Joseph-Arthur BRADETTE

BRADETTE, The Hon. Joseph-Arthur, B.A.

Personal Data

Cochrane (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 16, 1886
Deceased Date
September 12, 1961
farmer, merchant

Parliamentary Career

September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Timiskaming North (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Timiskaming North (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Cochrane (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Cochrane (Ontario)
  • Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons (February 25, 1943 - April 16, 1945)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Cochrane (Ontario)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Cochrane (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 450 of 451)

February 3, 1928


I can tell my hon. friend opposite, to ease his mind, that I do not want to make a run on the treasury myself.

I am thinking at the moment of the city of Toronto, where they need a big customs house.

I think that is something they should get, and I have no doubt they will get it in time. There are of course a good many other localities besides Toronto and Montreal in which public money should be spent, because I know in certain sections of the country they are very badly in need of post offices and other public buildings. I do not- suggest that this money should be spent on public buildings alone, however, and I will give you an instance of another way in which some of this money could be profitably spent. In the town of Kapuskasing, within the limits of my own constituency, we have the best experimental farm in the whole of Canada, but within the last year I have had several reports from the settlers of that district fo the effect that some of the horses belonging to that experimental farm were being hired out in order to make both ends meet. There is a case in which I believe some money could be spent to great advantage, because it is not fair for the settlers of that district to have to compete with government agencies in that way. I have suggested to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) that sufficient money be given that experimental farm to permit them to meet their own expenses, and relieve the settlers in that neighbourhood from this unfair competition.

We cannot always go by what we see in the newspapers; sometimes they contain the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but at other times they contain very queer things, and I would not like it to be understood that I am suggesting a run on the treasury. I do not intend to make any such raid unless conditions absolutely warrant it, but in this case I believe we could spend at least $10,000 more with very good results.

One of the other things with which I would like to deal while I am on my feet is the very momentous question of the taxation of railway properties. People in the town of Cochrane, and when I say that I include the whole district of northern Quebec and northern Ontario practically from Quebec city to the Manitoba border, have been agitating for the last ten years at least that the property of the Canadian National Railways, or at all events a section of the old National Transcontinental line, should be taxed. We had several promises made by different ministers of federal governments of both parties, but with no result, and I am putting this before the house not in' any political sense but because I believe it to be a national matter. In order that this cause might be furthered, before the house opened I gave notice of the following motion:

The Address-Mr. Bradette

Taxation of Canadian National Railway property, on that portion of the railway system primarily known as the National Transcontinental, and extending from Quebec city to Winnipeg, for municipal and school purposes, in all localities, along these sections of the railway municipally organized-

Whereas, government ownership of the Canadian National railway system has created a burdensome situation in a number of municipalities through having a large portion of otherwise assessable property placed on the exempt list; and

Whereas, in many cases the loss of municipal taxes from such exempt property is out of proportion and creates a very serious loss of revenue absolutely needed for the proper administration of municipal affairs; and

Whereas, the prerogative of the crown, of having crown property exempt from taxation, was established prior to the crown ever expecting to or undertaking to take up competitive business in full competition with private corporations which are subject to municipal taxation; and

Whereas, it would appear that justice and equity would preclude the crown from taking advantage over private corporations in the discharge of corporate business; and

Whereas, the National Transcontinental was built by the Dominion government for the Grand Trunk Pacific railway on the understanding that it would be handed over to this latter railway on completion and under a lease, as an integral part of the Grand Trunk Pacific system; and

Whereas, the principle of taxation of railway property on the Canadian National railway has been maintained and in some cases established, in most sections of the present corporation, namely; over the portions of the system originally called the Grand Trunk railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Canadian Northern and the Intercolonial;

Therefore be it resolved: That this house urges tile waiving of the prerogative of the crown of exempting any such railway property from municipal and school taxation, on that section of the Canadian National railway system originally known as the National Transcontinental railway, from Quebec city to Winnipeg, for all organized municipalities along that part of the Canadian National railway system, which is occupied and used solely for the administration and maintenance of that portion of the aforesaid railway system.

A few days afterwards I received the following letter from the Clerk of the House of Commons:

January 19 th, 1928.

Dear Mr. Bradette,

The notice of motion which you sent in for the order paper does not seem to be in order, as resolutions to increase a charge upon the people must be introduced by the government with the recommendation of the Governor General.

You are asking by this motion that the house urge the waiving of the prerogative of the crown of exempting the Canadian National Railways from the municipal taxation in a certain part of the country. If you secure an affirmative 56103-rl2i

vote, the government will be bound to renounce these taxes. In other words you are asking for a decision of the house on a charge upon the people without following the ordinary practice.

I took the matter up with Mr. Speaker this morning and he entirely agrees with me. I regret therefore my inability to give notice of this motion when the session opens.

As I said before, this is a very important matter for northern Ontario. I have no quarrel \Vhatever with public ownership. I am well aware of the fact that public ownership is dcfing wonderful work in the province of Ontario; it has certainly accomplished striking results from an industrial and commercial point of view in the southern portion of the province. I doubt, however, if we should have the prosperity we enjoy to-day in northern Ontario if we had had to depend upon that policy. To private ownership and the investment of private capital we owe much of the development in the northern parts of the province. In presenting the case as I do for the town of Cochrane I am speaking for the whole of northern Ontario and northern Quebec. In that sparsely populated northern country the municipalities need all the taxation they can get, and the amount involved here will run to from $75,000 to $100,000 a year.

I am going to read a memorial which was drawn up by the town of Cochrane, discussing the merits of the case. Other municipalities have concurred in this representation, and although it is somewhat lengthy I deem it better to place it before the house so that all hon. members may be apprised of the fact. The communication in question reads as follows:

The municipal council of the town of Cochrane, in conjunction with other municipal bodies in northern Ontario and northern Quebec, has the honour to place before the honourable the Minister of Railways and Canals, the great injustice suffered by the towns and villages in these localities through the differentiation in respect to taxation for municipal purposes of the Canadian National railways, and to respectfully submit the following facts in connextion therewith: -

(1) The National Transcontinental line was built by the Dominion government for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway on the understanding that it would be handed over to this latter railway on completion and under a lease, as an integral part of the Grand Trunk Pacific system.

