January 24, 1911

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 99) to incorporate the Niagara, Welland and Lake Erie Railway Company.-Mr. German. Bill (No. 100) respecting the Orford Mountain Railway Company.-Mr. Hunt.


ELECTRICITY AND FUEL EXPORTATION ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. CONMEE moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 101) to amend the Electricity and Fuel Exportation Act. He said: In introducing this Bill, I desire to make a few explanations. The object of the Bill is to amend chapter 16 of the Act to Regulate the Exportation of Electrical power and certain liquids and gases. That Act was passed in 1907, and it provides for the export of certain quantities of electrical power or energy in cases where there is a surplus over the quantity that may be used in Canada. The purpose of the amendment is to make that. Act a little more specific. In the Act as



*2256 it now stands the word ' power * is defined by subsection (d), as follows:- ' Power ' means electrical power or energy produced in Canada. Then, ' Fluid ' means petroleum, natural gas, water or other fluid, whether liquid or gaseous capable of being exported by means of pipe lines or other like contrivances and produced in Canada. Then the Act provides that no person shall export 'electrical power or fluid without a license, and prescribes the conditions under which licenses are to be granted. Subsection 2 of section 3 provides that: No person shall, without a license, construct or place in position any line or wire or other conductor for the exportation of power, or any pipe line or other like contrivance for the exportation of fluid. The word ' power ' in this case is used in this section of the Act, and is not accompanied by the word 'electrical/ as in subsection (d). In the definition of the word ' power ' it is stated that power means electrical power, or energy, produced in Canada, while in this section power is referred to without any reference to electricity. Then, by subsection 4, and especially by subsection 5, the conditions upon which power is to be granted are set up. I may say that cases have arisen in which there has been some little difficulty in administering the Act. In one case that I have knowledge of the company claimed that they were not entitled to provide power. Power, as generally defined by that word ' mechanical,' means mechanical, or hydraulic power, the power of the water wheel, and they held they were not bound to furnish any power of that kind, but that it must be electrical energy or none at all. I assume that the intention in passing this Act in 1907 was to provide for, first, the use of power so far as power was required by Canadian consumers, whether that power was in the form of mechanical power or electrical energy. I assume the intention was that Canadian users should be first supplied, and that then any surplus remaining over and above the Canadian'demand might be exported. The object of the amendments are to make that plain. For that purpose I propose to amend section 1 of the Act, chapter 16, by repealing that section and substituting a new section in lieu of it to this effect:- This Act may be cited as the Power, Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act. The difference is that in the present Bill it is stated:- 'This Act may be cited as the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act.'


LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

I introduce the word ' power ' there so that it may be carried on through the different sections of the Act. Then I propose to repeal paragraph (b) of section 2 of the said Act and to substitute the following :-

Power means and includes mechanical or hydraulic power and electrical power or energy produced in Canada.

The only difference is that the words ' mechanical power ' are introduced in that section. Thep, section 3 provides for the export of power and fixes the conditions, and subsection 3, as it stands in the Act, reads:-

No person shall without a license construct or place in position any line of wire or other conductor for the exportation of power, or any pipe line or any like contrivance for the exportation of fluid.

It is proposed to amend that section in this way:-

No person shall without a license construct or place in position any line of wire, cable or other .means of transmitting power or any conductor for the exportation of power or electrical energy.

The difference between the two is that the word ' cable ' is introduced in the amendment, and for the reason that power can be transmitted otherwise than by electrical energy. I know a case where power has been transmitted by cable for mining purposes a distance of one mile and a quarter, and it is, therefore, necessary to provide that such a contingency shall fall under the regulations of this Bill the same as if it were transmitted by wire. Subsection 5 of the Bill deals with the question of supplying power in Canada, and it reads:-

Any . such license may provide that the quantity of power or fluid to be exported shall be limited to the surplus after the licensee has supplied for distribution to the consumer for use in Canada power or fluid to the extent defined by such license at prices and in accordance with the conditions, rules and regulations provided by the Governor in Council.

That is the section under which the difficulty to which I alluded a moment ago arises. The company in the case I speak of claim that the word ' power ' used in this section does not mean hydraulic, or mechanical power, but that it referred to electrical power, and no other. Now, in amending the section, the language I am suggesting is as follows, which I propose in substitution:-

Any such license shall provide that the quantity of power or fluid to be exported shall be limited to the surplus after the licensee has from time to time, as in this Act provided, supplied power or fluid, and has also provided all proper or necessary means of supplying such power or fluid for use by consumers in Canada to the extent defined by such license.

