May 30, 1930

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Under the specifications?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

The character of the work was agreed upon before the Canadian National Railways assumed the position of agent of the minister in carrying it out.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Is it true that the Canadian National Railways assumed the position of contractors for this enterprise and did the work?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

No, they carried it out

entirely as agent of the minister and were so appointed, in the same manner as they have carried out work on the National Transcontinental and other lines.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

They were responsible for the completion of the work in the same manner as a firm of contractors would be?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Scarcely that.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What is the difference?

They had to do the work. Surely this job has not been political.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Then if it is not political the Canadian National Railways are carrying on this work as contractors for the enterprise.

2892 COMMONS

Supply-Railways-Hudson Bay

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

You can call them contractors if you wish; that is not quite the actual fact.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is not very much

difference anyway.

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LIB

Alexander MacGillivray Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Saskatoon):

Did I understand my hon. friend to complain about the length of time taken by the Canadian National Railways to complete the work?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I was complaining that

the government had not pressed the work forward, since the government has been in the position of being in control of the contractors. That is my position exactly.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

In view of the attacks

which we have had to meet on every platform in my province and in the Conservative press because of our support of the Hudson Bay railway project, I will take good care to publish and circula/te the remarks of my hon. friend to-day.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is very satisfactory.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I noticed that the minister made a public statement some time ago to the effect that the Crowsnest rates would be extended to Churchill. I wonder if the minister could give us some definite assurance on that point.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

My hon. friend is misinformed as to the statement attributed to me. I have no recollection of making any statement that the Crowsnest pass rates would apply to the Hudson Bay line because there was no occasion for making such a statement and the matter never has been given consideration. However, I may tell my hon. ;riend that it will receive very serious consideration and personally I have no doubt that those rates will apply.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I am not sure where I read the statement, but I definitely recollect reading something in the newspapers to that effect.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Perhaps my hon. friend has in mind the statement I made during my tenure of office as Minister of Railways, which was to the effect that by virtue of judgments given by the Board of Railway Commissioners in other cases there was no doubt at all that the Crowsnest. pass rates would apply, in my opinion. As the minister of railways has said, until the tariffs of rates are filed by the railway company with the Board of Rail-TMr. Bennett.]

way Commissioners and are approved, this matter cannot be said technically to have been decided upon. However, because of the nature of the judgments given by the railway board in rate cases of a similar character, there is no doubt that the Crowsnest pass rates for grain will apply.

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CON

Donald James Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN:

Mr. Chairman, I would

like to direct the attention of the minister to a matter which I consider to be worthy of consideration. That portion of the Canadian National Railways, formerly the old National Transcontinental, running from the eastern boundary of Manitoba into the province of Quebec, is not subject to municipal and school taxation. The remainder of the Canadian National system pays full taxes, and I do not see why this other portion of the road should not be in the same position, especially with respect to the pioneer communities in northern Ontario. The towns of Sioux Lookout, Long-lac and Nakina are more particularly affected by this situation. I submit that it is unfair for the employees of the railway who live in these communities to have to pay municipal and school taxes which should be paid by the railway company. The employees of the railway in other communities receive the benefit of taxation paid by the company, and these people should be put in a like position. The town of Sioux Lookout, an important divisional point, offers a concrete illustration. The assessments in that community, outside of railway property, amount to something like $900,000, while the assessment on the railway property amounts to a little over $430,000. It will be seen that over one-third of the assessed value of the community belongs to the railway, and yet no taxation is paid. That condition should be remedied. This is a community of some 1,750 people comprising perhaps 500 families, and each family is forced to pay at least $50 to S60 more per year because the railway is not taxed. The assessments in Nakina in 1924 amounted to $96,000, while for this year they should amount to $120,000. Nearly one-half of the taxes paid in that community should be paid by the railway company. These same facts would apply to the towns of Hudson, Allanwater and Armstrong, but let us consider the case of Long-lac. In this community a certain portion of the railway property is taxed while another portion is not. This is a very anomalous situation. It is estimated by these communities, and particularly by Sioux Lookout that the railway owes them over $200,000 in back taxes. That is a considerable burden upon the people of that community. This government has had

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nine years in which to consider this matter and has had ample time to remedy this situation. I submit to the minister that these taxes should be paid and that the arrears for the past nine or ten years should be adjusted. In lieu of that, compensatory allowances should be made to these communities until such time as the matter has been adjusted satisfactorily.

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May 30, 1930