May 31, 1921

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

To expedite matters, we will reserve all criticism and discussion until the Bill is in committee.

Resolution reported.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I move that the resolution be referred to the Committee of the Whole, to be considered in connection with Bill No. 216, respecting the lake of the Woods and other waters.

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Motion agreed to. Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister) thereupon moved the second reading of Bill No. 216, respecting the lake of the Woods and other waters. He said: I would prefer to make a statement when the Bill is in committee, but if hon. gentlemen prefer, I can make it now.


L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACQUES BUREAU:

We can go

into committee providing we can then discuss the Bill as if on the second reading.

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Motion agreed to, Bill read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon-Mr. Boivin in the Chair. On section 2-Declaration that certain works are for the general advantage of Canada:


UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

This Bill succeeds a

Bill previously passed by both this House and the Senate intituled, "The Lake of the Woods Control Act." The present Bill is intituled, "The Lake of the Woods Regulation Act." On the second reading of the Lake of the Woods Control Act, I made a fairly complete statement to the House of the purpose sought to be attained by that legislation. | The 'purpose (sought to be attained by this legislation is, in effect, the same as that which was in view in the previous Bill. It is different, however, in this important particular. The previous Bill was the federal portion of concurrent legislation to be submitted to this Parliament and also to the Legislature of Ontario.

The Bill was submitted in identical form to each House, having been agreed to by the governments concerned. These Bills looked to the installation of a board to be known as the Lake of the Woods Control Board, which would have and exercise the power and authority intended to be vested in a corresponding board by this legislation. Had the concurrent (legislation passed, that board would have been a joint board, two members being appointed by the Government of Canada, and two members by the Government of Ontario. That joint board would have been empowered to make regulations to secure the ends set out in the Bill, such regulations to be confirmed by the Government of Ontario, and, as well, by the Government of Canada. Unfortunately, that concurrent legislation, while it passed this Par-

liament, did not pass the Legislature of Ontario. The Premier of- Ontario, who introduced it, I think, on March 2,-it having been introduced here on March 1- on the second reading of the Bill, some objection being raised on the part of the Opposition, immediately withdrew the measure. I received from him shortly afterwards, a telegram, and made reply thereto. Further correspondence followed, and the entire correspondence was tabled in this House very shortly after it took place. There have been two communications since that which are tabled to-day, but which contain little, if any, new matter, and one of which I believe, on the part of the Premier of Ontario, was given to the press at the time he sent it to me. The effect of the statement of the Premier of Ontario was that he had withdrawn the legislation in view of opposition to it from across the floor. He held out the hope, however, that he might re-introduce it the following session, and that in the meantime we would arrange for the continuance of a Lake of the Woods Control Board which, under the authority of joint Orders in Council, had been in esxistence since January, 1919. That brings me to the point of reviewing the circumstances leading up to the appointment of the Lake of the Woods Control Board by these joint Orders in Council of January, 1919.

The lake of the Woods, as we all know, is an international body of water of considerable magnitude in the far western portion of the province of Ontario. The waters leading into the lake of the Woods are, in great length, international streams, being the border between Canada and the United States. The outlet of the lake of the Woods is on the northern extremity. There are three outlets, the chief one being the central, known as the Norman outlet, controlled at the present time, or alleged to be controlled, by what is called the Norman dam. There are two others, one at Keewatin, on the west, and the other at Kenora power-house on the east. The main one, however, is the central, the Norman outlet. All these outlets converge into the Winnipeg river which, a stream of very considerable flow, flows into lake Winnipeg through the province of Manitoba. There is, almost at the junction of the province of Manitoba and the province of Pntario, a river flowing into the Winnipeg river known as the English river, which takes its rise in lac Seul, in the province of Ontario. It joins the Winnipeg river just below the White Dog falls. The

lake of the Woods, ever since we had a population in Canada, has been utilized in more or less degree for navigation and fishing purposes, and as well, although this might be included in navigation, for the transport of lumber and logs. The lake of the Woods is, of course, well known also as a Canadian summer resort of the first importance. However, that fact does not necessarily enter into the merits of this legislation at all.

Now, in the waters composing the inlet to the lake of the Woods some power plants are established; I believe that the proportion of power developed to the developable power is large. At the outlet at the Norman dam, there is also a power developed, or rather a possibility of it in embryo at present, in the dam itself. Further down, in the province of Ontario, at White Dog, there is a potential power development of about 100,000 horse-power. At the inlet of the English river, that is to say, in the province of Manitoba, there is such a fall, at so many points, that the chief power properties of Winnipeg river there subsist. The developable power in Manitoba is some 500,000 horse-power; that is, if the river is controlled on the principle which I shall later on describe. There is no development at the present time at White Dog; but in the province of Manitoba, particularly at lake du Bon-nett and Point du Bois, there has been very useful, and, indeed, very important construction. What is now, and will be for many years to come, virtually the source of power, and all that power means to the. province of Manitoba, is to be found in the waters of Winnipeg river after they reach the province of Manitoba.

