August 25, 1903

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) know how much it has been offered for within two years ?

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LIB
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The MINISTER OP FINANCE (Hon. Mr. Fielding).

Does my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) know how much they are asking for it now ?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I did not know that any price had been set.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I understand the price has advanced lately.

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LIB
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

This is the growing time, you know.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I have no intention of giving extraordinary figures. X do not think my hon. friend. (Mr. Borden, Halifax) vrill contradict me on this estimate, when I say that it would not be safe to approach Mr. Booth with a much lower figure now. The hon. gentleman suggested the building of a branch to connect the Canada Atlantic with the Canadian Pacific Railway at or near Sudbury. This line would be about 120 miles in length. Estimating it at $30,000 a mile, we find that the cost of this would be $3,600,000. So, this would bring that part of the scheme up to $23,895,000. I may say that Mr. Doucet has forgotten to make an .estimate of the building of the line that would certainly be required from Ste. Rosalie' to Montreal to make a complete system to connect with the Intercolonial. Now, the hon. gentleman has suggested, in order to make the connecting link between this proposed new system of government railway and the railways in the North-west, and realize the idea of giving through transportation, to acquire or' lease from the Canadian Pacific Railway the line from North Bay to Fort William. That is the very part of the line which this engineer was supervising during the time of the building of it. And, as will be noticed, he gave much more moderate figures for the cost of this line than we find given in some newspapers and also given by some hon. members in this House.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Can the hon. gentleman tell us precisely the position occupied by Mr. Doucet when he was on the line on the north shore of Lake Superior?

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I could not state exactly. He was one of the superintending engineers.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

The hon. gentleman {Mr. Bourassa) knows how many grades of engineers there are ?

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I know that there are many. But Mr. Doucet is considered one -of the best railway engineers not only in Quebec

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

His experience on the line north of Lake Superior was many years ago.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Yes, about eighteen years ago, I believe. He gives the figures here of actual cost, this is not a question of estimate. This is the cost of the line that the hon. gentleman suggested thalt we should buy.

North Bay to Sudbury, 79 miles at $30,-000 per mile, $2,370,000 ; Sudbury to White River, 304 miles, at $35,000 per mile, $10,-<140,000 : White River to Peninsula, 64 miles at $40,000 per mile, $2,560,000 ; Peninsula to Nepigon, 118 miles at $60,000 per mile, $7,080,000 ; Nepigon to Port Arthur, 64 miles at $30,000 per mile, $1,920,000; making

a total from North Bay to Fort William of $24,570,000.

This added to the estimated cost of the Canada Atlantic, as purchased and connected at Sudbury with this part of the line, would be $48,465,000. I am simply giving the cost price. I do not want to give too high figures, because, even by giving the lowest figures, my conscience feels safe when I say that the scheme of the opposition is still worse than that of the government. Now, the hon. gentleman says-I am quoting from ' Hansard ' :

The third point which I would submit to the consideration of the House, as a sound policy is to assist in improving the grades of one or both lines from Winnipeg to Fort William, upon condition that complete control of rates is obtained, and that the Grand Trunk Railway, as well as the Intercolonial Railway shall have running powers from Fort William into Winnipeg.

Well, this engineer estimates that to reduce the grades on the Canadian Pacific Railway between Fort William and Rat Portage would cost $3,000,000 ; and to reduce the grades on the Canadian Northern from Fort William northward would cost $1,500,000. Now the leader of the opposition has also suggested that in case the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific could not agree, the government should build the mountain section. Here is his estimate, and I think it is a very conservative estimate. It Is divided into two sections: From Edmonton to Dunve-gan, 250 miles, at $28,000, $7,000,000 : from Dunvegan to Port Simpson, 550 miles at $48,000, $26,640,000; terminals at Port

Simpson, $1,500,000. Total $35,140,000.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

That is pretty hard on the Minister of Finance.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

On the mountain section my limit was the $30,000 that is provided in the contract. Therefore my hon. friend from Labelle does not differ from the Minister of Finance.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Now, there are certain other improvements that would have to be made. It is admitted on all hands that between Depot Harbour and Madawaska, in order to make it a wheat carrying road as the hen. gentleman is anxious to do, there should be a reduction of grades estimated at $10,000 a mile. That would mean an expenditure of $1,330,000. Now I have not rend the whole speech of my hon. friend, and therefore I do not know but that he has suggested what I am going to say. But there is no doubt that if his scheme was adopted, if there were any carrying trade of a general character on that line, in conjunction with the carrying of the freight on the Canadian Pacific Railway over their own system, in conjunction with the carrying of freight over the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific to the east, before long a double track would have to be laid on that

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would not lie prepared to admit that at all. I would ask my hon. friend if he has made inquiries, as his researches seem to have been somewhat extended, as to what the Great Northern Railway of the United States carries over a single track now.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

No, I have not, but I have been told that if the plan suggested by my hon. friend was carried out, the Canada Atlantic Railway could not do justice to the amount of traffic that would have to be carried over that line.

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August 25, 1903