March 8, 1912

CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS.

The allusion was to the department over which my hon. friend presided, and from 1909 down to the time he left office

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Did I understand the hon. gentleman to say that there was not a single acre handed over to the province of Manitoba? [DOT]

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS.

Not an acre.

Mr. OLIVER. During that time?Mr. ROGERS. From September, 1909,

down to the time my hon. iriend left office. I have the return here and will send it over to my hon. friend.

Mr. OLIVER. How much land was

handed over before that?

Mr. ROGERS. The total amount of

lands that we received was 2,500,000 acres. I do not think it is necessary for me to add anything more on this subject. I merely wished to make one or two corrections in respect to the statements made by the hon. gentleman. I think the committee will not accept the amendment which he has moved because it is only intended as a piece of factious opposition on his part, and in order that Manitoba might again refuse, as they did very properly and unanimously refuse a similar proposition on a previous occasion.

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LIB

Robert Cruise

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT CRUISE (Dauphin).

As a representative of the constituency of Dauphin, province of Manitoba, I feel that it is my duty to offer a few remarks on the question of the extension of the boundaries

of that province, more particularly as Manitoba is probably more concerned in the matter than any other province in the Dominion. The object of the Bill is to enlarge the boundaries of Manitoba, and as to that I have no objection; the territory given to the province is perfectly satisfactory in my judgment; but I strongly oppose the handing back to Ontario of a single foot of land belonging to Manitoba.

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LIB
LIB

Robert Cruise

Liberal

Mr. CRUISE.

This Bill gives to Ontario a strip of land five miles wide and 150 miles long for the purpose of building a railroad, and it also proposes to grant to Ontario a strip of land one-half mile wide and ten miles long, down the Nelson river to use as it pleases. The province of Ontario has also the privilege of taking 200 feet from Fort Nelson to Fort Churchill for the further construction of a railroad, and if they avail themselves of it, it practically gives them all the water front that is of any value on Hudson bay. For these reasons I strongly object to handing over to Ontario these valuable concessions. The strip of land to be granted to Ontario has been referred to here as the red line, but I would prefer to mark it on the map as the black line, because the fact that this territory should be given to Ontario so that it can go as it pleases through a sister province, is a black eye to Manitoba. I would want to say further that Ontario has no more right to such a grant, or to a port at Port Nelson than Manitoba has to a strip of land five miles in width to Fort William or to Port Arthur. In this respect I take the -same stand to-day that I took years ago. We were told in the province of Manitoba some years ago by the hon. Minister of the Interior, a mail for whom I have the greatest respect, and also by the Hon. Mr. Roblin, that Ontario had no right whatever to one foot of land in the territory belonging to Manitoba. On October 17th, 1905, Mr. Rogers, speaking at a party gathering in the Maw block, Winnipeg, made the following statement:

I want to say, as representing the province of Manitoba, that the province of Ontario has no more claim, as far as I understand the law and the faots as shown by the public records, than the province of British Columbia. The mere fact that Ontario lies to our east does not give her any claim either in equity or law.

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LIB
LIB

Robert Cruise

Liberal

Mr. CRUISE.

Mr. Rogers cited the Privy Council judgment and the subsequent legislation by the Dominion House, and then said:

The government of Sir John Macdonald never changed a line or letter of that statement as drafted by Ontario, and yet Sir

Wilfrid Laurier, in order to further hamper, punish and discipline the province of Manitoba, undertakes to drag in the province of Ontario, which settled the boundary for itself on its own terms.

Now, Sir Wilfrid Laurier has been accused of dragging Ontario into the settlement of the boundary question. Who is guilty of dragging Ontario into the settlement of the boundary question at the present time? I say that it is not a square deal to Manitoba to make these concessions to Ontario which properly belong to Manitoba, and therefore I object to these provisions in the present Bill.

