July 18, 1917

CON

George Henry Barnard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARNARD:

Well, for Ontario, but I venture to say that this legislation is hitting at one particular company. I may be wrong in. that; I speak subject to correction. If the legislation is intended for the province of Ontario, the fact should be stated. I object to firing a charge of grape shot when you don't know where the pellets are going to land, and that is what you are doing here. You are dealing w'ith every company incorporated in Canada since 1906, and taking away certain rights

which may have been "given, and, on general principles, I submit the legislation is altogether objectionable and should not be adopted.

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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

A power company from Montreal came here last session and they had the same rights as these people have. The Railway Committee took those rights away from that company and inserted a clause similar to this section. There was not any squeal about it then.

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LIB
CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

Yes, they had, but these people had not.

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

That is not for Toronto

alone.

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LIB
CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

There are lots of places between those two points that it can serve.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Can the hon. minister inform us if there is any other company affected by this section, except the Toronto company?

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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

The other companies thought their powers were taken away from them.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

This section reads:

Notwithstanding the provision of section 3 of this Act, it is hereby declared that the powers of any such company have been so restricted since the date of the enactment of Chapter 37 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, that is to say, the 31st January, 1907.

It not only applies to the Toronto-Niagara company, but it applies to any company that dates since that time, if there are any such companies in Canada. We were informed that no other companies were affected by this section, excepting the Toronto-Niagara company. I do not know whether that is the case or not, and I question if the minister or any hon. member can say whether we are interfering with the rights of any other company by this legislation or not. But the legislation is certainly vicious, inasmuch as it is retro. active. I do not want to be misunderstood. I want to vote for a clause that will give the city of Toronto the power to deal with

this, question tor the future, but I do not want to vote for a clause that dates back to 1906, and takes away certain rights which that company legally and properly enjoyed at that date, and enjoys to-day. If it is right that the city of Toronto should have the right in the future in the public interest, let us give that right, but let us not, in order to do so, introduce such a section into the General Railway Act of Canada when we do not know who will be struck by it. We are not certain how far this provision goes, and I want the minister to consider that point. There may be other companies that have obtained rights as far back as 1906, which rights may be affected by the legislation we are passing here.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I had the privilege of listening to the representatives of the Toronto and Niagara Company and ^presentatives of the Hydro Electric Commission. These representatives were before

(a) The right to supply hydraulic, electric or other power by means of cables, machinery or other appliances;

(b) The right to acquire, construct, maintain and operate works for the production, sale and distribution of electricity and power for any purpose for which such electricity or power can be used;

(c) The right to construct, maintain and operate lines of wire, poles, tunnels, conduits and other works in the manner and to the extent required for the corporate purposes or the company, and to conduct, store, sell and supply electricity and other power and with such lines of wire, poles, conduits, motors or other conductors or devices to conduct, convey, furnish or receive such electricity to or from any persons at any place, through, over, along or across any public highway, bridges, viaducts, railways, water courses, or over or under any waters, etc., and

(d) To erect poles, construct trenches or conduits or do other things necessary for the transmission of heat or light as fully as the circumstances of the case may require, provided the same are so constructed as not to incommode the public use of streets, highways or public places, or to impede the access to any house or other building erected in the

vicinity thereof, or to interrupt the navigation of any waters the company, however, being responsible for all damages which it causes in carrying out or maintaining any of its works.

I should like the committee to pay particular attention to the following paragraph:

The powers of the Toronto and Niagara Power Company including those above mentioned, may be exercised without the consent of any municipal corporation, the right of the Company to so exercise them having been, as we are advised, affirmed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the case of the Toronto and Niagara Power Company v. Corporation of the Town of North Toronto, 1912, A.C. page 834.

If this legislation was not brought forward at this time and placed on the statute book, this same company could go into any town, city or village in Canada, erect poles and carry on their operations in direct opposition to the wishes of any of the municipalities in Canada. They can carry on all these operations, in spite of any of the men who represent these municipalities, or the people who are living in them. We believe that that is not in the public interest. Therefore, the committee decided that they should insert this, section, which will compel them to do as subsection 4 of this section of the Bill compels them to do. That section reads:

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to authorize the company, nor shall the company have any right, to acquire, construct, maintain or operate any distribution system or to distribute light, heat, power or electricity in any city, town, village or township ; or to erect, put or place in, over, along or under any highway or public place in any city, town, village or township any works, machinery, plant, pole, tunnel, conduits, or other device for the purpose of such distribution without the' company first obtaining consent therefor by a by-law of the municipality.

We are asking them to come under the same law which all other companies are compelled to come under to-day, which requires them to obtain the consent of the municipality, before they are allowed to erect their poles and continue their operations.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

As far as I am personally concerned, I was one of the first members of the Railway Committee that insisted that what we call the standard clause should be put in all railway charters.

I also insisted upon that when they came back for a renewal of charter. The member for East Larabton read subsection 4 as if we were objecting to it. We are not objecting to subsection 4. We have put in all recent Acts a provision giving the municipalities the absolute control of their

own streets. I think the member for East La mb ton unintentionally misled the committee by reading that clause and saying that we objected to it.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I hope the

thon. gentleman will not put into my mouth words that I did not utter. In the early part of my remarks I called particular attention to the fact that this was retroactive legislation.

iMr. NESBITT: I think my hon. friend

said, a kind of retroactive legislation. Certainly the latter part of his remarks tended to give the impression that we were opposed to giving the municipalities absolute control of their own streets. That is not the case. What we object to is subsection 5, which Teads:

The provisions of the last preceding subsection shall apply to and restrict the powers of any company heretofore incorporated by Special Act or other authority of the Parliament of Canada notwithstanding that such provisions may be inconsistent with the provisions of such Special Act or other authority, and notwithstanding the provisions of section three of this Act; and it is hereby declared that the powers of any such company have been so restricted since the date of the enactment of chapter thirty-seven of the Revised Statutes of Canada 1906, that is to say, the thirty-first day of January, 1907.

We contend that it is not fair to have al-_ lowed ithese people to invest their money under that Act

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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

They never invested

their money under that Act.

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LIB
CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

The Toronto Electric Light Company have invested their money.

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LIB

July 18, 1917