I have said enough to indicate that in this water basin there may be said to reside four important factors or responsibilities: first of all, it is an international body of water; secondly, having included in it the outlets, it is also interprovincial: thirdly, it is a navigation basin; and fourthly, it is the source of very large power possibilities. Because of that variety of properties in the lake of the Woods water area, the question of the control of that area arose comparatively early. Difficulty was naturally involved in it because, chiefly, of the fact that it was an international stream, and also because of the fact that along- with its navigation uses there were its power possibilities, and along with its uses for the one province, were its uses for the other. There finally evolved a reference to the International Joint Com-

mission in so far, of course, as its international features were concerned-a reference to the commission for the purpose of determining what was the proper principle of control of those waters, and how that principle could be implemented by proper authority. Canada was represented at the hearing of the case before the commission by the Lake of the Woods Technical Board which took the whole subject in hand, very thoroughly prepared the case for this country, and presented it to the court. The United States was also ably represented; but in this technical board all interests- interprovincial and otherwise, power and navigation-were gathered together, and consequently the whole Canadian case was put before the tribunal from every aspect and as a harmonious appeal. The findings of the commission were given, and the findings took care of the uses of the water basin for all purposes. That is to say, the commission fixed a principle of control. The commission recommended how a body should be created to take charge of the control, what powers should be vested in that body, within what limits it should exercise those powers, and how the different classes of damages that might ensue on either side of the boundary, or in the United States or Canada, should be discharged. That report was very satisfactory to this country, and the Government of Canada, by Order in Council, accepted it in full. The Government of the United States communicated with this Government, I think, in November last. Their communication embodied a virtual acceptance of the report as well- that is to say there was nothing in principle in the report, as we interpreted their communication, which was unacceptable to them. There were, however, certain details and certain recommendations included in the communication, but I do not think it would be pertinent to go further into those at the present time. Their communication has been replied to by the Government of Canada, and we have urged that it would not be in the interest of either country to seek to modify the report, and have pressed that it be accepted with the least possible delay.

In the meantime, however, after the report was made, there were certain enterprises that were contemplated, and indeed in some measure commenced, by private interests having to do with control of the outlets of this lake. Mr. E. W. Backus had secured control of what is called the Norman dam. He had also secured from the Government of Ontario certain rights-whether sufficiently

guarded or not I am not going to discuss at the moment-as respects White Dog falls farther down the river. He also has secured, by agreement with the town of Kenora, rights in respect of the Kenora dam. These acquirements by him-or what would be more accurately described as the Backus interests-if carried through to the point of actual construction, and if carried through to the extent that quite evidently was in the mind of Mr. Backus, would, before there could be such a thing as the acceptance of the report of the Joint Commission by the two countries, and the establishment of the board provided for by the report, lodge such vested rights in him and his interests as would put it out of the power of this country-without at least very, very great expense-to carry out its international obligations in respect of the findings of the International Joint Commission, and, as well, would have the actual effect of placing in his hands the control of levels, the control of outflow, in such degree that there would be affected interests for which alone the Government of Canada was responsible, for which alone the necessary power and authority rested in the Government of Canada to do what could be done having regard only to Canadian interests. On that account, concern was expressed on the part not only of this Government but of the Government; of Ontario, and a method was devised, by concert between the two administrations, in January, 1919, for the appointment in the meantime of a Lake of the Woods Control Board in a sort of locum tenens position-a board appointed by the two governments, two members by each, a board to be given authority to exercise, in the meantime, such control as would conserve the situation and not allow any one to acquire rights that would afterwards make it embarrassing either for the Ontario Government or, more especially for the Government of Canada upon whom alone international responsibilities rest- such control as would not make it embarrassing for these governments to carry out their obligations, and also discharge their inherent primary responsibilities as respects those waters. The Orders in Council appointing that board recited the difficulties inherent in the position of affairs as they then stood. They recited the purposes for which the board should be appointed, and in the recitals reviewed historically the varipus events that have led up to that position. The Order in Council passed by this Government was acquiesced in by the Government of Ontario. They appointed their members and helped to

