April 17, 1935

CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

No, the application should be made, as is always the case, to the board of railway commissioners.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Since the minister has

been kind enough to inform the committee that part of this vote may be used to help

Public Works Program.

out municipalities or provinces or railway companies in correcting obstructions or eliminating level crossings which otherwise would be too costly for them to deal with, I wish to direct his attention to a situation which is very inconvenient to the travelling public of Canada, because it is on the trans-Canada highway.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Would the hon. gentleman permit me to interrupt?

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Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Yes.

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Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The hon. member does

not take up much of the time of the house, therefore I hesitate to make this interruption, but I am afraid that if we get into a discussion by hon. members on both sides as to individual level crossings in their ridings concerning which they wish to get something done, we shall not make much headway. I make that submission with all deference and respect, and not with any desire to shut off discussion.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Perhaps I may be permitted to take a few minutes regarding this matter, for the circumstances are unusual and an exception to the situation which generally arises under the existing laws. It relates to twenty-six level crossings on a twenty-five mile stretch of the trans-Canada highway. This situation can be corrected only by the good will and cooperation of the two great railway systems, the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National, because these crossings can be removed by either railway taking running rights over the other. The two railways run parallel, at some places only five feet distant one from the other. This matter has been taken up with the railways and with the board of railway commissioners, but they have deferred doing anything about this dangerous situation by reason of the cost, or possibly because of hesitancy on the part of either railway to cooperate by granting running rights to the other, perhaps owing to the cost. But as some of this appropriation can be used under unusual conditions to supplement whatever the railways would ordinarily be required to pay under the existing law, I should like to ask that the Minister of Railways be kind enough to inform the board of railway commissioners and the railways affected that they can now remedy the situation by accepting the plan which has been suggested, which will do away with twenty-three level crossings. If the Canadian Pacific obtain running rights over the Canadian National it will save the province of New Brunswick many thousands of dollars and will remove twenty-three level crossings in a distance of twenty-five miles.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I understand the position the hon. gentleman has been endeavouring to make clear to the committee, and what he says is quite right. Between the town of Edmundston and the town of St. Leonard in a distance of twenty-five miles there are twenty-six level crossings, most of them over the tracks of the Canadian Pacific. I have travelled over the road by car hundreds of times and I know the danger to traffic at these crossings. The whole difficulty could be obviated, with the exception of two level crossings, if the Canadian Pacific would cooperate and, from Grand Falls north, operate over the National Transcontinental, and not a cent would be required out of the grade crossing fund. There are two crossings that could not be eliminated, according to my recollection, except at very great expense. If by a little effort on the part of someone in authority the two railways could be brought together so that they would use the one track where they now run parallel that would be a good effort at coordination and would mean a saving of human lives, because a good many lives have been lost at those level crossings since the automobile came into the picture. I commend the suggestion of the hon. gentleman to the Minister of Railways.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I shall gladly draw the remarks of both hon. members to the attention of the board of railway commissioners.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

In connection with this discussion of bill No. 63 I wish to direct the attention of the committee to a situation that exists in the constituency of North Renfrew. Under this bill we are being asked to authorize the guarantee of certain railway equipment securities. At the moment I have on my desk a petition directed to the Minister of Railways requesting that a station be erected at the village of Beachburg in the constituency of North Renfrew. That station provides accommodation for the villages of Beachburg and Westmeath, and also for hundreds of individuals in the townships of Westmeath and Ross. This petition is signed by 185 farmers and business men in that section. The station was destroyed by fire in 1931, and since that time the management of the Canadian National have made no move to provide station accommodation for these people. They have fitted up an old railway coach at that point, but the accommodation is entirely inadequate. Because of the economic situation these people have been hesitant about asking the management of the Canadian National to provide a new station, but I think the time has come when the Minister

Public Works Program

of Railways should direct the attention of the management to this situation. Last year about $80,000 worth of freight traffic originated in that locality, consisting of shipments of live stock, grain, hay and pulpwood.

