LACHANCE, Arthur, K.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Quebec-Centre (Quebec)
Birth Date
June 22, 1868
Deceased Date
March 1, 1945
crown attorney, crown prosecutor, journalist, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

January 19, 1905 - September 17, 1908
  Quebec-Centre (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Quebec-Centre (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Quebec-Centre (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 9 of 10)

March 18, 1914

Mr. A. LACHANCE (Quebec Centre):

On a question of privilege, I wish to read this editorial which appeared in the Quebec Morning Chronicle of the 11th of March, in relation to the Battlefields Commission": Battlefields Commission.

It is interesting to note the consideration that is given by Sir George Garneau, chairman of this commission, to the many friends and adherents of his party for services in the Battlefleds Commission and the Auditor General's Report for 1912-1913, which has ju.-.t been issued gives some Interesting figures in this respect.

Sir George, evidently with great discernment and appreciations of having proper legal ser-

[Mr. Rogers. 1

vices, has looked after Mr. Antoine Galipeault, the Liberal member for Bellechasse. whose name appears in the list for legal services amounting to $5,542.27.

Mr. Lachance, the Liberal member for Quebec Centre, is also here for an item of $550, also for legal advice.

It would, of course, have been wrong to leave out the firm of Messrs. Taschereau, Rov. Cannon and Parent, but theirs is a comparatively small bill, and only amounts to $850.

Senator Choquette, however, again with his partner Mr. Galipeault, also figures for legal advice to the extent of $781.60.

Mr. L. D. Morin, another advocate here, has an item in of $500.

These several items for legal matters are extremely interesting and seem to indicate the reason why so much consideration is entertained in certain quarters for Sir George Garneau, the chairman of the commission, and why his many Liberal friends desire to keep him in such a position as to warrant the distribution of so many favours among the eminent legal fraternity of this city.

Besides the above legal expenditures, many other items are contained in the Auditor General's Report of payments made to business houses whose antipathy to the Government is well known and the attention received by them from Sir George Garneau must be very gratifying to the Liberal party as well as to themselves.

There is another article referring to the same subject in the same newspaper in its issue of the 17th of March, and before making my personal explanation, I wish to put that also upon record.

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June 5, 1913

Mr. A. LACHANCE (Quebec Centre):

Mr. Chairman, as >a representative of the city of Quebec, I feel it my duty to make a few remarks on the administration of the Railway Department with regard to the terminals of the Transcontinental in Quebec. Those who are familiar with that question know that it is of the utmost importance for the city, district and province of Quebec in general. What the explanations and statements of the hon. Minister of Railways on this point amount to is simply this: that a double track shall be laid from Cap Rouge to the site of the Champlain Market, along the river. That is the only announcement clearly set before us by the Government. But they do not seem yet to know exactly what they will do with the Champlain Market. The minister said they intended to build a small station there, but he cannot tell us what it will cost nor when the work of building shall be commenced. He has no plans prepared as yet, and lie does not seem to know what he ought to do nor what he will do. Nevertheless it seems to me that t'he Liberal Government had cleared the way. That Government, after having conferred with the Transcontinental Board of Construction and after having obtained the opinion of prominent engineers and of all the railways intending to come into Quebec, had decided to use the site of the Champlain Market for t'he building of a station and the establishment of all direct communications between the Transcontinental and ocean shipping generally. In 1906 the citizens of Quebec appointed a committee to deal with these questions. That oom-mitttee appointed three engineers, Messrs. Hoare, Doueet and Boswell, to make the necessary examinations and to submit a plan and a report. The first two named pronounced themselves in favour of a maritime station at the Champlain Market; Mr. Boswell, who was then and is stul engineer of the Quebec Harbour Commission, pronounced himself in favour of a tunnel and a station at the Palais, Mr. Doucet's report was confirmed on all points

by Mr. Hoare's report. That report is dated the 21st of October, 1906, and is addressed to Mr. R. Audette, chairman of that committee. It reads as follows:

Quebec, October 21, 1906.

Mr. R. Audette,

Chairman of the Committee on Terminals, Quebec.