(2) The National Transcontinental line, to all intent and purpose, was completed at the close of the year of 1913 but the failure of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to fulfil their undertaking left the National Transcontinental line at the mercy of an indifferent operation of portions of the road, by contractors, thereby greatly retarding the development around hero, until in July 1915 it was consolidated with the Intercolonial railway into the Canadian Government railways and has been in operation ever since.

(3) A large section of the National Transcontinental line has heen built through virgin lands

The Address-Mr. Bradette

of northern Ontario and northern Quebec and must be considered, in every sense of the word, purely a colonization road and the townsites along this section have been laid out on picked out level stretches of either muskeg or swampy bush land which required an enormous amount of groundwork in the clearing, in order to permit even the most rudimentary town planning.

(4) The building of this colonization portion Of the National Transcontinental line can therefore in no way be considered a boou to the towns along its right of way as all these towns had to come subsequent to the building of the railway and they have since done their full in the colonization and development of the territory within their sphere of influence, in even a larger proportion than the railway itself has done for northern Ontario and northern Quebec.

(5) The demand for educational and sanitary measures alone, in the building up of the towns to the present time, has been out of all proportion to the ability of ratepayers of these towns, to meet, since the largest property holders, the railways, are exempt from municipal taxation.

(6) Conditions as they exist to-day in Cochrane are to be found in a more or less like measure along the entire colonization section of the National Transcontinental line between La Tuque, Quebec, and the Manitoba boundary.

(7) In addition, the town of Cochrane, in common with other towns and villages along the National Transcontinental line in northern Ontario and northern Quebec, has suffered repeated devastation and the town of Cochrane especially, suffered on two occasions almost complete destruction by fire which struck the town from surrounding bush lands and for which no blame can be attached for lack of prevention.

(8) Again, owing to the inability of collecting adequate taxes, by reason of exemption of railway property, the town of Cochrane suffered severely through the scourge of epidemics, brought about through lack of funds to complete necessary sanitary improvements, with the consequence that the ratepayers have been greatly impoverished besides causing intense suffering through loss by death of a large number of citizens.

(9) In the year 1919 the town of Cochrane petitioned the Dominion government and parliament for relief through permitting assessment of railway property within the municipality' and a promise was made that pending legislation of the session of 1919 would make special intervention by the government unnecessary, as through the creation of the Canadian National Railway Company, this company would be given a lease of the Canadian Government railways and would take the status of any ordinary corporation.

(10) Statements made in the House of Commons at that time by the leader of the government, as appearing in Hansard of that session, clearly indicate the intention of the government to fulfil promises made to the town of Cochrane, but there is nothing in the final bill enacting the Canadian National Railways Company to supplement such statements.

(11) The colonization section of the National Transcontinental line is the only railway built in Canada through virgin lands in the last forty years which has never assisted in the building and subsequent progress and development of towns and villages along its course, by assuming their just share of taxes to such muni-

cipalities, and yet the proper operation of a railway, and the subsequent success from such, preconceives that towns be built and conveniences be furnished to further the welfare and provide suitable living conditions for the employees of such railway.

(12) There is no place in Canada which presents a more incongruous situation than that which exists in northern Ontario and northern Quebec with respect to exemption of railway property from municipal taxation and no comparison can be made with other sections of the Canadian Government railways where the advent of the railways came subsequent to the existence of towns and villages, thereby bene-fitting such towns and villages in a large measure. Any assistance, therefore, which may " be granted to the town of Cochrane and other municipalities along the colonization section of the National Transcontinental line, can in no way be considered a precedent, to be followed in respect to other places.

At a meeting of representatives of municipal bodies from along the colonization section of the National Transcontinental line between La Tuque and the Manitoba boundary, at which delegates were present from Cochrane, Sioux Lookout, Redditt, Kapuskasing, Hunta and Moonbeam in Ontario and Privat in Quebec, the following representation was fully concurred in.

Therefore, having in mind the unwillingness of the Dominion government to open up the general question of taxation of Canadian government railway property, the undersigned municipal corporations urgently request the honourable, the Minister of Railways and Canals to favourably consider the justice of making an annual compassionate grant, in lieu of taxes, to the municipal bodies affected and to have the necessary appropriation for the current year included in the supplementary estimates to come before the House of Commons during the present session, on the basis of the average annual loss of taxes had the railway property been subject to taxation.

The loss from taxation suffered by the town of Cochrane, based on a property assessment of the National Transcontinental line within the municipality, as appearing on the Cochrane assessment roll, of approximately $300,000 since 1915, when the line became operative, would at an average tax rate of 40 mills represent a sum of $12,000 annually, or for the whole period until the end of the year 1923 a total of $108,000.

The loss from taxation suffered by the town of Sioux Lookout, based on a property assessment of the National Transcontinental line within the municipality, as appearing on the Sioux Lookout assessment roll, of approximately $448,900 since 1915, would at an average tax rate of 40 mills represent a sum of $17,950 annually or for the whole period until the end of 1923 of the year 1923 a total of $161,550.

The loss from taxation suffered by the town of Kapuskasing, based on an assessment of $20,000 since 1921, the inception of the town, would at an average tax rate of 42 mills amount to $840 annually or a total since 1921 of $2,520.

The loss from taxation suffered by the public school section No. 2, Clute and Calder, at

The Address-Mr. Bradette

Hmita, based on an assessment of 83,000 would at an average rate of 22 mills amount to $66 annually or a total since 1921 of $198.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

We sent several delegates to interview the government of the day, and although we were all given a warm welcome and a sympathetic reception, no headway was made in the direction of the desired legislation. I have here several letters that 1 have received either from members of the government or from one or other of the two political parties dealing with this matter.

