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


John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)


That would have to be granted in the province just the same. Any way,' it is in the possession of the Crown, apd of the Dominion at the present moment, and no power of expropriation would be worth one cent to the parties that would have it. That is not the contention of my hon. friend. We have no objections to the Bill, we know it only gives to a corporate power the same power as an individual has at present. All we ask is that there should be some declaration of policy by the government in reference to these waterways, the same as there is in every civilized country in the world. In the United States they have regulations by which companies and individuals can obtain possession of them, and, as he says, the same power of expropriation is included in the British Columbia Bill. In British Columbia the sale of water-powers is regulated by statute. All we ask from the Minister of Railways is a simple statement that any individual ot corporation may ap-

proach the government on equal terms for the purpose of possessing the water-powers, and that, above all things, something which is the heritage of the people of this country shall be retained for them, or shall not be parted with without an equivalent. Now there is no use talking about opposition to the Bill on this side of the House. We are not opposing the Bill. We simply say, if you want your Bill, let the government make a pronouncement in reference to it. It seeks, to obtain property which is valuable to the public, in regard to which property there are no regulations nor statutory obligations at all. All we ask from the government is that they will at. least make regulations in reference to these waterways so that a moiety of them shall be retained for the people who own them.

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