I do not want to be drawn into that discussion, but the hon. member (Mr. Lennox) opened the door when he said it was for the public interests. Perhaps it may turn out to be more in the 168

public interest than I think it to be. But

that is not the point. This parliament does not lose its control over the water-powers We stipulate, in this very Bill, that the rates shall be subject to the Railway Board of Canada to adjust from time to time. Will any hon. member tell me what the public can get from the development of a water-power that they do no get under this Bill? If any hon. member can point out how, if the government develops a water-power, it could do better for the public or give more advantageous terms than can be secured from a company by the Board of Railway Commissioners, he will have made an argument, he will have made a point, and I shall be very glad to hear it. But I deny altogeher that it is possible for any government to develop and operate and supply power more cheaply than a company can do it. I would be very glad indeed to support a policy of development of water-powers by the government if the government would carry out that policy. But does anybody believe that this government, or any other, will develop the water-powers of this country as the people require them? It has been said by a great authority that water-powers are nature's gifts to the people. So they are. And, by the regulations which you are now adopting, and by the principle of public control for the public benefit, you are conserving those powers >so far as they can be conserved, for the benefit of the people. But it is not for the benefit of the people to lock up these water-powers as has been done in Ontario. The Hydro-Electric Commission has been six years in operation, and it has not developed one water-power. Is that in the interest of the public? But this is not the place to discuss that. They have made arrangements concerning water-powers, and, perhaps, from their point of view, they are doing good work. I am not here to criticise or find fault with that commission. But what I say is that a community living within reach of the -commercial use of a water-power ought not to be denied the benefits of that development simply because of the theory of some gentlemen that it -ought to be held. Held for what? For a private company? Hon. members opposite are upholding a Bill which will have that effect. I do not accuse members opposite of knowingly -or purposely playing into the hands of a corporation, but they did it just the same. In the case of the -canal Bill, they forced the company that asked for the Bill-practically forced them-to abandon the Kaministiquia route. Why? To maintain the monopoly of a private company that has a thirty years' grip -on the two great cities at the head of the lakes. That is what you accomplished.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

May I ask a question.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

By what process was that company forced, as the hon. gentleman puts it, to adopt another route? Was it not his own choice?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Then I misunderstood the hon. gentleman's statement in the Railway Committee.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

My hon. friend .(Mr. Boyce) was one who opposed-as did a 'large number of others, backed by a strong deputation and assisted by a bench of lawyers-a particular feature of the Bill. This was done on public grounds. My hon. friend from Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Boyce) and no doubt my hon. friend from South Simcoe (Mr. Lennox) acted in perfect good faith. I do not think they understood what they were doing, and it was not my place to enlighten them. But what they did was to compel that company to withdraw from the Kaministiqua route.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Did the hon. member say that they were lawyers of the opposition company, the Kakabeka?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

Yes, Mr. Chrysler and others were there-

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

Mr. Chrysler was representing, as the hon. member knows, the city of Fort William, appointed by the council of that city.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

The hon. member is entirely mistaken.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

March 14, 1910