Here is a letter signed by Senator G. D. Robertson, and written under date of February 14, 1923:

Dear Sir: .

This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 8th inst. together with printed circular enclosed referring to the desirability of the Canadian National Railways being assessed for municipal and school purposes.

At Cochrane and other points along the Transcontinental where the railway property represents a large portion of the improved property in the municipality, I readily appreciate the propriety of the railway bearing some of the cost of municipal taxation, especially for schools, as most of the children attending such schools are children of employees of the railway company and such employees ought not to be taxed for school purposes more heavily than are similar employees in other municipalities where the proportion of taxation is more widely distributed. This question was discussed some two years ago by the late government, being brought to its attention by the undersigned after my return from Winnipeg in August 1920 via the Transcontinental railway, when this question was brought to my attention, but it was not deemed advisable to take action at that time, or until the whole of the government-owned lines were merged into one system. Now that this is being done and the Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern portions of the Canadian National system do pay taxes, there would seem to be no good reason why some reasonable rate of taxation should not also be imposed upon the portions of the national system formerly known as the Canadian Government Railways.

I shall be glad to lend such aid as I may be able to bring some relief to your municipality, and others similarly situated, but feel that the movement should be initiated in the House of Commons, as the jurisdiction of the Senate, of which I am a member, respecting the introduction of money bills might be questioned.

This is a letter dated February 23, 1923, from Mr. William Irvine, M.P.:

I have received your communication, alsc resolution passed by the municipality of Cochrane, regarding the taxation of Canadian railway property -within the boundaries of your municipality. I certainly am in favour of the taxation which you demand, and if the matter is brought before parliament, it will certainly receive my support.

I have on file at least a hundred letters from ministers, premiers of the day and

members of parliament, and although many of these letters were absolutely non-committal, some of them were sympathetic. From these letters I gathered the impression that this matter was going to be brought before the house. I had the good fortune on one occasion of listening to the late Hon. Frank Cochrane, then representing a portion of the riding which I have the honour to represent to-day. He was at that time Minister of Railways and, speaking at Cochrane, my home town, he said that government railway property should be taxable; that it was an injustice, especially in connection with that section of the Transcontinental, that it should not be taxed. Do hon. members realize that to-day, as has been stated in those petitions, the Canadian National railway system is actually paying taxes on most sections of the road, and that in 1925, if I am correct, special grants were given to the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, to the amount of $230,000 a year, as compassionate grants in lieu of taxes? As I said at the outset, we do not want straight taxation, but I believe we are entitled to a compassionate grant.

In the same year, 1925, an amount of $75,000 was offered to the province of Ontario, but for some reason, unknown to us and known only to Premier Ferguson, that offer was turned down. As I said at the beginning I believe the taxation on the whole system from Cochrane to Winnipeg will amount to $100,000, and I do not see why the Premier of Ontario refused that grant, which was and still is absolutely necessary. If the government is willing and ready to-day to extend that grant, it should be distributed through the provincial government or the railway municipal board to the municipalities. I remember on one occasion when a delegation was waiting upon the Hon. Mr. Ferguson, asking him for taxation on. the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway, which is a provincially owned railway, the answer he gave us was in this sense: The moment we

receive taxation from the Canadian National, the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario and the provincial government will do their share. In my home town the total assessment of those railways is at least a million dollars, so that if we were to receive a compassionate grant it should amount to at least $10,000 a year. I know the Canadian Pacific has a special department, with officials visiting all sections on which they are paying taxes. As hon. members are aware they are paying taxes on practically their whole

The Address-Mr. Bradette

system, but we would be satisfied with a compassionate grant instead of a straight assessment. Perhaps many people are not aware of certain facts. This is a clipping from the Northland Post, a Northern Ontario newspaper:

An enquiry from Ottawa regarding the conditions of British government property in London brings the information that the Imperial government pays practically on government property in London the local tax rates. The thing is done in the frequent British way of meeting a troublesome situation by doing what ought to be done, but specifying that no legal obligation is admitted. The Imperial government declines to acknowledge any liability for taxes but appoints an officer to report what is fair. The officer reports that it would be fair for the government to pay a certin amount to the local authorities -and it turns out that this certan amount is equal to what would be the taxes if the property were taxed.

As I say, we would be quite satisfied in Northern Ontario to receive such a grant. We do not want a straight assessment. Perhaps in the discussion some legal point might be brought up which it would be hard for us to overcome. After approaching the Canadian National Railways on many occasions we wrote a letter to their attorney and this is the reply, dated May 14, 1923:

I have your letter of the 9th inst. You ask whether the act incorporating the Canadian National Railway Company gives the directors wide powers in respect of taxation. In reply I beg to advise that it does not. The only powers that are given to us in respect of the Canadian Government Railways, under the entrusting order in council, are to manage and operate the property, that is, we practically have the powers of a general manager. Now the exemption from taxation relating to crown property held by his majesty in the right of the Dominion is found, as you know, in the British North America Act. As general manager we have no authority to disregard the terms of the British North America Act. It would be just as reasonable, or even more reasonable, to expect the Postmaster General to pay taxes on post office property and to waive the crown right for exemption as it would be for us to attempt to do so in respect of crown railway property in the town of Cochrane.

It seems to me that the only remedy can be by act of parliament, or by some act of the Dominion government directing us, notwithstanding the exemption, to pay taxes. This direction could not be limited to the town of Cochrane, it would have to extend equally to every municipality through which the government railways run, or wherever they own property, and the question therefore is a very large one. Furthermore, if the crown in respect of railway properties pays taxes, the same condition, though with less force, could be made by any other municipality where Dominion property is situated, in respect of post offices, military property, canal property,

immigration property, and all other property held on behalf of the crown. You cannot, it seems to me, admit liability in one case and deny it in another. You would have to treat all municipalities fairly and on an equal basis.

