July 18, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


George Perry Graham



I am not sure that there is any reason why I should take up the cudgels for Toronto, but I want to state the other side of the case. The minister has briefly outlined the situation, but it must not be forgotten that in Ontario, under a Provincial Act, there has been undertaken a work that has not been undertaken elsewhere. The Hydro-Electric Commission, acting by virtue of a statute of Ontario, has undertaken and put in force what is without doubt the greatest public work of this kind anywhere in the world, controlled by the province and by the municipalities. It can be understood that in connection with such a scheme as that difficulties will be met with in the way of vested rights held by companies, and it must not be forgotten that privileges granted to companies by this Parliament and by the Legislature of Ontario previously, never contemplated the situation that has arisen; and, in justification of this amendment and of some very drastic legislation, perhaps in some instances too drastic, passed 'by the Ontario Legislature, it must be remembered that the object of all this was to remove obstacles from the way of the full development of the Hydro-Electric system, in a large measure that accounts for this amendment, although the explanation may be a little intricate and might not be of interest to this House. In view of the object contemplated and of what has been accomplished and what is to be accomplished in the future in the way of bringing electric power not alone to the cities and towns but to the doors of the farmers throughout the country, I am prepared to go a long way in voting for legislation that will remove impediments from the path of that great enterprise.

Topic:   P520 COMMONS
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