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The best choice in unfortunate circumstances the

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The Best Choice in unfortunate circumstances The Borden government priority was to acquire both Grant Trunk Railway and its subsidiary Grant Trunk Pacific. Prior to the War, US UK and Canada government did not have intention to operate railway, however, the war has changed the situation. (Britain immediately nationalized railways for the duration of the war, even in the free-enterprise US, government temporarily took over the railway for a period in the spring of 1918) The federal government has intended to obtain the GTR’s well-established feeder(branch) systems in Ontario and Quebec to complement the various systems took over in 1917 The GTR was persuading the government to take the GTP since it has been a major drain on its parent (GTP ran from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert in BC which had limited traffic because of an absence of feeder lines that both CNR and CPR has). Arthur Meighen refused to provide any additional financial support to the GTR 1919 after the WW I post war recession followed, the GTR could no longer operate the GTP subsidiary line, the government appointed the minister of railway and canals J.D Reid as receiver in charge of managing and taking over the bankrupt line. Meighen’s stand is that public ownership was appropriate in the case of a ‘Monopoly’.(although the nearly created CN would be competing with CPR, in most area the two companies would not competing with each other) House of Common had two arguments the bill of to acquire the GTR: 1. the government should acquire GTP and let GTR to continue operating 2. The government should let the GTR go bankrupt rather than take over a losing proposition.
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Meighen responded, the new Canadian National (CN) needed the GTR lines in the eastern Canada to complete its system in a logical fashion. Although it have good feeder line in the west, the same was required in the more populous east. He also contended (argued) that liquidation of GTR would lead inevitably (eventual) to the CPR’s acquisition of the GTR which is not tolerable. 1919 Nov 5 the GTR acquisition act was passed and nationalized the GTR. For the next seventy year Canada was unique in the world, possessing two major railroads that competed with each other- one a crown Corporation, CN, owned by the government, the other owned by shareholders, the CP. What should Arthur Meighen have done? The roots of the railway mess was lay in the previous government’s failure to create one transcontinental line to compete with the CPR back in 1903, rather than allowing for the possibility of two. Laurier’s third transcontinental line the CNR for the 7.5 million populations was unsustainable and the authorization compounded the problem. Both CNR and GTR had week to non-existent feeder systems in large parts of their territory.
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The Best Choice in unfortunate circumstances The Borden...

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