July 15, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)


Before you leave the chair, Mr. Speaker. I wish to bring up for a few moments the matter of the damming of the St. Lawrence down at the Long Sault. I have in my hand a petition to the International Waterways Commission from parties representing the St. Lawrence Power Company, and it has reference to matters that ought to be brought before this House and country. The American company, called the Long Sault Development Company, and the St. Lawrence Company are iaentical in their interests. The one gets its powers from the Canadian and the other from the American authorities, but there can toe no

doubt that they have a community of interests. The American Power House and Lock Company, known as the Long Sault Development Company, proposeto construct a power house and lock between the foot of the Long Sault island and the main shore, as shown on plan No. 1. Permission has already been granted them by the New York State legislature, authorizing this construction so far as it lies in American territory. What particularly affects the Dominion of Canada is that they propose to dam the St. Lawrence main channel, as well as the south channel, so that virtually the whole river will be dammed at that point. In looking up the correspondence, I find that if they are allowed to do what they want, all the risk will be run by the Canadians and none at all by the Americans. .
I wish to refer to another matter which ought to be brought to the attention of the House, and that is that the Waterways Commission, in their recommendations, seem to take a line which would permit or justify the Chicago canal. We know that is going to affect Lake Erie, because they are proposing, as a remedy for the damage that that work is likely to do to the navigation of Lake Erie, to dam the lake near the Niagara river. The several reports and data furnished by the commission point to tlie conclusion that for sanitary purposes the Chicago canal will necessarily be allowed. The Chicago people have put up the argument that it is altogether for drainage and sanitary purposes for the city of Chicago, but none the less it will affect navigation. If any of the reports can be relied on, it will lower the water, and I want to draw the attention of the government to this. In every instance in which this matter has been referred to any expert authority under the control of the government, the opinion is given that they have not sufficient data on which to base a judgment. Take all the reports and correspondence, and you will find that no one ventures to express an opinion as to what effect this1 will have on the navigation of the St. Lawrence. That is sufficient reason for our government to say at once that no such thing will be allowed.
Kefei ring again to the proposed damming of the St. Lawrence, when you look up the record you will see that this question was dealt with away back in 1842 by the Ashburton treaty. The seventh clause of that treaty distinctly states :
It is further agreed that the channel, in the river St. Lawrence on both sides of the Long Sault isla ids and- of Barnhart island

It refers to other rivers which I do not need to specify here.
-should be equally free and open to the ships, vessels and boats of both parties.

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