I think that amendment is very necessary, and I believe it will make the Bill much more workable, for the reason that the provision that power has to be supplied to Canadian consumers does not appear to go far enough. The Bill, as it stands, provides that prices may 'be regulated by the license, but in this it goes further and provides that the conditions and means by which the power shall be furnished shall be provided by the license. The power is no use to the Canadian consumer if he cannot get it. For instance, ir. the case to which I refer, where the power was locked up in the power house, and the door barred, and the Canadian consumer could not get it, it would not be of any value even if a price were fixed as he could iiot Use it, and tlhe purpose of the Act was defeated. The question of the means and methods of using as well as to distributing power is just as important as the question of the power itself. I think every one will agree that it must have been the intention in drafting this Act and providing that the power should be supplied, that reasonable means should be employed for supplying it. That being so, I think the Act should be more definite, and should stipulate with regard to these matters.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGAET (Lanark).

Would the hon. gentleman explain in what form is hydraulic power transmitted?

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

It is transmitted by cable for considerable distances. There may be other means of transmitting it, but in my own experience I have dealt with power which was transmitted three-quarters of a mile by cable, and I know a case where it was transmitted one mile and a quarter, and I see no reason why it should not be transmitted farther. But if it were transmitted 1,000 or 2,000 feet, that would be quite enough to span an international stream and convey it from Canada to the United States. If the power is to be used in the form of hydraulic power for certain purposes, either the machinery must be connected direct with the waterwheel or the power must be transmitted by some means. If you transform it into electrical energy, you have to add two sets of machinery. You have to generate the electric current, and then you have to transmit it to the motor. Thus you greatly increase the cost of the power, and tlie Canadian consumer should not be placed at a disadvantage in that respect. I can illustrate that in this way. So far as I am aware, it is not practicable to operate pulpwood grinders by electrical energy, and nowhere is it done. Attempts have been made to do it, and there are perhaps favourable conditions at some places; but no engineer or business man acquainted with the operation of such works will for a moment deny that if it is done at all, it is done at 72

a disadvantage and at a very much enhanced cost. In certain cases it is utterly impracticable to use power for that purpose unless you can get direct connection with the waterwheel, either by connecting the grinders with the shaft of the waterwheel, or by belting or cable and that is one very important purpose for which power is used. In the case to which I refer, where some little difficulty arose, that was the trouble. It was at Fort Frances, where there is a power developed on an international stream. 15,000 horse-power from that development is to-day being used on the American side in a power-house built for the purpose of operating wood pulp grinding machines. There the grinders are connected direct with the shafting of the waterwheel, while on the Canadian side the difficulty arose because the company refused to permit any Canadian user to connect with the wheels, although there is a Canadian power-house in which power is developed, and although the plans that were filed, upon which the work was authorized, showed that the grinders were to be connected direct with the waterwheels on the Canadian side as well as on the American side. However, that is only an incident that might occur in any other place as well as there, and it seems to me the Act should provide for it. My reason for referring to these difficulties is that the department having the administration of this Act, chapter 16, interpreted it practically in the light in which I am proposing to amend it, because they asked the company to name the prices at which they would supply power to Canadian consumers by a series of questions. In those questions they asked the price for mechanical and hydraulic power as well as the price for electrical power; and indeed the regulations founded on the Act provide for fixing a price. There is really a necessity for the amendment if the Act is to be made more workable and plain, and if we are to remove difficulties which at present retard the use of power in Canada. I will take the liberty of reading some of the regulations founded on chapter 16, and dated November 7, 1907. Section 8 of those regulations reads as follow's :

Where a supply of electrical energy, gas or fluid is provided in any part of Canada by the contractor for export and home consumption, then the price charged to any person or company in Canada by the contractor shall not exceed the prices at which electrical energy, gas or fluid is sold by the contractor for export in like quantities under like circumstances.

