Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (23 July 1866)

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Date: 1866-07-23
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 55-56.
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  • (p. 55)


MONDAY, July 23rd, 1866.

The SPEAKER took the chair at 3 o’clock.

On the orders of the day being called,

Mr. Smith (Durham) moved that the order for the third reading of the bill to amend and extend the provisions of the act incorporating the Port Hope, Lndsay and Beaverton Railway Company, and the acts amending the same, be discharged, and that the said bill be now referred to Committee of the whole. —Carried.

The House went into Committee and reported the same with amendments. The bill was then read a third time.

The following bills were read a third time and passed: —

To incorporate the Ecclesiastical Society of St. John, of the Diocese of Kingston. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Macdonald.

To incorporate the “Institute des Artisans Canadiens de Montreal. —Hon. Atty.-Gen. Cartier.

The following bills passed throughCommitte: —

To confirm and make valid the Will of the late George Desbarats in Upper Canada. —Mr. Street.

To incoproate the Board of Trade of the CItyt of London. —Hon. Mr. Carling.

To authorize the Corporation of St. Vincent to construct a Harbor and impose dues, and for other purposes. —Mr. Jackson.

To incorporate the St. Hyacinthe New Passenger Bridge Company. —Hon. Mr. Laframboise.

To amend the Charter of the British and Canadian School Society of Montreal. —Mr. Dunkin.

To erect a new Municipality in the County of Beauharnois, under the name of “St. Etienne de Beauharnois.” —Mr. Denis.

To erect the Township of Wickham into two separate Municipalities. —Mr. J.B.E. Dorion.

To incorporate the Twon of Bothwell, an therd to define the limits thereof. —Mr. McKellar.

To authorize the Wyoming Petroleum Company, to hold and convey certain lands (and amendments.) —Mr. Mackenzie.

To authorize the New York and Canada Oil Company to hold and convey lcertain lands. —Mr. McKenzie.

To incorporate the Simcoe County Bank. Mr. Ferguson (South Simcoe.)

To amend the Act incorporating the Quebec Marine Insurance Company. —Hon. Mr. Alleyn.

Hon. Mr. Rose moved the House into Committee on a Bill to legalize and confirm an agreement made between the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada and the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway Company.

He said the House would remember that he had promised that certain amendments would be moved to the bill in the Railway Committee, having for their object an arrangement for an inter change of cars between the Great Western and the Grand Trunk Companies, and for continuous running between the two companies at certain connecting points. These amendments were offered in Committee, but were refused on behalf of the Great Western Company, and they had been withdrawn, as it was not considered judicious to put in clauses into the private bill of one company for the purpose of compelling another company to perform duties towards the public which it had declined to assume. He was glad, however, that the member for Huron had introduced a bill embracing the amendments to which hehad referred, and he begged now to say that the bill had come back from the Railway Committee precisely in the same state as it had passed the second reading.

Mr. Street said the very reason that the bill was just the same as when it was last before the House ought to be sufficient to induce the House to reject it. He moved, seconded by Mr. McGiverin, that the House go into committee on said bill this day three months (cries of “lost,” “carried” and “call in the members.”)

Mr. McKellar as a Western member stated that he was very much opposed to the bill and regretted to see it in the hands of a gentleman from Lower Canada. He believed that no Upper Canadian would have taken charge of it. Though not unfriedly towards the G.T., and though he admitted that it had done the country a great deal of good, he was strongly opposed to its getting any more power. The country had already seen too much of its power, and if this bill were carried it would put the company in a position to control not only the traffic of the country, but the legislation of this House.

After a few words from Messrs. Parker and J.B.E. DORION the members were called in and the amendment negative. Yeas 43; Nays 47.

