May 31, 1921

UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

Well, I take it that if the level of the Norman dam were raised or lowered to such an extent as to be detrimental to the water-powers lower down, they would have the right to pro-. ceed against the person responsible.

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UNI L
UNI L
UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

The Norman dam could not be raised -or lowered at will as my hon. friend suggests. There is power in chapter 115 of the Revised Statutes of Canada to control that dam.

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

The Protection of Navigable Waters Act, Part 1, section 4, says: No bridge, boom, dam or aboiteau shall be constructed so as to interfere with navigation, unless the site thereof has been approved by the Governor in Council, nor unless such bridge, boom, dam or aboiteau is built and maintained in accordance with plans approved by the Gov-, ernor in Council.

Now, Sir, I continue the reading of this telegram. It says:

In view of the results and of fact that we can expect no further co-operation from your Government-

In view of the correspondence which passed surely the Prime Minister could not reasonably say that he could hope for no further co-operation. Every line and every syllable of the correspondence so far as the province of Ontario is concerned indicates

a willingness to co-operate in the fullest possible manner.

-now that the Ontario Legislature has prorogued, it is impossible to understand what useful purpose could have been served by further consultation on the present situation. Your concluding observation that my telegram was lacking in frankness is sufficiently surprising in itself. It is the more so in that its context discloses a complete misconception of tihe nature of the international obligations here involved-Under the existing Treaty of January 11, 1909, the Dominion has obligations in respect of freedom of navigation, maintenance of levels, and the prevention of injury on the other side of boundary waters. That is a responsibility solely of Dominion and purpose of present Bill is to make it quite certain that Dominion Government shall not be powerless to exercise that responsibility. In this and other respects We have proceeded throughout on the advice of law officers of the Crown. In the circumstances %ve have no other course than to proceed with the Bill which invades no rights of the province and which is essential to adequate exercise of Dominion jurisdiction.

Arthur Mbighen.

I leave this phase of the matter, Mr. Chairman, at that; I do not propose to labour it further. But in this connection I wish to read the following paragraph from the report of the International Joint Commission:

The average controlled level of the lake of the Woods between 1892 and 1916 was 1,059.82. 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 3 feet lower. Ordinary high water from the viewpoint of the rights of the riparian owners, is dependent upon the level which prevails during the planting, growing and harvesting season. For the purpose of this report, we have adopted the mean of all levels above the average summer level prevailing between June 1 and'September 30 as mean or ordinary high water. On the basis of comparison of ordinary high water the recommended level of 1,061.25 is 2.23 feet higher than the computed natural leve1 of the lake.

It will be seen, therefore, from the report itself that the level of the lake has not been so interfered with as to prejudice international rights in any way; the navigation of these waters has not been prejudiced in the slightest. I repeat again that all these matters have been amply and satisfactorily handled.

I had commenced, when asked a question, to give a slight resume of the Hudson report. As I understand the matter, the Hon. Mr. Hudson, at the request of Manitoba, came to Ottawa to represent that province on the hearing of this case. Subsequently Mr. Hudson sent in a report. I do not propose to read it all, but he says this:

The question on which I anticipated the most difficulty was the casting vote on the

Board. The Ontario people felt that they Should have predominance to deal with waterpowers within the province.

I quote that only to show that the people of Ontario have at all times stoutly maintained that those water-powers were theirs and theirs alone.

Let me for a few minutes deal with one or two legal aspects of this Bill. I want to draw the attention of the committee to clause 2, which reads:

All dams, structures and other works of whatsoever description which have heretofore been or may hereafter be constructed in, upon, over, about or across-

I contend that that clause is not good because it is not specific. Any legislation brought down toy the Government in regard to this matter should show what dams are to toe constructed and what water-powers are to be affected by those dams. It must show specifically just what the Dominion Government propose to do. They have no right to put in an omnibus clause allowing them to have jurisdiction wherever they may desire. Only last week the British Columbia Electric case

4 p.m. was being argued in the Supreme Court, and the judges, although they had not given their decision, were inclined to pay considerable attention to the fact that there was involved in that case the very point that I am to-day arguing. One of the counsels said that it was a guessing contest, and the judges seemed to agree with that. I, therefore, say, first, that this clause is not good because it is not specific. Further, I doubt if the Dominion Government have any jurisdiction except over the actual physical structures that may be put up. They may have the right to say what is the height or width of a dam, where it may be located and so forth, but the fact that they may have the right to do that does not give them the right to control the waters of the province of Ontario. It is a moot point, even in the matter of navigation, whether they can go any further than that or not.

