October 9, 1903

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

In Bona venture county.

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Subtopic:   $6,000.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure).

Perhaps I may be allowed to give a little further explanation with regard to the locality. I may say in answer to the hon. member for West Prince (Mr. Hackett) that Bonaventure is 150 miles long. GaspC is about 300 miles long.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

How much of it is not covered with breakwaters ?

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure).

Since confederation, on this Bonaventure coast-line of 150 miles, three small wharfs had been erected ; and out of 19 parishes practically 16 have been left for these 35 years without any protection whatever for the fishermen -no wharfs, no breakwaters, and nothing to facilitate the carrying on of their calling. The parish of St. Charles de Caplan adjoins that of Bonaventure. The census of 1901 shows that this has a population of 1,990. There is this remarkable about Caplan that, in tlie rear a new parish has sprung up, called St. Alphonse de Muselyvilie. This was founded by a Belgian priest, who brought out a Belgian colony and began the first extensive effort to settle the interior of that immense peninsula of 10,000 square miles. This parish of St. Alphonse de Muselyvilie has a population of 900, a resident parish priest, a church and all the facilities and advantages to become a growing and prosperous centre. This population will utilize this new wharf which is to be erected near.the parish church in the middle of the parish coast-line. The fishermen there have now no protection whatever. When they return from fishing they have to get together fifteen or twenty men to haul their boats on the shore, on the approach of the storm, and this work has to be done sometimes in the day-time and sometimes at night. When the steamer passes, people coming ashore have to be lauded on floats. St. Charles de Caplan is a centre and will be the outlet for a considerable trade. The Quebec government last year spent $1,000 in improving the road there, which will make this more a centre than ever. So, I think the expenditure is fully justified. It will have the effect, within the next four or five years, of greatly increasing the business which is done through this point.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I would be glad if the minister would make up a list of the new works he is commencing and the counties in which they are, together with an estimate of the cost of each work when concluded. I presume he has not such a list at hand, but he could probably have it prepared in a short time. We are commencing

many new undertakings on grounds of very doubtful wisdom, if this may be taken as a sample. This work will cost $15,000 or $20,000, and it is to be built at a place where there are only a few fishing boats and about

1.000 people.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure).

If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) will allow me, the parish of St. Charles de Caplan has a population of over 1,900, and in the rear of it is the parish of St. Alphonse de Muselyvilie, with over 800. Both of these parishes will benefit by this wharf. If the amount seems to be large, it is because these wharfs must be built strongly enough to resist the action of the sea. If we were building wharfs on rivers or inland lakes a small expenditure would be sufficient ; but it is no use to erect a wharf at a cost of $4,000 or $5,000 in such a place as this. One storm would carry it away. There was a storm about a month ago at Port Daniel, and the wharf there, a substantial wharf, begun under the late administration, was damaged to the extent of $2,400 in one night.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The outlay would indicate a substantial wharf. I do not object to its being made substantial, because if the work is to be done at ail, it should be done well. But what I complain of is that heavy expenditures are being undertaken, not only for the present, but for the future, upon grounds of questionable wisdom. I can only judge of this by comparing it with my own section of the country. I find important towns, the homes of large fishing fleets and the centres of fine agricultural districts, and with populations three times that mentioned by the hon. gentleman, yet, if it is proposed to spend even $10,000 on a new work, the answer is that the place is too small to justify such a work. Take, for instance, the town of Thornbury, which has a population of 3,000, and has adjacent townships with a population of

