April 30, 1901

CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

If the government do this, in a very few years they will have an enormous increase in customs and excise duties that will come pouring into the Dominion treasury. Now, I shall say a word or two In regard to the financial aspect.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

What does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Prior) think the population of British Columbia is now ?

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I think the population of British Columbia at the present time is about 180,000. Of these there are about 35,000 Indians, Chinese and Japanese. I think that will be found to be about the population.

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IND
CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I should think there would be 150,000 or 160,000 whites. Of course, it is only surmise on my part. Anybody who has read this correspondence that has taken place between the provincial government and the Dominion government, will see that the premier of British Columbia says that since confederation the province of British Columbia has paid into the Dominion treasury the enormous sum of $42,475,349. I suppose these figures are correct, because I cannot believe they would have been put forward in a document of this sort on such responsibility unless great care had been taken in their compilation. The Dominion government have paid back to the province in every manner possible, for subsidy, interest on loan, railway subsidies, customs, and for anything that can possibly be found in the Auditor General's Report, $28,968,091, leaving a balance still in the Dominion treasury to the credit of British Columbia of $13,507,258. That is to say, the people of British Columbia have paid out more than they have received to the amount of that sum. Every other province in the Dominion, I believe I am right in saying, and if I am not, there are plenty of lion, gentlemen who will check me, has received far more than it has paid into the treasury. If that is not the ease, how is it that the public debt has increased from $122,400,000 in 1872, to $346,206,000 in 1900, or an increase of $223,806,000. Not one cent of that has gone to British Columbia, because we find that she is credited with $13,1)00,000 odd. She has not only paid that $13,000,000 but she is responsible for a share of the increase of the public debt.

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An hon. MEMBER.

What about the Canadian Pacific Railway ?

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

The Canadian Pacific Railway is not taken into account, for the simple reason that it is not a British Columbia railway. It is just as much for the benefit of Prince Edward Island as for the province of British Columbia. It is a national highway.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Its construction was one of the conditions upon which British Columbia came into confederation.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

As my hon. friend (Mr. Clancy) says it was one of the conditions under which British Columbia came into confederation.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Would my hon. friend (Mr. Prior) reverse the rule in reference to the Prince Edward Island Railway, and say it is for the benefit of British Columbia.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I do not think it is. I do not think the railway built from Victoria to Nanaimo is for the benefit of the rest of the Dominion. But the $750,000 given as a bonus to that railway by the Dominion government as part of the terms of confederation, is included in the sum which I say has been spent in British Columbia.

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CON

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

The Canadian Pacific Railway is in the same situation.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Just exactly the same; for the benefit of the whole Dominion. W'hen I stated last year that British Columbia paid more revenue per head than any other province in the Dominion, even than Nova Scotia, the Minister of Railways and Canals doubted my statement very much. I was then under the difficulty of having to say that I had not reckoned up what Nova Scotia did pay, but I am happy to say that I am not in that position this year. I have gone very carefully through the Public Accounts, and I have before me now exactly the revenue paid by Nova Scotia. I am therefore able to compare it with the revenue paid by British Columbia. I will give the figures paid by British Columbia first. The revenue paid by British Columbia into the Dominion treasury for the year ending 30th June, 1900, is as follows

British Columbia Revenue (June 30, 1900).

Customs

$2,358,726 73Excise

512,494 92Public Works (Esquimalt dock) _________ 6,659 94Sick Mariners' Fund

9,078 02Steamboat Inspection

6,188 18Gas inspection and law stamps .... 4,225 50Weights and measures

1,211 05Fisheries

53,195 35Miscellaneous

6,382 47Fines

7,519 44Excise seizures

72 15Superannuation

56 00Penitentiaries

1,627 97

Post Office-

Gross postal revenue

237,355 90Commission

15,895 28Total

$3,220,688 90

I will now give to the House the revenue

paid by Nova Scotia into the Dominion

treasury, and in quoting these figures I do not do so with the idea of belittling Nova Scotia, or in any way hurting the feelings of any Nova Scotian. But, if a member of this parliament believes that his province is not getting its just dues, I believe it is his duty to show what other provinces are getting in comparison. The revenue paid by Nova Scotia into the Dominion treasury for the year ending 30th June, 1900, is as follows :-

Nova Scotia Revenue (year ending June 30,1900).

Customs

$1,907,847 73Excise

232,986 61Public Works, minor

3,773 02Sick Mariners' Fund

22,624 85Steamboat Inspection

4,459 22Gas inspection and law stamps _________ 1,333 75Weights and measures

3,485 45Fisheries

5,494 49Fines

1,171 86Excise seizures

688 56Superannuation

74 00Penitentiary Post Office

306,706 81Commission received from public .. 12,949 73Total

$2,503,596 08

I can, perhaps, congratulate the Finance Minister that Nova Scotia paid no revenue from her penitentiaries, as she has none.

It will be, therefore, seen that British Columbia paid into the Dominion treasury 28 per cent more revenue than Nova Scotia did. I have before me the estimated population of Nova Scotia; estimated by the statistician on the same basis as the Minister of Finance estimates population when giving his calculation. On April 4th, 1900, Nova Scotia had a population of 459,434, and therefore Nova Scotia paid 85.45 per head into the Dominion treasury. The population of British Columbia, estimated on the same basis on the 4th of April, 1900, was 181,950, and therefore British Columbia paid 817.70 per head of her population into the Dominion treasury, or more than three times that which Nova Scotia paid per head of her population. Out of this population in British Columbia of 181,950, there are, I believe, between 30,000 and 35,000 Chinese, Japanese and Indians, and of course they do not pay nearly as much per head into the treasury as the white population do.

