May 30, 1938

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It was an act to confirm and give effect to certain agreements entered into between the Dominion of Canada and the governments of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I am reading from the British statute.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

This act is the Natural Resources Transfer (Amendment) Act, 1938.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is the Canadian act?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Yes. The purpose was to make the provinces the owners of their natural resources. I think it may be fairly claimed, and it is the opinion of the officers of the Department of Justice, that the .section my right hon. friend has mentioned, which was enacted by the Westminster parliament, to the effect that this agreement might be varied by an agreement confirmed by concurrent statutes of the parliament of Canada and the legislatures of the provinces, is sufficient to confer upon this parliament and upon the legislatures of the three western provinces the right to vary by concurrent legislation the agreement that affected the transfer in 1930. This is merely to remove a doubt. My right bon. friend knows more about western matters than I do, but I have been given to understand that it

has always been considered that the waters were transferred along with the lands, mines and minerals.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

They have been so administered in practice.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Apart from this, I may say that the opinion of the officers of the Department of Justice is to the effect that we have authority to confirm this agreement and to make it clear that the waters are transferred to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta as well as the lands and mines.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Mr. Speaker, if I have

your indulgence I shall answer the question asked by the right hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), otherwise I cannot proceed. When the Alberta and Saskatchewan acts were being enacted I was solicitor for the irrigation branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. At the instance of the Canadian Pacific Company I came to this city and conferred with the then Minister of Justice for some time, submitting the reasons why, in the opinion of my client, the administration should continue in the crown in the right of the dominion, because the river did not flow wholly through the one province. There were many questions that had to do with the supply of water that originated in the national park which was under the jurisdiction of the dominion. The whole matter bristled with difficulties if it was to be in the hands of the provinces. That is the reason why these words appear in the constitutional acts known as the Saskatchewan Act and the Alberta Act:

All crown lands, mines and minerals and royalties incident thereto, and the interest of the crown in the waters within the province under the Northwest Irrigation Act, 1898, shall continue to be vested in the crown and administered by the government of Canada for the purposes of Canada.

Bear in mind that we had followed a course that was wholly unusual, namely, we retained in the crown the title to the waters even although patents were granted otherwise. That is not a general thing. The patent did not carry title to the waters, any more than it carried title to the gold. It reserved the title to the water as though it were gold and a patent were being issued to a homesteader or a person who otherwise becomes entitled to a patent on his land. When the agreement was made it referred to mines, lands, minerals and royalties and did not mention the waters, which were

Natural Resources

vested in the crown by a special paragraph, and the administration continued by the federal authority just as it had prior to the agreement being made.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Since 1914?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is, the large irrigation projects, licences and matters of that sort. When the Canadian Pacific turned its irrigation project over to the settlers, they came to an arrangement with the provincial authorities for that purpose.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

May I

ask a question for information? Apart from the constitutional question whether we have a right to proceed in this way, does my right hon. friend see any practical objection to it?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Only this, that it was

represented to me on many occasions that if we were to engage in a national irrigation policy in the west it would be undesirable that we should make an arrangement with the provinces for administering the waters as distinguished from the crown in the right of the dominion; that is, if we were hoping to have a national policy and for assistance to be given by the dominion government. It will be recalled that we have on more than one occasion given assistance to the Medicine Hat project, which was authorized under the Northwest Irrigation Act of 1898, and when the Canadian Pacific turned over its entire project to the settlers and took its loss, the question of expanding that system into a national system, and what was called the William Pearce scheme in connection with the Saskatchewan river, all involves the utilization of waters on a scale so vast that no province would be in a position fittingly to undertake the work. That is the only objection that has ever been made to me, I may say to the minister. Frankly I was of the opinion that if irrigation became essential in the western provinces it should be dealt with as a national undertaking rather than as a provincial one, so that the system that would be created in one province could be made to inure to the benefit of another.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Or to its detriment?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes, quite so, to its

detriment, by reason of one province selfishly exercising its powers and not permitting the -advantages to go to another; and so a federal and national outlook on the matter was to be preferred. I am not expressing any opinion at all, but that was the view that was expressed by quite a number of people, as perhaps the Minister of Finance has heard, particularly from those who have been urging the Pearce scheme, as it has been presented *during the last two years.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who sat here in 1930 that what we thought we were doing then is what is being attempted now.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The Solicitor General was a little uncertain.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Certainly with regard to the negotiations between the three western provinces and the officers of the federal government, the intention was to transfer all the natural resources and thereby place all provinces in the same position with respect to the ownership of water and all the other resources. To take any other view now would be to start a controversy with the three provinces concerned which I doubt could possibly do any good, and certainly could be settled ultimately only in one way.

While, of course, I appreciate very fully the remarks of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) with respect to irrigation difficulties, if a scheme so vast as some of those proposed were to be put into effect, on the other hand I was advised some time ago in connection with such schemes that the general powers of the dominion applying to navigable waters could be effectively used to prevent the stealing of a whole river by one province to the detriment of another.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The Bow river is not a navigable stream.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

No. But the Saskatchewan river is technically a navigable stream.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I am not competent to go into the legal aspects of it. I am not sure indeed that the Bow river might not legally be considered navigable.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA
Permalink

May 30, 1938