April 5, 1905

?

Mr EMMERSON.

I would prefer to answer these questions later. The regulations are fixed as to the working of trains in respect of other roads, and it would not necessarily be that the Intercolonial Railway would keep certain officials along the line. It may be that the Grand Trunk Railway will operate it in so far as the despatching of the trains is concerned. I do not think there will necessarily be two sets of officials, but that is all left to the commission.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not see how everything can be left to the commission because the commission cannot make a bargain for the two parties without knowing what the ideas of the parties are. You cannot transfer all the responsibility to the Railway Commission ; there must be some basis of an agreement for them to go on. I would suppose that these matters must have engaged the attention of the government before they decided upon a policy of this kind. As I gather from the hon. gentleman, it will be necessary to establish divisional points and to operate the road as if it were actually a railway leased to or owned by the government. What special advantage is there in an arrangement of this kind under which we must divide rates between Montreal and Parry Sound ? What is the special advantage of such an arrangement, over an arrangement by which the government would acquire the line from Parry Sound to Halifax and operate it as its own line ? We were told by the Prime Minister when he spoke in Toronto, that the objection to the government acquiring this very line was that the whole system of the operation of government railways is a vicious one. Are we to adopt that vicious system between Montreal and Parry Sound, or, does the Minister of Railways suggest that we are to adopt some system which does not merit the appelation conferred on it by the Prime Minister when he was justifying the refusal of his government to extend the present system of government railways. The right hon. gentleman assigned another reason-and it concerns a matter which must certainly have engaged the attention of the government before entering upon this policy-that reason was, that if the Intercolonial Railway were extended to Parry Sound it would be necessary to employ an army of canvassers to gather traffic in the west. The arrangement which the Minister of Railways now proposes is, to operate the Intercolonial Railway from Parry Sound to Halifax in competition with the Grand Trunk Railway. The Grand Trunk Railway will have its connections in the west and it will have a great many officials canvassing for traffic for that railway, a work into which the Prime Minister thought the government could not very well enter. What expectation has the government of any considerable traffic coming over this line if it does not send into the west men to canvass

for traffic in opposition to the canvassers for the Grand Trunk Railway. The Prime Minister also took the ground last session, that it would be necessary to have steamers on the lakes if the railway were to be made successful. Does the government now propose to engage in the operation of steamers upon the lakes-a proposal which was laughed to scorn by the Prime Minister, by the Postmaster General, and by very many other gentlemen on that side of the House. Surely the government is not leaping haphazard into this matter without considering some of the difficulties which the Prime Minister and his colleagues were so certain about last session, when there was a proposal that the government should acquire and operate the Canada Atlantic from Montreal to Parry Sound. Has the Minister of Railways any report from his engineer as to whether or not these things are necessary? Has the hon. gentleman any report from his engineer or from any expert in the department, which would indicate whether or not the proposed operation of this line will be profitable and will tend to reduce the deficits which have prevailed in the past on the Intercolonial Railway ? Has the hon. gentleman any information which would indicate to the House whether the operation of that line will reduce these deficits or will on the contrary increase the margin between receipts and expenditure ? Surely it cannot be possible that the government have entered upon a policy of this kind without taking these things into consideration. Although the minister does purpose making an explanation later on. I would suppose that at the present time it would not be out of place for him to give a few words of explanation on the points which I have mentioned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Carried.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It seems the minister does not deign to reply. Is it possible that he does not think it worth while to answer ? This Bill has stood several times in the absence of the minister, on the understanding that when it was reached he would announce the policy of the government with regard to these railways.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

And why that policy was adopted.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The hon. gentleman has give us practically ni information and he wishes to delay doing so until some other Bill is presented to the House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

It is nine o'clock.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I am quite willing to sit down and allow the minister to give the information if he will do so; but I want to draw his attention to another matter. I think it was no answer to the remarks of my hon. friend from East Simcoe (Mr. Lennox) to say that the road would require to be improved. I inferred from the tenor