form in that way a joint board in order to achieve the end sought by the Government of Canada. That board assumed its duties and has .since sought to discharge them; but in the pursuit of its duties it found that it had no statutory or solid footing, and was not clothed with powers that would enable it to conserve the interests, either of Ontario or of Canada, as those interests should be conserved; and it unanimously appealed to the two governments to place it on a statutory basis, to arm it with such weapons as would enable it to do what it was originally created to perform. I should say in this connection, that the appeal of the board in this regard was not only well founded' but was acquiesced in by the two administrations. The appeal, I said before, was unanimously made by ail four members of the board, and perhaps at this point it would be of .interest to know who they were. The Dominion representatives were Mr. W. J. Stewart, of the Department of External Affairs, and Mr. J. B. Challies, of the Water Powers Branch of the Interior Department. The Ontario representatives were Mr. L. B. Rorke-whose office I do not recollect-and Mr. H. G. Acres, chief engineer of the Hydro-Electric Commission.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I did not catch exactly what the Prime Minister said about the attitude of the board in regard to the appeal tnat was taken.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No; I said the members appealed to their respective governments to clothe them with statutory authority so that they could actually do what they were designed to do by the Orders in Council. I might say in this connection that in the course of their work they sought to exercise, by virtue of the authority of legislation of Ontario, certain control over the watems .of the Winnipeg river. They thought that under the Rivers and Streams Act of Ontario there was lodged in the Government of Ontario the power-which, of course, if it had it could devolve upon this board-so to control the flow of the Winnipeg river at the Norman dam and farther down as would effect their purpose. They appealed to the Government of Ontario to clothe them with power under the authority of that Act. The Government of Ontario, however, upon investigation, and, I believe, upon inquiry of eminent counsel -and I know that inquiry was made by the Dominion's representatives upon the board-were advised that the Ontario Rivers and Streams Act, in so far as it was

designed to enable the Government of Ontario to control the levels of the Norman dam and the Winnipeg river, was ultra vires of the province of Ontario, for the reason manifestly that the control of levels having to do with navigation was a function of the Parliament of Canada.

Having sought to get authority there, and having failed, they then appealed to each government to clothe them with authority by concurrent legislation that would enable them to do their work, because in the meantime applications were being made for certain construction works involving necessarily a measure of control, and for certain diversions involving necessarily also a measure of control, and generally very pushing enterprises were being launched which only needed to be advanced very 'little to embarrass seriously the control which was so desirable, indeed, so essential. The appeal, as I said, met with a favourable response on the part of both governments. It was recognized on the part of the Government of Canada that while international responsibilities were ours, and ours alone,-that while for example, if those in control of the Norman dam should raise the level of the lake of the Woods, and thereby cause damage in the state of Minnesota, it was no sufficient answer for us to say to the people of Minnesota, that those damages were incurred by Mr. Backus or his interests; we were answerable because that was an international obligation. The Government of Canada recognized also that its responsibility had not only that foundation, but as well had the foundation of navigation-.that undoubtedly the lake of the Woods was a navigable water used as such continuously, that undoubtedly also the Winnipeg river was a navigable stream, declared so, indeed, by the Court of Appeal of the province of Ontario; and that undoubtedly as well a third factor in our responsibility was that this country was the custodian and, indeed, the owner of the water-powers of the Winnipeg river below the boundary of the province of Ontario.

The Government of Ontario recognized those truths. And the Government of Canada recognized as well that it could not deny the proprietary rights of the Government of Ontario in respect of water-powers in the river in the province of Ontario. I am not saying that that right is wholly impregnable by virtue of judicial decisions, but for the purpose of discussing the merits of this Bill it may just as well be

assumed. That being one of the responsibilities of Ontario, it was felt that the interests of all could be served by means of a joint board on a solid, permanent and unassailable foundation. Therefore the legislation that passed this House, and that failed concurrently to pass the Legislature of Ontario, was introduced. Had it passed the Legislature of Ontario, we would now have had a joint board deriving its powers concurrently from the Dominion and province, its regulations subject to the approval of the two governments, exercising that degree of control over the levels and outlets of the lake of the Woods water area that essentially must be exercised publicly in the interest of this country. That legislation failed. Consequently there is no board, nor is there anybody in a position to exercise that control on behalf of the public that is so essential.

Now, in this connection I am not seeking in any way to minimize the importance of power development. The proportion that that importance bears to the entire problem is very great indeed. But in that connection we must not forget that in the province of Manitoba by far the major degree of development exists; and the development there is, I might say, infinitely more vital to that province than it is to any similar development in Ontario. While I say that, I do not suggest that we can in the least degree ignore the rights of Ontario in respect of development there. Indeed, what we seek to do by this legislation, and what we sought to do, but abortively, by the concurrent legislation that preceded it, was so to control the waters as to achieve both for Ontario and for Manitoba their maximum use.

That being the case, I want at this point to discuss in a little detail the principle of control that is embodied in this legislation and that was embodied in the last. _ The International Joint Commission said, in its findings in respect of navigation, that the waters of the lake of the Woods should, if possible, be kept always between two certain levels, namely, 1061-5 geodetic sea level datum, and 1056; that while it was so kept the interests of navigation would be fully conserved; and that between those levels it would be serving to the maximum the interests of power. However, the commission's findings also took account of the possibility that there might be times when the waters could not be kept below the higher level nor above the lower level, and while the interest of the United States in

respect of those levels was an interest derived from navigation alone, they sought to keep it between that maximum and that minimum, and then were satisfied, to say, in effect: We will allow your board to be in control, but when the level gets above on the one hand or below on the other, then navigation is so affected that a joint board, on which the United States is represented, must be in charge of affairs.

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

May I ask the Prime Minister a question? Would not the individual states adjoining the boundary have power rights so far as the level was concerned?

