I was informed that a very small amount had been offered. I do not know the circumstances of this case well enough to say that Mr. Paradis was not justified in demanding a larger amount than that which was offered, but from the little that I know about the matter the offer made by the minister seems to be very fair, and I shall certainly call the attention of Mr. Paradis to that.
say also to Mr. Paradis that I feel very sorry for him. I agree with every word the hon. member has said with regard to Mr. Paradis; he is one of the finest old gentlemen that I have ever met, and my heart was with him to do all I could. But, in a matter like this-he was out of court, as it were-I thought the offer made was fair.
acting minister have convinced me that he should at once appoint a commissioner to make a valuation of the damage caused by the fire. As to the amount of $15,000, I have heard it mentioned before. I mentioned the matter to the Minister of Railways and Canals two years ago, and at that time he told me that he had offered Mr. Paradis about $12,000. The minister said also that he would be willing to add a few thousand dollars to that in order to effect a settlement. I happen to be related to Mr. Paradis; I am a cousin bf his. As the hon. member for Rouville says, he is a very good Conservative, and I have not been able during the last twenty years to convert him to the Liberal party, not even since his recent lose, which he attributes to the Conservative Government. I happened to visit Mr. Paradis a month or two before the fire, and I have since felt impressed that if anything that I saw there was destroyed by fire, $15,000 would certainly not cover half or, perhaps, one-quarter of the loss. I am inclined to believe that the $50,000 or $60,000 that Mr. Paradis claims is very near the amount of his loss. Of course, my knowledge is superficial. I do suggest that the acting minister should appoint a commissioner to ascertain the damage done by the fire. I do not believe that Mr. Paradis will accept $15,000 to-day any more than he did two years ago or a month or two ago when he was here last. However, I am thankful to the member for Rouville and to the Acting Minister of Railways for what they have said. I hope that the acting minister will put into concrete form the sentiments that he has expressed on behalf of Mr. Paradis.
A short time ago I moved for a return in regard to a proposed new bridge across the harbour of Pictou. The 'bridge which has been there for a long time is getting old and requires to be renewed. There has been under consideration for some time the construction of a new bridge crossing the harbour lower
down and completing what is known as the short line by giving close connection with New Glasgow and eastern Nova Scotia. I find in this return that another suggestion has been made in regard to the matter. The following is a memorandum dated December 2, 1915, from Mr. Brown, chief engineer,, to Mr. Gutelius:
The present Pictou harbour bridge between Loch Broom and Brown's Point on the line from Stellarton to Piotou and Oxford Junction (known as the short line) is about 4,000 feet long and consists of a through steel span and a draw span on pile foundations, the balance of the structure being pile bridge. The majority of piles in this structure are over 60 feet long, which length is necessary on account of the great depth of the mud at this point.
Extensive repairs have tbeen put on this structure in the past two or three years in order to maintain it until the question of grade revision east of Moncton was settled. The bridge is now in such a condition that it requires entire renewal. -
From the data which has been gathered it appears that this bridge will never become a part of the future low grade line, and owing to the high cost of construction of a new permanent bridge, which will run anywhere from $400,000 to $1,000,000 and to the high maintenance cost of such a large structure, it is recommended that a diversion of the line between Stellarton and Pictou be made around the western side of Pictou harbour. From a reconnaissance report which I now have it is estimated that this diversion can be made for approximately $400,000 on grades not exceeding those on the present short line. This diversion will increase the length by about five miles between Pictou and Stellarton, but will not materially affect the distance- between Stellarton or Pictou and Oxford Junction,
I also find in the return a formal recommendation signed by Mr. McGowan for an appropriation of $400,000 to cover the cost of construction of a diversion of the line between Stellarton, N.S., and Pictou, N.S., around the western side of Pictou harbour, so as to eliminate the reconstruction of Pictou harbour bridge. The recommendation says that survey is now being made, and gives the following as the necessity for the proposed work:
The existing bridge across Pictou harbour requires complete renewal. The cost of replacing same with a permanent bridge may run to $1,000,000, which will be greatly in excess of the cost of the diversion r.commended.
