May 31, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Horatio Clarence Hocken



I say that the strongest fights that have been made, those which stand out ip our history, have been made by Ontario. In 1896 we fought for the provincial rights of Manitoba; we have always been strong for provincial rights, and my views in that regard are as pronounced as those of any other man in the province. I am unable, however, to see in what way the rights of Ontario are infringed by this Bill. As a matter of fact, the Bill follows exactly the lines of the agreement entered into by the Premier of Ontario with the Dominion authorities as regards concurrent legislation. Now, while I am naturally strong for the rights of my own province, I am not disposed to be unfair to other provihces so far as their rights are concerned. Instead of this being a very complex question, as the hon. member for Gaspe says, to my mind is a very simple one. Here is a large body of water, the use of which means a great deal-more than we can estimate-to the province of Manitoba. What the Bill proposes to do is to preserve to that province its rights in those great water-powers, and that is especially important, Mr. Chairman, because the province of Manitoba has not as many water-powers as either Quebec or Ontario. They are limited in the number and extent of their water-powers and the great city of Winnipeg is vitally interested in this matter. It has been stated by the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Molloy) that it is possible to develop 500,000 horse-power on the Winnipeg river. It will be a very few years before the city of Winnipeg and, perhaps, adjacent smaller municipalities will require the whole amount of 500,000 horse-power. Why should we let private interests come in here and within one year put up works and do things which will^ have the effect of preventing Manitoba from enjoying its rights? The idea is perfectly absurd. You must remember that Parliament is the custodian of the provincial rights of Manitoba in this matter, and if the Government refused to do what it could to protect those rights it would come in for serious condemnation. Now, I would just like to put a question to my hon friend

a very simple question, and he can just see how it fits. Suppose the province of Quebec had to look to this Parliament for protection of its rights in the great water-powers as Manitoba has to do, would my hon friend not desire to see such a measure as this go through at once? Would he talk about delay and conciliation and the sunny smile and all that kind of thing?

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