15.000 or 20,000. This place is one of the parts of the Georgian bay and the centre of an important commerce. Yet, it would be very difficult to get the government to grant $15,000 to commence a work there. And, even with the most urgent need of commerce and the fishing industry, it is difficult to get the government to grant even $4,000 or $5,000 to keep in proper repair works that may have been built at any of these points. It will be seen that it is not only the amount we are now voting, but the amount necessary to complete the work that must be considered. And. after that, the work must be maintained, so that we are committing ourselves to a never-ending expenditure.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I think the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Sproule's) suggestion is a very proper and reasonable one. 1 thought I had a list such as lie

speaks of, for I desired to have it prepared myself. I do not think that these estimates cover more new works for the province of Quebec than for any other. It is true, as my hon. friend says, that there is no use in spending money on these works at all unless we endeavour to make them substantial. We ought also to understand thoroughly what we are undertaking. With that view I have given the estimates of the chief engineer, which I think are correct as to the total liability to be incurred in each case. My hon. friend will see that out of the ten votes that we have passed for the province of Quebec, only three incur any liability over the amount of the vote, and that the total liability in these cases is only $36,000. I will have a list prepared such as the hon. gentleman desires.

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CON

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORIN.

Let me ask the hon. member for Bona venture (Mr. Marcil) how it is that the names of the places that he has given in his county do not appear in the last census.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MAROIL (Bonaventure).

When the county of Bonaventure was originally surveyed it was divided up into townships, and the names of the townships appear in the census. The ecclesiastical authorities have since subdivided these townships into parishes, giving them religious names. For instance, you have St. Bonaventure, representing the township of Hamilton; St. Charles, representing the township of Cap-lan. The member for Dorchester is aware of the system of parishes in Quebec. These divisions are made under the parochial system.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

On several occasions, though not recently, I have expressed my opposition to this system of expending public money. I do not wish to take particular exception to this item more than to a large class of similar items that are constantly brought before us. We have necessarily to incur enormous expenditures of a national character. There may come a time when we can, better than now, apply public money to what may be denominated local purposes. I have endeavoured to think this matter- out, and tried to see whether tiie propositions I have heretofore enunciated are fair, that is, whether a work which does not partake of a character which makes it for the general advantage of the Dominion as a whole, is one upon which we are justified in expending federal money. There may be works which cannot be said to affect the whole Dominion, on which the public money of the Dominion can legitimately be applied. But speaking as a rule, and it is a good rule for us to observe, I think that when a work cannot be regarded as a Dominion work distinct from a provincial work, as a Dominion work distinct from a county work or a purely local work, we are not justified in expending

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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland

Liberal

Hon. Mr. SUTHERLAND.

public money upon it. Down by the seashore I have noticed that a good deal of money is spent on harbours, and in procuring facilities for fishermen, and in that instance, when seeing that it will affect more than one province, we can justifiably expend money upon it. It may not be necessary in this case that the money has to be beneficial to more than one province before it can be justifiably spent by the federal parliament. For instance, if you have a public work to be done in some town in the province of Ontario, we might reply to the request of the county council and say: We won't give you a grant for this work. The county council says : It does not affect the county as a whole, therefore we cannot give any public money for it. Now these works, such as the improvement of harbours and small streams, the building of wharfs in places where there is practically no commerce, no interprovincial commerce at all events, are matters of local concern. I know of cases in which the county council would say : It is a good

local work, it benefits the town where it is being expended, but it does not affect the county as a whole. In these instances I think there should not be a grant of one dollar by the county council, not one dollar by the township council either ; yet they come to this parliament and obtain grants. On what ground ? The only ground upon which they can possibly be justified is that they are a national work in some sense or form. Now I enter my protest against that principle. There may be some qualification of the doctrine, but whilst we have large public enterprises to the fore, whilst we have the necessity for a great expenditure on transportation and other great public works which affect Canada as a whole, whilst we have these and have not sufficient money to satisfy those demands-as we know we have not sufficient money- and when we are going into a large increased expenditure, this year mounting up by the millions, at a rate which is unprecedented, I say that the Minister of Public Works ought not to undertake this long list of new expenditures where it is absolutely certain that these matters cannot be said to be for the general advantage of Canada in any proper sense which would justify us in expending federal money upon them. .

