House of Commons, 23 February 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

1593 FEBRUARY 23. 1905
[...] been, since the lst of July, 1904, replaced by automatic acetylene gas lights ?
2. What annual saving will these changes effect ?
3. How many keepers have in consequence of these changes been dismissed ?
4. Who were they, and what were their former salaries ?
Hon. RAYMOND PREFONTAINE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries) :
1. Thirty-two.
2. $910.
3. Five.
4. Thomas Fraser, Windmill Point light, $180 ; John Hamilton, Hamilton's island light, $130 ; Barnaby Malette, lightship No. 1, $250 ; Vital Crépin, lightship No. 2, $300; Michel Allard, lightship No. 3, $300.


Mr. A. MARTIN asked :
1. Has the government decided to distribute among the provinces interested, the amount of the award received by Canada, generally known as the Halifax Fishery Award ?
2. If so, on what basis is the distribution proposed to be made ?
3. If not, is the question to be submitted for decision to the Privy Council of England or the Supreme Court of Canada. ?
4. Will the government take action in regard to the settlement of this question during the present session of parliament, if not, already settled ?
Hon. RAYMOND PREFONTAINE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries) :
1. No.
2, 3 and 4, answered by No. 1.
Mr. A. MARTIN. Is the third section of the question answered ?
Mr. PREFONTAINE. Yes, it is answered by the first.
Mr. A. MARTIN. It is not answered by the first. I must say that these questions are not answered. The third section of the question reads :
If not, is the question to be submitted for decision to the Privy Council of England or the Supreme Court of Canada ?
Is that answered ?
Mr. PREFONTAINE. Yes, that is answered, 'no', the same as the first part of the question.


Mr. A. MARTIN asked :
1. What has been done by the government during 1904 to dredge the harbour at Rustico, Prince Edward Island ?
2. Has the sandbank in the harbour been removed ?
3. If not, what steps are to be taken to remove it ?
4. How much has been spent on this work last season ; what were the means used in performing the work, and who had charge of it ?
5. How many vessels were lost or stranded on this bar during the season of 1904 ?
Hon. CHARLES HYMAN (Acting Minister of Public Works). No dredging was done during 1904.
5. According to information supplied by the Department of Marine and Fisheries, only one vessel was reported wrecked at Rustico, during the year 1904.


Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York). I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether it is his intention to give notice of resolutions in connection with the Autonomy Bill and when we may expect these resolutions.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. It is not expected that the second reading of this Bill will be taken for some time to come. I cannot say when the resolutions will be introduced, but they will be introduced in ample time for consideration on the second reading of the Bill.


Hon. GEORGE E. FOSTER. I would like to call the attention of the ministers to the delay in bringing down returns. The delay seems a little inordinate ; may be it is not, but I would like to draw the attention of the Premier to the following : There are the returns from the Minister of Railways with reference to the hay transport question. We think that by this time they should be ready and we would like to get them as soon as possible. Then there is one with reference to the Royal Mint and another, of which I cannot complain, because it has not been passed so long, with reference to public buildings in towns of 5,000 population, or less. That is a return which should take a very short time to prepare and I would be glad to have it as soon as possible.
Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals). I might explain with reference to the motion for a return for papers connected with the transportation of hay that the mails and trains have been so impeded in Cape Breton that we have not been able to gather up the certificates. They have to be brought in from the different stations to Moncton and then forwarded on here. We have been waiting for a complete return and I can assure my hon. friend that the information will be brought down at the earliest possible moment.
Mr. FOSTER. That is a fair excuse unless we throw it back 9n the minister and say he is there to see that the trains are kept running.


Mr. A. MARTIN. Before the Orders of the Day are called I would like to ask the Minister of Marine if the steamers have succeeded in renewing communication with Prince Edward Island ? What was the last trip the steamers made ?
Hon. RAYMOND PREFONTAINE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries). I am not informed that the ferry has been resumed. I understand the last trip was made a fortnight or three weeks ago.
Mr. A. MARTIN. That is very indefinite. Is it not four weeks ?
Mr. PREFONTAINE. I have not the exact date. Mr. A. MARTIN. Has communication been renewed or is it still at a standstill ?
Mr. PREFONTAINE. Communication has not been renewed.  


Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier). Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to ask the government if questions concerning the doings of the Transcontinental Railway Construction Commission can be answered and information can be obtained in regard to those questions, when they are asked in the usual form. I am tempted to seek this information because, on the 20th February instant, I put the following question:
1. Did the government, during the months of October and November, 1904, employ civil engineers to make a survey for a line of railway in the county of Joliette, Quebec ?
2. For what object was this work and survey undertaken by said engineers, and was this work and survey undertaken in connection with the proposed Transcontinental Railway ?
3. What was the total cost of this work and survey already accomplished by said engineers and their assistants ?
4. Have said engineers made their report concerning this work and survey ? If so, what was the date of said report ?
5. Who was the overseer charged with the direction of this work, and what salary did he receive ?
This question was answered in the following form :
Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals). The government did not during the months of October and November employ civil engineers to make a survey for a line of railway in the county of Joliette, but I have reason to assume that the Transcontinental Railway Commissioners made a survey through that county, not under the direction of the government.
The point to which I wish to draw the attention of the government is that it seems to me that the Transcontinental 1594 Construction Commission, is so to speak, a department of the government. I believe that under the rules, questions can be put in this House to the government, to the ministers and to individual members. This last form is seldom adopted. Most of these questions in fact can only be answered by information sought in the different departments, sometimes far from Ottawa. That information is obtained from officials of the government at some remote places. It seems to me that a question put in this form is pertinent and should have been answered on the principle that this commission is really a servant of the government. The practical object of my question is to know in what form, according to the rules, questions must be put. If they are put in the form suggested to me by the government, will questions be answered or is the Transcontinental Railway Commission a body independent of this House ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. The answer to my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) is to be found in a motion of which my hon. friend has himself given notice, asking all information with regard to these surveys. When the motion is reached, I have no doubt it will be carried, but it will have to be amended, because the information has to be obtained from the Transcontinental Railway Commission, and not from the government.
Mr. MONK. Perhaps my right hon. friend will allow me to say that that is not the information which I sought by my question. The information sought by the question I put was simply in relation to the fact. In the motion I asked for a copy of the report, detailed accounts of expenses and the names of the parties employed. The question I put had reference to a department of the government, and I think should have been answered in the form in which it was put.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. If my hon. friend wants the information, he will have to make a motion. We have not the information in our hands, but shall have to obtain it from the commission itself.


Mr. J. H. LAMONT (Saskatchewan). Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called, I wish to ask the Prime Minister if the Bill providing for the creation of the province of Saskatchewan fixes the permanent capital at Regina, as stated in one of the evening papers yesterday ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. No. It is provisional only, and subject to the will and the determination of the legislature.


House in committee on Bill (No. 36) to amend the Railway Act, 1903.—Mr. Fitzpatrick.


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



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