August 28, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)

LIB

Joseph Arthur Calixte √Čthier

Liberal

Mr. ETHIER (Two Mountains) (translation) :

Mr. Chairman, I cannot allow to be placed upon the statute books of Canada ' an Act so iniquitous in its conception and so disastrous in its consequences, from an economic and financial point of view, without protesting with all the energy in my power against the iniquity which the present -Government is trying to perpetrate. Indeed this is one of the worst misdeeds of the Government since 1911, and especially since the beginning of this session. We need only go back to the 18th of May last to see that from that date, since the hon. prime minister lias1 retuined from England-, its object has been to take away strip by strip, hit after bit, all the liberties that were guaranteed to us by the -Constitution, before the present -Government, elected under false pretences, came into power in 1911. We have only to refer to the conscription Act, to. glance backwards, to examine the Act relating to the soldiers' vote, and we will find that the Canadian Northern Act, which is now before the House is the crowning piece of the present Government's efforts and -conduct since May 18 last. I am opposed to the passing of this Act, -and I am not the only one who objects- to it. I am in, pretty good company.
The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham-) in- the -course of the remarks he made upon this Bill's second reading before the committee, has laid before this House the protest of a group of high financiers in Montreal. I do- not intend to again

lastique and it also runs from St. 'Canut to St. Jerome for over fourteen years, the Canadian Northern company hag not had a single full service on that part of its line. I say not one, for in that district we have only a freight train to which ie attached a passenger car and I would he justified in styling it " a cattle car." I have had myself the occasion to come before the Railway Commission to complain of this state of affairs on 'behalf of the residents of the St. Canut municipality.
On two occasions the Railway Commission ordered the Canadian Northern to build a station at St. Canut and <to appoint an agent. They did comply and built some kind of a shed where there are neither stove, bench nor chairs for the public, in any season of the year, and they appointed an agent, a man. who kept a hotel close to this shed. Since then, it has been set aside, the Canadian Northern scoffed at the Railway Commission's decision, and that was fourteen years ago; the road has been given up. Four years ago another branch line was built, a section running .from St. Andre, Argenteuil, up to Montreal, passing through the county 'of Two Mountains, along the Ottawa river, St. Plaoide, St. Benoit, St Eustache, to allow their connecting, so they said, with the tunnel they bored under Mount Royal. Nevertheless, that section of the road is not yet opened and apparently is abandoned. The Canadian Northern, had an interest in bringing that railway line towards Cartierville, St. Lament and the tunnel. With what money did Mackenzie and Mann buy all the land in what is now called the " model city " ? Where did they get the millions in-order to speculate upon the Montreal lots around the tunnel they have built? From the 'Government's money, and to-day they want tO' resell them after having taken in all the profits. And it is this company, this octopus if I may so call it, which the Government intend to favour by taking over a worthless, dislocated property. Besides*, all this has been proven, it is admitted, it is known by the whole people, and the people shall protest, as they know how to protest. The people will protest at the coming elections which, I hope, will soon take place, not only against that iniquitous conscription Act, but also against the measure now before us. And, toy tne way, I might be allowed* to say that I consider the Maekenzie-Mann deal, the White Bill, such as introduced for the purchase of the Canadian Northern, far worse than the conscription Act.. From the standpoint
['Mr. Ethier.]
of the country's financial interests, this measure is worse than the conscription Act, for, at least, conscription may help, may contribute to aid our allies and our own overseas; but the Canadian Northern purchase will only contribute to assist Mackenzie and Mann and the rotten speculators whom we do not know, hut whom we suspect of being at the bottom, of this transaction.
'Mr. Chairman, I stated, art the beginning of my remarks that we were used to see iniquities perpetrated by the present Government; I said it was not the first one and; from, what we can see, it will not be the last one either. They so well feel the weakness of the measures submitted that they aTe forced to use violence, to use the gag, to use the closure in order to overcome the people's representatives and to ignore their own mandate.
I see that to-day IMr. Chairman pays a special attention to the members on his left. He .now glances at me, meaning that my time is over. However, last night he had a stiff neck, probably, for .he only had his eyes to. the other side of the House, never looking this way; hut to-day, he is sharp-sighted, we cannot go beyond our twenty minutes. Well, Mr. Chairman, I am
through, I how before the order of the present Government's executioner and I resume my seat.

Topic:   CANADIAN RAILWAY SITUATION.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY BILL RESUMED IN COMMITTEE-RULE 1TB APPLIED.
Full View