Now a word in connection with the_ swamp lands. I strongly object to handing over the swamp lands of the province of Manitoba to the Dominion. For years our local government had been demanding more swamp lands from the Dominion which was perfectly right; and now they have in the neighbourhood of seven or eight millions of acres -of these lands. These they propose now to hand back to the Dominion. I contend that as a business proposition (that is not favourable to the province of Manitoba. It is the local government's business to drain these swamp lands and bring them into condition to be cultivated, but if these lands are handed over to the Dominion, I do not believe this work will be done. We have been told by the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Rogers), that he has a great immigration policy, an immigration policy that knows neither east nor west. I hope that this is true, for we want immigrants in the Dauphin district. But I would ask the minister this: when these swamp lands are handed back to the Dominion *and the work of draining them ceases, what is he going to do for his immigrants to Manitoba? It is most important to the province that these lands should be drained and settlers brought in to cultivate them. A great deal has been said about the value of swamp lands, some putting it at $3 an acre and some putting it at a higher figure. I know something about these swamp lands, and I know that when drained they are the most productive lands we have. That has been proven beyond a doubt, especially in my district where we have a considerable area of these swamp lands. For these reasons, I object to these lands being handed back to the Dominion. We are told that the government will hand these lands back again to Manitoba at some future day. That may be true or it may not be true. We were told by the present Prime Minister (Mr. Borden) when he appeared in the western country that if he were returned to power he would net give the people of Canada reciprocity. He was admired by the western people

(COMMONS

for his courage in making that statement. But he went further and stated that if returned to power he would carry out the Farmers' Bill of rights to the letter and would give them government ownership and control of elevators. Where do we find him to-day? The people took him at his word, but he has not delivered the goods and given us government ownership and control of . elevators. How do we know, then, that he will hand back these lands to Manitoba?. It seems to me that this is nothing better than a hold-up. The lands, we are told, will be handed back to the province at a future date. But when? At the next general election? In that case, what will be the argument? It will be: If you vote for the Conservative party you will get your lands back? That is not a square deal. And for that reason I object to it. I support the interests of the province of Manitoba, where I lived for many years and hope to live for a good many yet. These are my reasons for objecting to certain clauses in this Boundary Bill.

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

I desire to speak on the general question, but more particularly with respect to the amendment of the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr Oliver). I have no objection to the boundaries of [DOT]Manitoba being extended. There has been a general desire on the part of the people of Manitoba for a number of years for an extension of the boundaries of their province. But there has also been a general desire on the part of the people of Saskatchewan for an extension of the boundaries of their province toward Hudson bay. As to that, I hope to speak more directly before I conclude, but, in the meantime I wish to offer a few observations with regard to the financial terms under this Bill. Hon. members who take the trouble to go back to the debate of 1905 and read the speeches of men who were then in opposition, and are now on the treasury benches, will be apt to wonder how these gentlemen who opposed the financial terms given to Saskatchewan and Alberta can to-day support the terms being given to Manitoba, particularly as the government say that the object of the Bill is to place Manitoba on the same footing, financially and otherwise, as these other provinces. One of these speeches was by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster). He criticised the late government for the financial terms that were being given to Saskatchewan and Alberta, and said practically that these provinces were getting too much.

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CON
LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

He said to the government: This measure wall bring down upon the government every province of the Mr. CRUISE.

Dominion; already I hear the rumbling of discontent among the western provinces; and he went on to say that he hoped the Minister of Finance, before he pressed the Bill forward, would revise the financial considerations about to be given to the new provinces. And now we are told by the leader of the government (Mr. Borden) that Manitoba is being placed on exactly the same footing as Saskatchewan and Alberta. How can the Minister of Trade and commerce (Mr. Poster), in view of his statement then with regard to Alberta and Saskatchewan, support to-day the terms being given to Manitoba under this Bill ?

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

It makes the provinces equal.

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

But the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster) said that the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were being given too much; today he says the province of Manitoba is being given just enough; and yet, according to the Prime Minister and other hon. gentlemen opposite, the province of Manitoba is being given exactly what these other provinces were given. I do not say that the treatment of the provinces is equal. I had here beside me a copy of volume 2 of ' Hansard ' of 1905 containing a speech by the present Minister of Public Works (Mr. Monk). I am'sorry that it has been taken away, for it deprives me of the opportunity to quote the hon. gentleman's exact words. But it was practically the same line of argument. He said there was no reason why Quebec should be called upon to assist in paying these immense subsidies to Alberta and Saskatchewan. But, to-day he is prepared to support the same terms when given to Manitoba. I do not wish to be understood as finding fault with Manitoba getting a square deal. If the Manitoba members are satisfied with this Bill, all right. If I were a member from Manitoba, I should not be satisfied with it. But there are certain features of this Bill which show discrimination in favour of Manitoba against Saskatchewan and Alberta. One of these was well stated by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie). According to the Bill, Manitoba obtains a debt allowance on a population of 250,000, the same, I believe, as the debt allowance that was given to Saskatchewan and Alberta.

