April 28, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Archibald Campbell



This Bill has received very careful attention from the committee, and when these amendments were proposed it was not thought in the interest of the public that they should be adopted. For my part, I cannot see any necessity for changing the word 'may' into 'shall.' We have never done it in any Bills that we have passed through the House. This company is investing a large amount of money in an enterprise that is in the public interest, and like every other company, they have asked the right to supply municipalities, corporations and individuals along their line with hydraulic, and electric; power, and so on. It is, of course, thedr business, and their interest to supply these companies, that is what they are investing their money for, and they hope to make a profit out of it. But when you come on and say that they shall supply-make it compulsory, why, it is going a great length indeed; it is something that I am sure the committee will not insist on, because the company may not be able to supply all the power that is required. The amendment proposes that they shall supply ' to all persons, corporations and municipalities desiring the same along the line of its works or within a reasonable distance thereof.' A far-reaching clause indeed, and I do not think it would be fair at all to put such a clause as that in the Bill. This is not the first instance in which we have had legislation of this kind. Last year this House chartered the St. Lawrence Power Company, assented to on the 23rd of May, of last year, identically the same Act asking for the same power. We did not then find the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Clarke) insisting in putting in the word ' shall ' instead of the word ' may.' Again, we have had the Ottawa & Hull Power Company, a company seeking the same powers that this company is doing, asking the same privileges, and there was no question then that the word ' may ' should be struck out and the word ' shall ' be inserted. Then we have had the Ontario and Niagara Falls Power Company, identically the same as this, with the same powers and privileges, authorized by this parliament only two years ago, and in all that Bill there is no such stringent provision-absurd provision to my mind, I may say-as is proposed now by the member for West Toronto.

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