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They have no power

rights after the waters reach the lake of the Woods; but there are power rights in the international waters flowing into the lake of the Woods in which course they have rights and responsibilities. _

So the International Joint Commission, having disposed of that matter, which appertained both to power and navigation, but primarily to navigation, went on to define, after the most thorough inquiry, upon wnat principle the outflow of the lake of the Woods should be controlled. They said: Keep it within those levels, and in Keeping it there allow the water to flow out in such measure and at such a rate as to secure what is known to engineers as the highest dependable flow. The commission also considered another principle, the principle of intermittent flow. But after, I say, the most thorough investigation and after receipt of all the evidence the commission determined that the correct and sound principle to adopt, having regard to all considerations of every kind, was the principle of the highest dependable flow. Now, the Government of Canada have adhered to that report and that finding. Unless, therefore it wants to express an opinion antagonistic to the report, it is the duty of the Government and of the Parliament of Canada to see that everything is done that can be done toward putting us in a position to maintain for all time the finding of the commission adopting the principle of the highest dependable flow. Consequently there is embodied in the Bill this direction to the Lake of the Woods Control Board to be created under it: You are commissioned to maintain the levels on those waters as found to be best by the International Joint Commission. You are commissioned as well to control the outflow of those waters according to the principle upon which the International Joint Commission has placed its imprimatur. Now,

the legislation failing in Ontario, the position of the Government of Canada was this: Until the findings of the commission were accepted by the government of the United States and legislation was passed on either side ratifying the treaty to be based thereon; until that time should come -and it might come at no very early day-we were faced: with [the qujestion whether we would ourselves step in and hold the situation in the meantime-having the right to do so by reason of our responsibility, internationally and in respect of navigation, and as well in respect of the rights of the province of Manitoba -or whether we should quietly walk away and leave the matter to be taken care of by Mr. Backus on the one hand and the tender mercies of such an agreement as the province of Ontario might make, on the other. I do not know what agreements might be made. I do not know how far ne might go, or how far he might be permitted to go. I do not know what might be done, but I know what legally could be done, and in respect of which, without legislation, we could not interfere. Knowing that, it was my judgment * 'n this the Government concurred and we now^ submit it to Parliament for its ratification-that we could not abandon the situation; that we should be armed with the authority of Parliament to take care of and to control the levels of the lake of the Woods and the outflow of the lake in the meantime, basing the principles of that control upon the findings of the International Joint Commission. That it is our duty so to control there can be no doubt; as to how we .should control there may be some question. But I do submit that as we have accepted the findings of the commission-findings which, having regard to all interests, we believe to be right-then while we are controlling we ought to adopt the principles that the commission recommended; we could not very well justify any variation of them. Therefore this Bill is introduced.

It may be asked: Why does the Bill place the board in control of the waters of the English river to the extent that it does? Now, I said a while ago that the findings of the commission provided that the waters constituting the outflow of the lake of the Woods should be controlled on the dependable flow principle. But if the dependable flow principle is best, as undoubtedly it is, and should prevail, it can only prevail if the waters of the English river are controlled on that principle as well. It would be futile, it would be JMr. Meighen.]

abortive, to seek to apply the dependable flow principle to the waters of the Winnipeg river and then abandon the waters of the English river to the control, say, of some board or some authority which might adopt the intermittant flow principle. If that were done it would be useless to seek to apply the findings of the International Joint Commission to the Winnipeg river. That is to say-and I think it is not very hard to understand-while we might have the highest dependable flow in the Winnipeg river flowing out of the lake of the Woods, if. the waters of the English river, an immense stream, are to be controlled upon any other principle, then immediately they reach the waters of the Winnipeg river, the principle of the dependable flow is destroyed and the water-powers below are virtually in the position of the water-powers of the English river. If the dependable flow principle were abandoned the effect would be that instead of having a 500,000 horse-power development on the Winnipeg river below the province of Ontario, there would be a reduction to 250,000 horse-power, an amount wholly inadequate even for the purpose at this moment in view. It would, in a word simply knock from under the province of Manitoba the whole basis of its power development. I do not think that anything more need be said to justify the course pursued, save this: there can be no doubt that the waters of lac Seul- which, indeed, have been so for many years -and also the waters of the English river, are undoubtedly navigable waters. There is the same reason for holding them to be navigable waters that there is for holding the waters of the Winnipeg river to be navigable waters, and those waters have been so held by the Court of Appeal of the province of Ontario. Therefore the basis of our authority is undoubted. We do not, though, for a moment dispute that the powers on the Winnipeg river are powers in the province of Ontario, and we regret indeed that Ontario has abandoned the situation for the time being and has refused to join with us in joint control so that all interests might be conserved. We regret that very much, but because it is our desire that there be joint control rather than a single control on the part of this Parliament or of any body created by this Parliament, we place in the Bill a clause which provides in effect that when Ontario passes the legislation introduced this year, or legislation to that effect, the Governor in Council may, when the two measures

