May 12, 1914

CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, as the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) said, the pilots have had distributed to the members of this House a memorandum in which they bitterly complain of having been treated unduly by the investigating commission at Quebec last year. Here is, among other things, what I find in this memorandum:

What we desire is that any one who can suggest anything which may further the interests of the pilots, or of the shipping interests, or of the trade on the St. Lawrence will be welcomed before us, and we will be glad to hear the views they may wish to express.

To which the pilots replied:

We, pilots, were not long deceived by those honeyed words of the chairman of the commission, because we soon perceived the aim of this investigation which caused us so much trouble and expenses.

The very first evidences taken were sufficient to show that the end sought was not to discuss the dangers of the river St. Lawrence, and the aids to the navigation of the said river. The only danger seemed to be the Corporation of Pilots, and the way they manage their money so well earned. The real dangers of the St. Lawrence, lights, buoys, etc., went in the second place.

Were this assertion of the pilots true, it would constitute a most serious charge indeed against the commission entrusted, last year, with making an inquiry on their account.

As regards the management of their funds, I see that section 3 of the present law seems to give them justice-I mean the management of the pilots' chest. I notice, a little further, in this memorandum, the following remark:

Apprentices are required at present to be examined in both English and French. If the commissioners are of opinion that a man speak-229 -

ing and writing one language is superior to another speaking and writing both languages, let them cherish that idea, this will not surely increase nor diminish the rates of insurance on the St. Lawrence.

I understand that, according to the new legislation, the apprentices are required to be examined in both English and French. I do not agree with the commissioners on this point, since they seem to have ruled that one language is enough. Any man who is called upon to hold public office in the province of Quebec, whether in the Marine, Public Works or Customs Departments, should certainly be able to speak both languages. This is a drawback which is very often found with a good many public servants and, of course, .most serious inconvenience is derived therefrom. I would like to know whether the hon. minister has inserted a provision to that effect, and whether the apprentices who are preparing at Quebec or at other places below Quebec to become pilots, and who are all French-Cana-dians, shall be required, henceforth, to know both languages.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Just one word in reply to the hon. member for Rimouski, on the question which he has raised. This is a matter which should be regulated by the authority which governs pilotage, that is, by the hon. Minister of Marine. Of course, if a pilot wishes to be competent and able to understand the languages spoken on board of ships, he must know both languages.

A word, now, in reply to the hon. member for St. Lawrence (Mr. Bickerdike) who said that the Corporation of Pilots was a family compact. This is quite unfounded. This charge has been very well disproved by my colleague the hon. Minister of Marine. One has gone so far as to say that they continued to receive their pay even after being suspended. It is by means of such unfounded insinuations that one has succeeded in raising certain prejudice against the pilots of Quebec and of places below Quebec. I wish to say that the members of the Corporation of Pilots in Quebec and in localities below Quebec are, as a whole, as a body, most worthy, most devoted people, sticking like men to their duty. They get no pension, and when they have reached the age of sixty-five, their licenses must be renewed every year or else they lo-se the right to earn their living.

I wish to contribute my humble share of commendation to the career to which they devote themselves. They sometimes meet with accidents, but accidents happen to everybody, and I do not think that one

revised edition

could find such fault with them as is done generally.

I must also congratulate the pilots upon the fact that the Minister of Marine-be-comes the pilotage authority. Both parties in this House are agreed to-day that the pilotage authority shall, henceforth, be vested in the Department of Marine, as it appears from the remarks made by the hon. member for Rouville and by the hon. member for St. Lawrence. This will amend certain drawbacks with which the pilots have been reproached in the past, and the effect of this law will be satisfactory.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVKEAU:

Must I understand

that the pilots get no pension after they have reached sixty-five years of age?

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

No. I stated that the pilots lose their license at sixty-five years of age, and that, from sixty-five to seventy, they are required to be examined every year if they wish to continue their service.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

Surely, the hon. minister said that they got no pension. When he reads ' Hansard ' to-morrow morning he will find that he has said so.

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

If I have said so, I

made a mistake, or I did not speak plainly enough. I meant that they had the right to keep their license until they were sixty-five years of age.

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LIB
CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

And that, after they

had reached sixty-five years of age, they were required to be examined every year until they were seventy years old, in order to get their license. And they get no pension from the state. That is what I meant.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

This surprised me so much as to call forth the remarks which I made, for I am satisfied that they get a pension and I wished to know whether I was mistaken.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

My hon. friend will remember that some months ago I called his attention to the fact that the Dominion Wreck Commissioner did not understand the French language. My hon. friend told me at the time that this was not the case; at all events he said that he would remedy the grievance. Personally, I do not know the fact, but I saw in the papers two or three days ago that during the investigation held in the case of the Saturnia a pilot represented by Mr. Choquette, one of the members of the Senate, complained very

bitterly that the commissioners who were investigating the matter did not understand the French language, and that some of the witnesses had to give their evidence in English, much to their discomfort. I wish my hon. friend would look into the matter.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

My hon. friend will find that the commissioner appointed to succeed Mr. Lindsay will understand English and French equally well.