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

of the remarks of the hon. minister that the government were going to share in the cost of the improvements. Is that so, or does the Grand Trunk make all the required improvements itself, and then allow the Intercolonial to use the improved road? If the government are going to share in the cost of the improvements, are they going to bring the Intercolonial under the operation of the Railway Act? I understood that the Railway Act did not apply to the Intercolonial. The hon. minister tells us that under the arrangement that is to be made, the Grand Trunk Railway will be subject to the Railway Commission, and the Railway Commission will act under the authority given to them by the Railway Act. If the Railway Act does not apply to the Intercolonial Railway, how can it as one of the contracting parties carry on negotiations? Will the hon. minister be good enough to tells us that?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I would like to call the attention of the minister to this fact, that the mileage by the Canada Atlantic from Depot Harbour to Montreal is practically the same as the mileage by the Grand Trunk system from Montreal to Midland; and when it is considered that you will have to act in co-operation with the Grand Trunk over a distance of 170 miles more of railway than if you utilized the Midland division, you can imagine what will be the amount of that increased cost. Let me also call the attention of the minister to this fact, that the Canadian Northern Railway Company is building a Mne approaching the town of Orillia, so that if the Midland division of the Grand Trunk, which I suggested should be utilized by the government in co-operation with the Grand Trunk, is utilized, the Canadian Northern would also have access to the city of Toronto from the Georgian bay by running over thirty miles of the Midland railway.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I want to say, before the Chairman leaves the chair, that if this is the treatment that is going to be meted out to this side of the House by the Minister of Railways, we had better understand it at once. If we ask questions which we have a perfect right to ask and which it is the duty of the minister to answer, and if he does not deign to answer them, then I think we had better know it and govern ourselves accordingly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I want to say in reply to my hon. friend that I explained simply the general policy of the government, and I said that when the Bill was introduced I would then be in a position to furnish answers to all reasonable questions that might be put to me. If it were not nine o'clock and my hon. friend's questions had had come a little earlier, perhaps he would not have attacked me as he has done for not answering. I think I pay proper courtesy to all the hon. gentlemen opposite; I

3S94

answer their questions if it is in my power to do so; but it seemed to me that we should not discuss this Bill now, and that when the Bill of which I have given notice comes up we could then fully discuss that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

X asked two questions, which I respectfully submit were fair: was the government prepared to share in the expense of the betterment of the road and would these come under the Kailway Commission, and, if so, how could the Railway Act be made to apply to a railway to which it was not intended to apply. Were not these questions entitled to an answer, and how long would it take to answer them? I say I was not treated with courtesy'.

The hour for private bills having expired the Speaker took the chair.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.
Permalink

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.


House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of Sir Wilfried Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. G9), to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.


CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. URIAH WILSON (Lennox and Addington).

Mr. Speaker, the Bill now under discussion is one of the most important measures that have come before this House since I have had the honour of a seat in it, and I feel that it is my' duty to have somethings to say upon it, representing as I do one of the old rural constituencies of the province of Ontario. For many years no Bill has attracted so much public attention as this Bill, perhaps more especially' because of the school clause contained in it. But before I come to the school clause, I want to say a few words about the division of the Territory that has been made by the government. In the first place, I think the government, before the last general election, fully intended to divide the Northwest Territories and give them provincial autonomy, and it seems to me that it was their duty to have said something to the public on the subject, so that the public would have had some understanding of the measure, instead of having to go it blind, as they did on that occasion. I am quite sure that if the details of the Bill had been known to the people, there are a good many constituencies both in the province of Ontario and in the western country that would have been very differently represented in this House from what they are now. There was some correspondence, I believe, with Mr. Haultain, the Prime Minister of the Territories, but, so far as I have been able to learn, there was not one word in that correspondence with reference to the details of the Bill, although there was a promise that at this session of parliament a Bill would be introduced granting autonomy to the Northwest provinces. I am not at all disposed 124-

