April 26, 1905

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I have not investigated the amended clause, because I have only seen it this moment. Speaking offhand and without any great consideration, I would suggest whether it would not be in the interest of the promoters of this Bill to go a little further. The very last thing they would desire would be that there should be any doubt as to the legislative jurisdiction over any portion of the combined railway which they propose to operate. We have no authority to legislate with regard to the Midland Railway until we have declared it to be a work for the general advantage of Canada. That is as I understand the law. The amendment which has been proposed has been carefully considered, I am sure, by gentlemen having legal training and experience, and I have every deference to that consideration ; but it seems to me that to express what is necessary you should go a little further than this second clause, which merely says that the Midland Railway shall become a part of the Dominion Atlantic and shall be subject to the Railway Act of 1903. If by the expression, 'the said railway, when acquired, shall become part of the Dominion Atlantic Railway,' you bring into force the statute of this parliament passed about ten years ago which declared a definitely stated line of railway to be a work for the general advantage of Canada, you are all right; but if this expression will not bear that interpretation. you are entirely wrong. What 1 would consider desirable, is to have it declared in the Bill that the Midland Railway shall be a work for the general advantage of Canada as the Dominion Atlantic has already been declared.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

I am only too anxious to accept any suggestion that would promote the object of the legislaton ; and, while I am not very strongly impressed with the contention of the hon. leader of the opposition, yet if he thinks there is any advantage to be gained

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
?

Mr. I@

How in the future shall you say that this Midland Railway is subject to the legislative jurisdiction of this parliament?

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

I do not say so, and I do not think it is essential to say so. If we give the Dominion Atlantic power to purchase this property, that is as much as we can do.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

My hon. friend has considered it much more than I have, and I may be entirely wrong ; but unless you go further than that, do you not have the main division of the Dominion Atlantic Railway subject to the legislative jurisdiction of this parliament and the Midland division subject to the legislative jurisdiction of the legislature of Nova Scotia.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

It seems to me that the purchase effects that result. It is all Dominion Atlantic property and all subject to the Dominion Atlantic charter.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The mere purchase by the Dominion Atlantic Company of a particular piece of property would hardly make that property subject to the. legislative jurisdiction of parliament unless you had a declaration on the statute-book, which you have not up to this moment, that everything the Dominion Atlantic shall purchase in the way of a railway shall be subject to the legislative jurisdiction of this parliament.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

Any doubt about it can easily be removed, but it seems to me that it would stand in the same position as an additional mile that might be built by the Dominion Atlantic. The moment it is built it becomes a part of the Dominion Atlantic line. Surely there is no distinction between building a mile and buying a mile.

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The property purchased is subject to the jurisdiction of the province. The Dominion Atlantic Company could buy it, but the question ds could they operate it ?

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

Why not operate it as well as a mile that they build?

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The section provides that this road shall be the property of the Dominion Atlantic Railway Company, and shall be subject to the Dominion Railway Act of 1903. I suppose these words were intended to bring it under the operation of the Railway Act. The question remains whether you have any but the one way of bringing such a railway under the authority of this parliament and that is the way provided by the British North America Act which says that you must declare that property to be a railway for the general advantage of Canada. I would not presume of course to discuss the legal as-

Topic:   DOMINION ATLANTIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

' COMMONS


pect of the question but I think there is enough in it to justify us in asking the promoter of the Bill to think it over before the third reading.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) I see has the same idea, whether it is right or not, as I had in my mind, that is that there is but one way of enabling- this parliament to have jurisdiction over a railway constructed under a provincial charter and under provincial legislation. You cannot do it by declaring that the railway is subject to the Railway Act. You must do it under the British North America Act by declaring it to be for the general advantage of Canada.

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That is the only way in which it can be brought under Dominion jurisdiction unless the member for Colchester (Mr. Laurence) is right as to the effect of purchase.

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Frederick Andrew Laurence

Liberal

Mr. LAURENCE.

I may say that I have no objection to the Bill standing over. The amended Bill now before the committee is not yet printed, and it is a little difficult to know exactly the proper place to insert the words that would remove the objection.

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I think it would be well to allow it to stand until Friday. Personally I would be very glad to talk it over with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Laurence).

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink
LIB
CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

The action which is about to be taken is just an evidence of the necessity of the Minister of Justice being in his place when his opinion is required, i think that the time I have spent in remonstrating against the absence of the Minister of Justice has been very well spent indeed, and i trust his colleagues will notify him that in future it is absolutely necessary he should be here.

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I do not think it can be said that the Minister of Justice has been a frequent offender in this respect. It is true he was unable to be here to-night but I do not think that justifies my hon. friend (Mr. Henderson) in going for him and remonstrating in the way he has done. I may say that I do not think the Minister of Justice is responsible for any private legislation which is brought before parliament. This is a principle which we should not forget when we are discussing the absence or the presence of the Minister of Justice. The Minister, of Justice is no more obliged to advise the House of Commons than any other member of the House on private legislation. If there is anybody whose duty it is to advise the House it would be the Law Clerk of the House, not the Minister of Justice. The Minister of Justice is the adviser of the government and the government is supposed to follow his advice, but when it I

Topic:   ' COMMONS
Permalink

April 26, 1905