Mr. CONMEE moved for leave to introduce a Bill to amend chapter 139, 4 and 5,. Edward VII., intituled an Act respecting the Ontario and Minnesota Power Company, Ltd. He said: The object of the Bill is^ to amend the Act of 1905, chapter 139, relating to the Rainy river at Fort Francis, which is a navigable river, and also an international stream; hence the necessity of federal legislation dealing with it. Works have been carried out upon the river which interfere with the navigation of the stream, and which have changed the conditions in connection with the Canadian canal that was constructed some years ago at that point. They also interfere with the water necessary for the navigation of the river, not only below the works, but also of Rainy lake, situated above the works. The question is considerably involved. It will be necessary, as I consider, to give some of the history of the conditions and circumstances leading up to the present situation to do That would involve a reference to agreements, to Acts of the provincial legislature, and to Acts of the federal parliament of Canada. These works were proceeded with a good deal in the manner in which such works are ordinarily undertaken. The first permission, as far as the federal authorities are concerned, to go on with the works was obtained by an order in council on the submission and approval of plans. The works have not been carried on according to those plans, but quite different plans have been adopted. After the works were constructed the company desired to have the changed plans ratified, but they have not been ratified by the Minister of Public Works of the Dominion, and, therefore, the work stands in that position. Hence the importance of making some regulation by enactment by which the public interest in the navigable stream and the chain of navigation both above and below should be dealt with. I assume that the Bill *would have to go to a committee. Although it is a public Bill, I think the practice has been, where there are questions which might affect the private interests of individuals, or of a company, to refer it to a committee of the House. I may say that it is not the intention of the amendment to take away from that company any rights they now have under existing legislation, or to impose upon them new or more onerous conditions. The object is to clear awav doubts that have arisen and to enact such legislation as will enable the proper protection of the public interest in the
matters involved. As it would take me a Ions time to go through these various documents with the necessity, here and there of short explanations of what has led ud to the present condition, I would ask, instead of taking up the time of the House for some considerable time, as the question is involved and I take it that the Bill will get its first reading and be referred to the Private Bills, or th'e Railway Committee, that, in the meantime, I be permitted to put this record on ' Hansard.' Hon. members will then have before them the information which is necessary to an intelligent understanding of the question. When the Bill comes up, either in committee or in this House, for its second reading, or in Committee of the Whole House, hon. members will be able to discuss it very much more to advantage than can be done to-day under the circumstances. If I am permitted to hand these papers to ' Hansard ' and allow the Bill to go through its first reading I will not take up any more of the time of the House.