This Station is on the main line of the National Transcontinental, and the only passenger service is provided by two night trains, one going west at 11 p.m. and the other going east at about 4 a.m. This accommodation is entirely inadequate. The Canadian National come to this house and ask the taxpayers of this country to meet enormous obligations; they are looking for traffic for the road, and here is a locality that has provided an immense amount of traffic but receives no service in return. When those people wish to travel they must drive to this point at night, and very often the station is not even heated. Sometimes the transcontinental trains are three and four hours late, and the people are expected to wait in an old railway coach. Because they have aocepted the situation and have not made a vocal protest against it, the management of the Canadian National have simply ignored the needs of that locality. I notice in the daily press that the government are being asked to guarantee bonds of the Canadian National totalling $48,400,000, and I think in view of that situation the people in these localities should receive adequate service and accommodation. Previously a gasoline oar operated on this line; to-day there is absolutely no competition with the Canadian Pacific during the day-time. Formerly there was one local car east and west, from Ottawa to Pembroke, daily, and that served the people along that line. No doubt the Canadian National obtained a good deal of passenger traffic through that service, but even that has been discontinued.

While I am on my feet I should like to mention another matter. An application has been made by the management of the Canadian National for permission to discontinue service on a branch line in the Locksley subdivision from Golden Lake to Pembroke Junction, a distance of twenty-two miles. The application is to be heard by the board of railway commissioners on April 24. This branch line is part of the old Canada Atlantic system which ran from Pembroke to Parry Sound. The application is based on the business during the two worst years of the depression, 1930-31 and 1932-33. I asked the Minister of Railways to secure from the management of the Canadian National the information with regard to the earnings on that line during the good years, say from 1920 to 1930, but they said this would entail too much labour on their part

and they could not give the information. The application is to be heard in the town of Pembroke in the very near future, and I want to protest in the most vigorous terms possible against the action of the management of the Canadian National in this regard. Under existing conditions, when the taxpayers of this country are paying the piper I think they have a right to call the tune, and I think the management are altogether too arbitrary. We have a right to that information; without it the railways are not in a position to make their application and we are not in a position to present our evidence. We should know what they earned on that road in the good years. In dealing with this particular branch line they took the lean years. The business in that section of the country is to a great extent connected with lumber, pulpwood, boxwood and materials of that kind. Everybody knows that during all those years-

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

The minister says so.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

During all those years that type of industry has been affected as have other industries throughout the country.

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Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Mr. COTNAiM: Oh, it is all right. I have as much right to talk as any otheT hon. member. Last night the hon. member for Quebec East took up two hours of the time of this house.

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Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I never did.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

Then it was the hon. member for Quebec South.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

If you mean me, I was

talking about something which was in order, and not about [DOT] something entirely out of order, as is the hon. member.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

I am very doubtful about that. Throughout this whole discussion very wide latitude has been allowed hon. members opposite. They have talked about anything they liked, so far as the railway problem is concerned.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Come over here and talk.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

I am talking exactly the

way I feel. I should like to make a further protest. At the present time the board of management of the Canadian National Railways propose to take up the steel on that section of the Pembroke-Parry Sound branch of the Canadian National system for a distance of fifty miles. That particular section of the

Public Works Program

road runs through part of Algonquin park. Not long ago we passed a vote providing assistance to tourist traffic. We have an enormous tourist traffic throughout Canada and the closing of that line of railway would shut off that particular section of the country. Incidentally it would embarrass those who hold lumber interests in that section of the province. I wish to protest strenuously against the taking up of the steel, when we know that the building of a small trestle costing only $40,000 or $50,000 might keep the line open to Parry Sound.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

May I mention to the

minister that when section 6 is reached I propose to move an amendment to insert the words "by public advertisement" after the word "tenders", and in section 7 I will move to substitute the word "five" for the word "fifteen" in .the fifteenth line of that section. That is, tenders would be advertised in respect to works of an estimated cost of $5,000 rather than $15,000.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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April 17, 1935