February 3, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)



In connection with the railways. Perhaps I might read a paragraph I have on that point, with respect to the construction and operation of telegraph and telephone lines, they have power to interfere in so far as the lines run along the railway, and supervision over the rates and charges to be made for the transmission of messages and of agreements for the use of such lines by other companies ; placing wires across railways, construction, operation and maintenance of telegraph and telephone lines, for the distribution of light, heat and power along, upon, under or over highways or other public places, under power granted by parliament, if the company cannot get consent of the municipality in that regard. That is to say, if there is o conflict between a railway company and municipality, the Board of Commissioners

has authority to act between the two. Now with respect to the operation of railways. The board has a duty to be familiar with the first equipment, apparatus and appliances used or to be used upon all trains and upon the railway generally ; the accommodation, i mining and operation of trains, the causes and prevention of accidents ; reports of accidents must be m'ade to the board by the railway ; the causes of fire, removal from the right of way of weeds and inflammable matter. They also make rules and regulations for the operation of trains and to make them uniform among all railways. Then I think the most important duty that is given to them is with respect to the tolls that railway companies are entitled to charge. I would like to draw my bon. friend's attention to section 255 of the Railway Act which practically makes it obligatory upon all railways in this country to submit their lolls for approval before they can collect either freight or passenger rates. In addition to that, the board is entitled and is bound to see to the enforcement of all penalties which are incurred. They also have charge of the supervision and approval of all amalgamation and traffic agreements.

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