To show what widespread interest there is in the matter; to show how deeply the people of that section of the country are interested in this legislation; to show with how much fear they regard any such legislation, I want to read just one or two clauses from " an open letter to the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, M.P., P.C. and to the hon. members of Parliament for Ontario constituencies," which I find in the Toronto Mail and Empire, of April 25,1921. The letter reads:

The people of Kenora district and of northwestern Ontario respectfully urge thalt you defer further action on the Bill designed to transfer the rights of the province of Ontario over her water powers to the province of Manitoba.

If the Bill becomes law, the waterpowers in this part of Ontario will be seriously curtailed and industrial and commercial development severely handicapped.

Divorced of legal phraseology, the position as we see it is:

The electrical power interests of the city of Winnipeg aim to secure the primary right to control the regulation of all the waters in the English and Winnipeg rivers in Ontario.

They do not need this "privilege" in order to furnish power to their customers.

But, in order to give that impression, and to divert attention from the fact that they propose to waste about one-fourth their utilizable waterpower, they have used the phrase "dependable flow"-

I have not gone into the question of " dependable flow," because I shall leave that for others, but it is a question that might well be argued before this committee.

-and are seeking to encroach upon Ontario's waterpowers and to blind the public and their elected representatives to tihe real results.

Efficient development of the waterpowers along the Winnipeg river will Obviate any necessity for preventing the full use of Ontario's resources.

Exactly what I have said, that if the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg are willing to develop their own water-powers and to spend the money that is necessary for such development, there is no need whatever to interfere in any way with the vested rights of the province of Ontario. Let me read only this one more clause:

If the Dominion Parliament bows to the will of the Winnipeg electrical power interests and the Bill becomes law, a direct hindrance to northwestern Ontario industrial growth will be achieved and a dangerous precedent established in permitting one province to encroach upon the rights of another.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Who is the author?

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UNI L

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. PARDEE:

The Board of Trade of

Kenora. The letter also says in regard to the consulting engineers:

They say that the utilizable flow develops 27 per cent to 31 per cent more power than the dependable flow.

The dependable flow method wastes the 27 per cent to 31 per cent, and runs it off in flood time.

In conclusion, I desire to say that this legislation is vicious in every sense of the word. It is brought in under cover of something that really does not exist for the purpose of enriching another province at the expense of Ontario, brought in at the request of Manitoba by the Premier thereof to enrich not only that province, but many

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REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


private interests within that province which ought to spend their own money to enrich themselves. It is brought in primarily to satisfy the province of Manitoba; but it is brought in, I repeat again, to satisfy a private interest and under the cloak of that, and I say that it is without a doubt nothing but a side-wind or an attempted side-wind to take from the province of Ontario that which rightfully belongs to her and to deprive the people of that province of the control of their water-powers and natural resources. Again I refer to the boundary award. That was fought to the last djtch. In that award the province of Ontario, under Sir Oliver Mowat and the great men who surrounded him, was given the right to all those lands and the contents thereof. I repeat-and I appeal now to my hon. friends opposite who are supposed to have Liberalism in them that this is nothing more or less than a side-wind to come back to the old fight between Macdonald and Mowat and deprive the province of Ontario of what she has fought and given her best for. I say this ought not to be allowed, and that the people of the province of Ontario will resent it in the strongest possible manner, as this Government will find out. I appeal to the Government as earnestly as I can to drop this legislation until the few months have expired which will enable this Government and the province of Ontario to get together and come to an amicable agreement which will be satisfactory to both governments and which will prejudice neither. I appeal to my hon. friends opposite, many of whom I see before me or their ancestors fought the old fight, once again to come back to the fight of the boundary award. I remember as a young lad that the first time I ever knew I was a real Grit was when that question came up and the cry was: The traitor's hand is on thy throat, Ontario! Ontario! Then I realized the fact that the great, strong Sir John A. Macdonald, ruling this whole Dominion, was endeavouring to take from the little province of Ontario her wealth and resources, and I said to myself, if this is Toryism, Liberalism is good enough for me. If there is one shibboleth left that remains dear to the heart of every Liberal, whether in the province of Ontario or in any other province, it is the old shibboleth of which Mowat and Laurier were the great exemplars-the old shibboleth of provincial rights and provincial autonomy.


UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. F. H. KEEFER (Port Arthur and Kenora):

Naturally, as a portion of my riding is affected, I rise to take part in this debate. Speaking from this side of the House, I regret exceedingly that I am not able to follow the Prime Minister in this matter. I think this Bill is wrong, wrong upon its merits, irrespective of the question of provincial rights; that is a different question altogether, and one that I am not going to argue. My remarks will be directed to the question why this Bill is wrong, unfair and unjust.

