July 18, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Frank Broadstreet Carvell



That is a farm crossing, what you call a private crossing. He has no right of action if the gates were not kept closed, or if they were wTil fully left open, or if the fence was taken down, or if the cattle were turned within the railway enclosure, or if they were on 'the railway without consent. It was decided by the courts of Quebec, Ontario, and I think, Manitoba, that if a man allowed his cattle to run around his buildings and they got on the track and were killed, he had no action against the railway company. I know of a case where a man had his cattle in an ordinary farm-yard, in the winter. He did not keep the bars up, or the gates closed, and the cattle got out and got on the track, and were killed. The courts held that he could not recover because he had been guilty of negligence, and should not have allowed his cattle to roam at large. If my hon. friend takes section 387 of the Act as amended, he will find the railway company is practically an insurer, and practically must pay for any damage occasioned, unless it can show it kept proper gates and lawful cattle guards. Of course, if it does that, and an animal gets through the company should not pay. To all intents and purposes you may say the company now insures the lives of the animals, provided they maintain proper gates and lawful cattle guards.

Topic:   P520 COMMONS
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