April 10, 1918

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

If that is the intention it is all right.

Mr. MeMASTER: I trust that the Bill,

when 'brought down, will contain a saving clause to protect all causes of action which have already arisen from the operation of the Act. I have knowledge of one case which is 'being dealt with by my office. My partner is negotiating with one of the departments to get what we consider an adequate recompense for a widow whose husband was killed. The department had offered just about the amount that they would be liable to under the compensation law of Quebec. We did not think the compensation allowed was sufficient in this case [DOT]and we have been trying to get a larger [DOT]allowance. I would not like our rights, or *the rights of our clients, to be prejudiced by any legislation adopted in a House of which I was a member.

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Mr. J. D. REID: The railway employees would like a Dominion Compensation Act, but that would take a considerable amount of time and I thought it would :be well to [DOT]simply 'bring in a Bill for this session putting Government railways in exactly the same position as the other railways. When the resolution is passed the Bill will be introduced and it will be printed so that every one will have an opportunity of looking it over. That is the reason I would like *to get the resolution through to-night.

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Will this apply to pending litigation?

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

There is no pending litigation.

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

There is one point in

connection with this Bill that will have to receive very careful consideration. Disputes have arisen between different classes of labouring .men in the different provinces in regard to interference with common-law rights by reason of compensation Acts. Under the Compensation Act in the province of Ontario, if a workman is injured in the course of his employment lie is brought under the Compensation Act, his Tight to the common law remedy is taken away from him, and his damages are limited to the amount which is fixed by the Act.

Mr. MeMASTER: It is practically the

same in Quebec.

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

There is an Act before the legislature of Alberta over which there

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is the same discussion. Last year, the province of Saskatchewan undertook to amend their Compensation Act along that line, and it was thrown out. My personal opinion is that any Compensation Act w'hich interferes with the common-law rights of the labourer is wrong in principle, because the Compensation Acts fix definitely the amount of damages which can be recovered, and they are fixed in some cases as low as $2,500 in the event of death, and the dependents receiving compensation under that Act are barred from their remedies under the common law. Now, if this Government brings railway employees under the Workmen's Compensation Acts of the various provinces, they should certainly put in a clause which will safeguard to those employees the rights which they have at common law. Until we have the particulars of the Bill before u3, it will be unnecessary to discuss this matter, but I want to point this out to the Minister of Railways, because I feel that, if he takes away the common-law rights from the railway employees of Canada he will be introducing legislation which "will 'be very unsatisfactory to them and will, I think, work injustice.

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Possibly my

hon. friend has not quite grasped the purpose of the resolution. I have had the advantage of discussing it with some-not all-of the labour organizations, and they are exceedingly anxious that it should be passed. More than that, this legislation would not take away any common-law right at all; it is not taking anything away, it is giving something. And in g'ving the right to compensation, it has been thought desirable, for the present at least, to follow the same lines which have been established under the laws of the several provinces. There is nothing given away, but a right is conferred. [DOT]

Resolution reported without amendment and read the first and second time.

Hon. J. D. REID thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 51, to provide compensation where employees of His Majesty are killed or suffer injuries while performing their duties.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.
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RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Hon. J. D. Reid, (Minister of Railways and Canals) the House went into Committee to consider the following proposed resolution, Mr. Boivin in the Chair: Resolved, That it is expedient to amend the Department of Railways and Canals Act, Chapter 35 of the Revised Statutes, 1906, by providing that the stores account of the Canadian Government Railways shall be debited with the cost of materials, equipment and stores purchased, and of work preformed and expenses incurred in connection therewith, together with the cost of establishing, maintaining and conducting the railway stores; and shall be credited with the values of materials, equipment and stores as issued and charged to proper appropriations, or otherwise disposed of; and that the balance to the debit of the said stores account shall not at any time exceed six million dollars.


UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

The Railway Act of 1906 contained a section, No. 20, which reads a3 follows:

Stores accounts as heretofore established in connection with the Intercolonial Railway and the Prince Edward Island Railway shall, respectively, be debited with the cost of materials, equipment and stores purchased and of work performed and expenses incurred in connection therewith, together with the cost of establishing, maintaining and conducting the railway stores, and shall be credited with the values of materials, equipment and stores as issued and charged to proper appropriations, or otherwise disposed of.

Since that time we have taken over the Transcontinental railway and the International railway, that is to say we have increased the magnitude of the Government railway system. We propose to amend the clause I have just read so that it would apply to the enlarged railway system. Section 21 of the Act reads as follows:

The balance of the debit of the respective stores acounts so established, shall not at any time exceed, for the Intercolonial Railway the sum of one million five hundred thousand1 dollars, and for the Prince Edward Island Railway the sum of one hundred thousand dollars.

The object of this Bill is to increase the quantity of the stores that we can have on hand. Owing to the high price of coal and other necessary supplies, it is an impos-siblity to operate the roads with the quantity of stores which $1,500,000 will purchase, and', of course, under the Audit Act, We cannot purchase without haVing a sufficient credit. For that reason, this resolution proposes to increase the amount which may be invested in stores from $1,500,000 to $6,000,000. Of course, the system now requires supplies from Port Arthur to Sydney. We have to keep a supply of coal at Port Arthur, for instance, and 100,000 tons at that point at $5 or $6 a ton represents in itself a large proportion of the amount we are asking.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

That explanation seems reasonable enough, Mr. Chairman. I hope the hon. minister at a later

stage will give us some statistics showing why he has selected the amount of $6,000,000 instead of $2,000,000 or $4,000,000.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

I shall give a detailed statement showing the stock on hand at the present time.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Has the Minister of Railways and Canals lost the Canadian Northern railway again? He does not mention it.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

In the clauses of the Act read by the minister I notice that specific amounts are allocated to the two railways mentioned, $1,500,000 to the Intercolonial, and $100,000 to the Prince Edward Island railway.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

We have now a much larger mileage embraced in the Canadian Government Railway system.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Will a certain proportion of the six million dollars be divided amongst the different roads, so much to the Canadian Northern, and so on?

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

The Canadian Northern railway is being operated under its own charter. This resolution applies only to the railways operated by the Canadian Government and covered by the Railways and Canals Act.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

But the Canadian Northern is the property of the Canadian Government.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Only when it comes to the matter of making payments.

Resolution reported without amendment, and read the first and second time.

Mr. J. D. REID thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 52, to amend the Department of Railways and -Canals Act.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

On motion of Sir Robert Borden, the House adjourned at 12.19 a.m. (Friday).

Friday, April 12, 1918.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND CANALS ACT AMENDMENT.
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April 10, 1918