April 14, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Forsythe McCreary



Mr. Chairman, before this clause passes, as we have now the Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) in his seat, and as that gentleman was not present during the consideration of private Bills on Friday night, I would like to state one or two objections I have to this Bill. In the first place, I object to the Bill on general principles. The Bill authorizes the construction of 5,000 or
6,000 miles of railway, and this power, to be given in any one charter, is altogether too great. I object also to the Bill because it authorizes the construction of certain branch lines, but the descriptions of these lines are so indefinite that we do not know where the roads are going to run. But, my most serious objection to the Bill is the fact that by its terms it entirely controls the only two available passes through the Rocky Mountains. These are the Pine River and the Yellow Head passes. There was an engineer who went through the Pine River Pass about twenty-five years ago, and a gentleman named Mr. Hunter also went through about twenty years ago. Neither one of these gentlemen reported on the feasibility of this pass for a railway. There is no information on that point as far as I can learn. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals should take steps to see, if any other transcontinental road should endeavour to get through the mountains as there are no other passes available, that they should have running powers over the line in one of these two passes. I notice that the Board of Trade held a meeting in Winnipeg a few days ago to discuss a resolution sent to it by the Halifax Board of Trade dealing with the Intercolonial Railway. I may say that the Winnipeg Board of Trade represents practically all the large and influential corporations loaning moneys on the prairies. That board took the ground that a commission should be appointed to look into the question as to whether the Intercolonial Railway could be made a factor in the transportation of that country, and if it could that it might be feasible on the part of the government to extend that system to the Pacific coast to serve as a feeder for the road. That proposition was very

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