In the regulations the generating company is referred to as the contractor. The protection here provided for Canadian users of power falls a good deal short of what appears to me should have been provided or perhaps urns the intention to provide. There is no safeguard

in that clause of the regulations against a great many contingencies, that can arise. All the company has to do is not to sell its power at all, but to use it itself. Then there would be no price at which the exported power was sold, and that provision of the regulations would not come into play. That is exactly what occurred at Fort Frances. The portion of power exported was not sold, but was used by the generating company, and no price has been fixed by them for power on the American side, for either the American or Canadian portion of the power, or for the power which they desire to take from Canada for use, after they have supplied the Canadian consumer. Therefore, I think provision should be made for the fixing of prices, and I propose the following in substitution for section 5 :

5. Any such license shall provide that the quantity of power or fluid to he exported shall be limited to the surplus, after the licensee has from time to time, as in this Act provided, supplied power or fluid and has also provided all proper means of applying such power or fluid for use by consumers in Canada, to the extent defined by such license.

Every such license shall stipulate:

(a) The price at which power shall be supplied for municipal, domestic, commercial, manufacturing and other purposes for use in Canada.

(b) The conditions and regulations under which the respective units of power shall be supplied.

(c) The methods to be employed in supplying power, the methods of distribution and the hours of service.

I submit that it can be no hardship to any company or person dealing with power under these circumstances if he is asked, previous to getting a license, to fix the price at which he will furnish power _ to Canadian consumers and the conditions and methods of service under which the power will be delivered. It seems to me that should necessarily be provided for, and the amendment seeks to provide for it. Then, there is the following section:

3. Every such license shall provide power for use in Canada for any of the purposes aforesaid upon the request of any municipal corporation or of any bona fide applicant for power or energy, and such license shall supply such power within a reasonable time after such request.

That is practically what the Act now provides, but the word ' municipality ' is introduced. It seems to me that where a demand is made by a municipality upon a company for power or to fix the price,, the company cannot very well complain that to comply with that request is a hardship. The Act provides that prices may be regulated by the Governor in Council, and that is not interfered with by these amendments. Where that power exists, it Mr. CONMEE.

can operate no hardships to have it defined. I submit that in the case I am dealing with, we are carrying out practically the intention of legislation which has already passed this House. I refer to chapter 139, intituled an Act Respecting the Ontario and Minnesota Power Company, and to the latter part of section 4 of that Act The section provides for the settlement of disputes and the fixing of prices, &c., by the Railway Board of Canada. And the latter lines of the section read as follows:

Such disputes shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section 13 of the Railway Act of 1903, be settled by the Railway Board of Canada on the application of any user or applicant for power or of the company or of the town of Fort Francis.

That same principle is embodied in these amendments. The other provisions in these amendments do not disturb the Act as it stands.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

This is clearly a Bill affecting trade and comes under rule 50, which provides that no Bill relating _ to trade or alteration of the laws concerning trade is to be brought into this House until the proposition shall have been first considered in the Committee of the Whole House. This Bill, therefore, should be preceded by a resolution.

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

I understand the objection raised to be that this Bill should be introduced by resolution because it affects trade and commerce or the revenue. But there is no reference to revenue in it.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The point is not that it will affect the revenue, but that it is a Bill affecting trade and commerce, and therefore under rule 50 should

be preceded by a resolution.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The Bill will have to stand.

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LIB
LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

It will have to be withdrawn and the hon. gentleman will have to give notice of his resolution.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Might I raise the point of order as to whether the hon. gentleman will not have to withdraw his speech.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I raise the point of order that he will not be obliged to make his speech over again.

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

If this Bill is to be treated as a matter affecting trade and commerce, we are going to have a very live issue of provincial rights to deal with before long.

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LIB

THE GEORGIAN BAY CANAL.

LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN.

Before the orders of the day are called I wish to call the attention of the government, and particularly the Minister of Railways and Canals to an article which appears in yesterday's Toronto ' Globe It reads as follows:

It is now regarded as a settled fact that this year will see a start on the Georgian Bay canal. A special estimate of three million dollars, allowing for a beginning, has been prepared, and it is expected that it will shortly be brought down. Confirmation of the report is indicated in the remarks of Hon. Rodolphe Lemieux at Montreal, and also in statements that have been made by some of the ministers to members for constituencies particularly interested in the work.

There is more in this article, but I need not read the rest of it. I think this is of sufficient importance to entitle me to ask the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Graham) if there is any foundation for the article, and to ask if he intends to place in the estimates next year the sum of $3,000,000 or any other sum for the beginning of the Georgian Bay canal.

Topic:   THE GEORGIAN BAY CANAL.
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January 24, 1911