I hope that the acting minister will not proceed to spend any money in constructing a diversion of line such as is recommended here. A short time ago I referred to what was called the Sunnybrae and Kemptown line. I cannot conceive of that line being considered at all, unless for the purpose of diverting the through traffic between Sydney and Moncton down to Truro
instead of utilizing what has always been known as the short line, which was built by Sir Charles Tupper when he was Minister of Railways for the avowed purpose of establishing a line of railway which would give the shortest possible communication on the Intercolonial with Sydney and other eastern points. The bridge which at present crosses the harbour is old, but I think it can be repaired. The Liberal Government had in view the construction of this bridge across the harbour; I understand also that it was the view of the present minister that it should be proceeded with. I want to ask the acting minister not to proceed with the diversion; if he did, it would prevent the building of the bridge. I quite recognize the financial situation, but in my judgment the construction of that bridge would be an immense advantage to railway operation in eastern Nova Scotia-and the bridge and the bridge only should be built. The diversion would be a great blow to Pictou and eastern Nova Scotia, while the bridge would be the culmination of the short line connection between Oxford Junction and New Glasgow, and would enable the Railway Department to operate by the shortest* and most satisfactory route from Sydney to Moncton. It would appear as if an appropriation might be included in the Supplementary Estimates, but I think I voice the opinion of the people in my constituency when I suggest to the minister that no steps be taken to change the existing conditions until the world rights itself again, and the matter can be dealt with in a proper way. Any hasty or ill-considered action would penalize the people interested for all time to come, and would prevent the consummation of what has long been the aspiration of the people in that vicinity, the building of that bridge, and the consummation of a line of railway which would connect Sydney and New Glasgow and the coal and iron districts of Nova Scotia by the shortest route possible, not only with Moncton, but with all points west. 'Speaking in the interests of the people affected, and in the interests of the railway and of the country, I would therefore ask the minister to retain existing conditions until we are in a position to enable us to proceed with the work in a proper way and construct the 'bridge.
This is a very important matter, and one that requires a very great deal of eare before arriving at a final decision. In discussing it with Mr. Gutelius some
time ago, I understood that he had surveyors down there during the past year looking over the situation with the view of having it before him in the event of the minister deciding to go on with the work. But there is nothing in this Estimate for that work, and it is not the intention of th$ department to go on with any work of a permanent character during the present year, so far as changing the route ot building a new bridge is concerned. We may repair the old bridge, or do some work of that kind, but there is nothing in the Estimates'-
Reverting to the Guys-borough road, I am able to give the minister the correct date when the Estimate was submitted in 1911. The minister threw out an insinuation, which I do not think he intended ill ctt tlio Icite Government put $1,000,000 in the Estimates for this railway for political purposes. I questioned that statement, and pointed out to him that the matter was dealt with* before there was any idea of an election in 1911.. On looking up the Votes and Proceedings I find that the Estimate was submitted to the House on the 17th of May, 1911, and that on the 19th of May, two days later, $416,000 of the amount was voted.
It had nothing whatever to do with ,a Provincial campaign. Everybody remembers that this was nearly three months before the dissolution of Parliament, whereas my hon. friend, the acting minister, stated that it was. only a few days before the dissolution, and just on the eve of the election that this vote was placed in the Estimates. I feel sure that, with his usual frankness, my hon. friend will admit that he was mistaken with regard to that matter. I also wish to express the view that if the acting minister desires to be economical during the war, he should refrain from spending large sums of money on useless surveys. I submit that the minister is open to criticism for spending from year to year, and especially during the war, large sums of money in going over old surveys of that route and making practically no improvement. There can be no good
reason for these large expenditures. I have a return showing that $40,132.70 have been spent during the past two years in surveying the Guysborough route. Over $10,000 of that amount was spent last year while the war was on, and I have a list of fifty men collected from various parts, from Montreal to Sydney, who were engaged on the survey. There were axemen and rodmen all the way from Campbellton, N.B., and from points further distant, working on that route. We have very good axemen in the county of Guysborough. It is a lumber country, and they would be glad to, get employment. But the department even imported the cook from Parrsboro, and the cookee was brought from abroad to cook for the men, who went tramping over my county spoiling the crops of the farmers, and doing no good to anybody. That is the way the minister spent part of the million dollars last year. I hope he will not repeat the performance, and go on surveying this road from year to year, but that he will start to build it. The acting
by my hon. friend from Pietou as to whether he intended to have the road from Kemptown to Sunnybrae built. That road is to cost over $2,000,000, according to the estimate, and it would be interesting to know if any portion of the money we are voting now is to be expended on that branch.
I must apologise to my hon. friend from Pietou; I overlooked his question. There is nothing in the Estimates for that railway. This estimate is only for the line between Sunnybrae and Mulgrave. The construction of the other line referred to remains for future consideration by the Minister of Railways. The fact that it is not in these Estimates indicates that there is no intention to proceed with it in the meantime.