to agree with the government in the division they have made, creating two provinces out of the Northwest Territories and leaving Manitoba with its present area. I think that it is most unfair to the province of Manitoba, which, if left as it is at present, will be crippled for all time to come. Manitoba being the oldest province of that western country' ought to exercise its full proportion of influence in the Dominion, which it can never do if at is, as it were, simply a postage stamp on the map of Canada. I have heard accusations made against the government

and I do not like to say harsh things unless I am positive they are true; but a good deal has been said about the course pursued by Manitoba with regard to separate schools having something to do with her not being able to get her territory enlarged. .There is no doubt that the province of Manitoba should be enlarged and very greatly' enlarged. If the government had considered Mianitoba and the Northwest Territories together, and had formed them into two provinces instead of three, it would have been a far better arrangement.

Not only that, but they would not have been unduly large if we had made two provinces of what are now three, or will be after the 1st July, should these Bills carry. The' two new provinces contain

500.000 miles, and if we added to them the

73.000 miles that Manitoba contains, that would simply make 573,000 miles altogether. Divide that by two, and you would have two provinces, each with 286,500 miles, as compared with British Columbia, which has 372,620 miles, Quebec, which has 351,873, and Ontario, 260,862 miles. You can easily see, therefore, that iif the government had taken into consideration the desirability of having only two provinces instead of three, neither of the two would have been unduly large. Then consider what an amount of money would have been saved by this means. In fact, the complaint in this country for a great many years has been that we have too much government and that our people are paying too much for government. I think it is pretty generally conceded that it would be to the advantage of the maritime provinces to have only one local government instead of three. If that were the case, they would be quite as strong, or even stronger in this House, than they are now, as three separate provinces each with its own administration. When dealing with the Northwest Territories, the government should have had a view to the future and have taken warning by' the experience of the maritime provinces. Instead of having the small province of Manitoba and two other large provinces, we could then have two fairly large provinces. But in consequence of the policy of the government, the province of Manitoba will always be inferior to the others.

I have no particular fault to find with the $50,000 given for the support ot' the government and legislature in each of the new provinces, or the Sit cents per head on the estimated population of 250,000. I think perhaps that these grants are fairly reasonable, and I do not suppose there is a man in this House who would want to deal by these provinces in any oher way than fairly and squarely and with the view of assisting them in every possible manner. But I am entirely opposed to the policy of the government with reference to the lands. The lands naturally belong to the provinces. In agreeing to pay each of the provinces a certain amount for its lands, we really concede that they belong to them. The only plea I have heard why the lands are not given to the provinces is that that would interfere with our immigration x>ol-icy. With that view I entirely disagree. I have taken pains to find out what arrangements were made with the older provinces with regard to immigration, and I find that there has been no difficulty experienced in bringing immigrants to this country and locating them wherever the government thought best. Is it likely that the new provinces, which will be deeply interested in attracting settlers, would not be as much alive to the necessity of getting in population as possibly can be the Dominion government V It sepias to me that the provinces could administer their own public lands better than we can and would be more interested in securing a good class of settlers. I have had occasion to speak several times with reference to the immigration into Canada, and the fault I. have found iis not that we are getting too many immigrants, but too many of an inferior class. Only the other day, the Ontario inspector of asylums said that in the Brockville Lunatic Asylum, out of the six hundred lunatics, sixty were immigrants, or ten per cent of the whole, which is entirely out of proportion to the number of immigrants located in that section of the country. It is not necessary' for me to go into the details of the. amounts that have been realized by the Dominion government from time to time on the sale of public, lands, but I will content myself with saying that I am entirely opposed to the policy of the Dominion keeping these lands. I think it would be better to at once hand them over to the provinces and let the provinces, administer them as they see fit. Let me give here the figures showing what we have received from the sale of lands, and I take those which were given by my hon. friend from Western Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) the other day. They will be found in his speech on page 3607 of * Hansard.' From 1870 to 1880, the administration of Crown lands in Manitoba and the Northwest cost $1,241,499.31 in excess of receipts. In the years 1881 to 1890 the accounts show' $753,576.53 in excess of revenue. In the years Mr. 1), WILSON,

