August 17, 1946

LIB

William Chisholm Macdonald (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Halifax):

This vote will, I hope, help to end a menace and a nuisance that has existed in Halifax since 1916 when the Fairview subway was built as part of the Halifax ocean terminals project. It is the main exit out of the city of Halifax, and it presents two problems, one having to do with flooding and the other with the passage of traffic. The vote here is for the construction of improvements to drainage works at Fairview. It is quite true that flood conditions there, following torrential rains, render this subway impassable at times, but there is also great danger to traffic moving to and from the subway, in and out of the city. What I wish to inquire about is whether this vote will cover not only drainage and improvements but also improvements to the subway, so that it will help to make the passageway safer for traffic. It is a problem which concerns not only the Canadian government railways but the department of highways of the Nova Scotia government and, as well, the city of Halifax. All three parties should be interested in the work to be done, and I would ask the minister whether he has the approval and concurrence of the provincial highways department and the city of Halifax for the proposed work.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

This item of $40,000 has to do with drainage only and not the reconstruction of the subway. I am informed that the city of Halifax will contribute $5,000 toward the drainage work and that this scheme in connection with drainage has the approval of both the provincial and municipal authorities.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink

Item agreed to. Railway service- 422. Maritime Freight Rates Act-To hereby authorize and provide for the payment from time to .time during the fiscal year 1946-47 to the Canadian Rational Railway Company of the difference (estimated by the Canadian National Railway Company and certified by the auditors of the said company to the Minister of Transport as and when required by the said minister) occurring on account of the application of the Maritime Freight Rates Act, between the tariff tolls and the normal tolls (upon Supply-Transport the same basis as set out in section 9 of the said act with respect to companies therein referred to) on all traffic moved during the calendar year 1946 under the tariffs approved on the Eastern lines (as referred to in section 2 of the said act) of the Canadian National Railways, $3,042,000.


PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

As I understand this, for some reason which I wish the minister would explain it is thought desirable to charge the transport department with 83,000,000 in this item and virtually a million dollars in the next by way of giving indirect relief to the Canadian National Railways. Is this correct?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The first vote has reference to the reduction in tariff tolls on traffic over the Canadian National, and the following vote is in respect of reduction in tolls on traffic over railways other than the Canadian National, east of a point in the province of Quebec. I believe it is Diamond Junction.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

This item is necessitated by reason of the fact that certain relief in tolls is given because, as a matter of policy, it is felt not desirable to ask the Canadian National Railways to carry that load?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Perhaps I should say that it is done by act of parliament under the Maritime Freight Rates Act, passed by this house.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

There is no one who is more anxious to see the Canadian National Railways do well than I am, nor is there anyone who believes in it more than I do. Second, I feel that in the past parliament has done wisely to relieve the Canadian National Railways, as it has done, from some of the excess capitalization due to the fact that several railways were combined in it. But that is a different matter from this. I simply wish to raise the question whether it is wise to have this charge, Which I think is one that dhould be borne by the Canadian National Railways. It is an indirect way of increasing the revenue of the Canadian National by $3,000,000, if I understand it. I suggest that it is the interests of clarity and in the interests of the Canadian National itself to have its full picture clearly given as one, and not to find S3,000,000 here, which I suggest should be in their account.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
?

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

Is that the right interpretation? I understood that this was not to relieve the Canadian National Railways but rather to relieve the people who live east of Diamond Junction.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

And there is $900,000 for the Canadian Pacific.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
?

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

Yes, on the same score.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

Let us be clear. I said that it was to relieve the people. It is necessitated by reason of the fact that it is considered desirable to give toll relief to those people and I am not questioning that, but I submit that it is unsound to have that $3,000,000 tucked in here, because it distorts the true picture of the Canadian National to that extent. If it is desirable to give these people relief, that meanls that the Canadian National earns $3,000,000 less. I am not questioning that, but I should like to know what the Minister of Reconstruction thinks about this, because he has spoken about peculiar methods of financing.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mir. HQWE:

This is done in consequence of an act of the Canadian parliament. The statute was passed to implement the Duncan report, which stated that the people of the mlaritimes were unduly handicapped by geography in maintaining a competitive position with the rest of Canada.. It was not a matter for the Canadian National Railways. It had no obligation, to correct the geography of Canada; that was for parliament. The Canadian National applies the same standard hates to the mari'times as to other parts of the country. The nates are the same, and because parliament decided that the position of the maritime provinces in respect of transportation should be recognized, reductions in rates were made a charge against all the people of Canada.

Mr. MaoNIiCOL: It would not be there unless the freight rates were reduced, and the government Votes the money to the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Pacific so that the people in the maritimes can do business.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

It is a statutory obligation. [DOT]

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

That fact is neither here nor there. The authority that made the statute can change it. I simply suggest that we should understand what it is.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
?

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

I am wondering what alternative policy the hon. gentleman would suggest.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

You would have to amend the Maritime Freight Rates Act.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink

Item agreed to. Pensions and other benefits-* Railway employees' provident fund-To supplement pension allowances under the provisions of the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railway Employees' Provident Fund Supply-7'ransport



Act so as to make the minimum payment during the period January 1, 1946, to March 31, 1947, the sum of $30 per month instead of $20 as fixed by the said act, $19,200.


CCF

Alexander Maxwell (Max) Campbell

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

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I should like to know from the minister exactly how the railway employees are pensioned, if they are pensioned. I have noticed, especially in the last two years, that there are a great number of old men working on the railways. I would say that many of these men look as if they were close to seventy years old, particularly the engineers and conductors. Is there any way of pensioning them before they are absolutely worn out? Last winter I was informed by a group of railway workers that, after an engineer is pensioned off, his average span of life is two years.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Permalink

August 17, 1946