I have not estimated this year, as I did last year, what British Columbia has received in return from the Dominion treasury, but any one can see from the estimates this year that they are not quite so large for British Columbia as they were last year, when I showed that British Columbia paid something like 81.800,000 more per annum than she received back from the treasury. Those who have looked over the Auditor General's Beport and the estimates from year to year, will not deny that more has been spent in Nova Scotia by the Dominion government than has been spent in Mr. PRIOR.

British Columbia. I can make that assertion without fear of contradiction from any gentleman in this House, although I have not been able to devote the immense amount of time and labour necessary to the collation of these figures. Now, Sir, let us compare the customs and excise revenues of these different provinces. For the year ending the 30th June, 1900, British Columbia paid in customs and excise together $2,867,273.98 ; Nova Scotia paid $2,137,958.44 ; New Brunswick paid $1,353,307.44. Therefore, British Columbia paid over $730,000 more in customs and excise than did Nova Scotia.

Taking the imports and exports together the total trade done by British Columbia was $28,412,344; by Nova Scotia $23,255,089; by New Brunswick $20,839,215. This shows that in exports and imports British Columbia was ahead of either of these two provinces.

In sea-going tonnage, inwards and outwards, we find that British Columbia, with only nine ports of entry, had 3,915,969 tons. Nova Scotia with 91 ports had 4,545,144 tons. New Brunswick with 30 ports of entry had 2,002,093 tons. This shows that Nova Scotia had about 111 per cent more tonnage than British Columbia, and New Brunswick had just half the tonnage that British Columbia had. Nova Scotia, with 2J times the population of British Columbia pays $730,000 less duty than British Columbia, and has $5,000,000 less trade in imports and exports.

I now propose to show the increase in excise and customs duty in British Columbia owing to the development of that province. The customs and excise duty paid by British Columbia for the year 1900 amounted to $2,867,273.98, or an increase of $243,456.62 over the year 1899. I may call the attention of hon. gentlemen to the fact that this is in addition to the goods which British Columbia bought in eastern Canada, and on which duty had already been paid. The merchants of British Columbia buy a tremendous quantity of goods from eastern merchants, upon which duty has been paid before we get hold of them.

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LIB
CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I expect that holds good of all the provinces more or less. I shall now quote the sea-going tonnage of the different provinces of the Dominion, and I particularly call the attention of the Minister of Pubiie Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) to this. I give the following figures, taken from the Trade and Navigation Returns, of sea-going tonnage inwards and outwards :

Tons.

Montreal 2,068,313

Victoria, B.C 1,796,331

Halifax 1,707,785

St. John, N.B 1,213,298

Quebec 1,088,630

Vancouver 925,244

We see from these figures that the port of Victoria, B.C., has within 10 per cent as much sea-going tonnage as the port of Montreal.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

That is very nice ; you should he highly pleased.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

And yet my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works cannot or will not see fit to give the paltry sum of $15,000 a year for the purpose of dredging and putting the harbour of Victoria into better shape than it is at present. Notwithstanding all the pressure that has been brought to bear upon him by boards of trade in the district and by members representing it, the hon. gentleman has not seen fit during the past year to expend more than between $6,000 and $7,000 on that harbour.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I am doing very good work there now.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

And whereas, it is believed that the only method under which the funds can be properly administered is by a local fishery board (nonpolitical in its constitution) with power to expend for several years the whole of the revenue upon conservation ;

And whereas, the provincial government expressed to the canners' deputation its strong sense of responsibility in respect to the preservation of the industry, and its general approval of the views set out in the memorial of March 30, 1901.

Therefore, be it resolved, that with the view of remedying the evils above mentioned and for the benefit of the industry as a whole, as well as for the general good of the province of British Columbia, the provincial government be urged to assume control of the fisheries and administer them on the following lines :-

1. That a local fishery board be established, under government supervision, composed of men experienced in the business ; such board to be strictly non-political, and empowered to make all requisite by-laws and regulations in connection with the conservation of the fish supply. The majority of the board to be elected by those providing the revenue from assessment, to be raised as suggested in paragraph (b) of clause 2.

2. That the present method of raising a revenue, by license only, be altered, in which connection the following suggestions are offered :

(a) That the license be reduced to, say, not more than $2.50.

(b) That the fishery board be empowered to levy an assessment on all salmon packed, cured or preserved in British Columbia, the revenue so derived to be used exclusively for the conservation of the industry.

3. That the local fishery board shall act as an advisory board to the provincial government in all matters in connection with the regulation of the fisheries.

And it is further resolved, that should the Dominion government agree to pay to the province an annual sum in consideration of previous overpayments made by the fishing industry, the whole or a large proportion of such moneys should be spent forthwith in erecting and equipping hatcheries and otherwise in the conservation of the fish supply.

The undersigned committee will be glad to learn when it will be convenient for your honourable government to receive them to discuss matters fully.

Yours obediently,

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ALEX. EWEN, R. J. KERR, G. I. WILSON, W. FARRELL, D. BELL IRVING.

April 30, 1901