go into effect and the board is created thereon, repeal or suspend the legislation that we now submit to Parliament. That is to say, this legislation is intended to take care of responsibilities pending the concurrence of Ontario in the principle of joint control. The clause providing for such repeal or suspension-and I hope I .shall be pardoned if I anticipate that clause and pass in review the entire Bill -provides also that notwithstanding that repeal or suspension any works constructed in the English river or in the Winnipeg river or at the point of outflow of either shall be continued as works for the general advantage of Canada pursuant to the declaration embodied in this Bill. The reason for that is this: the waters of the English river are substantially interprovincial waters. It is true that the river ceases to be called the English river when it reaches the Winnipeg river, but its waters flow right on into lake Winnipeg. In fact, it is an interprovincial stream in every sense, no matter how you describe it. Being an interprovincial stream upon which large water-powers exist, the works upon it require to be works in which the whole people of Canada-or at least the people of the two provinces-are concerned. Now, as to the purpose of inserting in the British North America Act a provision authorizing the Parliament of Canada to declare works to be for the general advantage of Canada and making that authority entirely _ unrestrained-the purpose of that provision applicable to works in one province in which another province necessarily had an interest, in the control and operation of which another province was vitally concerned, was to enable the joint interests of both to be no longer the subject of disputes or controversies between the two but to be taken care of by an authority that had an equal interest in both. On account of that we feel that we are basing our request upon the undoubtedly common interest of both parties, when we ask that these wTorks, being works in which both are concerned and over which both should have authority, should continuously remain works for the general advantage of Canada. _

I have given at some considerable length the reasons for this legislation that is now before the committee; I have gone over it virtually clause by clause, and I submit the Bill to the committee and to the House with this last word. There is not, on the part of the Government of Canada, the least

desire to invade the rights of any province of this country. No better evidence could be given of reluctance on the part of this Government or of this Parliament to invade provincial rights, than the evidence that, while we had paramount authority in the first place to go in and control, because international obligation is the first basic responsibility and navigation rights are the next responsibility and both are paramount to provincial rights, we did not do so. We recognized the rights of Ontario and Manitoba, very important rights, perhaps, in point of commercial magnitude greater than the other two rights, though in point of law inferior to both, and we sought by joint action to take them with us in this control. It is only because, through no fault of ours, but entirely through the fault of the Government or the Legislature of Ontario-I do not care where the blame is placed, but I think it is chiefly on the shoulders of the Premier of Ontario by reason of his failure to carry through the joint legislation-we are compelled to take the position which we are taking now to ask that Parliament vest us with authority to serve the interests of both provinces and the whole country until we are able to effect the joint legislation for which we strove in the first place.

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

I have listened, as I

always do, with great respect to the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen). There is much legislation brought down in this House, some of it more important than others, some affecting great interests, some of more or less local character; but I think that a question such as this should have been brought down at an earlier period of the session. I contend, and I think most hon. members on this side will contend, that though the Prime Minister may disclaim any intention of this legislation being a direct blow at provincial rights, that will certainly be the effect of this measure. Taking into consideration the fact that Parliament was almost ready to prorogue last Saturday and that from day to day it is looking for prorogation almost at any time, let me repeat again, that it is a most remarkable thing to bring down at the present time such legislation as is set forth in this Bill. As the Prime Minister said, Bill D was brought down first in the Senate and then in-3 p.m. troduced in this House as Bill No. 23. That Bill provided certain things, but it had nothing ulterior about it in any way; it was founded only and solely upon the fact that there was

The average level which would have prevailed during the same period of years, if the outlets had remained as in a state of nature, is 1,056.77, or practically three feet lower.

If that is correct, there is no very particular need at this time for the Dominion Government to take the step it proposes. I sumbit that navigation rights are not being interfered with, and it has not been shown by anything the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen), has said that in the near future, within any reasonable time after the agreement might be made between the two Governments, navigation would be any greater than it has been since 1876. I therefore think that there is no necessity for this legislation. Everything points to the fact that the rights of all parties concerned have been safeguarded, and that things as they are at present have been absolutely satisfactory to those people who are most interested. The present Board of 'Control was appointed under an agreement between the two Governments, and the facts and figures submitted by the International Waterways Commission prove beyond doubt that this board has been amply sufficient to take care of every need that might exist. Consequently there is not such tremendous hurry for this drastic legislation that it could not stand for another year until the meeting of the Ontario legislature, when concurrent legislation could be passed. The report of the International Waterways Commission,

I submit, absolutely shows that the water is being properly taken care of. What, then, is the necessity for this legislation?

