April 25, 1974 (29th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Thomas Speakman Barnett

New Democratic Party

Mr. Barnett:

Mr. Chairman, I specifically stopped my quotation from clause 6 before I came to the matter of rapid transit because this is not the point. I understand that the thrust of this legislation is to try to deal with actions taken in the past which might properly not have been foreseen in their long-term results. I am glad to know the minister is concerned about the planning of new communities.
The question I am raising is what authority of direction there is to a railway company, whether it is the CPR, which my friend from Calgary loves so much, or the CNR, which is the subject of his criticism, to ensure that a railway will be located in accordance with the desire of planners of new communities.
I am no authority on the provisions of the Railway Act or the kinds of powers a railway company can exercise. However, some of us have been hearing about decisions made in the past by a former general manager of the CPR regarding the location of towns. This may have refreshed our memories or put in our minds the kind of authority railways have with regard to putting in their lines.
As I read clause 6, it provides that, under the circumstances prescribed in this bill, specific authority is given to the commission to require a railway company to build a

April 25, 1974
Relocation of Railway Lines
railway line, in effect where the commission says it should. The general thrust of this bill is to provide for a constructive liaison between decisions of a commission and decisions made at a community level.
I raise this point because unless the minister can indicate to the committee that under some other existing authority there is a power of direction to the railway companies that they must co-operate in the development of a new community with regard to the location of lines and so on, this is something that should not be considered. That is, if we are going to prevent mistakes in the future rather than being altogether preoccupied with the mistakes of the past.

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