Sir,-In connection with the resolution adopted on October 12, 1906, by the Quebec Terminal Committee instructing Messrs. E. A. Hoare, St. George Boswell and myself ' to prepare a blue print copy of plans with statement of estimate with regard to the Quebec terminal, which plans and estimates are to be addressed to the members of the committee, after which the chairman is to call a meeting of the committee/ I beg to report that the above named engineers and myself have met on the 19th instant to deliberate upon the choice of a proper terminus, from the most advantageous and economical standpoint for the railways and navigation traffic. Our decision was unanimous, with regard to the site of deep water wharfs and of large freight yards between Lampson Cove and Pointe Puiseaux, as indicated on the plans and profiles already submitted to the several members of the committee, but afterwards a great diversity of opinion arose as to the extension of the terminal tracks to the terminal! station, one of the engineers claiming that a union station should be established on St. Roch street, to be accessible from the vicinity of Lampson Cove by means of a double track tunnel about 5,000 feet in length, with a curb of 5 degrees radius in the south end (Lamp-S son Cove) and curb of 10 degrees in the north end (St. Roch street), tfhe two engineers being decidedly of opinion that the terminal tracks should be extended along the river from Lamipson Cove to the point where the Champlain market is .now Stuated, and 'where a terminal station would be erected, it being taken for granted that the city, as it is bound to do so, would widen its street or would provide other avenues to give free access between the Louise basin and the site of the terminal station, and that the railways interested would lay tracks along 'the water front, ning parallel to Dalhousie street for . the circulation of their trains between their present terminus and the 'terminal station in question.

Being thus unable to unanimously agree on a decision, it became impossible for the engineers to make a joint report. We have, therefore, agreed between us to submit separate reports to the committee for further examination.

There being a unanimous agreement as to the site of the deep water wharfs and of the large freight yards, as shown in the plan, between Lampson Cove and Pointe a Puiseaux, the only thing left to discuss was the question whether it would be preferable to place the terminal station at the point now occupied by the Champlain market, or whether it would be more to the advantage of all interested parties to build that station on iSt. Roch street to be used as a common station by all the railways coming into Quebec. The quantities on which the calculations were based for the cost of construction were established on the figures furnished by Mr. E. A. Hoare, the

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chief engineer of the Quebec Bridge Company, who had caused soundings 'to be taken in order to ascertain the depth of water along the river shore.

In my opinion, a union station on St. Roch street would be disadvantageous if not inn-} practicable for the following reasons:-

1. The Canadian Pacific, the Quebec and. Lake St. John and the Quebec Railway, Light and Power Company, already have their own terminate, and although I am unable to speak officially as to the Canadian Pacific railway and the Quebec Railway, Light and Power, I know that the Quebec and Lake St. John is utterly opposed to any change in their present arrangements, and to any active participation to the charges that would be saddled upon them for the use of the union station.

2. It would be impossible to build the union station in the vicinity of St. Roch street without appropriating a large portion of the Canadian Pacific railway's present terminus, since these grounds would have to be put at the disposal of all the railways having access to the union station on the north shore of river St. Charles.

3. 'So many railways coming into the city through river St. Charles would practically block the access to the Louise docks, thb direction of the lines virtually being at right angles from one another. The Canadian Northern, the Quebec and Lake St. John and tfhe Quebec Railway, Light and Power ail come into the city from Limoilou, so that all the railways from St. Roch street to Louise basin! would necessarily cross the main lines of these railways, which would virtually destroy *the usefulness of their terminal stations.

i. A tunnel whose length would not be over one mile and Whose curbs would be 6 and 10 degrees is utterly inacceptable, and I am sure it would be unanimouMy condemned by all railway managers. Apart from'the enort mous cost of a tunnel wide enough for tswol tracks, the expense involved would not add a dollar's worth to the value of the water front, between Lampson Cove and the Louise docks. '

5. Nothing justifies the expense of such a large sum, for a tunnel of that kind would only be used almost exclusively for the carrying of passengers; in fact it is well known that the large traffic coming from the north and going to points south of the St. Lawrence has its route already traced to the Quebec bridge by a line going from Limoilou through Cap Rouge, as far as the Canadian Northern railway, the Quebec and Lake .St. John and the Quebec Railway, Light and Power are concerned, while the Canadian Pacific railway would have its own connection with the Quebec bridge at Belair.

