Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 175, to repeal The Lake of the Woods Regulation Act, 1921. .
He said: This is a similar bill to one which was introduced at the last session by the then Solicitor General. It is in regard to the control of the Lake of the Woods, the Winnipeg and English rivers and Lac Seul. As hon. gentlemen will remember, some time before the session of 1921 an agreement was arrived at between the federal government and the government of Ontario to the effect that the control of these lakes and rivers should be given to a board composed of four members, two appointed by the federal government and two by the Ontario government. This arrangement was put into force by orders in council passed by the two governments, which in turn with the agreement, were to be confirmed and ratified by this parliament and by the legislature of Ontario. In accordance with that agreement a bill was introduced and passed in this House, and it is now on the statute book as chapter 10 of the acts of 1921. ^ The government of Ontario introduced a similar bill but the House prorogued before there was time to pass the measure. In these circumstances the government of Canada thought it wise that federal legislation in the matter should be enacted without delay, so chapter 38 of the statutes of 1921 was passed, giving the Canadian government control of the Lake of the Woods, the Winnipeg and English rivers and Lac Seul. It was also provided by that statute that whenever the province of Ontario should legislate in accordance with the arrangement made, the Governor in Council should repeal chapter 38 of the statutes of 1921. We now propose by this bill as it was last year to repeal purely and simply chapter 38 and for this reason: In addition to what I have said, there was a clause in that chapter to the effect that while the Governor in Council would have a right to repeal the statute, this would not affect a certain clause in virtue of which it was declared that all these works around the Lake of the Woods and the different rivers mentioned were for the general advantage of Canada. It has been represented to us that this was not the agreement, and that the two parties, the government of Canada and the province of On-