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


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)


I do not know aything about the rake-offs, and I am not discussing the contract that has been threshed out before. It has been an enormous benefit. Only a few years ago one of our woollen mills closed down and had to go out of business. We were able to have it reopened because of the electrical power and to-day it is employing three or four hundred men in a different class of industry and owing to the power we have had other factories located there.
We suffer in Cornwall from floods in winter, caused by the frazil that comes down, forms in the rapids and passes under the ice which has become solid, causing a shove. The result has been that portions of the town have been flooded, and mills have been closed for weeks.' One of the largest of the cotton mills was flooded. These people are naturally interested in seeing this scheme go through, so long as it does not impair in any way the navigation of the Sit. Lawrence. They know from the engineers' reports that the result will be no floods in the winter. This water will be hemmed back, it will form almost level to the dam, will freeze solid there and there will be just a natural flow over the dam with no possibility of the injurious floods we have had in years past. On one occasion the government had to come to the rescue of people who had suffered from one of those heavy floods. It has been said that the American section of the International Waterways Commission nave reported favourably on this. If they have it has been after giving the matter the greatest possible consideration. When the Canadian section of the International Waterways Commission said to Mr. Calvin, to the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company and others who were opposing this scheme r Nominate an engineer and we will appoint him and get him to look into the matter and see what his report will be, they did not take the responsibility of nominating an engineer because no engineer would stand for the statements made by some of those people that the erection of this dam would decrease the flow of water east of Cornwall. Some went so far as to say it would affect the flow of water ait Montreal, but that statement was so ridiculous that they could not get any engineer to endorse it. The effect of this scheme would be that instead of only 5 per cent of the waters of the St. Lawrence going down on the Canadian side we would have 50 per cent. The effect, would be to give us all the power that could be developed, practically unlimited power, whereas we are now absolutely limited. It is no wonder that some of the power companies are instrumental in putting up opposition to this scheme. This development would be one

of tremendous advantage to the whole eastern portion of Ontario and I am satisfied it would be of great advantage to the county of Dundas, which my hon. friend (Mr. Broder) represents. While the Minister of Railways lias been expressing his opinion against this scheme it would tie a tremendous advantage to his own constituency for this power would be taken to Broeliville where it is needed, more than in any other town in Ontario. I have refrained from speaking on this before because I felt that we had not all the information before the House required for a full and intelligent discussion of the question, but when the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Broder) opposes it in the dying days of the session, I feel that in the interests of the eastern portions of Ontario, especially in the interest of the county of Stormont, if this scheme does not injuriously affect navigation, but on the contrary, aids and assists it, the government should give it careful consideration and should procure all possible information on the subject before any agreement is entered into or any permission given for the erection of this dam. Of course 1 foresee that the permission would have to be a joint permission of the United States and Canada, but nothing T think should be done until the whole matter comes before parliament.

Subtopic:   IS, 1908
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