May 29, 1930

UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Will this be a toll bridge?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

What company is constructing the bridge?

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I cannot

say.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

It will be a private corporation?

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

My hon.

friend will have to get that information from someone else. I am simply explaining how we are interested.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

When the bill is before

us we shall be able to discuss the matter intelligently, and I would suggest that the minister defer his explanation until we have the terms of the bill before us and know exactly what we are talking about.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Elliott thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 346, respecting the construction and maintenance of a bridge over the St. Lawrence river at Caughnawaga.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Mr. ELLIOTT moved the second reading of the bill.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Having the bill before us, we can now make some intelligent criticism. The statute incorporating the bridge company appears to have been passed in 1928 and the promise given by the late minister was to be implemented in 1929. There is no reason why the matter should not have been proceeded with. Apparently this is a private corporation, and if it is, I find it very difficult to bring my mind to the view that we should support it. I think that the minister should now give us a very full explanation, and if

possible a copy of the statute incorporating the company, for before we give the aid of this parliament to an enterprise of this character we should know what we are giving it to. The observations made by my friend from Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church) have a singular bearing on the matter if it is a private corporation organized for gain charging tolls on traffic and we are asked to give a guarantee or supply a part of the cost. I am sure the Prime Minister has not had an opportunity to look into the terms of the act of incorporation of the bridge company, but that is an all important matter at the moment so far as this parliament is concerned.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The corporation, organized under Quebec legislation, is a public corporation. It is not a private enterprise at all.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Will the minister explain what he means by a "public corporation "?

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

My colleague the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) has a copy of the bill before him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. J. C. ELLIOTT (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, the necessity for

this legislation did not arise in 1928 or 1929, due to the fact that the bill incorporating the company-and I shall be very glad to hand to my hon. friend a copy-was passed in 1928 by the Quebec legislature. It did not provide for anything beyond vesting power in the company to construct the bridge and to charge tolls and for their regulation. The first part of the act sets out that it was in the interests of the cities, towns and villages situated in the district on the south shore of the St. Lawrence and of the cities, towns and villages situated on the island of Montreal and of the whole province to construct a bridge connecting the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence opposite the Caughnawaga reservation on lake St. Louis, and that to ensure the construction of such bridge it was necessary to create a corporation with the powers requisite for its purpose.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Why was that necessary?

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

It is a bridge over the St. Lawrence-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Oh yes.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

-and it was necessary-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The privy council has

held that the bed of the river belongs to the province.

Caughnawaga Bridge

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

That is the practice, I believe, followed in the province of Quebec with regard to all bridges of this kind. That act contained no provision for the assistance which the province of Quebec was giving for the construction of the bridge. An act was passed this year-and I have a copy of it also -providing for the province of Quebec to assist in the construction of the bridge by giving a guarantee of this kind; that is, it is a toll bridge, and it is expected that at a very early period in the life of the bridge it will pay its own way; but in case of a deficit an assurance has been given by the province of Quebec to pay two thirds of the costs of operation and maintenance, interest on any sums borrowed for the purpose of construction and the sinking fund, less the tolls. It is possible that neither the province nor the Dominion may be called upon to pay anything; but in the early stages, the first few years at any rate, it is likely the amount of the tolls may not be sufficient to pay interest on the cost of construction, and expenses of operation and maintenance.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Who is putting up the money in the first place for construction?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

The company.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED CAUGHNAWAGA BRIDGE
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May 29, 1930