from 1891 to 1900 there w'as again an excess of expenditure amounting to $184,398.95. In the years from 1901 to 1904, there wTas an excess of expenditure over receipts of $11,733.49. Taking the whole period from 1870 up to date, therefore, the administration of lands in the Northwest has cost this Dominion $687,055.25 in excess of receipts, to which must be added refunds amounting to $329,950, making a total of $1,017,005.25 of deficit. I fail to see how the government arrived at the amount they could give as a payment for these lands. They claim that there are twenty-five millions of acres of land to each province, which are worth $37,500,000, and on which of course they pay interest from time to time until it reaches a certain amount. I do not see why the government took it into their heads to keep these lands when it costs more to administer them than we are getting out of them. I hope that the government will reconsider this question, but I can quite understand why the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) should have declared that he was perfectly willing to accept this arrangement provided the government kept the lands for the settlers. We can quite understand that position. The province gets the benefit of the lands inasmuch as it gets the people who settle on them, and it gets the money besides, while we are giving away our lands from time to time, but continuing for all time to pay that subsidy.

There is another point. The right hon. the First Minister based his whole argument for submitting this legislation to the House, especially clause 16 dealing with separate schools, on constitutional grounds. If 1 understood him rightly, he claimed that he had to do this because the constitution demanded it. That is not the way, Sir, that I understand the constitution, and I do not think that is the way this House understands it. Not only that but I think he used synonymously the names ' province ' and [DOT] territory.' He used the words ' province ' and 'territory' as if they were synonyms. 1 can quite understand that if these had been provinces it might have been that we would have had to give these rights but as they are territories I think it is quite different. We have been trying for a good while to induce Newfoundland to come into the Dominion. We have been anxious at times for this and I think we would be glad at any time to have her come in because that w ould round off the Dominion, and it is a province which we very much desire to have. If it had been a territory we would not have had to ask their consent; we would simply have brought them in under the constitution. That is what we are doing, as I understand, with the provinces in the west. We are not obliged to ask their consent to bring them in ; we simply pass an Act and they come in of necessity and we give them such terms as the constitution provides unless we see fit

to give them extra terms by the legislation of this House. The thing that is important in this matter is that whatever Act we pass now, so far as I have understood the debate will be permanent so far as this parliament is concerned, and any change that is made will have to be made by the imperial parliament. It is important, therefore, that we should go slowly ; and it is very important that this should be debated from every standpoint, because if we make a mistake now it will be a lasting mistake. The Prime Minister when he brought this Bill down said that there were four subjects which dominated all the others. The first was :

How many provinces should be admitted into the confederation coming from the Northwest Territories-one, or two or more ?

They have decided on two, and have apparently decided to leave Manitoba as it is, so far as any extension west is concerned.

Then the next question was :

In whom should he vested the ownership of the public lands ?

They decided that they would keep the land. The only advantage I can see in their keeping the lands is that they will be able to use them for political influence. It will not be any advantage to us from a financial or any other standpoint.

What should be the financial terms to be granted to these new provinces ?

They have been liberal, but I certainly would not have complained of that if they had not kept the lands and then the premier said :

And the fourth and not the least Important by any means was the question of the school system which would be introduced-not introduced because it was introduced long ago, but should be continued in the Territories.

That I think is where the premier made a mistake ; that is where he talks of these Territories as though they were provinces and as though we were bound to retain these Acts with reference to separate schools in the Territories just as if they had been provinces. If I understood the legal arguments which have been advanced in this House at all. I think that does not apply. Then, Sir, we had a speech from the bon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) on the constitutional side of the question, and I think that every one who heard that speech and every one who has read it will concede that he really put the Prime Minister out of business so far as the constitutional aspect of the case is concerned. I fully expected that when our leader had finished speaking they would have put up the Minister of Justice to answer him and certainly they would have done so if the contention of the First Minister had been right because then the Minister of Justice would have been able to down our leader, but he is not easily downed. To my great surprise they put up the Min1244

ister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and I was further surprised by the admissions he made. He differed entirely from the very beginning with his leader. He said :

My right hon. friend the First Minister has not declared that it is not within the power of this parliament to make a change. He has not declared that there is any legal or binding obligation resting on the parliament of Canada to re-enact the clauses of the Act of 1875.