I do not personally believe, and I doubt whether the people of the province of Ontario believe, that it arises from international complications, or that it is needed to meet navigation necessities. After all, the waters with which this Bill is concerned eventually flow into and become part of the Winnipeg river, the lower part of which flows into lake Winnipeg. From lake Winnipeg the power developed is taken to the city of Winnipeg. Now, the whole milk in the cocoanut appears to me to be altogether different from what the Prime Minister would have us believe, and I cannot divest my mind of this belief, no matter how sincere the Prime Minister may be. This legislation is not due to any international complica. tions, and it is not for marine or navigation purposes. Perhaps we cannot blame the Prime Minister altogether for the purpose which prompts this Bill. He is only human, but you have to be more than

human to be Prime Ministetr of a great Dominion like this; you must be so entirely inhuman as to be impartial to your own province and must legislate for all the provinces of the country according to their rights. I contend that the whole purpose of this Bill-I say this with all respect-in spite of any arguments which the Prime Minister may advance to the contrary, the whole sum and substance, the whole aim and object of the Bill, is to furnish power to Winnipeg and the large interests in Winnipeg which demand it of the Prime Minister.

Why do I say that? Let me refer again to the report. This document says that there is a fall of 20 feet at the Norman dam, which is the one mentioned by the Prime Minister as the governing factor in this matter; and a fall of 291 feet in the Winnipeg river. There is also a fall in the White Dog rapids of 45 feet. Let me say, in passing, that the,Norman dam and the White Dog rapids are situate entirely with in the province of Ontario. So that if there is a fall of 291 feet in the Winnipeg river, and a fall of 45 feet in the White Dog rapids, which is in Ontario, subtract the fall in the Wbite Dog rapids from the fall in the Winnipeg river, and you have a fall in the Winnipeg river of 246 feet. Now, 246 feet I think everyone will agree, is quite sufficient, to develop an enormous water-power. That being so -and I am taking the word of the commission for it-I want to know why the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg, do not, at their own expense, develop their own water-power on this 246 feet on the Winnipeg river, and leave the province of Ontario with its own water-powers intact? But the city of Winnipeg is interested; the Winnipeg Electric are interested. The Winnipeg Electric want the most dependable flow, and they are, let me say, very strong friends of the present Government, and must be attended to.^ When you come down to the last analysis of the situation therefore, you find1 that there is sufficient waterpower on the Winnipeg river for development to satisfy all the needs of the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg, and I contend strongly that the reason they do not develop it is purely and simply the fact that they desire to be rid of the enormous cost that would be entailed in the development of that waterpower, and want to fake advantage of the moneys that have been spent by private interests in Ontario in developing the

water-power which they now seek to control. No matter what the right hon. the Prime Minister may say to the contrary, I venture to assert that you could not go to any place in Ontario and convince the people that the fact is otherwise than as I have stated.

Why, Sir, in the early days there was an issue between the province of Ontario and the Dominion Government in what is known as the Boundary Award, which was fought out to the bitter end and by that doughty old patriot, Sir Oliver Mowat, who opposed Sir John Macdonald tooth and nail. The Dominion Government has been casting envious eyes upon the great hinterland of the province of Ontario, rich beyond all dreams, in minerals, timber and water powers, and Sir John Macdonald made one of the most determined attempts he ever made in his life to get possession of that territory for the Dominion. The Ontario Government rightly contended that the ownership was vested in the province. The fight was waged in the courts, and the issue finally went to the Privy Council, who upheld absolutely the contention of the province, and as a result the title to those minerals, timber and water powers was vested in Ontario. To-day we see repeated an attempt by this Government to get something which does not rightfully belong to them, thus acting in accordance with the old Tory tradition. To-day we see being re-enacted, as vividly and as realistically as in former times, the struggle between the Dominion and the province of Ontario. Once more the fight which was waged at the time of the Boundary Award is being fought over again. No matter what amount of camouflage and sweet words may be used in order to try and disguise the issue, this is an absolute attempt on the part of the Federal Government to try and filch from the province of Ontario what rightfully and lawfully belongs to it. This Bill isnot merely a measure for the regulation of water-powers, it is more than that. The fundamental purpose of the Bill is to abrogate the common law right of property in provincial waters and create a new and artificial right. Its purpose is to subtract from the value of certain waters and to add to the value of other waters by the direct and simple process of statutory enactment. This is being done, not in the interest of Canada, not in the interest of the province of Ontario, but with an eye solely to the watershed of the Winnipeg river. The entire injury would be wrought to water-powers in Ontario, and to riparian rights

therein; the benefit would result to the province of Manitoba. I maintain that by this legislation you are taking away from the province of Ontario the common law right to control her waters and her water powers, a thing which this Parliament has no right to do under the British North America Act. Sir, the Prime Minister of Canada seems to have a bogey in the person of Mr. Backus constantly before him. I am not here to hold any brief for that gentleman; I fancy from all that I have read he seems able to take care of himself. Be that as it may, I am not championing his cause or otherwise, but I say this: Even though you admit-which I do not-that Mr. Backus may be a menace to the province of Ontario and perhaps may do something that will not be wholly in its interests, the Premier's argument as to the interests which are at stake here is utterly and absolutely fallacious. The question involved is one with which the province of Manitoba has absolutely nothing to do. The Dominion Government has not given to Manitoba its natural resources, therefore this is not a squabble between Ontario and Manitoba; it is a dispute solely between the Dominion and Ontario.