YEAS—Bourassa, Bowman, Bown, Burwell, Carling, Cowan, Dorion (Drummond and Arthabaska), Dufresne (Iberville), Dunkin, Gagnon, Geoffrion, Haultain, Holton, Houde, Howland, Jones, (N. Leeds and Grenville), Laframboise, Lajoie, Macdonald, (Toronto West), McFarlane, McKenzie (Lambton), Magill, McConkey, McGivern, McKellar, McMonies, Oliver, Paquet, Parker, Perrault, Powell, Rankin, Ross, (Prince Edward), Rymal, Scatcherd, Scoble, Street, Thibaudeau, Thompson, Wells, White, Wilson, Wright, (Ottawa County). —43.

NAYS—Alleyn, Archambeault, Beaubien, Bellerose, Blanchet, Cameron, (North Ontario), Cartier, (Attorney-General), Cauchon, Chambers, Chapais, Cockburn, Cornellier, Currier, De Boucherville, Denis, De Niverville, Dickson, Dufresne, (Montcalm), Fortier, Gaucher, Gaudet, Gibbs, Hardwood, Irvine, Jackson, Knight, Langevin, Macdonald, (Glengarry), McDougall, McGee, McIntyre, Morrison, O’Halloran, Pinsonneault, Pouliot, Poupore, Robitaille, Rose, Ross, (Champlain,) Ross, (Dundas), Shanly, Smith, (East Durham), Somerville, Tremblay, Walsh, Webb, Wood. —47.

The House then went into committee on the bill, Mr. Shanly in the chair.

Mr. Rankin immediately moved that the committee rise. He made a long speech against the bill, contending among other things, that the bill should have been referred to the shareholders of the companies concerned.

Hon. Mr. Rose said there was little need of going again over the arguments in favor of the bill. It was an acknowledged fact that either the Grand Trunk or the Great Western Railway must control the Buffalo and Lake Huron Road, and he contended that by its being in the hands of the latter the trade of the country had the benefit of a healthy competition between the two routes, whereas its control by the Great Western would undoubtedly establish a monopoly.

Mr. Jones (North Leeds) said we had been annoyed with legislation enough on behalf of the Grand Trunk Railway. When he saw the Western members come down to this House and protest against the amalgamation, gentlemen who thoroughly understood the question, and whose constituents were particularly interested against this bill, he thought it the duty of this Huse to reject it.

He did not consider the question with reference to the Great Western Railway; he considered it in the interests of the country, and it was not for these interests that the power of the Grand Trunk should be increased. He said the indebtedness of the country at the present time, on behalf of the Grand Trunk Railway, (pcinipal and interest,) was $35,000,000. He made a strong appeal to members not to increase its power by passing this bill, which would even prove detrimental to Central Canada. Why not allow the Buffalo and Lake Huron Road to be sold like the Ottawa and Prescott?

It being six o’clock the Committee adjourned.

Evening Sitting.

Mr. Jones resumed the debate. He said he proposed to give a history of the Grand Trunk from its inception to the present time. (Laughter).

His reason for this was, that every tme the Legislature had been appealed to on behalf of this Company, it had been promised that it would be the last. First, the country had been promised the road for £5,000 per mile, but the contract had been signed in London for the road from Montreal to Toronto, at the rate of £9,000 sterling per mile, more than double the amount, and the western branch to Sarnia had been let at £8,000 stg., instead of £5,000 currency. Mr. Jones continued to refer to Grand Trunk legislation and its connection with the Government of the country, and said he deferred to the opinion of Western members, and would vote against the bill, believing that by so doing he would be serving the best interests of the country.

Mr. Powell would not have said a word on the subject, had it not been for the reference made to the Ottawa and Prescott Railway, by the member for Montreal Centre. The hon. gentleman endeavored to show that the same reasons should apply to the Buffalo and Lake Huron, as applied to the case of the Ottawa and Prescott; now, he (Mr. P.) could inform the House that not one of the promises, made by the Grand Trunk, had been fairly carried out. When this Company had fairly carried out. When this Company had failed to carry out its agreements with the Ottawa and Prescott, he believed it would be quite as likely to fail in crrying out its agreement with the Buiffalo and Lake Huron. The Western members were the best judges of the utility of the measure, and as they were generally opposed to it, he should consider it his duty, as an Ottawa member, to oppose it.

