May 26, 1919

L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

The ships that enter

the harbour complain very bitterly about there being any fees at all. They believe that they should be exempt from any fees of this kind. I think that if you pay the harbour master $3,000 he will be satisfied. He only used to get $1,800 and, while that was small, he was evidently satisfied to stand by. I am not complaining about the fees being raised sufficiently high to secure $3,000 but immediately anything of this kind is done the ship masters complain that you are reducing their meagre earnings. I do not think the harbour master of the port of Halifax is required to devote all his time to the duties of his office. We have a very capable harbour master in my town and we have a very good harbour. I do not know of anything particular that this harbour master does except to see that ships arrange themselves in proper shape and that they do not unnecessarily get in each other's way. *1 think that is all he does. He has not to decide anything excepting that, if there is any complaint about a ship being unseaworthy, he may have something to say about it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I cannot agree with my hon. friend about the duties of the harbour master not being most important at a very large port like Halifax. The tonnage entering and leaving that port each year is so considerable in amount that the harbour master has to give all his time to his duties there. The duties of the harbour master are to see that berths are allocated to vessels entering the port.

He also has to see that the vessels are properly moored. The harbour master has full charge of the port, and I consider that his duties in the case of such a port as Halifax are most important. When one compares the port of Halifax with the port of Montreal, where the harbour master receives $5,000 a year, and with the port of Quebec, where the harbour master gets $3,500 a year, I do not think that we are overpaying the harbour master of the first-named port when we place him in a position whereby he may possibly make five or six hundred dollars a year more than he is now drawing. For instance, in the year 1917 the total amount of fees collected in the port of Halifax only amounted to $1,832. Now, il the total amount of fees collected in 1920 do not exceed $1,800, that is all the harbour master of Halifax will be allowed to get in the way of salary; but if the fees, as I have already stated, amount to $2,500 or $3,000, he will draw a more substantial remuneration. Considering the fact that Halifax is a very large and important seaport, I hope that hon. members will agree with the reasonableness of the provisions of this Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

tl am not complaining about the harbour master getting a salary of $3,000; I think it is little enough for him, but I know how vigorously shipping masters in the past have complained regarding the exaction from them of any unnecessary fees. I simply wished to be sure that there were no greater fees to be collected than were necessary to meet the salary proposed to be given to the harbour master.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

In regard to the fees to be collected, we are only proposing a very slight increase. From my experience as a commissioner for the port of Montreal, I know that the shipping agents are always on the alert and do not want to pay anything more than they are obliged to pay, which is only natural. I am quite sure that the small increase in fees which is proposed here is not going to be a burden on any of the ship-owners, nor will it have any detrimental effect on shipping, but it will yield the harbour master a larger remuneration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Under whose control is the port of Halifax at the present time? I understood when the Halifax disaster occurred that the port had been placed under the control of a naval officer.- Does that control still continue, or has it again been placed under the department?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

During the war

authority over the port of Halifax was exercised by the Naval Service, but since the signing of the armistice control of lhe harbour has once more reverted to the department.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

Why is the harbour master of Halifax paid by fees, whereas the harbour master of Montreal receives a salary of $5,000, and the harbour master of Quebec a salary of $3,500? If it is deemed desirable to increase the remuneration paid ta the harbour master at Halifax, why not adopt the course which has been followed in the case of the other two harbour masters mentioned?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The system of administering the port of Halifax is entirely different from the system which obtains in the ports of Montreal and Quebec. The two latter ports are -administered by a harbour commission, and power is vested in them to pay to the harbour master whatever salary they may deem fit. On the other hand the port of Halifax is not under the control of a commission, but is administered by the Department of Marine, and we ate not allowed by the Pilotage Act to pay the harbour master a fixed salary; his salary can only be obtained by the collection of fees.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR MASTER.
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Section agreed to, Bill reported, and read the third time.


CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.