The Prime Minister of Canada has said that concurrent legislation was not passed by the province of Ontario. That is very true. What was the reason for that? I do not know. It is a fact, however, that concurrent legislation was not passed by the provincial legislature as was contemplated under Bill D. Since 1918 there has been a Board of Control appointed by both Governments, two members from each, taking care of and regulating the flow of water in Rainy river, lake of the Woods, and the waters adjacent thereto. That board has been absolutely satisfactory to all concerned. There have been conferences and a good deal of ^correspondence between the present Premier of Ontario and the leader of the Dominion Government, with regard to the question at issue, and at least one gentleman came here representing the Government of Manitoba. During the whole of the correspondence which took place the province of Ontario never at any time abandoned one jot or tittle of any right it may have. So far as the Government of Ontario were concerned they sedulously maintained the fact that they were the paramount authority to be reckoned with. It was very plainly evident to my mind that even if this concurrent legislation was not passed by the Ontario Legislature there was in the mind of the Dominion Premier

an idea that he might still come to some conclusion which would be satisfactory to all parties either by conferences or correspondence with the Premier of Ontario. Even as late as April 28, last, we find in the correspondence which has been brought down this letter:

Right Hon. Arthur Meighen,

Prime Minister,

, Ottawa, Ont.

In view of the fact that the Lake of the Woods Control Bill was opposed last night in the House by the Liberal Opposition and the Conservative opposition as well as from the Government side it was found inadvisable to press second reading under circumstances that pointed to the probable defeat of the measure.

In withdrawing the Bill I made the announcement that if then desired it would be reintroduced next session. I respectfully urge that in the meantime the present control arrangement be continued and assure you of the thorough co-operation of this Government to ensure the best results for all the interests involved.

E. C. Drury.

In answer to that on April 29 the Prime Minister wrote the following letter:

Dear Mr. Drury,

I have your telegram of yesterday. I regret very much indeed that the Lake of the Woods Control Bill is not to he passed by the Ontario Legislature this session. It has already passed both Houses of the Federal Parliament.

Now I ask the committee to listen to this:

I will take up the matter of continuing the present Control Board with the Minister of the Interior and can assure you that we will endeavour to do so if same can be effectively done.

Faithfully yours,

Arthur Meighen.

The very position that the right hon. gentleman would in all fairness have taken, and I have not the slightest doubt that it is the very position he did take until the pressure became too great. Then we have later on-showing the efforts to come to some compromise-a telegram from the Hon. Mr Drury, which reads as follows:

Newspapers report 'the introduction of Government legislation declaring all structures in the Lake of the Woods waters to be for the general advantage of Canada and bringing them under Federal control. I gathered from your letter of April 29th that you proposed to continue the present control hoard and therefore do not understand proposed action. Any effort to take control of the waters and water-powers of this province further than is necessary for the purposes of navigation will be strongly resisted by our people and will he considered by them to be an unwarranted invasion of the provincial domains by the Federal authorities.

So far as Mr. Drury is concerned he has, at least up to the present, taken it for granted that the Prime Minister would do as was practically done some considerable

time ago, would carry on the same arrangement under the same circumstances and would a'.low the present Board of Control to act and not introduce this present legislation.

Then Mr. Hudson made a report-

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Perhaps the hon.

gentleman should read my reply to that telegram.

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UNI L
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

May 26.

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

I have not the right

hon. gentleman's telegram of the 26th. I do not intend to take advantage of that at all, and if he will send it across I shall be glad to read it, it is only fair that it should also go on record. Here is the .telegram, dated Ottawa, May 26, 1921, in these words:

Hon. E. C. Drury,

Premier of Ontario,

Toronto.

The Bill respecting the Lake of the Woods referred to in your telegram of May 25th proposes no more than to take power to exercise the undoubted jurisdiction of the Dominion in respect both of navigation and of our international obligations. Further there is a clause providing that if the Ontario legislature enacts the legislation referred to in the Lake of the Woods Control Board Act passed earlier this Session the force of the present Bill may be suspended. Unless we adopt this Bill the position resulting from failure of Ontario legislature to adopt the legislation agreed upon this year is that there may be no means effectively to protect great public interests and that the responsibilities of Dominion Government in respect of a great navigable water system and of our international engagements may be at the mercy of purely private interests. This is a position for which we are not prepared to take responsibility.

Arthur Meighen.

That is exactly what the right hon. gentleman said to-day. I contend that nothing could be more fallacious than the statement that if the Ontario Legislature enacts certain legislation we will go back to the old status quo. Section 10 of this Bill provides:

If the necessary legislation of Ontario referred to in the preamble of the Lake of the Woods Control Board Act, 1921, be enacted by the legislature, the Governor in Council may, by proclamation published in the Canada Gazette repeal or suspend this Act and the regulations made thereunder-

That is absolutely permissive and may or may not be done as suits the Government which may be in power at that time. That section also provides:

Provided that notwithstanding any repeal or suspension of this Act .in the manner provided by this section the works and each of them hereby declared to he for the general advantage-

of Canada shall remain and continue to he works for the general advantage of Canada.