I think that is exactly opposed to what the leader of the government contended for, and I think that if the leader of the government had felt that he was strong in his position after he had heard the speech of the hon. member for Carleton who leads the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) he certainly would have answered him in like manner, that is, he would have appointed a legal gentleman to answer the opposition leader. I find also that the Minister of Finance is not in favour of separate schools. He said that if he had his way personally, speaking for himself he would not go in for separate schools, he would leave that word * separate ' out of all schools. Then he went on to tell us that they had no separate schools by law in Nova Scotia, and he said that this was owing to the good fellowship that existed between the people there, because they divided up. Where there was a strong minority they had their schools, they had their teachers, I believe with the same examination as those for public schools, but although they had not a separate school by-law they had by the consent of the majority in that province. 1 am strongly of opinion that this Bill which has been introduced will not tend to make it easier to have separate schools in the western provinces than it would have been to have them without it. My own impression is that when you try to force a man to do something he does not want to do you will have a good deal of difficulty in making him do it. I understood the hon. gentlemen who have spoken to tell us that they have had no difficulty in the last few years with reference to separate schools. If that is the case I do not see why they want this enactment. The separate schools do not appear to have been a great success in that country anyway. I believe there are only about a dozen of them all told, nine Roman Catholic and two or three Protestant. These Protestant schools are as much separate schools, I presume, as the others.

I took some notes of what was said by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) and I was astonished at the state of things existing in that country. I was especially surprised at his construing of the Act now before the House.

We are proposing to make these people fully responsible for their own self-government in the important matters of education, public works and all affairs of internal development.

The hou. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) seemed to think that there was

3899

no difference between the public schools of that country and the separate schools. Well there seeius to be a difference according to the gentleman who spoke last night, a slight difference at least. The hon. member (.Mr. Scott) found a good deal of fault with the headlines that are published in some newspapers in Ontario. For instance :

A free west, a common school, provincial rights and religious equality.

He did not seem to think that was a good thing to publish in any part of this country. I think they are sentiments that even he might endorse although he may support this Bill, if he does I am of opinion that he will not be voting for all these sentiments. He seems to differ with me. He says :

Articles, and inflammatory cartoons under that motto have led the innocent citizens to believe that the proposals of the government are entirely in the teeth of this motto. I say that every item proposed by the government is in

strict observance of these principles

A common school-that is just what we are asked to vote for in this proposition ; a nonsectarian school, absolutely under state control. A free west-that is a reasonably free west ; just as free as Ontario.

Now, if it is no freer than Ontario, it has to have separate schools, because by the constitution which we have we are bound to maintain separate schools, hut we do not! maintain them in every part of the country. I am proud to say that I live in a town where we do not have any separate schools. We had a separate school a good many years ago, but the people got tired of it, and away* back in 1S75, before the law compelled us to put a Roman Catholic on the high school hoax'd, by common consent the town council, of which I had the honour of being a member, asked the Roman Catholics to name a man to represent them on the high school board. He was put on, and I think he has been a member of the school board ever since. We employ a certain number of Roman Catholic teachers in our schools, and we have had no trouble whatever, we have lived in peace and harmony, which is the kind of thing I would like to see all over this country. I think when our boys and girls grow up and attend school together, they come to know one another, and they forget for the time being what particular sect each one may belong to. They grow up to respect one another, and to live together as Christian people ought to live, in my judgment. A free common school under state control is what my hon. friend calls it. Then the hon. member for Beauharnois asked the question :

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

What is the difference between the two schools then ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Not any difference, only the one I have mentioned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Where is the separate school then ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
Permalink
CON

April 5, 1905