On the motion of Hon. Mr. Ballant-yne (Minister of Marine) the House went into Committee on the following proposed resolution.-Mr. Boivin in the Chair. Resolved,. That it is expedient to amend the provisions of sections 432, 862, and 865 of the Canada Shipping Act, chapter 113 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, and to provide :[DOT]- 1. That notwithstanding anything in Part VI of the said Act, the Governor in Council may, when it appears to him to he in the interest of navigation, appoint the Minister to be the pilo-tage authority for any pilotage district, or for any part thereof; and the saild Minister shall thereupon supersede the then existing pilotage authority for that district or part of a district: Provided that nothing in said Part shall authorize the Minister to sit as a tribunal for the trial of offences of which pilots may ;i * * be accused before the pilotage authority; hut such Minister may, in any oase not provided for by Part X of the said Act designate a tribunal or officer to try any such offence. 2. That for and in respect of all ships entering a port to which Part XII of the said Act applies, and at which a Harbour Master is appointed, and discharging or taking a cargo, ballast, wood or water, there shall he paid as fees the amount prescribed hy paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of section 862 of the said Act; that paragraph (h) he repealed ; and that the following paragraphs be added to the said section:- "(h) for every ship over seven hundred tons and not over one thousand tons register, five dollars; " (i) for every ship over one thousand tons register seven dollars." 3. That the salary or remuneration of each Harbour Master shall from time to time be fixed by the Governor in Council, hut shall not exceed the rate of one thousand two hundred dollars per annum, and shall be subject to the provisions prescribed by the said Act, providing for the payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of all moneys received hy him for fees, after deducting therefrom the salary or remuneration fixed as aforesaid, and if the moneys received by him for fees in any year amount to a less sum than is so fixed, then such less sum shall he his salary or remuneration for that year.


L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Will the minister explain the object of the resolution?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The object is to enable me to introduce a Bill permitting the Department of Marine to take over the control of all the pilotage systems of Canada and to vest authority in the Governor General in Council. At present, and for some twelve years past, the pilotage systems of the two districts of Quebec and Montreal have been under the Department of Marine. In order to determine what steps should be taken in the interest of the greater efficiency of the pilotage system in Canada, the Government appointed a Royal Commission in the early part of 1918, consisting of Mr. Thomas Robb, of the Shipping Federation, Montreal; Captain Bayles, Deputy Warden for the port of Montreal; and Captain Harrison of Halifax, to inquire into the matter. The commission visited all the important seaports on the co-asts of Canada, such as Halifax, Sydney, Louisburg, St. John, N.B., Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo, and their report, which has been already tabled, recommends very strongly that these pilo-tage districts, outside those of Montreal and Quebec, be taken under the supervision and direct control of the Department of Maxine. I am sure hon. gentlemen will recognize that the only object the Government has in recommending that this course be followed is to place the pilotage systems

in the ports referred to on a much more efficient basis than they have been in the past, and to provide for much more rigid pilotage examination. It is the intention of the Government, if the resolution should pass, to appoint a local superintendent of each one of these leading ports who shall be a seafaring man holding a master mariner's certificate. In addition the Government intends to appoint a general superintendent of pilots, to be stationed at the head office of the department in Ottawa, who will have general charge of all the local officers and of the various pilotage systems. It is further provided that the harbour dues on ships of over one thousand tons registered tonnage shall be increased to $7.

A great many of the harbour masters who are looking after our ports now are only allowed to draw a maximum salary of $600 per year. The object of this Bill is to allow them, if they collect sufficient fees, to draw a maximum salary of $1,200 per year. For instance, the harbour master for the port of Victoria, can at present, only draw a salary of $600 per year, whereas if this Bill passes, he will be allowed, providing he collects sufficient fees, to draw a maximum salary of $1,200.