The extension of the docks from Lampsoni Cove to the site of the Champlain market is, in my opinion, much preferable to a union station, even if the latter was .practicable, for the following reasons:-

1. Whatever is paid for the development of the river front will be money well spent, since it will add so much to tlie value of the harbour, by the enlargement of the land reclaimed from the water.

2. Sufficient space can be found along the river to build a terminal station suitable fox all the new roads which Shall come into Quebec when the bridge is built, from the fact

that tlie large passenger and freight traffic brought into Quebec by the different lines of steamers, having the west for their destination, and also the traffic going from west to east will not have to use that terminal station, inasmuch that their trains will be brought along the wharfs where 'the steamers of the various transatlantic lines will be moored.

3. Along and running parallel to Dalhousie street, it is easy to lay tracks and 'build roads of communication for the accommodation of the lines having already their terminals in Quebec, so as to give them access to the terminal stations. These additional thorough-1 fares for both railways and teams may be built at a very low price, and the cost should be b<^jne partly by the city and partly by the railways using these roads.

_ 1. Such am enlargement -would in no way interfere with the local ferry and steamboat' service, because the present wharfs are in a very dilapidated condition, and, when renewed, will have to be extended and improved. Moreover, there would not be enough traffic on these shore roads to seriously interfere with the circulation between ibhe city and the steamers or ferry landings.

I hereby annex an approximative estimate of the cost of three deep water docks, and tracks connecting them with the Champlain market where the terminal station would be built, and also of the alternative plan of a union station on St. Koch street. The figures are based on the estimates made by Mr. E. A. Bbare.

For the various reasons above mentioned, I am of opinion that it would be a serious mistake to establish our terminal station at ai greater distance from the shore, and that the most advantageous and economical means, and the only plan really practicable is to establish the terminal and station such as indicated on the plans which have been submitted to you. [DOT]

I have the honour to he, sir,

Tour obedient servant,

A. E. Doucet.

Here are now the decisions taken by the companies interested, including that otf the Canadian Pacific, after mature deliberation upon the engineers' reports:

The report of Mr. Hoare was absolutely in the same sense as that of (Mr. Doucet. To their report were attached the following comparative estimates:

Estimated cost of three deep water docks! at Lampson Cove with -terminal station at the Champlain market:

1. Three deep water docks at Lampson Cove $ 3,489,0002. Wharfs from the docks to the extreme western point of Allan wharf

1,485,2403. Railways and equipment of sidings between the docks and theAllan wharf

963,1004. Wharfs from Allan wharf toChamplain market, with passenger and freight stations and railways

3,676,5005. Extension of Champlain market

to St. Andrew wharf between Dalhousie street and the river. 611,800

*Estimated cost of three deep water docks at Lampson Cove with terminal station at St. Roch street via tunnel:

1. Three deep water docks at Lampson Cove $ 3,489,000

2. Wharfs to the extreme end of

Allan wharf 1,499,000

3. Railways and equipment of sidings from Allan wharf to the Lampson Cove docks 963,100

4. Double track tunnel, terminal

site, railways, buildings, &c__ 4,67'1,000

On 'November 20, 1906, the companies interested, to which the above reports had been sent, had another meeting in Quebec, and, after due deliberation, the following resolutions were passed in committee:-

Railway Terminal.

Resolved, that the Champlain market be chosen for the present as a freight and passenger station, all the whole providing for the building at a later date of a passenger station in the upper town.

That a company be organized, comprising the different railways using the terminals, fo take charge of the bridge and its approaches and of the terminal facilities.

That part of the cost be assumed by the Government, and another- part by 'the railways at a later convention, and that a law be enacted at the present session of 'Parliament to sanction the present arrangement.

Gaspard Lemoine,


It is proposed by W. Dobell, seconded by Gaspard Lemoine, and resolved:

' That the report of the sub-committee of the treasurer of railways received by the Railway Commissioners, he transmitted to the Commissioners of the Transcontinental.'

Ocean Terminal.