To-day in the province of Saskatchewan we have a population of something like 495,000, while the province of Manitoba has 455,000; we have 40,000 more than Manitoba. Therefore, in order to place Saskatchewan on the same footing as Manitoba we should have in Saskatchewan an increased debt allowance based on our

40,000 additional population, which would mean a debt allowance of

$1,280,000. That is one of the discriminations in favour of Manitoba against Saskatchewan and Alberta. There is another point. The population in Manitoba is confined to a comparatively small area. If .you draw a line diagonally from the southeast corner of Manitoba to the northwest [DOT]and take the country south of that, you will find an area of 40,000 square miles of inhabited country. In the province of Saskatchewan only the southern half is well populated, covering an area of about

125.000 square miles. It is not so expensive to administer the province of Manitoba as it is to administer the province of Saskatchewan. In Manitoba to-day roads, bridges and schools must be provided for over an area of about 40,000 square miles, while in Saskatchewan roads, bridges and schools must be provided for over an area of 125,000 square miles. It is therefore less expensive to administer the province of Manitoba than the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. So this constitutes another discrimination in favour of Manitoba.

There is another matter. The province of Manitoba secured 150,000 acres of selected lands for university purposes. Saskatchewan never secured any land for such a purpose neither has Alberta. The 150,000 acres of university lands selected in Manitoba are being written off, according to this measure, at $2 per acre. I would like, as a representative from Saskatchewan, to he allowed to select 150,000 acres of land in that province for university purposes at $2 per acre. I say that this government, in [DOT]order to place Saskatchewan and Alberta on an equal footing with Manitoba in this Tespect, must give us the right to select

150.000 acres of land for university purposes in each one of those provinces.

Now the. question of arrearages has been referred to. I do not profess to be able to throw any new light on the subject, and will only present it to you as it appears to me. as a representative of Saskatchewan. After looking over the speeches that have been delivered by the Prime Minister and other hon. gentlemen of the opposition dealing with the payment of arrearages io the province of Manitoba, I confess that I have not been able to find any justification for it. What do they say? That as early as 1905, when Manitoba wanted to have her boundaries increased and her territories extended to Hudson Bay, the Prime Minister says he could not admit her contention that they should date back to 1009. When the resolution was passed by the late government extending the boundaries to Hudson bay, it appears, if I am correctly informed, that the Manitoba government never accepted those boundaries until the month of March, 1911, and never formally notified the government of Canada of their acceptance until the month of March 1911. To my mind the Manitoba

government have not got a solitary leg to stand upon in respect to the pavment of arrearages. I do not wish to cast any reflections upon the present government of Manitoba. The Minister of the Interior a few days ago ventured to say that_ the finances of the province of Manitoba were in the best position, in as good a position as those of any other province in Canada. I do not know anything about the position of the finances of the province of Manitoba; I do know', however, that on their telephone transaction, when they purchased the telephones throughout the province and operated them as a government concern for the past three or four years, they are something like $450,000 behind at the present time in the operation of that system. I also know that they have lost money in the operation of their government-owned elevators. I do not need to go outside the province of Manitoba to get information of her finances. About six weeks ago when I was in Winnipeg, I was told many times that the government of Manitoba were financiallyin a very bad position. I can only say that it is my belief that thissum of $2,178,000 to be handed overto Manitoba in payment of arrearages is merely being given as a sop

to that province, and as a rope to pull her out of a hole. I do believe that were it not for the financial assistance which the Manitoba government expects to get out of this payment of arrearages, they would not have a ghost of a chance in the next election.

Because the old legislature of the North-w'est Territories, as far as they are covered the province of Saskatchewan, passed a resolution to the effect that the time had come when a province should be formed, we might just as well argue, that the payments under the autonomy legislation of 1905 should date back to 1902 as hon. gentlemen can argue that Manitoba's arrearages should date back to 1908 as provided in this Bill. Let me further point out to emphasize my argument that pursuant to the resolution passed in the territorial legislature in 1902 Mr. Haultain drew up a draft Bill which he submitted to the late government as a basis on which the two provinces should be caivect out of the Northwest Territories. With just as good reason, therefore, you might argue that Alberta and Saskatchewan should receive financial consideration back to 1902, as you can argue that Manitoba should be paid arrearages amounting to $2,178,000 dating back to 1908. In my opinion this is an outrage to the rest of the people of Canada, and a further discrimination in favour of Manitoba as against the other two provinces.