I am glad that the hon. member for Guysborough has got the date of the Estimate in 1911. I did not wish to do him any injustice, and, if the Estimate was submitted before the House adjourned in May, that is quite satisfactory. With reference to the matter of surveys and the importation of men into his constituency, my hon. friend knows that on the Government railway system we have Mr. Brown, the chief engiiieer, who keeps a staff of men who are used to surveying. These men go all over the Government railway system. They might be in his county ior a few weeks or months, and then they might be drafted to another part of the system. You cannot
change these men every day; it is necessary to have a staff who are used to the work, and it could hardly be expected that we should take men from the various constituencies and place them on the general surveying staff. It is sometimes charged against the Government that when a department employs a number of men in a particular constituency on a survey, or in connection with other work, they are employed* because they support the Government.
(Translation.) Mr. Chairman, on the 9th of March last, the hon., the acting Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Reid) made a. general survey of the situation. He expressed his regret at having to inform the committee of the ilness of the Minister of Railways, who at present is unable to attend to the business of his department. I, for one, and I am sure, all my fellow members earnestly wish to see Hon. Mr. Cochrane recover promptly.
I am glad to hear that the Intercolonial is perfectly equipped to handle , all the freight that offers. The Government has been energetic in its endeavours to improve the Intercolonial to as near .perfection as possible, with the result that our national railway is now getting its full share of the export and import trade.
We are urging our farmers to increased production. They answer the call cheerfully and patriotically for the sake of the country's prosperity.
So as to improve our trading facilities and bring into closer contact constimer and producer, the Government has been attempting to bqild up and complete the country's railway system. Since 1912, the Government wisely have asked Parliament to provide large amounts towards securing to Quebec city such improvements as will make of it a national harbour. The city is the trading centre of Eastern Quebec. When it is thriving, there is prosperity in the district. That explains why we follow with close interest the works carried on in Quebec harbour, as they are bound to secure for us the development of our railways, our agriculture and our industries.
Across from my constituency is found the historic region of Charlevoix. In the
interest of agriculture and trade Charlevoix should be connected to Quebec city by some railway. If the Quebec-Saguenay road were pushed to completion, it would be of great advantage to colonization, trade, industry and possibly winter navigation. The building of that road and the establishment of harbour facilities in the northeast section of the St. Lawrence would enable the country's import trade and the . exportation of Canadian wheat to be carried on almost, all the year round. Canada as a whole would share in the benefits derived from that great work. We ought to bend our best endeavours to the end of preventing our grain from ultimately reaching the elevators in American ports.
Of course we are handicapped by the absolute necessity for retrenchment in public expenditure, but nevertheless the building of a double road between Levis and Chaudiere, the Quebec bridge, the. workshops at St. Malo, the Levis dry dock, the new facilities provided by the Harbour Commission, the new grain elevator with a capacity of a million bushels, the car ferry, the building of terminals at Champlain market and of the Union station, will largely help to meet the requirements of the Transcontinental and put the city well on the way to pre-eminence.
The Minister of Railways claims that through trains will soon be running frofn Halifax to Winnipeg. I earnestly hope that he will be able to organize properly the line west of Quebec city; it is the best means of carrying out a colonizing scheme that will bring wealth to the country along the Transcontinental.
In November, 1914, the Government began to operate the Transcontinental between Levis and Moncton. Our people duly appreciate this great departure. The line runs from Levis to Mbnk, a divisional point in the county of L'Islet. On the 5th of April last, it was stated that the trains on the Transcontinental made only 13 to 15 miles an hour. The statement is incorrect. The distance between Levis and Monk is 112 miles and the train runs at the rate of 25 miles an hour. I do not think there has been a .single serious accident on that section of the line. For a few weeks the service was somewhat defective, but the severe snowstorms we had blocked the traffic on the best equipped roads.
I know that the Postmaster General has under consideration the mail service between Levis and Monk. I wish to urge updn the hon. the Minister of Railways the necessity of putting postal cars on the line
so as to give the district a better mail service.
Now I may be allowed a few remarks on the question of the use of the French language on the Intercolonial and Transcontinental. On the 28th of February last, 1 intended to speak in favour of the resolution of the hon. member for Kimouski (Mr. Boulay) regarding the use of French on the Intercolonial and in the Civil Service. After stating that I supported the resolution, I moved the adjournment of [DOT] the debate because the storm had prevented the Minister of Railways from reaching Ottawa. For that act of courtesy, I was taken severely to task. A parliamentary correspondent who criticised me in his paper, published at Fraserville, was at his seat in the House when I moved the adjournment of the debate. Why did he not speak against the motion? Why did he state in his paper that' the resolution of the hon. member for Rimouski was perhaps untimely? Why did not the French-Canadian members,
i [DOT] _ 11- . nn/vimnl' +V*o+ fVio
who were in me aauuoc, iciiucnt debate go on?