Although a depth of 40 feet is sufficient for. the maritime service, considering the perspective of a considerable increase of traffic, and the works actually under way and in contemplation, the sub-committee is of opinion that a line drawn at 55 feet from Lamp-son Cove to the extreme north end of Champlain market is desirable, and that provisions should be made for the accommodation of the local market and the coasting trade beiwTeen this last point and the wharf of Carey Point.

The committee is of opinion that the widening contemplated by the 55 feet line is necessary to facilitate communications by railways and teamsters between the Champlain market terminal and the Louise docks. I

Wm. iM. 'Macpherson, '


It is proposed by W. M. \! aepherson, seconded by Thomas Harldng, and resolved:

' That the report of the sub-committee of the ocean terminal be received and transmitted to the Commissioners of the Transcontinental.'

It is proposed 'by W. M. Dobell, seconded by Thomas Harling, and resolved:

' That due instructions be given to the engineers to prepare plans and estimates as to the question, if the Champlain market should not he exclusively used as a passenger station, the freight stations being built, one


at the west of Champlain market, and the other on a convenient site along St. Charles river, proper communications being provided between the breakwater and the Carey Point wharf; also plans and estimates tor the widening o-f Daihousie street, with several tide-flocks between Champlain market and Carey Point wharf for the river navigation, the whole being transmitted to the Commissioners of the Transcontinental.'

Snch is the record which has been submitted and committed to ithe Archives in Ottawa. The collapse of the bridge in 1907 has delayed but has not put an end to that scheme. " The sale of the Champlain market in 1910 is sufficient proof that nothing has been changed.

So, in order to establish direct communication between the Transcontinental terminal and the navigation, the following works were suggested in the report:

1. Three deep water docks at Lampson Cove; 2. wharfs from the docks to the extreme western point of Allan wharf; 3. railways and equipment of sidings between the docks and the Allan wharf; 4. wharfs from Allan wharf to Champlain market, with passenger and freight stations and railways; 5. extension of Champlain market to St. Andrew wharf, between Daihousie street and the river.

The Government has completely abandoned its projects, as it has also practically given up using the general traffic from the Transcontinental line facing the river, from Cap Rouge to Champlain market. In fact, here is what the Postmaster General was saying on this subject on May 29, 1913:

We will have the Transcontinental at Quebec in a most beautiful manner. The Transcontinental will come over the viaduct, as I understand it at Cap Rouge, and then will come into Quebec by tbe valley of the Tiver St. Charles, coming down by the Canadian Northern railway connection. Then we will have the union station at the Palais and at the same time the Transcontinental commission and the Minister of Railways are extending the lines of the river front from Sillery to the Champlain market. From the Charm plain market there is a gap over which a railway is going to be built. So that the Trans-: continental now will go encircling the whole city of Quebec. These are the arrangements and it is no wonder that the people are so well satisfied with them.

However, the vagueness of the declarations of the Government on the use of the Champlain market site confirms that conclusion. Secondly, he is proposing to rent the right of way on the Canadian Northern and on the Canadian Pacific, so as to bring up the traffic of the Transcontinental from Cap Rouge, through the St. Charles valley, to the wharfs where are moored the ocean steamers.

Therefore, the Government is giving up the advantage to have its own track and puts itself at the mercy of the Canadian Northern and the Canadian Pacific. More

than that, the Quebec Harbour Commissioners are even going to build the required line from the Champlain market site to the central station which it is proposed to erect at the Palais, and thence to -the wharfs where the steamers come alongside. I have the greatest confidence in the Quebec Harbour Commission, which is composed undoubtedly of men who have at heart the interest of our city and our harbour; but I cannot see why the Government should not itself build that line, which, after all, is the continuation of the terminal tracks.

According to that policy, the Government will have to make arrangements with that company and that commission, and to pay those rentals for the circulation of the Transcontinental. Would it not have been more advantageous to have used the thousands of dollars which are going to be paid annually to go on with the works at the Champlain market and farther up, which works would have been the property of t'he Government and of which it would have had the absolute control? [DOT] Such is the principle which has been affirmed in the report which I have just read.

