House of Commons, 24 August 1891, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

4297 [AUGUST 24, 1891.] 4298


House again resolved itself into Committee on Bill (No. 129) to amend the Acts respecting the North-West Territories.

(In the Committee.)

Mr. DEWDNEY. The second clause was allowed to stand for two purposes: one, in order that the schedule might be prepared, and also, I think, with reference to the application made by the hon. member for West-Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) regarding the police. Instead of repealing the whole of section 2, I would ask that only a portion be repealed. I propose to leave that portion which says that the members of the Assembly shall receive $500, as it is. With regard to the schedules, it is proposed to give the Assembly twenty-six members instead of, as heretofore, twenty-two members and three experts. That will carry out the proposition of the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Davis) by adding two to Alberta, one to the Saskatchewan and one to Assiniboia, which will make the total number twenty-six. I have laid on the table a plan showing the division of districts proposed under this Bill; and as I informed the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Mills), we have to provide for an election which takes place in the course of a month or two, it will be for Parliament to say whether, in the future, the division of districts should be left to the Assembly. I think there would be no objection to that.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). I think in the future it ought to be left to the Assembly.
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. We ought to decide the number of members.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Why?
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. The number may be indefinitely enlarged, and we have to pay them.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). If they had only a fixed amount of money appropriated, the more they multiplied the members, the less they would get.
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. The Act says they shall get so much each. I think it right to allow them to alter the boundaries of the districts.
Mr. O'BRIEN. Do I understand the Minister of Justice to say that the Assembly will be allowed to alter the boundaries at any time?
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. That is what is proposed.
Mr. CHARLTON. This Bill provides for a Legislature of 26 members. Is there any provision for a future increase?
Sir JOHN THOMPSON. No; that is what we were discussing, and I was urging that, that should be kept in the hands of this Parliament to arrange from time to time, so that the number should be definite, but that we should give them power to alter the boundaries of the electoral districts.
0n section 10,
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). I am astonished that the hon. member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Davin) does not suggest some other name instead of Moose Jaw. That is the translation of an Indian name, and I am sure that it must grate harshly upon the exquisitely fine ear of the hon. gentleman. I will suggest that it he called Davin's Jaw.
Mr. DAVIN. The name is taken from a stream called the Moose Jaw. I believe it is the translation of an Indian word, but it is very appropriate, because the stream forms an outlet very like that of a moose jaw. But I object to Davin's Jaw for this reason— that we intend to have mills on the 4299 [COMMONS] 4300 Moose Jaw, and if we have Davin's Jaw, probably some Mills would he afraid to go there.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). I think the hon. gentleman will he content as long as the mills go after they are there.
Mr. DAVIN. I wish to call the attention of the Government to a matter I raised in committee the other day, and it is a subject I dealt with on a motion for the first reading of the Bill to amend the Dominion Lands Act. It has relation to the clause that limits section 13. The Bill reads:
"7. Section thirteen of the Act is hereby repealed, and the following is substituted therefor:—
"13. The Legislative Assembly shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, or any other Act of the Parliament of Canada in force in the Territories, have power to make ordinances for the Government of the Territories in relation to the classes of subjects next hereinafter mentioned."
Sub-section 6 has reference to the incorporation of companies for territorial objects, with the following exceptions: "railway, tramway, steamboat, canal, transportation, telegrpah, and telephone and irrigation companies." I called the attention of the Government to this, as I thought it was unwise to limit the power of the Legislative Assembly in regard to railway or tramway, and other such companies, and, if I may refer to what I said on the motion for the first reading of the Dominion Lands Act, I may say that I pointed out that the United States was accustomed to give grants of lands for railway purposes to these territories and I instanced especially Minnesota. An hon. gentleman who is always well informed on railway matters, and who is especially well informed on matters connected with the United States, question the accuracy of the statement. Now, Sir, as a matter of fact the Territory of Minnesota obtained grants of lands from Congress to the extend of 4,051,140 acres for the purpose of giving lands to railways, and the advantage that has accrued to them is very great, because Minnesota derives a large revenue at the present time from a certain percentage which that State is entitled to on the net profit. I do not intend to move in this matter, but I call the attention of the Government to it, that perhaps we err on the side of not giving more power to the Legislative Assembly. I do not see that it would be any harm to give it the power to incorporate railways, tramways and irrigation companies. I call the attention of the Government to it because they have to deal with the territories at some future session and I think it would be well to consider whether the power to incorporate small railway companies should not be given to the Assembly; and whether it would not be well, also, to do what was done in the case of Minnesota, and place at their disposal a certain amount of land which they could give to the railways.  
Bill reported, and read the third time and passed.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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