On March 9 and 31, while the estimates of the Intercolonial and Transcontinental were under discussion, our opponents had a grand opportunity to stand up for the rights of our language and our people. They sat still. During Sir Wilfrid Laurier's administration, the same system was followed, and the House never heard any protest from them.
Last fall, the " Progres du Golfe " had. a stirring article on the absence of French in the management of the Intercolonial. The author complained, and rightly so, that the French people were unfairly, discriminated against on that road. Between Mont-Joli and Campbellton the section is 105 miles long, 92 miles of which are in Quebec. The residents all along the section are French-speaking; yet the higher officials do' not speak our language. Mr. Price was superintendent of the Moncton-Mont-Joli division, where the great majority of the people are French-speaking. After his death, the hon. member for Rimouski made strenuous endeavours to have a 'French-speaking superintendent appointed. I also asked the minister to give the late Mr. Price's position to one of our race. In so doing, I was simply asking that there be righted a wrong which we have been suffering since the Intercolonial was built.
In the superintendent's office at Camp-belton, there are 55 employees, of whom 50 are English-speaking Canadians and five are French-speaking. At Moncton, 26 of
the higher officials are of English nationality, and there is only one French-Canadian. In a French-Canadian town, where the Intercolonial has a large staff, the application of an educated young man was turned down because he had not a perfect knowledge of English shorthand.
The French people of Quebec and the m Maritime Provinces have paid rates for the building, maintenance and improvements of the Intercolonial. They contribute considerably to the earnings of the road, and aTe entitled to a fair representation among the higher officials of that national railway.
In November, 1914, the management of the Transcontinental appointed as assistant superintendent at Monk, a division in the county of L'Islet, an official who could not speak a word of French. After vigorous protests, we secured the appointment of a French-speaking assistant superintendent. After the demise of Mr. Dion, the management appointed a man who was familiar with both official languages.
Lately, changes have been made in the management of the Transcontinental, and the assistant superintendent of our section is located at Edmundsten. That official cannot speak our language, although every day he has to deal with French-speaking employees and French-speaking people. I must register a most vigorous protest against that appointment. At the same time, I ask the Minister of Railways to heed the French-speaking people's request for a higher official of their own; let the minister put his name to a reform which after all is but an act of justice.
Mr. Gorrie, the superintendent of the Transcontinental at Quebec, could not speak a word of French; he has been replaced by a French-Canadian who speaks the two official languages of the country. In this appointment, the Minister of Railways has done his duty, and I feel most thankful to him. I congratulate him on having thus dealt fairly by Quebec city and our race.
On the 28th of February last, the hon. member for Rimouski, at the close of his address in this House, exclaimed: " If
justice is to be denied us, let us be told frankly; the province of Quebec is then prepared to secede from the rest of Confederation." My hon. friend wishes to come to the rescue of the Ontario minoriy. He wishes to uphold the rights of our compatriots in all the provinces of Confederation. How could he defend the minority if the province of Quebec should secede from the Dominion?
The French-Canadians are loyal British
, APRIL 11, 1916
subjects. They do not dream of annexation to the United States, nor are they scheming for political independence. We hope to have justice by placing our grievances at the foot of the Throne. To-morrow, as at the most trying epochs of our national history, we shall find allies and friends in both Britain and Canada. There -will be found in the Dominion men of the calibre of Messrs. Cameron and Pope' willing and able to help in our struggle for our most sacred rights.
To-day, as in the past, the French-Cana-dians are doing their duty towards Canada and the empire.
My words are not instigated by any ill-feeling when I .ask the hon. the Minister of Railways to do justice by the province of Quebec and by the French race which inhabits that great province as well as many important centres in the several Canadian provinces. I appeal for justice for the sake of our past, and our traditions, and as a necessary means to the harmony and progress of the Canadian people.
We have listened for about three hours to matters concerning the construction of railways, and now for a few minutes I wish to speak about the destruction of railways. Some thirty years ago a railway was constructed between Chatham and Fredericton. In order that members of the committee may follow me, let me briefly give the history of the line in question. The Intercolonial trunk line was opened in 1875, and soon after-
11 p.m. wards a branch line was built from Chatham to tap the main line at Chatham Junction. A few years later a project was brought forward for the construction of a line from Chatham Junction to Fredericton.