In the first place, I wish to preface my remarks by giving the instructions I received just a few days ago from the Kenora Board of Trade, and which to my mind very accurately set forth the proper course to pursue in this matter. It is a telegram dated May 26, addressed to myself, and has been communicated also to the Government:

Kenora Board of Trade considers that Lake of the Woods Regulation Act now before the House should not be adopted, but Government efforts concentrated on securing the adoption of International Joint Commission's report and ratification by both countries. Should Control Board appointed under treaty not (have sufficient powers, the necessary legislation could be enacted. As we consider the Act is of contentious nature, and Kenora being vitally interested, we feel the best interests of the Dominion would be served at this time by action as outlined above.

Kenora Board of Trade,

A. M. Rose,

Secretary.

It is a most unenviable and unhappy position for any member on the Government side of the House to have to differ from the Government on government legislation, but if I did not voice here the views of my people, which in many respects I think are right, I would be false to the trust which they have reposed in me; and I do not intend to be that.

In the first place, it might be advisable to give a rough description of the locus in quo, as we lawyers say. Rainy lake, Rainy river, the lake of the Woods, and the Winnipeg river, are practically all one stream, with enlargements, the two enlargements being the lake of the Woods and Rainy lake. The major portion of the waters of the Winnipeg river that come from the lake of the Woods come from Rainy lake. Rainy lake is a very large lake on the international boundary, with other lakes above, also international, feeding into it. Rainy river is the outlet of that lake. It is also international, and upon it works have bean constructed at International falls or Fort Frances. Then you enter

into the lake of the Woods, only a very small portion of which, the northwest angle, is international. The outlet of the lake of the Woods is the Winnipeg river, and the Winnipeg river and the lake of the Woods are practically dammed by nature, by what is called Tunnel island. There are two or three outlets forming Tunnel island, and this island holds back the waters, subject to these natural outlets.

What has taken place there in the past was this: In 1887, after a long period of low water conditions from 1880 on, the Government of Ontario, in order to further the business of that district, induced private parties to build what was called the Rollerway dam.- (I want to give the history of the whole question, iso that whatever vote is recorded it will not be with any misunderstanding.)-The Dominion Government by Order in Council agreed to give $7,000 towards the construction of that dam and the money was afterwards voted. The dam was built. It raised the waters, but was not quite efficient. For reasons considered best by the Ontario Government, they saw fit to enter into an agreement with the Keewatin Power Company to build a new dam further down the river. The Rollerway dam is just at the opening of the river from the lake of the Woods. This new dam is now often spoken of as the Kenora dam. To show that this work was of a public nature, and that it was in the public interest to have it constructed, the Ontario Government, as representing the Crown, made a grant of Tunnel island to the builders of the proposed Nurman dam, which was to cost quite a large sum of money. The dam was built. The question arose whether the full amount of money had been expended, but the Ontario Government waived that, and granted the patent to the island.

Now we start out with the Norman dam as we call it, built as a public proposition. Its benefit was for the public. It benefited navigation and held up the waters both for power and everything else. The dam was not put there as a menace or to take advantage of any one, but to do good, in the public interest. It has remained there for 26 years. It was built in 18931895, but no stop-logs were put in the openings built to let the flow go through, until 1898. Then it was considered advisable to control the waters by putting in a stop log. In 1898, five years after it was built, stop logs were inserted, and the Ontario Government-previously it was the Dominion Government to the Rollerway-

266*

granted $4,000 to the Norman dam for this purpose, and were given the right to regulate that dam.

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LIB
UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

Certainly; I should be

only too glad to throw any light on the subject, as it affects my constituents.

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LIB

James Hamilton Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS:

Was the Norman dam built with the approval of the Governor in Council?

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UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

I know of no plans or

specifications or application for that dam. It is now called an outlaw dam, but it was built as of public benefit twenty-six years ago, in return for the grant of Tunnel island.

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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

Are there two dams

there, the Norman dam and the Kenora dam?

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UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

There is really only one dam, the Norman dam. Sometimes by mistake it is called the Kenora dam. There are three outlets to the lake, one at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company's plant, at Keewatin, one at the Norman dam, and another which has always been spoken of as the eastern outlet.

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UNION
UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

When the Norman dam was built, the Rollerway dam was taken away.

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LIB

James Hamilton Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS:

The hon. member has not

answered my question. Was the Norman dam built with the approval of the Governor in Council of the Dominion?

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UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. KEEFER:

No, it was not; no

application has ever been made of which I know. After putting in these stop logs, the Ontario Government was given the right to make regulations. That may not have been the proper course for the province; it might be argued that such was a matter that was in the jurisdiction of the Dominion Government, because navigation was affected. The Ontario Government paid $4,000 and the construction was made for the benefit of navigation, and the raising the height of the water at the outlets for the benefit of power.

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May 31, 1921