May 7, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

The amendment proposed by this Bill has been the subject of negotiations between the government of Ontario and the Dominion government, and of representations on the part of the Dominion Marine Association which represents practically all the vessel owners on the inland waters of Canada. By section 477 of the Canada Shipping Act there is a 187
discrimination against vessels in the province of Ontario which appears to me, and to others who are more directly interested, to be entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable. The section referred to exempts the following vessels from the compulsory payment of pilotage dues:
1. Vessels employed in sailing from port to port in the same province.
2. Employed in trading between any one or more ports of the province of Quebec New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and any other or others of them.
3. Employed in voyages between any port or ports of any of the said provinces and the port of New York or any port of the United States of America on the Atlantic north of New York, or employed in voyages between any port in any of the said provinces and any port in Newfoundland.
Previous to June of last year, by subsection 5 exemption was granted to vessels with a draft when loaded not exceeding 16 feet and employed exclusively in voyages between any port or ports on the great lakes or any of the waters connecting those lakes, and any port or ports on the river St. Lawrence or between any ports on the river St. Lawrence. In the last hours of last session this section was repealed at a time when the Ontario vessel owners were urging their claims to have Ontario put on an absolute parity with the other provinces. Why should a vessel sailing from Montreal to Sydney or Halifax or Newfoundland or New York be exempt from compulsory payment of pilotage dues, and the same vessel if beginning her voyage at Owen Sound, or Toronto, or Kingston, or Brockville or any port in Ontario be obliged to pay these dues? Another point which makes this proposed. amendment all the more necessary is the working of by-law 25 of the Montreal Pilotage District which reads:
Every vessel liable to compulsory payment of pilot dues and moved into or out of the limits of the harbour of Montreal or from one point to another within the same shall pay such dues for the services of a branch pilot except in the case of vessels which are merely shifting their position at the wharf and attached thereto by their moorings.
Since Ontario vessels are the only ones obliged to pay pilotage dues under section

477 it follows that Ontario vessels alone come under the provisions of by-law 25, and therefore have to pay this additional tax from which the others are exempt. I wish to point out that notwithstanding this extra taxation and evident discrimination, the liability of the master or owner of the Ontario vessel is not lessened in the slightest degree, but on the contrary is emphasized. This is made abundantly clear by section 477 which reads:
Nothing in this part shall exempt any owner or master of any ship from liability for any loss or damage occasioned by his ship to any person or property on the ground either of such ship being in charge of a licensed pilot or of such loss or damage being - occasioned by the act or default of a licensed pilot, or on any ground.
This section makes it clear that Ontario vessel owners are discriminated against and put at a disadvantage in the carrying trade. I therefore propose this amendment which by inserting the word 'Ontario' in subsection 2 of section 474 will place the province of Ontario on an equality with the other provinces and will relieve Ontario vessel owners from this unfair discrimination and unjust tax. I might add that I hope the Minister of Marine will take this up as a government measure. There are many interests that want this amendment carried, there is no politics in it at all, and I hope the minister will see his way clear to have the Bill passed even at this late hour 'of the session.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT-AMENDMENT
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