There are, therefore, two important matters in the resolution before the Committee: First, that the pilotage systems of Canada from Halifax to Victoria be vested in the authority of the Governor-in-Council under the Minister of Marine and Fisheries; and, second, to provide harbour masters who are now drawing $600 a year a maximum salary of $1,200.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Have the Boards of Trade or the shipping authorities of any of the ports asked for this legislation?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The efficient management of the pilotage systems of Montreal and Quebec under the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the past twelve years was considered sufficient evidence to warrant the Government in appointing a Royal Commission to investigate the pilotage systems of these other ports. All the shipping interests and also the various Boards of Trade appeared before the commission when it visited those ports, and this Bill is receiving the unanimous approval of those interests.

The pilotage systems of the ports that I have referred to were looked after by local pilotage commissions, and as those commissioners did not receive any remuneration for their services, naturally they did not

178i

give the attention that they should to their duties. There is great scope to increase the efficiency of the pilotage systems, which systems it is now proposed shall be vested' in the Governor in Council, and eventually-shall come under the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, more particularly as we are going to have a local superintendent, who will be an ex-master mariner holding a master's certificate. All the interests concerned agree that this should be done.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

This is a revolutionary proposal in a way, because it is removing the control of pilotage altogether to Ottawa. There must be a large number of pilotage commissions along the coasts of this country, and under the law they have-jurisdiction to determine the age, the qualifications and the skill of the pilots who are acting in their particular vicinity; to grant or withhold licenses to those pilots; to make regulations for their control, and other powers. The minister is proposing to sweep them all away and vest the control in an officer at Ottawa. I hesitate about approving the change, because I do not think it is wise to centralize this control. The local authorities know these pilots, they have been trained in the vicinity, and the commissioners are the best judges. Ottawa is too far away from the sea coast for an officer stationed there to possess the necessary local knowledge. A thousand miles makes a great difference in efficiency in matters of this kind. With all due respect to the minister and his department, I would: hesitate to take this authority out of the hands of the local commissioners and transfer it to some one in the department.

From what I have heard in this House and have gathered from the press, I do not think that the management of the pilots in the St. Lawrence river has been such a great success as the minister describes. I think it is open to a great deal of criticism. We are aware of the patronage that has existed in connection with the appointment of those pilots, and it is only a few days ago that we were called upon to vote a considerable sum of money to pay pensions to pilots on the St. Lawrence river who should never have been appointed. I do not know Ahether that system of appointment is still continuing or not, but I am aware of the fact that owners of ships coming up the St. Lawrence river will not employ some of the pilots appointed; they prefer pilots that they know are competent and they do not care as a rule to take any pilot that comes along. As a matter of fact, I do not think that the management of the pilotage business in the

St. Lawrence river commends itself so much to the people of Canada that they want to .place all the pilotage systems under the authority of the same officer. I am not -speaking for the different Boards of Trade in the country or the ship owners,, but I would be surprised if they have all agreed *to this proposal.

W6 are told that a Royal Commission investigated conditions. I do not know who these Royal Commissioners are, but I understand it was a Royal Commission consisting of two or three captains, officers of the Government. The trades people were not represented on the commission. It would be a very easy matter for two or three officers to travel around the country and get opinions favourable to their own theories. I would not place so much reliance on the report of those Royal Commissioners as I would on the report of the representative men selected from the business interests of the country. I would advise the minister to hesitate before he takes this revolutionary step oi wiping out all the pilotage authorities and centralizing the control at Ottawa.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The only criticism that is likely to fall upon the present Minister of Marine and Fisheries is that successive governments did not take any step several years ago that I purpose taking now. As to the hon. member's remarks in reference to the Montreal and Quebec pilots, the best answer I can give is the almost total absence of any accidents during quite a term of years. It is true that several of the large steamship companies prefer to engage certain pilots to take charge of their vessels. But from any knowledge that I am possessed of-and I do not claim to be an authority on pilotage, although I have been connected with it for a good number of years-I do not know of a more efficient lot of pilots than those who have charge of vessels in the Montreal and Quebec districts.

In regard to the personnel of the Royal Commission, none of those gentlemen are connected with the Government. Mr. Thomas Robb is president of the Shipping Federation and occupies an important position; Captain Burns is deputy Port Warden of Montreal, and Captain James Harrison is superintendent of one of the large steamship companies at the port of Halifax.

