April 17, 1901

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An hon. MEMBER.

Where is Toronto V

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Toronto is not in it. 1 have nothing against the great city of Toronto, which is the capital of the province in which I live.

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An hon. MEMBER.

What about Halifax ?

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Well, it will come in some way, but the Georgian Bay canal, I believe, will be built ; and when it is. the result will be, in my opinion, what I have stated. I have no preference for any one city in Canada, except that if I wanted to choose a city in which to live, I would like to live in the city of Quebec. Next to that, I would like to live in Halifax.

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An hon. MEMBER.

Next, Toronto.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I would like, before living in the city of Toronto, to have its views enlarged and its bigotry lessened. I think I have said all that I desire to say now on this question. I am anxious to see Canada developed in every possible way. I want to see the St. Lawrence route improved in every possible way, but I do not want to see an artificial channel built from Quebec to Montreal, because I believe it was never required, and is not required to-day.

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LIB

Daniel Gallery

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL GALLERY (Montreal, St. Ann's).

I would like, Mr. Speaker, to ask the last speaker (Mr. Edwards) how it is that the city of Quebec, although it has received from the Dominion government some

$5,000,000 or $8,000,000, cannot, even with the expenditure of all this money, be made a national port ? I fail to understand the objection of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Edwards) to the improvement of the channel between Montreal and Quebec. It seems to me that the deepening of that channel is as much in the interests of the people of the west, as it is in the interests of the people of Montreal themselves. Looking over the record, I find that in the past fifteen or twenty years, the government has expended on canals and harbours throughout (this Dominion some $20,000,000, of which Montreal has never received one cent. It seems to me. therefore, high time that Montreal should take a decided stand, and insist on getting what it is entitled to. Compare the customs revenues received at that port with those received at other ports in the Dominion. In the year 1900, the revenue from customs duties alone received at Montreal, amounted to $9,000,000, whereas the customs dues received at the port of Quebec only amounted to $961,000, at Halifax, $1,252,000. and at St. John. $S97,000, or, in other words, the revenue collected in Montreal was three times as large as that of the other three ports I have mentioned.

I have no desire to detain the House by entering into a long discussion of the subject before us, after the very thorough treatment it has received at the hands of the two representatives from the city of Montreal who preceded me. It is clear that what the board of trade to-day is most interested in, is the erection of elevators, and I feel confident that this government will see the justice of their demands, and meet the views of all those who are interested in the supremacy of our great national port. I regret that one discordant note with regard to the improving of the channel between Montreal and Quebec should have been sounded by the hon. gentleman who last addressed the House (Mr. Edwards), but I have no doubt that the views in that respect to which he gave expression are not those of the great majority of hon. members, and that this House and the government will appreciate the necessity, in the interests of the whole country, of doing everything possible to improve our great national highway.

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LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. R. R. DOBELL (Quebec West).

I thought we had pretty well threshed out this question when the subject of transpor-: tation was up before the House some time ago, but I must crave the indulgence of the House if I rise to reply to some remarks of the hon. gentleman who has just spoken (Mr. Gallery) and of the hon. member for the St. Lawrence division of Montreal (Mr. Roddick). The hon. gentleman who last spoke said that the government had not done anything for the port of Montreal. I was carried back a period of nearly thirty years, when the same 'question was debated

pretty warmly, not in this House, but in the Dominion Board of Trade. Among those who were present at that meeting were Hon. John Young, Hon. Thomas White, Hugh McLennan, and Mr. Cramp. I do not think that at that time you could find four abler or better representatives of the city of Montreal. These gentlemen took part in a discussion with the members from Quebec and Kingston. A resolution was moved on behalf of Quebec, which I would like to read, for it is very short, and because I happened to be there and to move this resolution. I considered at that time that it was quite worthy of consideration, and I believe that it is as worthy of consideration by this House to-day before we continue the very extravagant and costly work of deepening and widening Lake St. Peter. The resolution reads as follows :

That this board would urge the government to lose no time in carrying out the improving of the highway from the west to the ocean ; and that it is also desirable, before it is committed to any scheme for deepening Lake St. Peter, to consider whether the harbour of Quebec could not be utilized and made capable, at a comparatively small outlay, to accommodate and tranship the commodities from Europe to our western towns, and also the grain and produce of our western towns, to Europe, and also the grain and produce of the west to Europe, at a less cost and with greater economy ihan by an extensive and costly work, such as deepening Lake St. Peter.

A statement was made at that time which I think this House might well consider today. Wheat can be carried from the west to Quebec for 1 cent per bushel more than to Montreal and from Quebec to Europe for 3 cents per bushel less than from Montreal to Europe. Thus there is a saving on shipments by Quebec of 2 cents per bushel. Now, Mr. McLennan is reported as having made this very emphatic statement. He

-begged leave to correct the gentlemen from Quebec and Hamilton; he (Mr. McLennan) had already stated on this floor that Montreal did not now desire to have any public money spent for the purpose of deepening Lake St. Peter.

He was followed by Hon. John Young in a similar strain and also by Hon. Thomas White, of whom it is reported :

He discountenanced the idea of asking the government to deepen the channel through Lake St. Peter, and said if the government would grant them the power, the people of Montreal would do It themselves.

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CON
LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. DOBELL.

It was in 1873. Mr. White also said :

Let the Quebec people afford the facilities for doing western trade and they would get It ; and if they outstripped Montreal in the competition they would deserve their reward ; but they ought not to come to this board and ask support for a movement that was the same in principle, as that they had denounced when

asked by others. Why should they ask the government to survey the harbour of Quebec unless they were to Improve It? Why not let Quebec survey her own harbour, just as Montreal did?

I do not admit that it would be better for each harbour to improve its own advantages. But again I claim that when the hon. members from Montreal stand up and declare in this House that the government have done nothing for Montreal-not one dollar-I think that what my hon. friend from the St. Lawrence stated

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKEBDIKE.

Does the hon. gentleman contradict that statement ?

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LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. DOBELL.

Most distinctly. I point out what the Montreal delegates of that time claimed. They distinctly discon-tenanced the idea of asking the government to spend one penny in deepening Lake St. Peter. I am not going to say that I follow these gentlemen to that extreme. I have said over and over again that it is the duty of this country to widen and deepen such channels and to give every facility for bringing the largest steamers up from the ocean to Montreal if necessary, but, if it can be done at a much less cost to the whole Dominion, then I claim they should not carry it beyond the harbour of Quebec. But, if it cannot be done cheaper, if it will not be a greater advantage to the large steam barges and their consorts to come from the far west to Quebec and for the oceangoing steamers to load in Quebec than to go to Montreal-which I claim is the common sense view to take of it-we will join cordially with Montreal in having the channel deepened and widened, for we must offer to the far west every possible advantage for bringing the trade by the St. Lawrence.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

In what condition is the harbour of Quebec to-day ? What would it require to do this trade ?

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LIB

Richard Reid Dobell (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. DOBELL.

It is a credit to Quebec.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Is it ready now to do this trade ? Are there the facilities ?

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LIB
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Elevators and everything else ?

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LIB
?

An hon. MEMBER.

There are two.

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LIB

April 17, 1901