March 14, 1910

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Section 247 of the Railway Act, to which my hon. friend referred, and the general provisions of the Railway Act on which he relies, do not seem to cure the situation created by this subsection, which apparently gives the company

the right to enter on and expropriate any land without acquiring a title in fee simple. This might give the company the right to obtain an easement in any municipality without acquiring the right in fee simple. Subsection 6 of section 11 says:

In. the event of the company exercising the rights of expropriation hereby given for the purpose of acquiring land for its right of way, such land must be acquired in fee simple.

I do not know what the. effect of these two provisions read together is. I would think it extremely probable that under subsection 4 the provisions of section 247 of the Railway Act might not be of very much avail.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If that is the case, the clause, when we reach it, ought to be amended, because the Private Bills Committee fully understood that all questions of expropriation should be subject to the permission of the municipality, and I would be prepared to support any amendment which would make it clear that no such power would be left in the hands of the company.

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LIB

Joseph Pierre Turcotte

Liberal

Mr. J. P. TURCOTTE.

The difference between the two subsections is this: that in every case of expropriation the company would be obliged to acquire a title in fee simple; but they would not be required to do so in obtaining an easement or a privilege.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

If that is the intention, it has been very badly expressed. The Railway Act gives a company power to expropriate land. This Bill proceeds to say that ' the word land, so far as it applies to this Act shall include any privilege or easement required by the company for constructing or operating the works authorized by this Act without the necessity of acquiring a title in fee simple.' Therefore it seems to me that this result would follow, that this company would have the right to acquire a right of way without the necessity of - acquiring a title in fee simple. If this clause gives it the Tight by expropriation to obtain an easement for the purpose of erecting one pole, it has an equal right to acquire an [DOT]easement by similar proceedings for the purpose of erecting all its poles.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I would suggest to my hon. friend that that can be very easily remedied when we reach that clause in the Bill. Therefore I would suggest that we facilitate our reaching it.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

I have listened with a good deal of interest to what the Minister of Agriculture said in regard to the innocent character of this Bill as it now stands, and his explanation of the letter of the hon. Chairman of the Conservation Commission. I do not read this Bill as of the innocent character that the Minister of Agriculture does, and I think he must give more consideration to it before he comes to that

conclusion. As I understand the letter, Mr. Sifton, the Chairman of the Conservation Commission, wanted the Bill to be limited to transmission, and I do not understand the minister to say that Mr. Sifton has seen the Bill in its amended form. If it be intended that this Bill is to accomplish nothing but transmission, that is not its effect even as amended. By clause 6 the company may purchase or lease electric power, and acquire such lands, easements and privileges as are necessary for the purpose of it3 undertakings. Now, it must be admitted that the Act of 1901, incorporating the St. Lawrence Power Company, though it may be a different Act, gives that company the right to sell those powers, and that Act contains no clause such as we insert in railway charters, preventing any amalgamation with any other company except with the approval of the Governor in Council or the Railway Commission. So that the two companies, being under the one control, could be so manipulated as to give them the joint power of generating and transmitting electricity. Clause (6) provides that the company may:-

(a) construct, maintain , operate, use and manage conduits, tunnels, transmission lines, structures, buildings, machinery, plant, appliances, instruments and devices, and erect and maintain poles and towers, and lay and maintain pipes, cables, wires or other conductors and connect them with similar lines in other provinces and with similar lines in the United States for the purpose of importation only.

It does not say for transmission only, and I cannot presume that would be the result

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LIB
CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Why not limit this clause so as to provide for transmission only in Canada?

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LIB
LIB
CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

That clausa provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to empower the company'to export electricity or electric or other power to the United States. But there is nothing here that limits in any way their rights to transmission. Wa have this statute of 1901 which gives powers far beyond transmission to another company, almost identical in name and composed of the same parties, and we then are asked to pass this Bill in which care is taken not to limit the powers of the company to transmission. An attempt has been made to show that municipal rights will not be invaded and a clause was put in to that effect. Whether operative or not shall be found out later. The Bill declares [DOT] Mr. LANCASTER,

what the works and powers of the company are to be, but it does not limit them to a transmission company or to anything that could be so construed. On the contrary, we do S|ay that they can acquire, lease or obtain current, power or force, and may supply, sell, &c. They can buy or sell from any other company that can give them current. We are giving them this power and we are not putting in any such safeguard as that they should be subject to the Railway Board or to the Governor in Council. The chairman of the Conservation Commission who is not merely as an individual for whom we might have respect objected to this measure. He is not a gentleman who is simply appointed and who is desirous of protecting this country, but he is, under statute, made the policeman or guardian of these things, and it is his duty to watch and keep tab on such legislation. That gentleman has condemned this Bill as far as we know. I would like a letter from the chairman of the commission saying that, having seen the amended Bill, he is satisfied that it is all right. I understand the Bill does not remove his objection. If it were limited to transmission only, the chairman saw much objection to it, but he made the distinct statement that it should be limited to transmission only. This Bill is not limited to transmission. Does not the Minister of Agriculture think that if it is to be limited to transmission only, it would be well to put into this Bill a statement to that effect, either at the end of clause 6 or in some other part of the Bill, so that it would be quite clear?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

When we reach the clause in question I am ready to support any wording which will make clear the intention I have already described.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

We are asked to pass clause 1 saying what the name of this company shall be, but we have not yet determined that the name is the proper one. I am not prepared to vote that this company shall be a transmission company if it is to be something else, and the Bill indicates that it is to be something else. It is to be a great deal more than a transmission company.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I think that the corporation ought to be made to agree with the title of the Bill, which is that of a transmission company. It is a transmission company that I am prepared to incorporate and grant powers to.

Mr. LANCASTER, There is nothing that limits it to a transmission company.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I think there is. If there is not I am ready to put it there.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Was I correct in understanding the Minister of Agriculture

to say that everything objected to by the chairman of the commission had been struck out?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

As far as I can see the Bill has been reframed in exact accordance with the recommendations of the chairman of the Conservation Commission except what lie proposed in regard to conditions being- put in the order in council.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I observe that the chairman recommends that clauses 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 should be struck out of the original Bill. Clause 10 has not been struck out as it appears here as clause 7.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I see that the clause is exactly the same but it seems to me that other clauses having been put in to prevent the power there provided for being exercised except under certain restrictions that clause is not objectionable.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

He seemed to think that it was and he continues the objection to it as it stands at present. There are rather peculiar words in clause 7:

The company may construct or acquire by lease, purchase or otherwise, and operate in connection with the works, lines and business of the company and for the purposes thereof, lines of telegraph or telephone or other works and means of communication.

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March 14, 1910