A charter was granted by the provincial Government for the construction of this line. There was some difference of opinion as to where it should tap the main line. The Hon. Peter Mitchell, then the respected member for my county in the House of Commons, strongly urged upon the Government that the line should tap the main line on the north side of the southwest branch of the Miramichi river at Derby Junction. The charterers, however, who got the right to construct the railway, instead of building it to tap the main line on the north side of the river, decided to construct it to tap tihe main line at Chatham Junction and thus* connect with the railway that ran into Chatham. That proposition was opposed by the Hon. Peter
Mitchell, who was able to induce the Dominion Government to build a short line from Derby Junction, some twelve miles up the river on the north side to what is known as Indiantown, and this was operated by the Railway Department for a number of years and known as the Indiantown branch of the Intercolonial, the train leaving Newcastle every evening and returning .to Newcastle the following morning. About the same time the line was completed from Fredericton to Chatham Junction, and then it was amalgamated with the line from Chatham Junction into Chatham, and eventually was known as the Canada Eastern railway owned by 'the Alexander Gibson Manufacturing Company. The road was later on extended on to Loggieville and a loop or diversion was made by Nelson.
About twelve years ago the Dominion Government purchased this line from the Alexander Gibson Manufacturing Company for in round figures about three-quarters of a million dollars, and undertook the operation of the line between Fredericton and Loggieville on the south side of the Miramichi river. The Government had all along operated a short line on the north side of the river. After the Government purchased this road from the Alexander Gibson Manufacturing Company, they put in working order a missing link of some five miles between Blackville and Indiantown. and so they operated the road from Newcastle to Blackville instead of to Indiantown. The committee will understand that the road operated into Chatham runs down on the south side of the
river. What I assert is that . residents on the south side of the river had. rights and privileges that no person could lightly take away from them. Their farms were taken and segregated. They received, it may be true, a small pittance for the right of way through their farms. This may have been paid or it may not, because, if the owner did not in a very short time accept the offer, his. claim went out of date, and I am not sure * whether they all received the pittance for the right of way or not. At any rate, their farms were segregated; the road was constructed and was operated for some thirty years, and the Government then came to the conclusion that they would not operate a portion of the line, that is to say, the line between Blackville and Chatham Junction, namely, sixteen miles. Instead of operating their line on the south side of the river, they
decided to run all their trains down the north side of the river and to take up the rails on the south side of the river, thus leaving the roadbed without rails and the residents without . the railway privileges that they had enjoyed, nay, more, that they had paid for, because the local government which granted the charter for this road subsidized it and the money of these residents went into the construction of that piece of railway. If a railway corporation owned the railway on each side of the river, the one being 'only 16 miles long and other 125 miles between Fredericton and Loggie-ville, and they said to the Railway Commission: "We want to cease operating that piece of road on the south side of the river," what would the Railway Commission say? They would say: " These people have vested rights, and you must not take away from them the railway privileges that they have paid for and that they have enjoyed for upwards of a quarter of a century." Now, I have said that if these two pieces of road were owned by a railway corporation, the Crown would step in and interfere with any attempt on their part to cease operating a portion of the railway on either side of the river. Yet, on the .principle that the King can do no harm, and that the King will not allow any ohe else to do any harm, what does the King do? The King steps in and robs one hundred people of their vested rights.
The Governor General in Council-the Government of the day. I charge that the Government of the day have robbed 100 people in my county of rights and privileges that they have enjoyed for the last thirty years and without giving them any compensation whatever. I will not say that they did not attempt to give some salve that would perhaps heal the wound more or less, because what did they do? They actually ordered a survey for the construction of one bridge or more across the river so that the residents on the south side of the river might have an approach to the railway that they were operating on the north side.
And this is as far as compensation has gone -simply a survey for the bridge and a promise from the acting minister in 1914 that the bridge would be built. I want to have a heart-to-heart talk with the acting minister as to his promise, and as to the necessity of constructing these bridges, so
that the families so adversely affected may have an approach to the railway from the south side of the river. One hundred families have been ruthlessly robbed of their vested rights and privileges. Their farms have been used for right of way, and to-day it is necessary for them to keep up fences on each side of the road-bed. And their own money helped to construct the road, because the Provincial Government gave the subsidy to them. In the name of fair play, why is it necessary to allow this ugly scar, if I may so express myself, to remain? Will not the acting minister instruct the general manager to take this matter up once more and see if he cannot find a way to relieve the situation. Let the acting minister, or the deputy minister, or the general manager, visit the locality and see there the road-bed with the iron rails taken from it, and find out how it has adversely affected the people in that district. Let him come down there at this time, when the river will be almost a rapid, when it must be practi-eally impossible to gst across, even. in. 3. canoe; and yet families that have enjoyed railway facilities are now deprived of them. This committee has 'been talking for three hours about additional railway facilities, yet you take up the rails, and refuse to operate a piece of railway because you have the power in your own hands to do so, because, as you say, the King can do no harm. But the King would not allow anybody else to do what he himself has done in this case.