May 17, 1911

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

A small part east of North Bay to Sudbury.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BORDEN (Halifax).

Does that mean that the line must be built where the route has been so approved, and that no tribunal or minister or any other power can change that?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Air. GRAHAM.

No. Alost of this route has been approved by the Minister of Railways, and a portion has been definitely located by the Board of Railway Commissioners.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BORDEN (Halifax).

Is it first approved by the minister and then located by the board?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Air. GRAHAM.

It is approved generally speaking by the minister after he has given notice to the railways and municipalities and others interested. That location is taken to the Board of Railway Commissioners who can vary it a mile either way. The road from Sudbury west has been approved by the Minister of Railways, and the Board of Railway Commissioners. The line, with the exception named from Montreal to east of North Bay, has been approved by the minister. Aly hon. friend asks can that be changed? It can be changed, but all the proceedings would have to be gone over again. The company would have to make their application and file a new map showing the proposed deviations and all the parties would have to be heard. Then the minister could, it he considered the argument sufficient, consent to the deviation. Then that would have to go before the Railway Commission again, and the parties be again heard.

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Duncan Graham

Air. GRAHAAI.

point:

It does

in one other

inAfJf"e of railway extending from a point

Sudwt +nshlp of CaP'T,01' in the district of oudbury, to or near Sellwood Junction.

Air. BORDEN (Halifax) was quite close.

I thought that

north t qAI^M' Sellwood Junction is north of Sudbury. There would be no ob-jectmn at all to saying 'at or near North nay. That would give a general line.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

Why could it not be described as so many miles north of the Canadian Pacific railway at given points'?

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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?

Duncan Graham

Air. GRAHAAI.

That is fixed absolutely on the route map.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BRADBURY.

You can revise that any time you like. Why not fix it at given points on the Canadian Pacific railway?

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Then we could not change it, and that might stop the building of the line.

thMT SI*ARPE (Ontario;. I have here the Toronto Globe ' of April 11, 1908, which has an editorial discussing the propriety of the Ontario government guaranteeing the Canadian Northern bonds to the extent of $1,500,000. This is an illuminating editorial. It is headed ' A million and a half endorsement,' and is as follows:

Such an Act as that guaranteeing the bonds ot the McKenzie and .Mann system to the extent of a million and a half would never be introduced except at the close of a session, the explanation that the necessary information was not available earlier sounds puerile m the face of the obvious attitude of the public towards such a measure. To bring it in at a reasonable time in the session would hare been to invite the earnest consideration of the public. It would have led the public to ask why their credit should be pledged to the extent of a gigantic sum for the benefit of these men and their enterprises. If the public had a few weeks to reflect on the matter instead of having it rushed through in virtual violation ot the rule, they would have asked why the endorsement of the province, and an endorsement h&ving a large cash value,! should be given for nothing. They would also have asked how far the line aided by the credit of the province would go to build up a system parallel to or in competition with the road which the province should complete to Hudson bay.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BORDEN (Halifax).

The definition of the route leaves Rideau Junction a little west of Ottawa, and hits nothing again 2934

Then the article goes on:

Such a pledging of the credit of the province naturally occurs, not only in the dying

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hours of the session, but in the dying hours of the legislature and when a general election is above the horizon.

We hear rumours around Ottawa that there is to be a general election.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend did not repudiate that guarantee by the Ontario government, but defended it.

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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

The Minister of Railways is not repudiating it now. The article proceeds:

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Mr. E. B.@

Osier has stated in the Dominion House that subsidies voted to railway promoters do not always stay witli^ them, hut are sometimes diverted to the politicians voting them. This from one so well informed should lead to questioning every time the money of the people is given or the credit of the people is pledged to support any private railway enterprise. The same interest thac is freely receiving the credit of the province to the extent of a million and a half is virtually holding up Hon. Adam Beck's^ power policy and stepping in where the premier was afraid to venture. Taking all the circumstances into account this extension of public favour to men who are interfering with the development of a public policy has anything but an innocent aspect. It is at all events -blunder and a waste of public resources, and it remains for the government to assure the public that it is nothing worse.

That is a very illuminating editorial coming from the source it does, because the conditions at that time bear somewhat of a resemblance to those existing now. Here we have a pledge of $35,000,000 on the eve of a general election. It is being rushed through the dying hours of this stage of the session. Some one has suggested the dying hours of the government. I would respectfully suggest that, owing to the importance of this matter, and the strong condemnation of this pledging of the credit of the people to which we have just listened from the Toronto ' Globe,' the Minister of Railways should postpone the consideration of this Bill until we come back after recess. We would then be in better position to give judgment as we would have had the opportunity of testing the feeling of our constituencies regarding the guaranteeing of such an immense sum to these men.

On the preamble,

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER.

As to the preamble of this Bill, I take it to be a recital of the facts upon which this legislation is based. I do not doubt for a moment that the construction of this railway by means of the guarantee that this Bill gives will be of vast benefit to the Canadian Northern railway. But that is not the preamble of the Bill. The preamble is that it is greatly in the interest of Canada that this Bill should pass in the .form in which the committee has just pro-Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

nounced upon it. Now, I would like to know, for my own information, before assenting to the passing of that preamble, whether the facts-or the alleged facts- stated in it, are true, and what evidence there is before the House to show that they are true. I agree, in a general way, that there is prosperity, and great prosperity, in this country. But to go to the extent of saying that the increase, or to use the words of the preamble- that, having regard to the growth of population '-is another matter.

