April 10, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Hon. H. R.@

EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 132) to amend the Government Railways Act. He said ; There is legislation before the House with reference to the transfer of the Canada Atlantic Railway system to the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, and by which legislative authority is sought to conclude the transaction. It was deemed advisable by the government in the public interest that notice should be given to the parties before this legislative authority is granted that certain running powers should be reserved over the Canada Atlantic Railway system for the government system of railways. The proposal in this Bill is to reserve running powers for the Intercolonial Railway system and for any extension of the government railway system over the line from Montreal to C6teau and over the main trunk line of the Canada Atlantie Railway and all its branches. This Bill provides that the government shall have the right to run through freight and passenger trains and to do a local passenger business over this line. It is provided also that the compensation which shall be paid by the government to the Grand Trunk Railway for this privilege shall be determined by the Railway Commission, from which there shall be an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Under the Railway Act, 1903, an appeal from the decision of the Railway Commission would lie to the Governor in Council, hut as the government system of railways would be under the control and management of the Governor in Council, it would he anomalous that the appeal of one of the parties should go before that tri-

bunaI. The appeal Is therefore made by reference from the decision of the Railway Commission to the Supreme Court. The tariff rates shall be subject to the Railway Commission in the same way as tariff rates on other railways, that is to say, all freight and passenger rates over the Canada Atlantic system and the Grand Trunk system shall be subject to the decision of the Railway Commission. All freight originating on the Canada Atlantic system or on the Grand Trunk system for points on the Intercolonial (system shall be subject to the same tariff rates as freight originating on all other railways working on that system. It would be very unfair to have * the Intercolonial take freight at any point along the Canada Atlantic Railway upon terms that would be subject to its own decision. Therefore, it has been deemed wise to make the tariff rates along the line of the Canada Atlantic subject to the judgment of the Railway Commission, and also to make all freight originating on that system to be transported over the Intercolonial Railway to Canadian seaports subject to the judgment of the Railway Commission. I have thus in a few words described the purview of this Bill, and its further discussion will no doubt come up at a later stage.

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