It can readily be admitted that the town of Cochrane is situated disadvantageous^ in respect of its taxable area, since a great deal of property is held for railway purposes either by Dominion railways or provincial railways. Both are equally exempt under the same act. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the town owes its very existence to the two railways in question.

If the matter came before our directors I would be obliged to advise them, from a legal point of view, that they had no power in themselves to waive the exemption provided by the British North America Act, as the question is purely one for the Dominion and provincial governments to consider and to remedy as they see fit. The only feasible remedy that I can see would be by a special appropriation made by parliament to the town in lieu of taxes, but whether the government or parliament would be content to recommend or pass such an appropriation is very questionable, in view of the discrimination they would thereby be making in favour of your municipality as against all others.

Those are some of the objections against such taxation. On one occasion I met Mr. Ruel personally and he made the same argument, that the British North America Act should be amended so that the government railways could pay taxes. Everyone is aware, without being a legal light, that when the British North America Act was drafted in 1867 there was no thought that the government would go into the railway business; that railways would be under public ownership. It was well known that the Canadian Pacific was under construction and no one dreamed that the government of the day or any future government would go into the railway busniess. But I believe in view of the manner in which the Canadian National Railways are being administered the system if not legally, at least is morally bound to pay taxes.

At the time of the amalgamation of the railway systems now forming the Canadian National Railways the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, during the discussion in committee of the bill to effect the amalgamation, said, as reported in Hansard at page 1697:

It makes the new corporation liable at law and vests in the new corporation the rights at law of a corporation rather than putting it in the position of the crown. . . It can act as a corporation not subject to the restrictions or to the enjoyment of the privileges of the crown.

And again at page 1698 we find him saying:

Upon amalgamation the company will own the direct physical assets.

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Further at page 1703 we find him proceeding:

Does not this bill mean that we are attempting to set up a system of corporate management divorced from direct government interference or control of this great railway system-corporate as distinguished from departmental management? ... It seems to me to be a very real company. We want to make it a real company, but it will be a very unreal company if one-half is to be departmental and the other half corporate. I do think that while it is true that this is in reality a government enterprise, it is equally true that we are trying to operate it as a business concern under corporate management.

To live up to the spirit of these words, as the system to-day is being administered absolutely independent of the government-for I believe every member on both sides of the house will recognize that politics do not enter into the management-the whole system should be liable to taxation.

At page 1690 of Hansard I find the following pertinent statements of Sir Thomas White, at the time Minister of Finance and acting leader of the house:

This railway company of which the government is the virtual proprietor, notwithstanding the corporate form in which its assets are held, is not a department of the government in the same sense that the Railway or Customs or Inland Revenue is a department of the government.

That is a complete answer to the letter of Mr. Ruel, the counsel of the system regarding the ownership of the Canadian National Railways. Sir Thomas continued:

As I pointed out last evening when I spoke upon this matter, there are two ways in which the Dominion government could administer this great railway system which has now come into our hands and such other systems as may be acquired in the future. One way would be to attempt to administer them as the Intercolonial railway was administered, by the Railway department of the government, which, as the committee knows, is under the direct control of the Minister of Railways. The other way, both for practicability of administration and for divesting the government as far as possible of control in order that no question of political patronage may enter, is to administer them through the medium of a joint stock company or companies. Take the situation as it exists to-day. The various departments of the government, including the Railway department in respect of the Canadian Government Railway, make their estimates, and all expenditures are audited by the Auditor General, as my hon. friend has indicated. But in connection with the Canadian Northern Railway Company, whose stock is held by the government-just as the stock of this company which we are now creating will be held for the government -the administration being under a corporation is carried out as corporations carry out their enterprises. The corporation, as such, receives all revenue, and all expenditures are made under the authority of the board of directors.

It will be seen that it was said by tne government of the day that the Canadian National railway system was going to be run as a private corporation absolutely independent of the government. From that a layman would gather that the corporation would be liable to taxation just like any other private corporation. Another thing: to-day the Canadian National railway system is paying taxation to the tune of millions of dollars. Apparently what is meat in one case is fish in another, and northern Ontario seems to foe out of luck because of the fact that at the time of the construction of the National Transcontinental line the Grand Trunk Pacific did not want to undertake work of construction from Quebec to Winnipeg and through some unforeseen development the line was not taken over by that company. But I see no reason why we should be penalized on that account. It is absolutely unfair, and, I repeat, that morally, if not legally, the section of the population affected should be given compensation by way of taxation.

In the course of the evidence given by Mr. A. J. Mitchell, vice-president in charge of finance of the Canadian National Railways, when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on national railways and shipping, he stated that municipal and provincial taxes and taxes on lands in 1920 on the national lines amounted to $1,371,853.41. But northern Ontario did not get a cent of that money, other sections of the country benefited, and even the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, although they may not be getting direct taxation, are taxing the revenue of the system. Here is another typical case which I quote:

A report from Toronto states that the Canadian National Railways lost the appeal in the divisional court respecting the business assessment on the Toronto suburban ticket office, executive offices and express sheds. The court of revision held that the assessments were not validly made. Judge Denton restored the assessment, and the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board affirmed his order. Now the appellate court sustains the board's ruling.

My time is almost up, Mr. Speaker, I have made this appeal as strongly as I know how, but I fear through lack of experience I have not made it nearly as convincing as I should like it to be.

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February 3, 1928

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (North Timiska-ming):

Mr. Speaker, I think it is in order for me in rising to speak on the motion for an address in reply to the speech from the throne to congratulate the mover (Mr. Ilsley) and the seconder (Mr. Beaubien) of the address. It has been a great privilege for me

[Air. Barber.]

in this my second session to study the members of this house, and I just wish to say that the hon. member for Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) certainly lived up to expectations. That part of the country has produced eminent orators and statesmen, and he is a true Liberal of that great school. I also wish to extend my congratulations to the seconder of the address. His was a splendid speech. I have had the pleasure of reading it all the way through, and the hon. member did credit not only to his constituency but also to the great race that he has the honour to represent in this house.

