March 14, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)



My hon. colleague the Minister of Railways is obliged to be absent to-day, but he desired me to say to the committee that he saw no reason whatever why this Bill should stand over. He sailed my attention to the fact that it Mr. FIELDING.
gives no authority whtever to expropriate any water-powers, and gives no control whatever over any water-powers, but simply provides that the moneys of the company may be invested in the acquisition of water-powers, and the development of electricity for the purpose of operating their railways. Section 13, which deals with that subject provides:
In connection with the business and purposes of the undertaking, and subject to provisions of section 247 of the Railway Act, the company may acquire water-powers but not by expropriation.
This is just the same as if the Governor in Council were to incorporate a company by letters patent giving power to develop but no authority whatever to expropriate. There are no compulsory rights, and the only effect of the provision is that it authorizes the company to invest its funds in the development of electric power. The committee will also remember that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) has already stated the policy of the government regarding water-powers, so that if that be at all material to the consideration of this Bill we have such a declaration. So, if the question were at all material to the consideration of this Bill, we have that declaration of policy on the part of the Minister of the Interior. I think my hon. friend (Mr. Bradbury) is entirely mistaken aa to there being any understanding that the Bill is to stand over. Had there been such an understanding, I am sure the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) would have informed me of it, and asked me tQ inform the committee. On the contrary, he said that he saw no reason why the Bill, as amended and reported by the committee, and now recommended by the committee, should not pass.

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