Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)
Sir WILFRID LAURIER:
It seems to me quite evident that either the Act is not what it ought to be, and the municipalities have not taken advantage of it to the extent that they should have done, or
[Mr J. D. Reid.l
there have been more applications than the commission have been able to dispose of; because if, during the five year period which expired on the 14th April last, the expenditure by the Government for the removal of these level crossings has been only $60,000, the amount is absolutely insufficient, and shows that the Act has not been availed of as it should have been. I believe that in the case of Edmonton, the thing to do, as stated by the hon. acting Minister of Railways and Canals, is to apply to the Railway Commission to pass upon the matter. The commission simply orders the work and apportions the cost between the interested parties-in this case the city and the two railways-and the Government comes in with its share. I forget at the moment what is the share supplied by the Government, but my impression is that the Government pay one-third, the railway one-third, and the municipality one-third. It matters not whether the apportionment is made by the statute or by the commission. Though the procedure is easy and summary, the municipalities have not taken advantage of it. Perhaps it is that the commission has not been able to hear as many applications as are made to it. On the third reading my hon. friend should present a statement as to how many applications are now pending before the commission.