The Board has established co-operation, in the handling
Fire Protectionof its railway fire inspection work, with governmental .
fire-protective organizations in all of the forest provinces with the single exception of Nova Scotia. In that province the situation reported a year ago still exists, and active co-operation is still pending, awaiting the appointment of a provincial forester, for which appointment provision has been made by law. Fire protection in general, and the railway situation in particular, would benefit greatly by the early appointment of a qualified man to this position.
At the past two annual meetings attention was called to the need for more adequate control of railway fire-protective work in a number of the provinces, along lines not subject to the Board of Railway Commissioners. This situation has, to a considerable extent, been cleared up during the past year.
Lines Brought Under the terms of the Canadian Northern Railway Under Railway Guarantee Act, a number of provincially-chartered lines Board. in the Canadian Northern system have been declared works for the general advantage of Canada, and thus come under the Board's jurisdiction. Of these, the most important are the Halifax and Southwestern, in Nova Scotia; the Quebec and Lake St. John, in Quebec ; and the Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa, in Ontario. Also, the Canadian Northern Pacific, comprising the British Columbia lines of the Canadian Northern system, will come under the Board when it is completed and opened for operation.
The International railway of New Brunswick, a provincially-chartered line, has been absorbed into the Government Railways system. The International runs through an almost solid forest, so that its acquisition by the Intercolonial serves to emphasize the need for the adoption of the same fire-protective measures upon Government lines as are required by the Government, through the Railway Commission, upon lines privately-owned. Upon the International, in particular, there is needed the establishment of special fire patrols and a thorough cleaning up of the right-of-way. Also, the special instructions to regular employees relative to reporting and extinguishing fires, issued during the past two summers, by the management of the Intercolonial, should be repeated prior to April 1, 1915, and each spring thereafter.
A year ago a resolution was adopted by the Commission, urging that Government railways should be made subject to the Railway Commission, so far as fire protection is concerned. However, this action has not yet been taken.