May 15, 1911

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 214) respecting the Sault St. Louis Light and Power Company.-Mr. Bickerdike. Bill (No. 215) for the relief of William Francis Currie.-Mr. Pardee.


THE BAHAMAS AND CANADA.

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Before the orders of the day arfe called, I would like to ask the Minister of Finance if he can give any information to the House as to the exact situation at the present time of the proposed negotiations between the Bahamas and Canada for admission to the confederation. It is stated in the press that papers have arrived at Mr. LEMIEUX.

home, and that the matter is being taken up. by the premier in London during his present visit.

Topic:   THE BAHAMAS AND CANADA.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

There are really no negotiations whatever. We are aware from public discussion that the people of the Bahamas are interested in the matter, and it is not improbable that the question would arise in England and would be discussed between the Prime Minister and the authorities of the Colonial Office; but nothing official whatever has occurred on the subject.

Topic:   THE BAHAMAS AND CANADA.
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PRIVATE BILLS.

NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.


House again in committee on Bill (No. 170) to incorporate the New Ontario and Quebec Railway Company-Mr. Gordon (Nipissing). On section 7, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Lancaster.


LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

When this Bill was last before the committee, my hon: friend from Lincoln was desirous of ascertaining the opinion of the Minister of Railways upon it. As the Minister of Railways is not able ! to be here this morning, he has left a mem: orandum with my hon. friend the Secretary of State in which he says that he sees no objection whatever to the Bill, as the gentlemen who are promoting it have given him the assurance that they intend to build the principal line proposed as well as the branches, and he is of opinion that the Bill ought to go through with an amendment changing the name to the New Ontario and Abitibi railway, so that it will not conflict with the name of another company already in existence.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

I must insist upon my amendment, because there is a very serious principle involved. The government and the House of course can take the responsibility of rejecting it. I cannot see any force in the minister's statement that he sees no harm in this Bill. It undertakes to incorporate three lines of railway, two of them 25 miles each in length to connect with the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario railway, a provincially-owned and operated railway, with the assets of the province of Ontario involved in it and the taxation of the people of Ontario behind it, for the purpose of developing an undeveloped portion of the province. These two lines of railway provided for in clause (b) and clause (c) of this Bill, are purely local works, entirely within not only the province, but one electoral district of the province. The third line named in clause (a) is a line that, if it were going to be built, would have to have a Dominion charter; but the two other little lines ought not, under any circumstances.

to be incorporated toy this parliament. It would be in absolute conflict not only with the British North America Act, but with our own Railway Act, which provides in section 8 that a railway owned by any provincial government shall not be subject to Dominion legislation with respect to through traffic without the consent of such government.

The Ontario government sent a protest to our committee against our giving a charter to build the two twenty-five mile railways, _

Besides under the British North America Act we have no right to incorporate any railways which are entirely within one province unless we go the length of saying, for some special reason, that they are for the general advantage of Canada. No such declaration, however, is made in this Bill, and none such could be made because it would be utterly opposed to the facts. There is nothing to prevent these two small lines getting a charter from the province, and thus coming under the same jurisdiction as the line with which they propose to connect. I have been asked why in the railway committee I did not move to strike .out these two clauses. But assuming that the company are going to build east and west and run across the boundary line into the province of Quebec to Lake Abitibi, I would not object to their 'having a Dominion charter in that case, because that would not be an unfair interference with provincial rights. Therefore, I moved an amendment that they should not be prevented building these two twenty-five mile branches, provided they first build their main line, 160 miles east and west, which is their only excuse "for coming here. So that instead of moving tio strike out these clauses, I moved that the company might be allowed to build these two short lines provided they first 'build the main line across into Quebec, which is their only excuse for coming to this parliament at all.

The Minister of Public Works says that the Department of Railways has been assured by the promoters of the Bill that they intend to build this line of railway mentioned in section (a) to connect with the Transcontinental. If that be the case, no harm can be done by .saying: You shall do that before building these other two.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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?

Hon. W@

These two branches will connect

with the National Transcontinental as well as with the Ontario and Timiskaming. Will he inform the committee how they will in any way interfere with the Timiskaming and Ontario any more than with the National Transcontinental?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Clause (c) begins at the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario, runs northerly and easterly along the Abitibi river to a junction with the line described in paragraph (to), being a distance of twenty-five miles, and the line in paragraph (b) connects with the National Transcontinental.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Does not that make one line connecting with the Transcontinental and running around to the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

It would make a line connecting the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario railway with the Transcontinental railway if they are both built. But even so those two little lines are entirely within the province of Ontario, and within the one judicial district, and we have no right to charter them at all unless we take the responsibility of saying they are for the general advantage of Canada. But we do not say that, and it would be absurd to do so. The fact that these two lines, if built, would connect the National Transcontinental with the provincial railway does not give us jurisdiction. But because they want a Dominion charter, the company apply for a charter to build a road to run across into the province of Quebec to Lake Abitibi. The Minister of Railways implied toy his statement the other night repeated by the Minister of Public Works to-day, that he had an assurance from the promoters of the Bill that the company are going to build that line of railway provided for in clause (a), which is an interprovincial railway and therefore should have a Dominion charter. If that is the case, what possible objection can there be to my amendment which simply provides that they shall be compelled to build that part of the railway before they build the two branch lines of 25 miles each, which are really the most outrageous interference with provincial rights in the sense of interfering not only with a prov-ineially controlled but with a provincially owned railway, which is under the control of a different railway commission from our Board of Railway Commissioners. Without my amendment the assurance which the minister has received does not amount to a snap of the fingers.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

The hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster) has admirably argued his point, and surely he would now be willing to trust to the vote of the committee to see whether they think with him

or against him. Let ns have a vote and get rid of the Bill. I am not interested in the Bill in any way.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

William Ross Smyth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMYTH (Algoma).

I have just discovered that a great part 01 this proposed road is in my riding. It is unnecessary for me to tell the committee where I stand in regard to provincial rights, and the requirements for railways throughout New Ontario. The minitser says he has an assurance from the promoters that they are going to construct the proposed main line. The difference made by the amendment of the hon. member for Lincoln and Niagara is that the amendment will compel them to build the main line first, while the statement of the promoters is that they will build the main line.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Not first, they want to build them simultaneously.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

William Ross Smyth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMYTH (Algoma).

The amendment says they shall build it first, and the statement made to the Minister of Railways says simply they will build it.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Where is the objection to letting them build simultaneously if they want to? .

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

William Ross Smyth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMYTH (Algoma).

I know that the provincial government are opposed to this company receiving a charter from this parliament for the part of their line which is exclusively in Ontario, but if I had some assurance that the main line was going to be built, and that the project was not purely and simply a provincial matter, I would certainly favour the Bill, because I cannot see what harm it would do to the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario railway if this road connected both with the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario and with the National Transcontinental railway. If it opens up that country it will do great good to the people of that part. I also understand that one of the reasons for asking power to build one of the branch lines is that they want to connect some water-powers which they own with the Timiskaming -and Northern Ontario railway, and by that means, after having it completed, will be able to get their machinery and other plant into their water-powers. They should have applied to the provincial government for that right, there is no question about that. But if we are given a substantial assurance that they are going to build the main line, and you can hold them down to that assurance, I would certainly vote for the Bill because we require all the railways we can have in that northern country.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   NEW ONTARIO AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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May 15, 1911