I also want to congratulate the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) and the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King). I know that my humble congratulations will not go very far, especially afteT the wonderful reception their addresses have received in the press throughout the whole of Canada. They have certainly lived up to the high expectations that were held of both of them, and they thoroughly deserve all the congratulations that have been showered on them from both sides.

I had the good fortune to-day to read some comments in Saturday Night on the speech from the throne, and I gathered from that reading that there was considerable information to be gathered and a lot of work to be done this session.

I wish to make just a brief allusion to the celebration of the diamond jubilee of confederation. It has been a wonderful thing to unite all the different groups living in Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It has been a wonderful thing for the whole nation. Some splendid addresses were made, and we had distinguished visitors from Great Britain whose visits were appreciated by every section of this country. Several suggestions have been made as to the best ,way of commemorating this great national event. One came from the maritime provinces that we should construct a confederation highway. That would be something tangible to show to future generations that we really wanted to unite the whole of Canada and maintain the spirit of confederation. It would be a highly desirable thing to construct a highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, binding together every section of this great country of ours.

I want to say just a word in regard to the St. Lawrence waterway. I believe that the government has taken the only practical stand under the present circumstances in giving this question, which is not only a national but an international question, very thorough study. While I am in full sympathy

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with the needs and requirements of these two provinces, we have in Ontario, within our own borders, a wonderful waterway which eventually must be developed; I refer to the Georgian bay canal. It is really a national waterway within our own borders. As I said when I spoke in this house last year, the problems of southern Ontario ,are also the problems of northern Ontario, and vice versa, and I think in this discussion we should consider first of all the national waterway we have within our own borders.

Now I would like to say a word or two about immigration. I have heard hon. members opposite say that during the last ten years the population of Canada has not been increased. I am glad to say, as a representative of one of the most prosperous ridings in the whole of Canada, that the population in my riding and in northern Ontario generally has increased at least 300 per cent in the last ten years. If you look at the statistics you will find that in 1916 we had a population of only 30,000 people, while to-day we have over 100,000, and I believe the same principles should apply tp the western provinces. We need immigration, but as the government has well said through the Prime Minister, we want to be .in a position to assimilate the people we bring in. Let us not go too fast in these matters; let us try first of all to give them work.

I was greatly surprised two or three weeks ago to read in a newspaper the fact that a young British immigrant brought before a justice of the peace said he was surprised to find that there were six months of winter in Canada. We must tell the truth to the immigrants who leave their own shores and come to Canada. It has been my good fortune to speak to many British immigrants and they were absolutely unprepared for the winter conditions in this country. While we all know we have a beautiful winter I think everyone naturally prefers the summer, and we should see that the people we bring out are fully acquainted with these facts. Perhaps it would not make so much difference to those coming from the Scandinavian countries, where conditions are somewhat similar to ours, but I must say that some of the British people are being brought here under false representations. As you know, most of our immigrants arrive in the spring or early summer, and are greatly surprised at our winter climate. When the first snow comes they expect it to go away shortly as it does in England, but when they find it remaining for six months they are disillusioned and disappointed,: and this is one of the great 56103-12

reasons why so many immigrants leave Canada. We should tell them the truth before they come here. I do not say that we are handicapped by our climate, but of course it creates certain seasonal conditions. As we all know, the primary industry of Canada is farming, and the farmers do not employ as much help in the winter as they do during the summer months. That condition applies until the end of March or the first of April. For these reasons I repeat that it is not fair either to Canada or to the immigrants themselves to bring them out here under any misapprehension. We must tell them of the exact conditions which prevail here, and if they want to come over under those conditions, as I believe they will, I am sure they will make better Canadians.

There is another class of immigrants to whom I would like to refer. I speak now of those who come to Canada with the sole intention of sending out as much money as they possibly can. You would be surprised, if it were possible to get these statistics from the Post Office department, to learn the amount of money which is being sent from Canada back to Europe. Every dollar earned in Canada by this type of immigrant is a dead loss, because it is all sent out of the country. We should see that we get the class of immigrant who really intends to live here all the time.

Let me go a step further. I do not believe we shall need so many immigrants, and I am sure we will not lose our population to such a great extent, if the government will do something to see that young Canadians are offered some inducement to go on the farms and stay there. As you know, the bright lights of the cities, with their theatres, dance halls and so on, are wonderfully attractive even to the urban papulation, so it is no wonder that the young people are attracted from the country. If it were possible for the government to induce those young men and women to remain on the farms it would be a very splendid thing. Just in this connection I might mention something to which I have given a good deal of thought. In northern Ontario we have at least 20,000,000 acres of the best land in Canada to-day, and I believe it to be a fact that there are millions of acres of vacant lands in the western provinces as well. It should be easy, therefore, to retain our young manhood which we are now losing to the bigger towns and cities of this country and eventually to the larger centres of population to our south. Most of these young people would make good farmers and good citizens, but what are the actual conditions?


The Address-Mr. Bradette

Within the last four weeks I was in the city of Toronto, and on my way to the theatre I was stopped at different times by five able bodied young men asking for a quarter with which to get a meal. It seems to me that if the federal and provincial governments could do something to settle these young Canadians on the land it would be the best possible way to provide employment. If we could induce a young man to take a farm in northern Ontario, perhaps the government might promise to give him twenty-five dollars for every acre of 'land that he clears, for a yearly maximum of 20 acres of land for every acre he cleared to a total value of 11,500, and some arrangement might be made whereby, if that young man remained on the farm for ten years, the money would be refunded to him and he would have his land free. If something of that sort could be worked out it would help a great deal in keeping our people here.