Then, what justification has the Government given for having stopped those works since it has assumed power in September, 1911? None whatever. At that date, work had been started on the terminal tracks, and they were just about beginning the foundations of the shops and of the station. I am not naturally, at this moment, criticising the decisions which had been arrived at, as to the site where'those shops and that station were -to be erected. That is a settled question, and I accept that decision. And the result of all those delays, of all those interviews, of all those delegations, has been the policy which I have just exposed, that is to say the negligence of the Government to use its own terminal tracks and so putting itself at the mercy of the companies, which I have just mentioned.

I will frankly tell the Government what a great many people are thinking of all those changes which do not seem to be justified. It is that what the Government and the parties interested have in mind is to prevent practically the city of Quebec from becoming the terminus of the Transcontinental during the season of navigation. It must be admitted that those who have all that in mind are to a certain extent justified to think so by the alterations which have been authorized by the Government on the grades of the Transcontinental, from Cochrane to Quebec.

From the discussion which has taken place in this House, and also from the correspondence exchanged between Mr. Leonard, president of the Transcontinental Commission, and Mr. Chamberlain, president of the Grand Trunk, there comes out the implicit admittance that such altera-

tions of those grades will result in affecting considerably the hauling capacity of the trains. And the fact is so evident that Mr. Leonard declares that it would be then an easy thing to come back to the maximums and minimums of grades as established at first. Then, if there is an uncertainty as to the result of those changes, why has not the Government stood by the first decisions of the engineers on that question, and which were that the Transcontinental has been built from Cochrane to the Pacific ocean, and from Quebec to Moncton? Why have those alterations been authorized only from the section between Cochrane and Quebec?

The only justification given by the Government is that there will be a saving of money on the construction. But, surely, it cannot hope that serious people will believe that, under pretext of saving a few thousand dollars on an enterprise of 160 millions, it could be justifiable to compromise on that section the efficacity of the railway.

The Government has put $3,500,000 at the disposition of the Quebec Harbour Commissioners. That sum of money is destined to the works required, so that the city and the harbour of Quebec may be put in a position to handle t'he considerable traffic which will come by way of the Transcontinental.

But of what use can be those works if, through the alterations of the grades, that traffic in which Quebec is interested is now reduced tq a minimum?

We have there the actual situation. In short, nothing is determined and nothing is decided. The Government says they want to erect a small station at Champlain! market, and a central station at the Palais, but nobody knows when those works will be started, what will be those stations and what they will cost. They do not even know if the seven or eight railway companies, which would have interest in using the central station, are concurring in those views. The Government wants to use the line which will be built by the Harbour Commission, as I have already said, and also the line of the Canadian Northern and that of the Canadian Pacific, but there has been no arrangement made to that end with those companies; and if the Government cannot come to any arrangement with those companies, in what position will it be, and consequently in what situation will then be the city of Quebec, -as terminus of the Transcontinental?

The hon. Postmaster General has stated, the other day, that the citizens of Quebec were delighted with those arrangements. It may be that some people who are interested in the scheme have so declared their satisfaction. But I have reason to believe that the majority of the citizens are not so well satisfied, and that what they Mr. LACHANCE

desire is to see the Transcontinental entering Quebec on its own line, and to have communication established with the ocean navigation and the maritime trade by means of works which would be its own property, and of which it would have the absolute -control, independently of all other companies.

Railways and Canals, chargeable to capital-intercolonial railway, Bathurst-new station, $8,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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January 16, 1911

1. Are there in the St. Lawrence channel between the port of Montreal and the high sea any places where there is less than thirty feet of water at low tide ?

2. If so, what are those places and what is the depth at low tide?

3. Is the government going to carry out the work required in order that thirty feet at low tide shall exist throughout, and where will they be executed?

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December 14, 1910

1. What sum of money has been realized from fish in the Canadian fisheries for the year 1909-10?

2. What is the extent in marine miles of the fishing grounds in Canadian waters, including therein the littorals of the Atlantic and the Pacific?

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December 14, 1910

1. What is the amount of the total annual cost of the Department of Militia for each year since 1867 to the 31st March, 1910?

2. How many soldiers and officers are there at present in the regular militia of Canada and how many in the voluntary militia?

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