May 31, 1940

NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Is the power house now erected sufficiently large to take care of the installation of the new equipment necessary to develop the 250,000 horse power?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I stated before the hour of adjournment that I was not sure, but I have since ascertained that it is not. An expansion of the power house will be required. However, there are units installed as present standby units which are immediately capable of producing 50,000 horse power.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The minister takes the stand that the question of rates is outside his jurisdiction. It is a pity that this is so. I am inclined to agree with him, from the legal point of view. This company will get the whole flow of water of the St. Lawrence river; certainly it is going to be a bonanza to the Montreal Light, Heat and Power company.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

As I said before, both governments have taxing power. If it is a bonanza this year, it will be a bonanza for my colleague the Minister of Finance as well, because practically all the additional profit will flow into his coffers under the present system of taxation.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I suggest to the minister that he is taking a very narrow point of view. What about the poor public? Surely they have some rights. I have had something to do with power in days gone by. In fact at the present time I am in the throes of a power controversy in my own office. I have often wondered if those of us in authority, either in parliament or in our provincial legislatures, adequately take care of the rights of the man who has to pay the bill. I do not think we always do. That is all I have to say in the matter.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

One or two further points run through my mind. In Ontario there are two or three points at which further

power could be developed. There could be a possible extension at Niagara falls. There are possibilities on the Ottawa river, and there is the further possibility of development in the international section of the St. Lawrence river development, if it ever takes place.

Coming from Ontario, I am particularly interested in any increase in the development of power at Beauhamois. There is the possibility there of a development of about 2,000,000 horse power. Although it is in the province of Quebec, it is quite likely that that province cannot take all the power in the meantime. We are in the midst of a war, and it will be some time before we can make heavy capital expenditures. I am particularly interested in seeing that in any future development which takes place at Beauhamois the people of the country may receive the benefits flowing therefrom. Through this measure we are giving away certain rights to the Beau-harnois company, and it seems to me that before we give up the use of this water to the Montreal, Light, Heat and Power company, the government should take steps to protect the people of Canada against any exploitation or any attempt to monopolize power. Although the development would be in the province of Quebec, yet it seems to me the province of Ontario must be vitally interested in any water diversion under the control of the dominion government.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

You have Mitch to protect it.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Would my hon. friend permit me to ask him a question? I am wondering how the Ontario hydro-electric power commission would like the idea of our attaching conditions to the cost of power in connection with developments we lease to them. We do lease developments to the Ontario hydro. Does my hon. friend think it would be a wise thing to attach conditions?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I do not think the minister's answer is sufficient at all. I am stating what I think should be done; I do not know whether the province of Ontario would like it. I would say, however, that if the dominion government has it within its power to give cheaper power to the people of Canada, then it should exercise its rights.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

My hon. friend has hit on the exact point, namely that we have not the power to place restrictions on it. The power inside a province belongs to that province. The navigation belongs to the dominion, and is a paramount right over the power. But the jurisdiction of the dominion government ends in either granting or not granting the diversion of water for power purposes.

Beauharnois Power Bill

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

James Lester Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weybum):

But you could attach a proviso when water is diverted.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I would not answer that without the advice of counsel. It may be that we could, but in my opinion we would be usurping a right that is not ours.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The true

position is that in respect of power the jurisdiction to control rates is not in this government at all, but rather in the government of the province of Quebec. That may be unfortunate, but it is so.

With respect to the question the minister directed to the hon. member for St. Paul's, may I suggest this, that if in one of its developments this government produces power which it owns and which it can dispose of, by reason of having the development as a public work of Canada, and if it sells that power to the Ontario hydro-electric or to any other power consumer, whether for immediate and direct use or for resale-as in the case of hydro-it would be a proper thing for this government in making a lease of that power to put in some provision or to retain some control over the rates to be charged the public, always having regard to competitive conditions obtaining, and all other factors which might enter into such a situation. I do not believe the dominion government has done that in the past, and I think it is something it might consider doing in the future.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Mr. Chairman, I take the same position in regard to this bill as was taken this afternoon by the hon. member for Rose-town-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). I am opposed to the principle of the bill. I am opposed to handing over the public domain to private individuals or corporations to be used for the purpose of exploiting the people of this country. That is what the power companies have done with the privileges we have given them. A moment ago the minister told us that the government had no power to do certain things. The explanatory notes to the bill say this:

By chapter 20 of the statutes of Canada, 1931, the canal then being constructed by Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Company, and the works appurtenant thereto, were declared to he works for the general advantage of Canada, and the governor in council was authorized to make any orders, rules and regulations which might be deemed necessary or convenient with respect to any diversion of waters of the St. Lawrence river by said company.

As far as I have been able to find out, the only advantage Canada ever got out of this project was the privilege of guaranteeing the bonds that were used to complete the work begun in 1929.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I may say that the government guaranteed no bonds.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I believe they guaranteed the bankers against losses in that regard. I am not quite sure, but I think that was the case.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The government guaranteed the interim financing as between one financing and the other.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I think the government

did undertake certain financial obligations in that regard. Further down in the explanatory notes I find this:

The nature of this power development will enable additional power to be made available within a relatively short time, and it is considered desirable that steps be taken to ensure ail adequate supply of power to meet increased demands arising from the war.

Instead of giving private corporations further rights and privileges at this time, I think we should follow the policy adopted by the governments of Great Britain and New Zealand. The government should take over these works. We are supposed to be fighting for certain things worth fighting for. We are supposed to be fighting for our country, and yet we are continually handing over to private individuals everything of value in the country. If we want to show people that we are sincere in what we are saying, the first step we should take is to put an end to that sort of thing. I remember a statement made by a former Prime Minister during the debate on another bill. During the session of 1932 the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett made this statement:

I believe that there is no government in Canada that does not regret to-day that it has parted with some of these natural resources for considerations wholly inadequate and on terms that do not reflect the principle under which the crown holds the natural resources in trust for all the people.

It is time that the government should realize that they are administering the natural resources of the country for the people. In so far as what has occurred in the past is concerned, it would seem that the common people have no rights at all.

I should like to refer to another matter. A few evenings ago the hon. member for Wey-burn (Mr. Douglas) asked the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) if government contracts had been given to corporations controlled by those leaders of industry who had offered their services to the government. The minister would not give an undertaking that such was not the case. The name of Mr. Henry was mentioned this afternoon.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply; Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I think we are all agreed that we do not want to sabotage Canada's war

Beauharnois Power Bill

effort. Mr. Henry is a most valuable man and I wish I had half a dozen more like him. If I had, my efforts on behalf of munitions and supply would have better results. Mr. Henry is one of the most highly respected engineers in the Dominion of Canada, a man with a unique experience. Is it good business to slander the reputation of a gentleman who is doing extremely valuable work for this government?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Nothing of a slanderous nature has been said.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET
Permalink

May 31, 1940