In other words, Sir, you give with one hand and you take back with the other, and you leave the donee absolutely nothing.

Now let me continue my argument as to what efforts had or had not been made by the province of Ontario and the Dominion, tut more especially by the province of Ontario, in order that this matter might be amicably settled without any prejudice to the rights of the province of Ontario. In that connection I will read the letter of May 27, 1921, from Mr. E. C. Drury to the Right Hon. Mr. Meighen:

With reference to your telegram of yesterday re Lake of the Woods I feel it my duty to remind you again of your promise contained in your letter to me of April 29th as follows: "X will take up the matter of continuing the present Control Board with the Minister of the Interior and can assure you that we will endeavour to do so if the same can toe effectively done." There is absolutely no reason to believe that the present control cannot toe effectively continued. This Government is in a position to assure you that-pending the execution of the White Dog lease under the terms of which the control of the Norman Dam will toe permanently established-it has an undertaking that the present control will not be disturbed toy the private Interests involved.

That is pretty strong. Premier Drury lays it down on his responsibility as the head of that great province that they have assurance that the present control will not be disturbed by the private interests involved.

In view of your undertaking and the firm position we have taken regarding control of the Lake of the Woods, the contention now advanced that control is in jeopardy is unwarranted and is, I submit, no justification of your proposed legislation which attempts to dispossess this province of its constitutional authority over its water-powers. I draw your attention to the fact that this Government has not been consulted i-n the matter of this drastic action that we have had no opportunity to see the proposed Bill and that we are prepared to co-operate with the Dominion, as we have been doing to ensure that the interests of navigation will toe amply safeguarded.

Could anything be more absolutely explicit in asserting that Premier Drury, on his responsibility as Premier of Ontario, is willing to give every undertaking that so far as the waters in that region are concerned to-day things will go on as they have done in the past, that the waters will remain at the same level as they have remained at for the last ten or fourteen years, anti that as a consequence no person who requires the use of those waters will be in the slightest degree prejudiced. I submit that nothing could be stronger or more explicit than that. Then, what further does he say?

Tour contention that failing your legislation international engagements will toe at the mercy of private interests is, I submit, lacking in frankness because no such engagements have yet been ratified and because there are means of controlling the private interests involved. I am therefore compelled to ask you not to proceed with the Bill which is unnecessary and unjustifiable invasion of the rights of Ontario.

I ask again, could language be stronger or more explicit than this language used by one holding the responsible position of Premier of the province of Ontario? Then there is a telegram-I am sorry to have to detain the committee, but I wish to put these things on record-from the right hon. Prime Minister to E. C. Drury, dated May 28, 1921. I quote:

Your telegram May 27th respecting Lake of the Woods. My statement of April 29th that we would endeavour continue present means of control was, as your telegram itself shows, conditional upon question whether such means would toe effective.

I submit with all deference that that is a rather far-fetched conclusion.

As I have already pointed out we regard their effectiveness as being so doubtful that we cannot take responsibility of relying upon them.

They have been quite effective for many years.

I pointed out before, and your telegram now confirms it, that the only existing basis upon which control can toe founded is some engagement with private interests to which the Dominion is not even a party.

Why should the Dominion be a party, I want to know? When shall it be said that a province may not deal with its own natural resources as it sees fit-in this case, so long as the flow of water below the dam is not interfered with?

Even if it were a party we could not regard this, in view of all the circumstances and importance of interests at stake, as a satisfactory basis upon which to rest our responsibility in respect of navigation and our international engagements. Your own agreement earlier this year to concurrent legislation constitutes in itself recognition of inadequacy of existing basis and of necessity of remedy.

Not necessarily, I argue. They were quite ready and quite willing to pass enabling and concurrent legislation. The only reason why there should be concurrent and enabling legislation was the fact that the commission did not have the power to carry its decrees into effect. I will admit all that, if it is any comfort to my right hon. friend. But I want to point out further that there was absolutely no reason to doubt the wisdom of what they were doing.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They could not do anything.

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UNI L
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Very little.

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

The right hon. gentleman may say that it is very little, but so far as that is concerned there was very little to he done. The great point made by my right hon. friend is that the commission contemplated by this Bill is necessary to keep the levels as they ought to be kept. The fact remains that the present board, which was appointed in 1918, has acted and is acting satisfactorily.

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

May I ask my hon. friend a question, there, just for information? The Norman dam has now passed into the hands of private interests. Suppose those private interests determine to raise or to lower the Norman dam, has the commission to which my hon. friend has just referred any power to control that? What penalties could they impose, for instance, on the present owner of the Norman dam if he raised or lowered the level of the lake?

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May 31, 1921