There is another matter that occurs to me in connection with this Bill, and that

is the question of our natural resources. Ever since the year 1905, in -western Canada, every Conservative candidate always promised, not only in Manitoba but in Saskatchewan and Alberta, that immediately the Conservative party came into power it would restore our natural resources to those three provinces. Now here is an opportunity for the present Conservative government to fulfil their promises and show their good faith. Here is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to fulfil the promises which he made when he was touring western Canada last summer, when he toid them he was in favour of restoring the natural resources to those provinces. No further legislation is required, here is an opportunity for him to do it. Let me refer to one or two statements that were made by the present Prime Minister in the west last year. First of all, let me read the statement that was made by the right hon. gentleman at Halifax on August 21, 1907-I believe it has already been quoted in this House. The hon. gentleman said:

In 1905 the Conservatives took the position that under our constitution the public domain within each province ought to he committed to the management and administration of the people of that province through their provincial governments. That was the basis of arrangement between the four provinces originally constituting the Dominion. At the present time every province in Canada controls and administers its public lands except 'the three provinces of Manitoba Saskatchewan and Alberta.

He concluded as follows:

We have not receded from the policy which we announced two years ago, and therefore we are prepared to restore their public lands to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan upon fair terms.

The platform of the Conservative party circulated in western Canada during the recent election contained this paragraph about handing over their natural resources to the prairie provinces. That was the main argument of the Conservative party in my constituency, [DOT] granting the natural resources to the prairie provinces. Then at Winnipeg, in 1911, when the right hon. gentleman was dealing with this question, he said:

Before discussing a subject of great publio interest now under the consideration of parliament, I desire to touch upon certain questions of paramount importance to the people of the west. To-day in Canada six provinces enjoy the right to control and administer the public lands, mines, minerals and other natural resources within their boundaries. That right is not enjoyed by the three prairie provinces. The Liberal-Conservative party since 1902 has firmly asserted and maintained the rights of these three provinces to their public domain. We stand for that right to-day and we will maintain it. The public lands, and

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

natural resources are vested in the Crown, to be administered for the benefit of the people. In six provinces the Crown, in dealing with the public domain acts upon the advice of the provincial ministers and under laws enacted by the provincial legislatures. In the three prairie provinces the Crown in dealing with such lands acts upon the advice of the federal ministers and under laws enacted by the federal parliament. Why should there he any such discrimination against the people of these three provinces? The day is not far distant when Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta will receive from a Liberal-Conservative government at Ottawa the just recognition of their undoubted right to their public lands and natural resources.

There is a Liberal-Conservative government at Ottawa at the present time; why does not that Liberal-Conservative government implement its promise, particularly to the province of Manitoba, and give these natural resources to that province? That was a speech made by the right hon. gentleman at Winnipeg. But I have here an extract from a speech made by the Prime Minister at Brandon in the month of July, 1911. He said:

In 1902, dn 1905, in 1907, and again in 1910, we have stood for the right of the western provinces to own and control their public domain. It is the right of the people of th ose provinces to have their public lands and natural resources administered by their own governments under the control of their own legislatures. They say that they are free men and being free men in a free country have as good a right to control through their owu 'local legislatures, and by their own provincial executives, the administration of their publio lands and natural resources as have the people of any of the eastern provinces who enjoy and have enjoyed that right. The Liberal-Conservative party supports that claim and will enforce dt at the first opportunity.

As far as the province of Manitoba is concerned here is an opportunity; yet, the promise which was made at Winnipeg and Brandon during last summer has not been implemented. Not only have we the promise of the right hon. Prime Minister, but other members of the present administration have expressed themselves very strongly with respect to the control of the natural resources of the prairie provinces.

I have to go no farther than to the hon. Secretary-of State (Mr. Roche) who discussed this subject in the House of Commons in 1906, and, if I remember correctly, he made similar remarks in speaking at Regina, when I had the pleasure of hearing him. I may tell the Secretary of State that he did not do me very much harm when he was in Regina. Speaking on the question of the coal strike in 1906, on a resolution moved by the then member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) the hon. Secretary of State said:

The hon. member for Qu'Appolle (Mr. Lake) lias spoken about the humiliating position in which our country has been placed. In the first place I claim it was a humiliating position in which to place those new provinces to withold from their hands .the control of their own public lands. Had the rights of the people of those provinces been fought for as they should have been fought for by hon. gentlemen supporting the government, the provinces would have control over their lands to-day, and the provinces would have been able to grapple with their own coal strike without calling on the federal government for relief.

