April 6, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Paul-Arthur Séguin


Mr. P. A. SEGUIN (L'Assomption).

(Translation). Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, I may be permitted to call the attention of the government, and particularly that of the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) upon a question of the utmost importance to the county of L'Assomption which I have the honour of representing, and to the other counties in my district. This matter also interests largely the city of Montreal.
By 63 and 64, Victoria, chapter 8, subsection 33, the government of this country granted in 1900 a subsidy of $150,000 to the Chateauguay and Northern Railway Company in the following terms:
To the Chateauguay and Northern Railway Company, for a single track standard railway bridge, with two roadways 10 feet wide, for free vehicular and foot passenger traffic, the same as upon a public highway, from Bout de L'lsle to Charlemagne, at the iunc-tion of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers, $150,000.
I have no doubt that this subsidy has been paid to the company, but I do not know whether the latter have fulfilled the conditions upon which this subsidy has been granted.
Instead of constructing a single bridge connecting Bout de L'lsle to Charlemagne,

the said company, making use of an island-the Bourbon island-which was in the middle of the river, has erected two bridges, one from Bout de Isle to the southern shore of Bourbon island and the other from the northern shore of Bourbon island to Charlemagne.
The distance is twenty-five to thirty French acres which one has to travel in order to cross that intervening island has never been provided with a suitable road so as to permit the passage from one point to the other, and the numerous farmers conveying their farm produce to the city of Montreal and the travelling public in general have been obliged to travel that distance before any work had been done to put that road in order. The result was unavoidable;- that low and marshy ground was turned into a rut almost uninterrupted and often exasperatingly deep. In spite of repeated representations from all quarters, it has been impossible so far to have this unfortunate grievance redressed. The Montreal newspaper, especially ' La Patrie,' as late as last week, in an editorial, demonstrated the inconveniences to which the traveling public of Montreal and of the rural constituencies were subjected to on account of that altogether impassable road. Here is what ' La Patrie ' of the 26th March said:
The Bout de Pile Bridge.
La ' Patrie ' has already called the attention of the federal authorities upon the impassable and dangerous state of the approaches to the Bout de Pile bridge.
Thaw has set in. Loaded or pleasure vehicles, wagons, automobiles, etc., going from Bout de Pile to Charlemagne, or in the opposite direction, are in danger of getting stalled or of breaking to pieces in the deep ruts at the two ends of the bridge. It is almost impossible to pass there. And such is the situation since the bridge has been open to the public.
Upon whom rests the responsibility of making the necessary repairs ? Is it upon the Railways department or upon the Canadian Northern Company P
However it may be, it is really disgraceful to leave an 'important road as this in such a state of rack and ruin.
We do not know whether the contractors were bound to complete the embankment so as to facilitate the entrance to the bridge, or whether the government inspectors have reported. But it is incumbent upon the federal authorities to complete or have completed without delay that which has too long remained unfinished.
The member from L'Assumption shall undoubtedly renew his representations to the government at the re-opening of parliament.
The members of the city and the island of Montreal shall join with him to put a stop to that intolerable situation.
Every summer thousands of vehicles and automobiles cross the Bout <fe File bridge. If the approaches are not soon repaired, accidents will surely happen, entailing probably loss of life.

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