We were told this afternoon that we are importing a large percentage of our vegetables and fruits, and surely it is no wonder, because I believe our cities are over-populated. I was in Montreal some time ago and was told by some people there that if they lost their positions around the beginning of December they would be unable to get other work until spring. In northern Ontario, however, we have seasonable employment. When the farmers are through with their work in the summer they can work for the big companies in the woods or in the minesi and in that way find employment twelve months of the year. Again I say I believe the government are following a wise policy in trying first to assimilate the immigrants we have already brought in, and in not bringing more' people here by the thousands without finding employment for them for the whole year.

Then I would like to say a word in connection with the reduction of the national debt. I am absolutely in favour of certain measures by which we may expect to reduce our debt slowly and surely, but I believe the time has arrived when this government should spend money on public buildings all over Canada. We know that in the past the governments have been following a very wise policy in only spending what was absolutely necessary, but I believe we should now begin to spend money in this way where it is needed.

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March 31, 1927


The purpose of this bill is to provide for the extension of the charter of this company in order to permit construction from its present terminal, the town of Hearst, to the Hudson bay basin.

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March 30, 1927


For a return showing a list of names of the federal government employees and their salaries, who are holding positions in the constituency of North Timiskaming, exclusive of any officials under the post office departments and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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March 21, 1927

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (North Timiska-ming):

Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to take part in this debate as I thought that this being a private bill it would have been referred to a committee at least two weeks ago. As a representative from northern Ontario, which is directly interested in the construction of the Georgian bay canal, I am bound to express my views. I do not intend to be partisan and I shall confine myself strictly to what I believe to be the truth. In our section of t'he country without private


Georgian Bay Canal Company ' *

development we would never be enjoying our present measure of prosperity if it were not for private capital and enterprise. I hold no brief for private or public ownership interests. We know that it is impossible for us in northern Ontario to ever expect to have hydro-electric development under public ownership, for the simple reason that the provincial government for the last fifteen years has seen fit to alienate practically all the water-powers in that settled section of the country.

I have never had an opportunity to meet the Sifton brothers, but judging from what I read in the newspapers it would be wise for me to be on my guard if I ever come in contact with them, for they are described as very bad people. However, in my section of the country we judge men not by newspaper reports but by our actual contact with them and by the way they are developing the province. As for public ownership, I repeat, that in northern Ontario we have no hope of ever getting development under the Hydro Electric Power Commission. Indeed under that commission some illegalities and considerable injustice have been imposed on northern Ontario as a whole.

But it seems to me that the subject of public ownership has been confused with governmental control of industrial enterprises. These two categories are not merely separable, but they are in reality fundamentally distinct. The right' of eminent domain or the universal right of the public over property is embodied explicitly or implicitly in the law of every civilized country. The right of eminent domain by the state during the war was exercised by every belligerent nation, and under it lands, plantations, forests, oil wells, railways, telegraphs and cables and telephone lines, telegraph cables and even private residences and industrial establishments were taken over by every belligerent state except Russia, in order that the nation might exert its maximum war effort. This has been the ruination, not only of the individual and of the public, but of the nation as a whole. I am bound to put the facts before the House as they exist. I represent one of the largest portions of the province of Ontario, and the richest one in developed and undeveloped natural resources, and it is a territory worth fighting for.

I quote from the Hamilton Herald the following:

Worth Fighting For

From Premier Ferguson it is learned that a resolution will be introduced in the Ontario legislature protesting against the granting to the Georgian Bay Canal Company of any power rights in the Ottawa or French rivers. Such a resolution will have the solid support of public fMr. Bradette.]

opinion in this province, and it is to be hoped it will be unanimously endorsed by the Legislature.

Let this company go ahead and build the canal if it can raise the money to do it. But the people of Ontario will not tolerate the alienation of any water-powers belonging of right to the province, to any private corporation, to be exploited for private gain, now that the achievements of our hydro system have revealed the value of these public assets.

I must take that statement with a grain of salt. If you travel over the province of Ontario to North Bay and through that northern section of the province you will find that many of these utilities and water-powers, including some rivers attached to lake Nipissing basin, are owned by private interests. If you go to Iroquois Falls, you will find that the same condition exists. You will find that the power in the Abitibi river belongs to the Abitibi company, and if you go to Frederick House you will find' these utilities are operated by private interests. If you go still further to Smooth Rock Falls" and Jackson-boro, you will find that the same condition exists. The water-powers on the Mattagami river have been sold to private interests, and the same condition exists all through that district, including the Kapuskasing and Ground Hog rivers, where $25,000,000 is being expended under private capital.

I represent one of the largest ridings in Canada, and I believe that ninety per cent of the utilities in that country is actually in the hands of private interests. And how does the system work out? It works out well up there. The natural resources in many cases are sold to private interests and developed, and such developments are a cause of prosperity. Under the hydro commission we are actually paying taxation which we never expected to pay, and which is not logical. I have heard the hon. member saying that people in northern Ontario are against the hydro-electric. I may say that we are in favour of it, but I think the primary development of the Ottawa river is for canalization purposes. I am' going to read an article from an independent paper, the Cochrane Northland Post, of March 4, 1927, which says:

North Bay's pet child, the Georgian bay canal, is once more in the limelight. Bill No. 78 is now before the House of Commons for the purpose of once more renewing the old charter given to the Montreal, Ottawa and Georgian Bay Company.

The north has always backed up North Bay in the attempt to get the canal put through, which would materially assist in the development of northern Ontario, and will continue to stand solidly behind it. We have always felt that probably the same interests which

Georgian Bay Canal Company

right from the beginning tried to choke the Transcontinental railway are behind the efforts to kill the Georgian bay canal. One thing is sure, the government will never be permitted to undertake this project as a national work; and unless private interests are given the charter, nothing will come of it. This of course offends the public ownership minds, and the attempt is made to throw out the child with the cradle.

The Toronto Globe on Wednesday comments as follows: _

When the charter was granted this company in 1894 Ontario had not entered upon its program for public ownership of water-powers. The project was received with enthusiasm not only in the Ottawa valley and along the French river but throughout the province because of the transportation frcilities promised as much as for the prospective power development. Since hydro has demonstrated itself the conditions have changed, and the people are no longer willing to turn over to private ownership hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of natural resources which can and should remain part of the public domain.

