March 13, 1916

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN:

The sections were all carried, except section 3. On consideration, this Bill has been found to be correct. The law clerk of the committee went into the matter thoroughly, and finds the Bill to be in correct form. In my opinion it should pass.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

This seems .a rather

peculiar Bill. It seems to take the authority in a municipal matter into the hands of this Parliament. What is the real reason for having the Act passed in this form?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

As I understand it, the Grand Valley Railway Company was chartered by Act of this Parliament. The city of Brantford is taking over and operating this railway, which is the road Tunning around the city of Brantford. The city is appointing a commission to operate the road. The authority of this Parliament is necessary for the transfer of the road from the Grand Valley Railway Company to this commission. The commission, of course, must operate the road upon the same conditions as those which governed the company. For instance, the company was obliged, under the Act, to pay municipal taxes to the several municipalities through which the Toad passes. When the Bill was before- the committee these municipalities were protected by inserting a clause to oblige the commission to carry out these conditions. The bon. member will see that the only way in which the commission can get its title is by an Act of this Parliament.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I understand that the company having been chartered by this Parliament, it would be necessary for this Parliament to give it power to perform acts not authorized by its charter. But whether this Parliament can give, or should assume to give, the city of Brantford power to do certain things is another matter. The corporation of the city of Brantford obtains its powers from the Ontario Legislature, and if those powers are to be altered one would think that the Ontario Legislature would be the proper authority to make the alteration.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

As I understand it, legislation has been passed by the Ontario Legislature under which the municipality may take over this railway. But, if no provision were made by this Parliament, it would be free from the obligation to pay taxes to the other municipalities through which the road passes. It seems clear that this Parliament is the only authority that can empower the Grand Valley Railway Company to transfer its road to the commission appointed by the city of Brantford.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I understood from the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) that they had applied to the Provincial Legislature for the powers required from that authority. I do not think we have anything to do here with the by-laws of the city of Brantford.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I think the Bill was submitted to the Department of Justice, and the department gave the opinion that it was within the jurisdiction 104 '

of this Parliament. It may be necessary to apply to the Legislature of Ontario also. As it is a railway subject to the jurisdiction of this Parliament, it would seem that the authority to own and operate it must come from this Parliament. In the case of a municipal corporation, it might be necessary also to obtain authority from the Provincial Legislature before legislation of this kind would be absolutely effective.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I think an Act has been passed by the Ontario Legislature, giving the city of Brantford the necessary powers in this case. My contention was that as the city of Brantford gets its powers from the Ontario Legislature, we scarcely have the right to give it any authority. If this Bill means that the federal authority will accept the city of Brantford as owner and operator of a federal road, in place of the company incorporated by this Parliament, that would be reasonable enough. But if it proposes to confer powers upon the city of Brantford, that seems to be a matter for the Legislature of Ontario. In section 1 I find these words:

The Corporation of the city , of Brantford, hereinafter called "the Corporation", may own, equip, operate, alter, maintain and manage the railway of the Grand Valley Railway Company.

I think this wording is a little awkward. If it means that Parliapient merely substitutes the words " city of Brantford " for " the Grand Valley Railway Company," I suppose the Bill is all right; but we have no right to give the city of Brantford any authority or to take any authority away from them.

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Section agreed to. Bill reported. Bill No. 25, to incorporate the Western Ganada Telephone Company-Mr. Green in Committee. On section 2-declaratory:


LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The whole of the line of this company is in British Columbia.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

An amendment has been introduced providing that the company may not operate in any other provinces without the consent of those provinces.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

When these amendments are reprinted, I suggest that they be distributed so that we may consider them in an intelligent way. This Bill was reprinted.

. REVISED EDITION

as were several others, but the original Bills are still on our files.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Some of the western provinces have their own telephone companies. Was any question raised by the province of British Columbia as to its right to grant this charter?

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

That matter was taken

up, and an amending section put in.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I am afraid we do not know much about it.

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I think we are all at sea, and wasting much time by not having these Bills printed.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

If a Bill of this kind were introduced with reference to Ontario, a protest would come from Ontario members that these franchises ought to be granted by the provincial authorities.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

This is the new section:

15a. Notwithstanding anything contained in this act, the Company shall not construct, operate, or maintain lines of telephones other than long distance lines in the city of Prince Rupert without having first obtained the consent of the municipality of the said city, or in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba without first having obtained the consent of the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the provinces in which it is proposed to construct, operate and maintain a line of telephone as aforesaid; but this restriction shall not apply to the construction, operation or maintainance of long distance lines of the Company into or through the said city of Prince Rupert, or into or through any or all of the said provinces.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

That hardly meets the point I had in mind. What I ask is: has it been suggested on behalf of the province that this charter. should be granted not by the Federal authorities, hut by the pro

incial authorities? If it were definitely stated that it was the intention to run lines through other provinces, I should recognize the necessity of a federal charter; but in view of the fact that the operations of the company are evidently to be confined to the Province of British Columbia, I am surprised that some member from that province has not suggested that the charter should be dealt with by the provincial authorities.

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March 13, 1916