If that was a humiliating position for the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta to be placed in then, I submit it is a much more humiliating position for the province of Manitoba to be placed in to-day in view of the assurances that were given not only by the right hon. the Prime Minister, but by other ministers and by every Conservative candidate throughout the west during many years past. Hon. members from Manitoba told us in 1905 that Alberta and Saskatchewan were being placed in a most humiliating position. Why do they not rise to the occasion now and help us to keep Manitoba from being placed in such a humiliating position and from being deprived of the management of her natural resources and lands?

Then, there is this question of the swamp lands to which I want to allude for a minute. There have been various estimates made of the value of these swamp lands which were handed over to Manitoba under the Act which was passed in 1885. I believe that it is estimated that something like 8,000,000 acres of swamp lands still belong to Manitoba. The estimate made by the provincial treasurer of Manitoba, Mr. Armstrong, was that these lands were worth something like $16,000,000. My hon. friend from Edmonton has stated that this sum, capitalized at 5 per cent, would produce $800,000 per annum and, according to the calculation of my hon. friend from Edmonton, Manitoba would be in a far better financial position to keep these lands, even provided they produced only $3 per acre, and get $800,000 per annum than to accept the terms proposed by the Bill now before the committee. I submit that $3 per acre is not a sufficient value for these swamp lands. If the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury), who used to wax eloquent in connection with St. Peter's Indian reserve, were in the House, I would call him as a witness. He used to estimate that these reserve swamp lands were worth from $25 to $30 per acre.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

The hon. membei from Selkirk is in the House. I would like to correct the hon. gentleman.

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

Just as soon &f I get through the hon. gentleman may follow me.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

What the hon. gentleman has stated is absolutely incorrect.

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

I have not any doubt at all that 'Hansard' will prove that what I have stated is absolutely correct, that the hon. member for Selkirk did estimate the lands of St. Peter's Indian reserve to be worth from $25 to $30 per acre.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

I beg to say that the hon. gentleman is .absolutely incorrect. There are not more than 8,000 acres of swamp land out of the whole 40,000 acres contained within St. Peter's Indian reserve

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

I am forced to accept the hon. gentleman's statement. However, it is a matter of small import in any event. I submit that $3 per acre for the swamp lands in Manitoba is a very small valuation. I believe that these lands are worth at least $10 per acre. Take 8,000,000 acres at $10 per acre and you have $80,000,000 and therefore the argument presented by my hon. friend from Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) that the terms offered bv the recent administration, according to which Manitoba was to retain her swamp lands and get a grant of $200,000 per annum in lieu of the balance of land not granted, was a better proposition for Manitoba than the terms submitted by the present government, is quite correct.

Then, before I conclude my remarks, I wish to direct the attention of the commitee to a matter which is of great importance to the province of Saskatchewan and to refer to the rights of that province to have some consideration in connection with a port on Hudson Bay. If you go back to the question of what territory is involved in the territory that is being added to Manitoba you will find that it is made up of parts of the original territories of Saskatchewan and Athabasca, Keewatin and the territory which lies between Ontario and Hudson Bay. There are only three provinces which can possibly be interested in that territory and they are Ontario, to the east, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The province of Saskatchewan, as early as the year 1906 or 1907, put forward a claim for an extension of her boundaries to a port on the bay. I submit that in deciding the question you must of necessity go into the history of these territories, and that, in as far as that portion of Athabasca and of the old district of Saskatchewan which is being added to Manitoba are concerned, the province which has the paramount and absolute interest is Saskatchewan. When the province of Saskatchewan was formed there were parts of the old district of Athabasca and the old district of Saskatchewan that were not included.

Those districts and those parts of those districts which are now being put into Manitoba, were formerly part of the old

