April 29, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Walter Scott



To some extent. What the members from the North-west asked and what I ask this afternoon is that before this permission is granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway, they shall consent to build sixty miles of the line under the old North-west Central charter. It may be contended that this is in a different part of the country, but I will contend that they are the same people who are asking for this permission as those whom we wish parliament to compel to build sixty miles under the North-west Central charter. The hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) the other

evening contended that what we are asking for in regard to this matter would create a precedent, that it was something that has not been done before in this House. Whether it has been done prior to this session or not, I am not aware. But the action which this session was adopted on the suggestion of my hon. friend from Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) is a precedent for the action which I suggest. And. although my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works contended against the view, I think the action taken in connection with the charter granted to the Crow's Nest Southern Railway Company may be held to be a precedent for the action which I ask the House to take. The Crow's Nest Southern charter was before the Railway Committee not many days ago, and tlie committee laid down the principle that these private parties should not be granted the charter until they had agreed to certain provisions in the interests of the people of' Canada. That is exactly what I ask. I ask that this charter should not be granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company until they agree to certain conditions whieli, I contend, are manifestly in the interest of a certain portion of the people of Canada-a large number of the people of the North-west Territories. The country through which the North-west Central road will run, and the present condition of that country were well described by the member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis). Hon. members are aware, I suppose, that the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway almost parallels the Qu'Appelle valley through a portion of the North-west Territories. commencing say, at the Manitoba boundary line, and continuing for some 150 or 200 miles westward to Moosejaw. The road is south of the river at an average distance of about twenty miles. Almost twenty years ago a large number of settlers went into the country north of the Qu'Appelle valley. These people, in the North-west, are strung along from the Manitoba boundary to Long Lake, north of Regina. Fort Qu'Appelle is in that district. Year after year since the Canadian Pacific Railway acquired the North-west Central charter, delegates representing the people in that country have gone to Winnipeg and have endeavoured to prevail upon the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to extend the road and give them the railway communication they need. And year after year, the representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway have, represented to these people that the company was financially unable to extend the line. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company admit, and will admit to-day, that, as soon as the road is completed through that country, it will be a paying road ; but they say that the people in that district will have to exercise patience until the company becomes financially able to construct the road.

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