Mr. Jackson said the experience of the Ottawa and Prescott road should not apply to the case under consideration. It ought to be viewed simply on its own meris. Now, the Buffalo and Lake Huron Co. had entered into an agreement with the Grand Trunk Company.

That Company ought to be the judge of its own affairs, and it had made an arrangement with the Grand Trunk Company, no doubt for its own benefit, which the Grand Trunk now asked Parliament to sanction. That Company no doubt understood its own business sufficiently well, to know that unless it accommodated the public, it would fail to secure its patronage. He believed it would serve the interests of the country to sanction the agreement between these two Companies, and he would accordingly support the bill.

Mr. Dufresne, (Montcalm) addressed the House in French in support of the bill.

Mr. McGiverin rose to a point of order, he hoped the hon. member would speak in English. If the bill were to be carried by French votes, he would like to hear the argument in English.

Mr. Dufresne—The hon. member for Lincoln should know better than to interrupt him. If he spoke in English he (Mr. McGiverin) would not listen, and if he did not understand French he should learn it. (Laughter.)

Mr. Cartier said that the Great Western Railway owed its very existence as a corporation to these French votes of which honorable members were now complaining. It was very unjust on the part of those pretending to be friendly to the Great Western Company to reproach the French members with the votes which they might give on this bill. In 1851 the Great Western Railway charter was opposed by the lake Hon. W. Hamilton Merritt, who wanted a Lake Shore line. The late Sir Allan McNab, on behalf of the Great Western Company appealed to the Lower Canadians for their support.

He explained to them that the Great Western was more of a Canadian enterprise than the Lake Shore one, and they supported it. That Company therefore owed its existence as a corporation todau to the votes of the Lower Canadians, and it was not becoming its friends to reproach them for their votes on this occasion. They would support this bill for the same reason, because the Grand Trunk was more of a Canadian railway than the Great Western Railway. The bill would benefit the country by directing traffic towards Montreal rather than to the American markets of which the Great Western was a feeder. He would vote for the bill himself, and he hoped his calumniated fellow countrymen would vote for it too in the interests both of Upper and of Lower Canada.

Mr. McKenzie spoke against the bill. He hoped the Attorney-General East would permit the Western members to be the judges of their own interests, and he thanked the members for Carleton and North Leeds for having paid so much deference to the opinions of members from the West. The Grad Trunk had already too much influence; it had been painfully witnessed in the House to-day, and when members who two  years ago, who one year ago, voted against it, had the audacity (order!) now to stand up and speak in favor in defiance of their constituents it was time that the influence of the company should be resisted.

The argument of the danger to the country from amalgamating two poerful companies had never yet been met, and if this bill was carried the next step would be a bill amalgamating the Grand Trunk and Great Western. He had heard that certain parties interested in a Southern railway bill introduced to-day had been canvassing for support tot eh amalgamation bill, on the ground that if the Lake Shore members would support it then the Grand Trunk wouldget the Southern bill through the House. It really appeared as if the Grand Trunk was a power in the land, strnger than the government itself.

Col. Haultain opposed the bill. When he heard the Atty.-Gen East was speaking for the bill he forgot his position in the Government, and regarded him only as the paid servant of the Grand Trunk Company. The Minister of Agriculture had also been said to owe his position in the House to the support of that Company. He then spoke strongly against the political power which would be wielded by the Grand Trunk Company if the bill were carried. He dreaded  the future if it would pass, for the Grand Trunk would swallow up every road in the country, and control the political destinies of the country.

Mr. Walsh said those gentlemen who opposed the bill in the House, had allowed it to be carried in the Railway Committee, where it might have been discussed fairly, without raising a single objection. He (Mr. W.) was opposed to the principle of amalgamation, but that principle was not raised by this bill. —The Legislature had already pronounced in favor of this principle, and it was not now the time to reconsider it. When he found the member for Huron, who represented the largest constiutuency in Western Canada, and one more directly interested in the […]

  • (p. 56)

[…] Buffalo and Lake Huron Road than any other, who in former years opposed the bill, now coming down and explaining that the agreement which the Buffalo and Lake Huron Company had entered into with the Grand-Trunk, had been found after a trial to be of great advantage to the country, he had no hesitation in supporting the bill to legalize that agreement.

