During the discussion of this Bill a few evenings ago-and, I think, of another Bill-the minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) announced that the government had a wrell-defined policy with regard to these water-powers. As I understood the Minister of the Interior, he said that the regulations of the government applied to these two water-powers at the head of Lake Winnipeg. But, on looking over the regulations, I find that they apply to water-powers within any of the provinces. But the water-powers affected under these Bills are outside of any province. I take it, therefore, there is no regulation covering them. That is one reason the government should hold this Bill until the regulations are extended so as to cover these water-powers also. I think that on Friday evening last, the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) said very clearly that this Bill was to stand over. I may have misunderstood his attitude. I do not wish to block the Bill or block any Bill; but, this railway
MARCH 14, 19iu
charter, as it is called, seeks powers to start from some point at the mouth of the Saskatchewan or at the mouth of the Nelson rivers-points fully 100 miles apart-making it evident that the scheme is immature. The committee never was in possession of proper information to warrant them in passing the Bill, according to my opinion. I took very strong ground in committee on that point. I think it would be a mistake, in advance of the formulation of some policy by the government, to regulate these water-powers outside of the province, to proceed with this Bill. If the regulations gave the Minister of the Interior authority to deal with water-powers outside of the provinces as they do with water-powers inside the provinces, that might remove some of the objections. But I submit that the regulations as they exist do not give that power, and therefore the Bill ought to stand over.
Subtopic: NELSON RIVER RAILWAY COMPANY.