I question very much that the growth of population in Canada since the construction of the last transcontinental railway nas been such as to be a reason, a good reason, foT constructing a third transcontinental railway. I do not believe that the statement is true, as recited in the preamble of the Bill. The preamble goes on,

' and the rapid development of the production of trade of that portion of Canada lying west of the Great Lakes.' Now it is unquestioned and unquestionable that there has been very great development and production in that part of the country lying west of the Great Lakes, but it does not necessarily follow that there has been such an increase in the production and trade as to warrant the construction' of another line of railway. Are we to assume from the statement in the preamble of the Bill that it is a fact that there has been such a development in the production in trade in that part of the country that it does warrant the construction of a railway. I would ask the minister (Mr. Graham) what evidence he has of that fact to convince this House that the construction of another transcontinental line of railway is a necessity, or even advantageous, at this particular time. It seems to me that, in order to pass judgment upon that, it would be absolutely necessary to have some comparative table of the amount of traffic and extent of development in that country that the railways already existing are capable of handling, or some evidence that the railways now in existence are incapable of handling the development and the trade of that portion of Canada. We are absolutely without any information, so far as I have heard the discussion, upon that phase of the Bill. The preamble goes on to say: ' and the rapidly extending trade and commerce of Canada.' No doubt, the trade and commerce of Canada generally is extending; but the extension of that trade-to repeat what I have already said-is not settled such (or may not be such) as to warrant the construction of another transcontinental line of railway. We have no figures upon which to base any such statement. It looks well on paper, and I hope it is all true. I hope that the trade of the west and the trade of Canada generally has developed to such an extent that the construction of this line

of railway, or even still another line of railway, is an absolute necessity; but I do not believe it at this time. I have no facts before me, nor am I able to lay hold on any facts that would enable me to pass judgment as to whether the statement in this preamble is true or false. If true, it ought to be made known to this House and the country; if untrue, it ought not to be recited as a reason for passing this Bill. And it seems to me that the committee ought to have some information on this subject. The preamble says further, ' to open up and develop portions as yet without railway facilities.' Now, I can remember very well, during the argument preceding the passage of the Bill incorporating the Grand Trunk Pacific, that it was said that railway would open up a section of the country that heretofore had been unserved by any railway and would answer the purposes of the country for a long time to come. When the line came to be located finally, we found that it did not, and will not, serve a portion of the country such as it was stated it was designed to serve, but, in very large measure will parallel, and very closely parallel, another line of railway, and will not open up new country to settlement or will not traverse a country that is being traversed and rapidly settled up by the people of this country. Now, this measure may be only a repetition of what took place a very short time ago in regard to the National Transcontinental. It seems to me we ought to have some evidence in regard to that point on which this committee could base a judgment. It goes on to say, ' to promote the internal and foreign trade of Canada,' to develop commerce through Canadian ports, and to afford the government systems of railways in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, an interchange of through traffic. For these reasons, it is said, this railway ought to be assisted in the manner indicated here. Now, up to the present time, I have not been able to discover any evidence that the statements made in this preamble are true. We are asked to say that for the reasons set out here this government ought to be pledged to the extent that we are pledging it by this Bill, and we are asked to say it in the face of an entire absence of any evidence to convince this House or to cause hon. members to believe that the basis on which we are asked to do this act are true. It seems to me that the hon. minister, before asking the House to adopt the preamble of this Bill, should come to the House with a comparative table of the trade that was handled by one railway, the trade that is just now handled by two railways, and the trade that will be handled by three railways, if this one is constructed, to show that the construction of the third line is a. necessity, in order to meet the requirements of our foreign trade or the trade of Canada generally. It seems to" me that we need some data, some information, upon which we would be able to form a reasonable judgment in that connection. Until we have that evidence, and in the entire absence of that evidence, I cannot agree with the statements, however much I might hope and desire that they are absolutely true-I cannot undertake to say that they are true without some evidence being furnished in that way.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I will not detain the House very long. In the first place, surely my hon. friend (Mr. Porter) does not want any tables outside those in the trade returns, to answer his first objection as to the trade of Canada rapidly increasing. I do not think he would ask me

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER.

I admitted that in opening. I said I admitted it; but to be able to judge whether the increase was of sufficient extent to warrant this Bill, I want a comparative table.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend, of course, will understand that a comparative table would not assist him very much in forming his conclusion. The question of the future of Canadian trade can only be based on the faith we have in the country. I pointed out the other day, when perhaps my hon. friend was not present, that in looking over the western country I found the Canadian Northern railway with 4,000 miles west of the Great Lakes, but without any outlet except over some other line.

Mr. PORTER That is in the interest of the railway.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I do not want to contradict my hon. friend, I do not look at it in that way. At the present moment, perhaps, the railways that are under construction could handle the traffic, but there is a good deal of doubt as to the ability of the railways and transportation companies to handle the traffic as rapidly as it ought to be handled. If you give them sufficient time they can handle any amount of traffic.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER.

Do the present railways say that they are unable to handle the traffic?

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY-GUARANTEE OF BONDS.
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May 17, 1911