Mr. Rankin spoke in very strong language against the passage of the bill, accusing its supporters of being utterly regardless of the interest of the country. In reply to Mr. Cartier, he said the Great Western had cost twice as much money as the Southern line, which the Lower Canada votes had defeated in 1851, would have done. Sir Allan McNab had favored the Great Western for the same reason, that he (Mr. C) now favored the Grand Trunk for his own interest.

Mr. Dickson said as he had been referred to be wished to say a few words. He represented a constituency more interested in this bill than any other, and he might be permitted to remind the House, that since the abolition of the Reciprocity Treaty, a greater amount of wheat had to seek an outlet by way of Montreal, and he exceedingly regretted that the gentlemen representing the Great Western Railway had refused to agree to the proposed amendments, for interchange of cars which would have been of great benefit in the forwarding of produce.

In his opinion, the proposed interchange of cars would be equivalent to an addition of one-eighth to the rolling stock of the two companies, while it would do away with the delay which occurred in transferring produce from one line to another. The grain buyers on the line of the Great Western would also be relieved of the cost of transhipment, by which the farmers would realize so much more on their produce. His constituency raised one-ninth of the entire wheat grown in Upper Canada, and the House would understand the advantage it derived from the agreement, when he stated that wheat was now carried to Montreal at 4 cents a bushel less than formerly. A great change had taken place among his constituents on this question.

The committee divided and the motion to rise was lost. Yeas 40; Nays 53.

The bill then passed through Committee and was ordered to a third reading tomorrow.

The following bills passed though Committee and ordered to a third reading tomorrow.

To enable the Municipality of the Town of Belleville to purchase a site for a public Cemetery, and to exempt the Roman Catholic rate payers of the said Municipality from taxation on account of the same (from Legislative Council). – Mr. Wallbridge (North Hastings).

To enable Pierre Eymard Jay, and the Honourable Louis Antoine Dessaulies, to take out conjointly, patents of the invention for different machines and inventions in this Act mentioned – Hon. Mr. Laframboise

To incorporate the Village of New Edinburgh – Mr. Currier

To provide for the Sale of the Reciprocity in this Province. – Hon. Mr. Cameron

To authorize the Trustees of the Presbyterian Congregation of the Town of Woodstock, in contention with the Church of Scotland, to sell certain lots in the said Town, held by these in trust of the said Congregation (from Legislative Council). – Mr. McKeller

To vest certain funds in the Rector and Church wardens of St. James’ Church, Toronto (from Legislative Council) – Mr. Cameron (N. Ontario)

To legalize By-Law No. 7, appropriating a certain sum of money for the construction of several roads and harbours in the County of [text missing] – Mr. Dickson

On the motion for the House in Committee on bill to confer on the Ottawa College the rights and powers of an University – Mr. Currier.

Mr. McKellar wished to hear the view of the Government on this bill.

Mr. Dunkin thought this a very important measure. Parliament had already given University powers to one Catholic College in Upper Canada. There were in Upper Canada, the Toronto University, non-[text missing]; Trinity College, Church of England Queen’s College, Presbyterian; Victoria College, Methodist, and now Regionpolis, [text missing] the power of conferring degrees, and he hoped that the question would be well considered before this other College was endowed with the same powers, otherwise there was danger of lowering the standard of education in the country.

Hon. J. H. Cameron agreed with the member for Brome, and spoke in favor of having the separate Colleges affiliated with one University, by which the standard of education would be in no danger of being reduced as the competition between the different Colleges would maintain it.

Hon. J. S. MacDonald addressed the House on the subject, but his remarks were imperfectly heard.

Hon. J. A. MacDonald had a great authority, that of Dr. Ryerson, with him, that while the Common School Education should be secular, the child learning religion at its mother’s knee; the higher institution of education, those having a status above the Common School system, should be strictly denominational. He felt strongly the force of this proposition that the young man when he left the parental roof should be placed under proper control as to his religious principles, forthen it was that he was in real danger.

