April 11, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)


(Translation.) Mr. Chairman, I am with one of the hon. member

for Rouville (Mi-. Lemieux) in liis expressions of sympathy relative to Mr. Paradis, who has suffered .severely through a fire started by a spark from a locomotive on the Intercolonial. I think I know how the fire started, anl I would be 'highly gratified if the hon. Minister of Railways could see his way to helping that gentleman. I trust' the minister will find some effective means of compensating that poor man for the losses incurred.
Mr. TURGEON-I am very well pleased that the hon. member for Rouville has drawn the attention of the House to that old claim of Mr. Paradis of Levis. He has stated the claim better than I can state it myself, especially so far as the law is concerned. I know the particulars of the case as far as any layman can know them. I know also the extent of the loss that this man has suffered, and I am aware that the department two or three years ago made him a small offer which he could not accept. I have seen the report of Mr. Justice Au-dette, the commissioner appointed to state whether or not the department was responsible for Mr. Paradis' loss by fire. Judge Audette, after taking full evidence, more than had been given before the Court of Exchequer, stated that there was not the least doubt that the department was responsible for setting the fire, as the fire originated through a defective system on the Intercolonial. I think the department acknowledged its responsibility by making an offer to Mr. Paradis, but it was too small according to that gentleman's estimate. So, he is asking the department to appoint a commissioner to assess the damage caused by the fire. When I was informed that the matter had been referred to Judge Audette, I was under the impression that he was empowered to estimate the loss, but, as the hon. member for Rouville has stated, Judge Audette was not allowed to do .more than to.state the cause of the loss. But, as it is clear that the department is responsible for causing the fire, I think a commissioner should be appointed, as requested, to assess the loss. I think it would be easy to come to an understanding, and I am confident that no member of the House would find fault with the decision of such a'commission.

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