The Globe of course has particularly the Carillon power site in mind, the rest of the long stretch of canal (which also abounds in water-powers) runs through sections of the country too remote for the Hydro Electric Commission to touch, owing to the sparsity of population. In fact conditions are about the same as they are here, and yet we have not heard them bewail the fact that our wonderful water-powers all along the Abitibi have just recently been handed over to private corporations. .

As we said before, we do not object to the water-powers being given away to private interests as long as the existing municipalities here are sufficiently protected as regards their power uses.

The Globe need not have any fear of seeing the Georgian bay canal constructed to create a short cut between the east and west and leave the matter to private interests, as long as future generations are properly protected as regards power development. As we said before, if we would have to wait for national building of this canal, we are afraid the country will remain undeveloped for generations to come; and after all it is right in the centre of Ontario where these private interests will bring about the transformation from wilderness to settled communities.

That is what we are seeking in our section of the country. We are the connecting link between the east and the west and our position allows us to judge impartially. We want that development. For the last eighteen years the Ontario government has seen fit to sell to the private interests the powers in northern Ontario. Even if we wanted public ownership in our section of the country, it would be an absolute impossibility for the government to enter into the development of that section. In Kapuskasing the development of the land under public ownership was tried, but after hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent in the development of the land, the result was complete failure. But

to-day under private ownership that section of the country is very prosperous.

Then let us take the wonderful districts of south Porcupine, Cobalt, Matheson and Kirkland Lake. These districts never would have been developed without private capital and enterprise. Under the conditions it was the only logical solution of the problem in the north. What would it mean if we now apply the principle of hydro-electric development after private capital has been invested in enormous sums, under many risks, and the initial stages have been passed in opening up the country, and often these utilities will be out of the experimental stage, would it then be fair for the hydro-electric to take them over? After a good deal of money has been spent in those utilities and they are just beginning to put them on a profitable basis would it be fair to take them away from the private interests? We are in favour of the hydro-electric in our section, but our hopes are very remote of ever getting such development, In northern Ontario we are paying taxes on which we never expect to receive any return. I am going to read a brief article from The Nugget of September 24, 1926, which reads:

Cost Million to Give Hydro Power to Ontario Farms

Toronto, Ont., Sept. 24.- (Canadian Press). -^The contribution of the Ontario government to the extension of hydro power to the rural districts of Ontario during the fiscal year will approximate $1,000,000 Premier Howard Ferguson estimates. In a statement yesterday the Prime Minister said that three-quarters of this amount had been expended to date in making hydro service available to farming communities of old Ontario. Compared with last year's aid to rural electrical extension, made by the government, this year's expenditure represents an increase of approximately $650,000.

I am going to quote an article from the Canadian Engineer on an address delivered by Mr. R. G. Cook, a member of the Hydro Electric Commission, delivered at Toronto at the occasion of the twenty-fifth convention of the Ontario Good Roads Association, showing subsidies paid the rural sections of southern Ontario, showing again that we cannot expect any hydro developments in the distant or near future; we are nevertheless helping in the construction and maintenance of hydro, in the southern section of the province. He said in part:

The people of the country are isolated but they are doing a work that is absolutely necessary for the prosperity of the country.

It was with this thought in mind that the government of the day, in October, 1923, made the first payment of $425,000 for the construction of rural electric transmission lines in Ontario.

Georgian Bay Canal Company

Since that time, new legislation has been passed in 1924 that has practically doubled the government assistance to rural transmission lines. The result has been that it has so stimulated the rural demand for extensions that during the last fiscal year the commission have constructed an average of 2J miles of transmission line in the rural districts for every day of the year. This has brought about conditions whereby the commission is now operating over 2,000 miles of rural lines and serving 20,000 rural customers. Under that legislation the government of this province are handing over to rural customers in the construction of their rural distribution systems at the present time a free gift of over $2,000,000 and I think, Mr. President, that no better investment has ever been made by any government on behalf of agriculture, because under our system it is so altogether unlike our legislative grants to rural schools or highways- in this respect that it entails no further annual charges upon the government, because the funds for renewals, contingencies, maintenance and sinking funds all form part of the monthly bill to the rural customer, just the same as it does to the urban customer with the result that at the end of the sinking fund period the farmer finds himself the owner not only of a half of the distribution system that he has paid for, but the owner of the other half which the government has presented to him. He also finds himself with sufficient reserve to maintain these things at 100 per cent efficiency.

Further cm he says:

It is only fair to say that this ideal condition in Ontario has only been created by the sympathetic cooperation of every party and every class and every group in the House. I question if there is another country in the civilized world where in its legislature every party and every class and every group give such sympathetic consideration to all the problems of rural life.

The northern section of Ontario, which is part and parcel of that wonderful province, endorsed the bond issues of the Ontario HydroElectric, and we are also responsible for some of its taxation. I believe it was under the Drury administration that an inquiry was made and it was proved that the province as a whole actually paid $7,000,000 in interest in connection with this enterprise. To-day we are paying in the province of Ontario millions of dollars in the way of subsidies to the farming population, and while we in the northern section never expect to benefit from electrical development and have proved that we are willing and ready to shoulder the respon-sbilities of the hydro development in the southern section, why should1 they not be anxious to solve our transportation problem in the way proposed in this bill? Is it not logical under present conditions to ask the support of the southern section of the province for the Georgian bay canal scheme? Surely it is only reasonable to ask hon. members from the southern section of the province at least to allow this bill to go to the commit-

