May 19, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


David Alexander Gordon



I desire to call the attention of the Minister of Railways to a condition of affairs that I think requires his attention and the attention of the commission. I refer to rates that are charged by American roads entering Canada and passing through this country What we ask is that the same rates, the same conditions and the same privileges be demanded of them as they are obliged to grant to the people of the United States. I think this proposition is reasonable and fair, and I know it is one of great moment to the people of Ontario. The American roads entering Canada name what rates they like on commodities originating in the states for people in Canada, but when they enter Canadian territory they do not give proportionate rates. We ask that this matter be taken into consideration, and if the facts

justify it, that the matter be laid before the commission to be dealt with 'by them. Let me say a word with reference to the commission and its acts during the past year. If there is any one who is not familiar with the decisions that have been rendered by that commission I think he has himself to blame. I do not think there is a farmer in Canada to-day but knows of the sweeping decisions that have been made with regard to rates on cattle and rates on graiD. The decisions given in favour of manufacturers in regard to rates, so far as those decisions are obligatory, have been of such importance that to-day the commission is swamped with appeals ; no less than 1,450 complaints have been placed before the commission since it was appointed, and tne great bulk of them I think have been disposed of. The position of American roads running through Canada has been so well discussed that it is not necessary for me to refer to it at any length now. I hope, however, that the tariffs, the minimums, and also the classifications affecting shippers, will be looked into, and that they will be made applicable to conditions existing in this country, and we firmly believe that a solution will be found to the present difficulties aud complaints that require to be remedied.
_Mr. EMM EH SON. In reply to my hon. friend, I may say that the question he has raised is one of very great importance so much so, indeed that it demands earnest and prompt consideration. The particular point to which he has invited attention has re^ei"le<^ 011 than one occasion
within recent weeks. I think there was some discussion with respect to it in this House. I can give my hon. friend assurance that the Department of Railways has had the matter under consideration, and has invited the consideration of the government to action in the direction which he has indicated. I trust that before the session closes, in connection with the amendments that are to be introduced to the Railway Act, there will be found a remedy for the grievance which he alleges to exist. I may say that^my own view was that there was a provision in certain sections of the Act, notably section 273; but if it is found S0JCar enouSb>
1 think it is the desire -ot this House to make a remedy complete and beyond question.

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