May 19, 1914

CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I called up the accountant

of the commission this morning and asked him to give me a detailed statement of the amount expended each year. He told me that the total amount up to January 1, 1914, was $60,991.22. I thought the amount very small and could not understand how that could be all that was expended during five years, but he assured me that was the total amount expended from the time the Act was first passed. He promised to send me a detailed statement of the amount expended for each year.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I think the

amount is very small. I would have expected a very much larger sum would have been expended. If my hon. friend will give us the information on the third reading, that will be satisfactory.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

I would assume that, by reason of the fact that the minister has introduced this Bill to amend the Railway Act, it is not expected that the Bill to revise the Railway Act will be proceeded with at this session. I think it would be wise that it should not be.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

It seemed doubtful if

sufficient time remained for taking up the consolidation of the Railway Act and amending Acts, and, as this is a matter that should not be neglected in the meantime, it was thought desirable to introduce this Bill so as to make provision for these crossings in any event.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

With reference to the

railway crossings of a city street, under what circumstances, and in what proportion is the cost of making the separation of grades provided for? On whose initiative is the undertaking to he done and afterwards what is the proportion of the cost? I am deeply interested in this matter.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The municipality may make

application to the Railway Commission t-o take the question up and decide whether a level crossing should be eliminated or not. The Railway Commission decide what proportion of the cost the municipality and

the railway shall pay. The Government pay a certain proportion also. The whole matter is entirely in the hands of the Railway Commission.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

There are two railways

coming into the city of Edmonton, the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific. I do not think the rights of way actually join, but they are very close together. They cross a number of streets. In providing for the separation of grades, would the two railways be treated as one, or would they have to be dealt with separately? The one work would make a subway under both.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The Railway Commission really have full powers in respect to any city, town, village, or municipal district. Whatever decision the Board of Railway Commissioners may give is law unless it is appealed to the Governor in Council.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Is there any general understanding as to what proportion of the total cost is borne by the two parties?

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The Railway Commission decides that.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

What is the precedent in the matter? I do not wish to suggest to the city of Edmonton that it make application for subways and overhead crossings, and then have the city stuck for a large proportion of the cost. I rwould like to have some idea as to what the understanding has been in the past, so that we may know what to expect in the future.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I must confess that L am not really well posted with reference to what has been done in the past, but, as far as I can remember, the city makes the application. Of course, the railway may also make application. In that case the city would have to appear and be heard, and it would have to abide by whatever decision the Railway Commission might give. In so far as Edmonton is concerned, if it should appear that a subway would be in the interest of the city, the city would be the one to make the application. I am quite satisfied that the Railway Commission would do what was fair as between the parties.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

It seems to me quite evident that either the Act is not what it ought to be, and the municipalities have not taken advantage of it to the extent that they should have done, or

[Mr J. D. Reid.l

there have been more applications than the commission have been able to dispose of; because if, during the five year period which expired on the 14th April last, the expenditure by the Government for the removal of these level crossings has been only $60,000, the amount is absolutely insufficient, and shows that the Act has not been availed of as it should have been. I believe that in the case of Edmonton, the thing to do, as stated by the hon. acting Minister of Railways and Canals, is to apply to the Railway Commission to pass upon the matter. The commission simply orders the work and apportions the cost between the interested parties-in this case the city and the two railways-and the Government comes in with its share. I forget at the moment what is the share supplied by the Government, but my impression is that the Government pay one-third, the railway one-third, and the municipality one-third. It matters not whether the apportionment is made by the statute or by the commission. Though the procedure is easy and summary, the municipalities have not taken advantage of it. Perhaps it is that the commission has not been able to hear as many applications as are made to it. On the third reading my hon. friend should present a statement as to how many applications are now pending before the commission.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I shall be glad to get that information.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The board has almost absolute control over these crossings, and can apportion the cost as between the railway companies and the municipalities, and can also order that a certain sum be paid out of the fund, which is not to exceed in any single instance $5,000. It is rather a surprise to me that the amount expended in five years is only $60,000. My city, on two occasions, made application under this statute, and, speaking from memory, we have received nearly $10,000 to build two subways, which were very expensive structures. The fact that there is so much expense in connection with an over-crossing or an under-crossing deters the ordinary municipality from making application, and the reason some municipalities do not apply is because the aid from the Government is limited. In Toronto they are building a structure over twenty-five streets, and surely the Government's expenditure this year alone will be more than $60,000.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I was very much surprised when the accountant told me over the telephone that the expenditure had only been $60,000. I told him I thought he must mean the expenditure for one year, but he was insistent that it was for the five years.

I shall have a statement prepared in detail as to the expenditure by the Government and by the municipalities, and the number of applications now pending before the board.

Bill reported.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSINGS.
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ST. JOHN AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.


On motion of Hon. J. D. Reid, Bill No. 201, to amend the St. John and Quebec Railway Act, was read the second time, and the House went into Committee thereon, Mr. Blondin in the Chair. On section 2-agreement with Government of New Brunswick and the company:


LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

As I understand this

section, after the expiration of fifteen years the Crown is to receive forty per cent of the earnings of the bridges, worked out on the basis of the cost of the bridges as compared with the total cost of the railroad. Is that the idea?

Topic:   ST. JOHN AND QUEBEC RAILWAY.
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CON

May 19, 1914