Here is what the commission states about the Montreal Pilotage district:

From the evidence adduced before your commission, it appears that the administration of

the Montreal Pilotage district has been carried out in an efficient manner, and in this respect considerable credit must be given to the civil servant who has been handling the records, etc.

The commission also pay the same tribute to the Quebec Pilotage district. Their recommendation to the minister is this:

That the commissions at present administering the pilotage service in the districts o< Miramichi, Sydney, Louisburg and St. John have been found by your commissioners to have outrun their usefulness, and we recommend the immediate enactment of legislation appointing the Minister of Marine and Fisheries the pilotage authority for these districts.

They make the same recommendation as regards the pilotage districts of Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo.

The hon. member has made reference to the local pilotage commissions. The authority that those commissions have at present is subject to the approval of the Governor in Council and to the approval of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. So that we are not taking away any powers from them; we are simply saying that their work must receive the approval of the minister. But hon. members will readily see that a pilotage commission that receives no remuneration at all is not entirely satisfactory. It is not particularly interested in the rigid examination of pilots, nor in seeing that their efficiency is kept up to the standard that the importance of the calling demands. The pilotage systems of Montreal and Quebec have certainly worked admirably.

I am only asking for authority to take these pilotage systems over providing that we think it necessary to do so. But I would not care to assume the responsibility of the pilotage systems in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Halifax, St. John and Sydney being what they should be if they are left in the hands of lbcal pilotage commissions. There is a great deal of opportunity to increase the efficiency of the pilots and to see that the examination is a great deal more rigid. Therefore it is in the interests of navigation that this resolution should pass.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

I do not wish the minister to misunderstand me. I did not condemn the pilots of the St. Lawrence; there are no better pilots than they. But I have been informed that they are not all efficient, that there are some who should not have been appointed, which is proved by the very fact that the minister has asked us to retire them and provide for them otherwise.

In reference to the other pilotage commissions, if it is not the intention of the minister to interfere with them, I would not have the same objection. But I do not think they should be interfered with unless there is some request from the locality that is interested. The fact that the pilotage commissions have been giving their services free of remuneration is not any reason why they should be dismissed. In the county I represent we have had a pilotage commission for many years, and the commissioners have not received any remuneration, but they are very proud of their position and they have done good work in the appointments they have made.

They accept these responsibilities and discharge them very well without remuneration; but there is no reason why their services should be dispensed with if everything is satisfactory to the locality concerned. If it is the intention of the minister to take over the pilotage only in cases where the people of the harbours concerned wish it, then I would not have so much objection to the measure.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I think my hon. friend is under a misapprehension as regards Montreal and Quebec pilotage. I do not say anything about other ports, but the transfer to Ottawa some years ago of the control vested in the pilotage commissions of Montreal and Quebec was a change for the better. Before that time there had been many accidents in the St. Lawrence river, but since then the river has been practically free from accidents. At first the pilots were very much averse to the move and opposed it strongly, but they have become reconciled to it because they find that under the supervision of the Department of Marine and Fisheries the pilots have become more versed in their pro-4 p.m. fession and more alert in their service. The superannuation plan was adopted when Mr. Brodeur was Minister of Marine and Fisheries, in order to provide for old pilots who had become blind and who were unable to give further efficient service. The list of superannuation is decreasing yearly, and after a while there will be no more. May I ask the minister whether pilots, especially those of Montreal or Quebec, who are' nearly all French Canadian, may pass their test examinations in the French language? I read something in the press about this some time ago. I know that the minister is as broadminded as a man can be, but I would like him to give the assurance that the

pilots may pass the examination in whichever language they choose.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I am happy to inform my hon. friend that, in line with their general ability, the French Canadian pilots speak one language as well as the other, and the examination is such that they have to be familiar with the English language as well as the French. The examination may be carried on in French if the pilot so desires. But having regard to the fluency with which they speak English it is of little importance to the French Canadian pilots whether the examination is in English or is in French.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
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May 26, 1919