James Dew Chaplin
Well if the Solicitor
Subtopic: NIAGARA FALLS MEMORIAL BRIDGE COMPANY
Well if the Solicitor
I will withdraw that remark. I will deal with it when I speak.
The statement of the
Solicitor General in regard to that is just ibout as correct as his statement about the ittitude of the Prime Minister of Ontario and ;he Minister of Highways whose letters I have [DOT]ead.
I now wish to place on record a communi-lation from the State Reservation Commission, a body on the other side of the river. This commission was appointed many years ago in order to do the same work in the state of New York that we were doing
in Ontario. Here is a letter dated March 12, 1928, from the president of the State Reservation Commission at Niagara.
That is the state of New York.
The state of New York. The letter is as follows:
Supplementing my letter to you of the 27th of March-
That is when this bill was up last year- 1927-
-of which I enclose a copy, I beg to say that the attitude of the State Reservation Commission at Niagara as expressed in that letter, is unchanged; that all of the considerations in it outlined militating against the construction of a new bridge apply with even greater force than then expressed.
Permit me to summarize for your consideration the underlying reasons moving our commission to oppose similar legislation when presented to the New York state legislature at Albany:
1st. The construction of a new structure such as proposed inevitably would be disastrous to the scenic grandeur of the great cataract, and the impressive gorge below. In this conviction we strongly are sustained by the well considered and strongly expressed opinion of the Hon. Frederick Law Olmstead, admittedly one of the most distinguished landscape artists now living, who was consulted by us upon this subject.
2nd. Such a structure seriously would interfere with the plans now under consideration by us for the expenditure of large sums of money, especially devoted by the people of our state to the further enhancement of the scenic grandeur and beauty of the cataract.
3rd. An important factor of our expenditure will he the elimination of conditions tending to impair and seriously to detract from the majesty of the cataract.
4th. There is not any need for an additional bridge. Whatever delays and congestion in traffic have arisen, has been infrequent, sporadic and entirely due to the rigorous inspection by the officials of the customs and immigration departments of both the Canadian government and our own.
As you are aware, there has been provided at the respective bridge heads additional lanes of traffic, which now are available for such inspection, more indeed, than those departments reasonably can be expected to utilize for many years in the future.
You are entirely at liberty to use this letter in any manner you see fit. Particularly shall I be pleased if you will present it to the Canadian parliament, or to any of its committees which may have this matter under consideration.
This is from the commission on the other side of the river.
May I point out that the New York side of the bridge does not touch the New York state reservation and will not touch any part of it. It is private property that will be affected, and not the New York state reservation.
Niagara Falls Memorial Bridge
The last bridge that the hon. member for Welland supported in this house had its head on the other side of the river on a piece of property belonging to the state reservation.
The hon. gentleman is mistaken.
The hon. member cannot be interrupted.
I find that my time is
nearly up. I speak as one of the park commissioners for a period of more than fifteen years, during which time the commissioners have always applied themselves closely to the work of conserving the beauties of the great natural wonder of America. This work has been carried on for forty years by commissioners without any remuneration whatever, simply to preserve the scenic beauties of the Niagara river for the people of this country and for visitors who may come, and we, knowing the conditions there better than any other person or any other body of persons, declare that, in our judgment, this parliament has no moral' right to give any charter against the opinion of the park commissioners and against the wishes and opinions of the premier of Ontario.
Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Johnston in the chair.
On section 1-Incorporation.
I understand that last year
a request was made for this bridge by the same company and that the bill was killed by the committee. I should like to know why this year the committee are reporting favourably on this bridge.
Last year the location asked for this bridge was in between the upper steel arch bridge and the falls and it interfered with the scenic beauty at that time. I opposed the location of that bridge at that point last year. The bridge, the incorporation of which is now sought, is from eight hundred to one thousand feet further away from the falls than the present cantilever bridge.
The facts of the case are these.
The records wild bear me out. Last year a number of gentlemen came from Niagara Falls and proposed the construction of a 'bridge across the Niagara river in front of the present bridge and coming out right at the gates of our park. That bill was thrown out of the committee, but they were
very persistent and they came back the same year with another one. This is a sort of movable bridge on wheels. If it is beaten in one place they can move it along a little further. The second proposition that came before the house and was again defeated was to place a bridge within two hundred feet of the upper steel arch bridge. This was a most foolish proposition and the hon. gentleman does not say that he did not support it. It was about as foolish as this one, but he supported it just the same. The present proposal is for a bridge from three to eight hundred feet away and our contention is this. Assuming a bridge is required, we say this is not the place to put it. Our engineers say that if a bridge is nedded. there is a good location halfway between the two bridges where there is a street that, without any great expense, can be connected with a highway. But what they want is to get as close as possible to the other bridge so as to ensure that it will pay as well as the other one.
Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):
What is the location the hon. member suggests?
Between the two bridges
there is a space of about two miles, and we suggest that if ever the time comes to construct another bridge, the logical place for it to go is halfway between those two bridges.
A very large number of
amendments have been made to this bill and we do not have them before us. I happen, through the courtesy of the clerk, to have had an opportunity of looking at the amended bill, but certainly hon. members cannot follow the bill in its present form.
It has been reprinted.
I have no reprint of it.
I have in hand a table copy.