As to this College at Ottawa, he had no faer of any consequence following its elevation to the dignity of an University, which would tend to degrade the standard of education. On the contrary, he had every confidence that the consequence would be quite the reverse, and that perhaps in the course of a few years, the Colleges of Regiopolis and Ottawa might combine under one University Charter.

Mr. Scoble spoke against denominational Colleges.

Mr. M. C. Cameron did not quite agree with the views of the Attorney-General West. He thought it would be a mistake to create two Universities in the same denominational body, when one would really be more to their interest. He was not prepared, however, at this stage to refuse to the Ottawa College what the House had hoped that some arrangement would be come to between them whereby they would amalgamate.

Hon. T. D. McGee said a few words in favor of freedom of education

Mr. Wright said it was the unanimous desire of the Catholic body of this part of the country, that the Ottawa College should be clothed with University powers. He quite agreed with the remarks of the Attorney-General West.

Mr. Dunkin said as he had begun the discussion, he wished to say a few words at the conclusion. He took the opportunity of denying that he had opposed the granting of University powers to Regiopolis College, nor did he wish to oppose any measure which was deemed advantageous to the educational interests of any class. But he believed the proper way, would be to have all the Catholic Colleges in Upper Canada under one University.

Mr. Powell congratulated the House on the tone of the House, different from that which used to pervade it in former times, when such questions were brought before it. It was be approaching these questions in the temperate manner which now pervaded the House, that they could be settled in the interests of the country. He dissented from the irreligious principles of the Attorney-General West, (laughter) and maintained that religion ought to be taught in schools. From his personal knowledge of Ottawa College, he did not hesitate to say that it was an institution which did not credit to the Province.

The House then went into Committee on the bill, and reported the same without amendment.

The following bills also passed through Committee:

To authorize the Hartford Oil Company to hold and convey certain lands. – Mr. Mackenzie

To amend the Church Temporalities Act. – Honourable Mr. Cameron

The following bills were read a second time.

To incorporate the Long Point Company. – Mr. McGivern.

To incorporate the Town of Victoriaville. – Mr. Georgian

To adjust the Boundary Lines and settle the titles in certain Ranges of the Township of Grenville. – Hon. Mr. Abbott

To authorize Margaret Besserer to sell a block of land in Ottawa, for the benefit to her son the devise, a minor. – Mr. Currier

To enable Joseph Robinson Bawden to be examined by the Law Society of Upper Canada, for admission to practice as an Attorney and Solicitor. Mr. Cartwright.

To incorporate the Bank of London (from Legislative Council). Hon. Mr. Carling

To place the Wesleyan Methodist Church and property situated on the South side of Queen Street, in the City of Toronto, under the direction of the “Model deed” of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, in connection with the English conference for the better management thereof under said Deed (from legislative Council). – Mr. Cameron (North Ontario).

To amend the Act incorporating the Canadian Institute of the City of Ottawa. – Mr. Currier

To authorize the Town Council of the Town of Brantford to build a Drill Shed on a certain piece of land. – Mr. Bown

To incorporate the Ursuline Academy of Chatham (form legislative Council). Mr. McKellar

The following bills were read a third time and passed:

To amend Chapter 26 of the Consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada respecting certain Water-courses. – Mr. Bourassa

To amend the law relating to Crown Debtors in Upper Canada – Hon. Mr. Cameron

To amend Chapter 70 of the Consolidated Statues for Lower Canada, intitule, “An Act respecting Joint Stock Companies for the construction for Roads and certain other works. – Mr. De Niverville

To amend the Common Law Procedure Act of Upper Canada. – Hon. Mr. Cameron

To amend Section 9 of Chapter 6 of the consolidated Statues for Upper Canada, respecting Tavernkeepers and the sale of Intoxicating Liquors. – Mr. Archambault.

The House adjourned before 12 o’clock.

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