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?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

If a man were a first-class pilot and could bring my ship safely into Quebec, I would not care if he could speak but Hindu. I would not like to see it provided that no pilot that does not understand both French and English shall get a license.

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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

In my part of the country we are particularly interested in navigation on the St. Lawrence, and the more it is safeguarded the better we like it. I was glad to hear the hon. member for Rouville say that the navigating of the ships from Montreal to Quebec was as easy as walking along Sparks street, and I da not exactly understand why the conditions that prevail between Montreal and Quebec should not be extended down to the sea. We have in the county of Cape Breton a system of pilotage, but as the pilots seldom come here for legislation we do not often have an opportunity of dealing with their interests in this House. I would like to know from the minister whether any new pilots have been appointed to the Pilotage Board of the county of Cape Breton or of Sydney harbour during the last year or two. Last year I brought to the notice of the minister the fact that some dismissals of pilots had been made at the time of the change of government. I do not think the Board of Pilotage Commisioners had any authority to dismiss any of these pilots for political reasons. The minister was good enough, I understand, to have some of these pilots put back in their positions, but I never had an opportunity of learning from the minister how many were put back. The last time I was in Sydney attending the Supreme Court I noticed on the docket the case of McGillivray versus Kimber, which was an action brought by one of the pilots for his pay against the secretary of the Pilotage Commission. I understand that after this- pilot was put back on the service the secretary through whose hands the pilots receive the money out of the pooled earnings refused to pay him, and the matter found its way into court. I really do not know what became of the action, but

I would suppose that if a pilot were put back by authority of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, no secretary of the hoard would have any authority to deprive him of his share of the profits of his employment. Will the minister let me know what pilots were dismissed and put back, and whether they have the same status as they had before they were dismissed.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I am sorry that I cannot

give my hon. friend definite information about the matter to-night, as I had no idea that when we were considering this Bill matters affecting Sydney would come up for discussion. I shall be glad indeed, however, to give instructions to the deputy minister to prepare a memorandum on the subject giving the information my hon. friend desires, and to have it mailed to him at an early date. My recollection is that a number of these pilots were restored to their positions, but I would not venture to make a positive statement about it now.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Has the minister given any consideration to the very evident discrimination against Ontario vessel owners with regard to pilotage dues at Montreal? This matter has been the subject of negotiations in the past between the Ontario Government and the late Government, and of frequent representations on the part of the Dominion Marine Association. Section 477 of the Canada Shipping Act undoubtedly discriminates against Ontario vessels, which are obliged to pay pilotage dues from which vessels from the Maritime prov-

11 p.m. inces, Newfoundland and the Atlantic States as far south as New York are exempt. I think I am right in saying first that there is a discrimination; second, that that discrimination is not just, and, third, that it should be done away with and Ontario vessel owners put on a parity with the vessel owners of the other provinces, with Newfoundland, and with the Atlantic States,

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I Temember that certain

representations were made several years ago with regard to this matter by the Dominion Marine Association. I think that certain arrangements were come to and certain concessions made which were satisfactory to that association and that as a consequence they ceased to press the matter any further.

I have not the details in my memory tonight, but I shall be glad to look into the matter. I understand that all coal laden vessels coming from the Maritime provinces pay pilotage dues just the same as any 229i

other vessels on the St. Lawrence river. I will get the facts for my hon. friend and let him know just what they are.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

I introduced a Bill in the session of 1909, and again in 1910. I did so at the request of the Council of the Dominion Marine Association, who felt lhat Ontario vessels were not receiving fair treatment. Certain changes were made in the Act which, prior to June, 1908, gave exemption to vessels with a draught when loaded not exceeding sixteen feet, but that was changed, so that even that exemption was not allowed to Ontario vessels. The fact that Ontario vessel owners were obliged to take pilots on boafid their vessels at Montreal and to pay their dues and were not relieved of the slightest responsibility, seemed to me to add to the unfairness of the case. If any changes have been made since 1910 I am not aware of them.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Some arrangement was made. I shall look it up for my hon. friend.

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Section agreed to. On section 3-pilots' pension fund:


CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES:

Is it the intention to make it impossible for the Corporation of Pilots to hold the pilotage money and to share it?

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May 12, 1914