Northwest Territories and were administered by the government of the old Northwest Territories. The school law of the old Northwest Territories which was in force until 1905 was in force in those parts of Athabasca and Saskatchewan district which are now being added to the province of Manitoba. Those parts of those districts, as a matter of fact, were represented in the old territorial legislature of the Northwest Territories, now represented by the legislature of Saskatchewan and the legislature of Alberta. The -old government of the Northwest Territories was responsible for the construction of roads and bridges, and schools in those territories, and, as I have said, those parts of Athabasca and Saskatchewan were represented in the legislature by Mr. Samuel McLeod. Formerly, I believe, they constituted part of what was known as the district of Cumberland, and latterly the district of East Prince Albert. As a matter of fact these portions of territory were represented in this House of Commons in the old district of Mackenzie by a gentleman who still occupies a seat in this House. This territory which is being added to the province of Manitoba, was just as much a part of the old Northwest Territorities as the city of Regina, or the town of Indian Head, or any other municipality located in the central part of that province. In addition to the fact that the province of Saskatchewan has a paramount and absolute interest beyond any other province, in the part of this territory which has been referred to-the part that lies north of the Nelson river and between the Nelson river and Hudson bay-in addition to that I submit that in apportioning the territories among the three provinces, it is generally admitted that each of these provinces was entitled to have access to Hudson bay. If you will look at the map I think every one will agree that the province of Saskatchewan, beyond any other province in the Dominion, is entitled to access to a port on Hudson bay. Our province is the most vitally interested in the construction of the Hudson Bay railway. I submit that it is beyond dispute that the province of Saskatchewan will use that Hudson Bay railway for transportation facilities far more than will any of the other provinces of the Dominion. I believe than any railroad that is constructed out of Saskatchewan or Manitoba towards Hudson ' bay, will be used by Saskatchewan more than it will be used by Manitoba. The products of Saskatchewan are to-day greater in volume than are the products of Manitoba, and there will be greater disparity between the two provinces in this respect in years to come, so that of necessity any railway that is constructed towards Hudson bay will be more used1 by the people of Saskatchewan than by the people of Manitoba or of Mr. MARTIN (Regina).

Ontario. I submit that Saskatchewan would only be getting a square deal if it were given access to Hudson bay, and given the same consideration at least as the province of Ontario is getting.

There are further facts to consider in connection with this matter. As far as any evidence I have been able to find goes, the inhabitants of the territory which is being annexed have never themselves evinced any desire to be annexed to Manitoba, but, on the contrary, they have evinced a desire to be annexed' to Saskatchewan. I find in volume 1 of the Sessional Papers of 1906-07, (hat when the legislation of 1905 was under consideration in this House, the people of that part of Athabasca and Saskatchewan petitioned to be included in Saskatchewan, and I shall read a short extract from a petition which the people of these territories forwarded to the Prime Minister at that time:

We, the undersigned electors of Mackenzie district, Northwest Territories, and residing at or near the Pas, Saskatchewan, having learned but recently that an effort is being made by the government of Manitoba to have that portion of the territories, lying north of Manitoba, joined to and inoluded in the province of Manitoba, and such annexation being repugnant to us, and as we believe detrimental to the best interests of this portion of the country, we therefore humbly petition that our political affiliation may be with the territories and not with Manitoba, and in case of provincial autonomy being granted the territories, our destiny may be in and with that portion of the territories of which we form an integral part and for such, as in duty hound, your petitioners will ever pray.

Therefore, we have the inhabitants of this territory petitioning not to be annexed to Manitoba, and so far as I have learned, there is not on record any petition to the contrary.

. The territory which I submit Saskatchewan is entitled to, is as follows:

The territory bounded on the south by the province of Manitoba; on the west by the province of Saskatchewan; on the north by the thirty-second correction line of the Dominion lands townships system of survey, which is very nearly the sixtieth parallel of north latitude; on the east by a line commencing at the point where the 100th meridian of west longitude intersects the thirty-second correction line aforesaid, thence following the said 100th meridian south to the eighteenth correction line in the said system of survey, than'-e in an easterly direction along the said eighteenth correction line to a point where the said correction line intersects the Nelson river, thence southerly along the Nelson river to Lake Winnipeg, thence along the northern and western shores of Lake Winnipeg in a southerly direction to the point where it intersects the northern boundary of the province of Manitoba.

I presume that in view of the position taken by the government, and in view of

469/

the fact that the Bill is submitted to us, there is very little use of my urging that the province of Saskatchewan should be given that territory. I present this view, however, as the view taken by the vast majority of the people of the province of Saskatchewan. However, I do submit that if the government desire to render Saskatchewan justice, or if it wants to render Saskatchewan as much justice as it is rendering to the province of Ontario, it should at least do for Saskatchewan that which it proposes to do for Ontario. I will read, so that it may be on record, a telegram which Avas recently sent by the Acting Premier of Saskatchewan to the Rt. Hon. R. L. Borden, Prime Minister:

Regina, March 6.

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March 8, 1912