tee so that it may be thoroughly discussed. We in northern Ontario sympathize with the needs of the southern portion of the province, but I am bound to say that there does not seem to be on the part of southern members any appreciation of the wonderful heritage we have in the north. Northern Ontario represents 85 per 'oent of the total1 area of the province. The other day the hon. member for North York (Mr. Lennox) in reply to a question I asked him, whether he was aware that the Hydro-Electric Commission was not functioning in my section of the country, declared that it was too far north for him to know anything about it. I would quote for the information of the hon. gentleman a statement made by the Hon. Mr. Finlayson whom I met in Cochrane, my home town, a week ago tonight at a banquet tendered the Toronto Board of Trade. He said that in very many instances it had been found difficult to get legislation enacted in the House in Toronto for the development of northern Ontario because of the lack of knowledge of that section of the province displayed by representatives from southern Ontario. The same remark applies to representatives in this House from the southern section of the province. May I take this opportunity of extending to those gentlemen who come from southern Ontario, as well as to hon. gentlemen in other sections of the House, a hearty invitation to visit my part of the country and find out for themselves what a wonderful heritage we have there. If they will come up I can assure them that we will give them the hearty reception which would always be extended to them by the people of northern Ontario-but not modelled after the civic recaption committee of the city of Toronto, because in our section of the province we judge a man far his citizenship, not for his political affiliations. They will experience the hospitality of the northern country which is called the spirit of the north, and which, coupled with the spirits controlled by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) would make not only a very instructive journey Ibut also a very interesting one. The fact is, we are not known enough. Hon. gentlemen in this House do not sufficiently realize the possibilities of that part of the country. Business men do, ibut very few politicians in either party, provincial or federal, are aware of conditions there. If hon. gentlemen would come up they would become more familiar with those conditions and they would better understand our problems. An hon. member from Toronto the other day, ridiculing this proposed canal, suggested that more navigable waterways might be found on Mars. Well, it seems to

Georgian Bay Canal Company

me that the hon. gentleman knows more about Mars than he does about northern Ontario.

I for one have never believed in the wisdom of secession, nor do I think that the people in the part of the country I represent want anything of that kind. I must confess, however, that in my judgment we have not been getting a fair deal. In this very bill it is evident that we are not being fairly treated, for hon. gentlemen opposite seem determined to kill the bill. I do not say that this canal project in its entirety is feasible at the moment, but I do urge that the House allow the bill to go to the committee where the possibilities of the scheme can be thoroughly investigated. The hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) has been quoting expert documents in support of his contention that the building of this canal is impracticable, while other members are equally positive that it is feasible. In face of this conflict of opinion a new member finds it difficult to come to a conclusion. Is this not all the more reason why we should refer the whole matter to the committee in order to have it looked into? As a representative of northern Ontario, realizing the responsibility that rests upon me in a matter of this kind, I am bound to look at the question from the standpoint of the nation as a whole -something that will give northern Ontario a chance of developing. I would not support the contention that this scheme should be considered purely from the point of view of hydro development, if I thought that such development were really possible; but it seems to me that the thing of primary importance to us is the construction of the canal. If we were considering the question of a partnership between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, with the federal government constructing the Georgian bay canal and the two provinces in question developing the surplus power, that would be quite satisfactory. But where it is a matter of linking up east and west the question of chief importance is one of transportation. Southern and northern Ontario are both parts of one province and the problems of one section are naturally of concern to the other, they should not be burning in one section of the province, what they worship in the other. I do not say that hon. members from southern Ontario are necessarily opposed to our interest, but I do say that they should not object to this bill being referred to the committee. There are good things to be said for hydro development, but we must consider Canada as a whole before any particular section of Ontario. And although I have no technical knowledge of canals, I have no doubt of the future possibilities of this proposed waterway for the development of the country at large.

I have not much more to say. I again tender an invitation to hon. members from north and south, on both sides of the House, to come to our section of the country and especially to the riding which I represent and which was represented in 1914 by the Hon. Mr. Cochrane. What was then the original riding is now divided into three sections federally and my own riding is now divided into two sections provineially, and in the very near future, new ridings will also be formed federally in that section of northern Ontario.

I want the House to realize that the coming part of the country is northern Ontario; it would be time well spent if every member of the House came to our section and studied our problems. I was pained and grieved to see the sectionalism which has been displayed by some members of the House in discussing this matter; they have what amounts to a parochial viewpoint, and do not consider the province of Ontario as a whole in the study of this question.

I might just make a brief allusion to the fact that my home town of Cochrane has been brought into this discussion; I think one of the members for Toronto said that a delegation had been sent to Premier Ferguson and that that was done because of some grievances against some private interests in that town. Let me give a history of the case. In 1909, when the town of Cochrane received its charter, the government promised that our water rights at the Long Sault, thirty-five miles from the town, would be protected and developed. Again in 1911 and in 1914 Hon. Frank Cochrane repeated that statement, but for some reason or other the government sold the power to the Hollinger interests, who developed them, and they were then bought by the Abitibi people, and Cochrane is now getting its power from that company. Following the promise of the government that our water rights would be protected we asked for the services of a hydro engineer, who made a report that we should not pay more than $35 per horse-power for that electricity. That recommendation was submitted to the provincial government, through the premier, and we expected they would act upon it, but it was absolutely ignored. We are not protesting to-day against development by private interests, but we are protesting against the fact that the provincial government has not seen fit to protect the town of Cochrane, following the report of one of the government officials.

It was also mentioned by an hon. member opposite that the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway could not inaugurate electrical service on their line. I have enough confi-

Private Bills

dence in the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Commission to believe that that railway will reach its natural terminal at James bay, that they will see their way to electrify that road with powers developed from the Moose river basin. I say now that if that railway wants to electrify its line, we still have some water-powers left with which that can be done. We in this section of the country represent almost a quarter of a million people. We are a growing section, we are the connecting link between the east and the west. In the past our voice has not been heard, but I believe that in the future our situation and problems will be studied and given careful consideration. In the matter under discussion all we ask is that we be given the opportunity to discuss it in all its details in a standing committee of this House. We are all interested in this question and believe that such a development would work for the advancement and development of Ontario and of Canada as a whole.

On motion of Mr. Bennett the debate was adjourned.

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