Now here we have a population, I understand, of some 1,900 in the two parishes. My hon. friend from East Grey has referred to the province of Ontario. I do not care whether it is the province of Ontario or the province of Quebec, neither does my hon. friend, except as an illustration. Take, for instance, the town of Barrie. There was difficulty in getting a grant of $3,000 for a wharf at the town of Barrie. The town of Barrie, now including Allan-dale, has a population of some 6,000, and is rapidly growing. New enterprises are be-

lug launched there this season, and we have difficulty in getting $3,000

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IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. MCCARTHY.

On what does the hon. gentleman base his statement that there is difficulty in getting a vote ?

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

If the hon. gentleman disclaims any effort in that behalf, I withdraw the statement entirely. Probably the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) is perfectly right in suggesting that there was no difficulty in obtaining this vote, inasmuch as, though it was voted several years ago, it has not been implemented by any work done up to the present time. Probably I had better leave the town of Barrie and go a little further down to the new portion of the riding of the hon. member for North Simcoe, where there is a wharf spoken of as the Hawkestone wharf, in the township of Oro. That is another flagrant instance of an expenditure of public money for a purely local purpose. I venture to .say that, except to satisfy a few men in that locality, there is no justification for the expenditure of one dollar of public money upon the Hawkestone wharf. There is no need for it unless it be for a few excursionists who land there from time to time, but very infrequently. This is another instance illustrating the fact that this government is squandering the people's money on wharfs, and what are denominated public works, here and there, for no other purpose, that is self-evident, except to influence the votes of the people in the neighbourhood. [DOT]

Mr. McCarthy. I do not desire to start an acrimonious discussion but one statement of the hon. gentleman I cannot allow to go unchallenged. His statement about the difficulty of obtaining a grant for the wharf at Barrie of which he spoke is not a correct statement. It has been in the estimates since 1900 ; the difficulty was to decide upon tiie selection of a site. As soon as the situation was agreed upon the work was undertaken. The lumber is now being hauled there aud the work is about to be commenced. In reference to the statement that there was no demand for the Oro wharf, I entirely repudiate that statement on behalf of the township recently added to North Sim-eoe. The hon. gentleman knows very well that his own town of Barrie profits very largely by that wharf. The few excursionists of whom he speaks are farmers who, owing to this cheap transportation come to Barrie more frequently than they otherwise would and sell and buy goods to the advantage of both the townspeople and the farmers.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I deny entirely that a reference to the Hawkestone wharf is in any sense out of order. It is perfectly in order in discussing these estimates to refer to the various works undertaken by the government as illustrations of the fact that we

are not spending money on the works that are properly within the purview of this parliament. When the hon. member says that the. people of Oro are very largely benefited by being able to bring produce to Barrie by the casual boats that call at that wharf from time to time during the excursion season, I can only say that he is not as well informed as perhaps he will be when he becomes more familiar with the people of Oro. There is a railway also passes through the hamlet of Hawkestone and the people who wish to go to market, who do not drive into Barrie, avail themselves of that railway and do not rely upon the fact that once oV twice or three times a week an excursion boat may call at the Hawkestone wharf. In regard to Barrie wharf, I may say that the money has been voted for many years. I am not going to enter into the somewhat difficult question between the hon. member (Mr. McCarthy) and the mayor of Barrie as to the reasons why that money has not been expended. I leave these gentlemen to fight that out among themselves. We have, however, the fact that the money in the first instance was granted just previous to an election, and as it was intended to serve the purpose of another election the work was put off, but a change has come over the spirit of the dream of the hon. member for North Simcoe, who is no longer seeking to represent his native town of Barrie, and so it will no longer serve election purposes as effectively as was expected at the time.

Chambord wharf, $2,000.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is this a new work, and if so, what is the estimated cost ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The total cost of this work is estimated at $8,000. It is in the large district of Chicoutimi and Saguenay, and you must recognize that the situation there is somewhat different from that in ordinary parts of the Dominion and of Ontario. The country is settling up and these people have no railway accommodation ; this is the only means they have of getting out their produce ; their only means of transportation is by water. Several of these works are for the purpose of improving the means of transportation in order that the settlers may bring in materials they require and ship out their products.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is it a village or a fishing station ?

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October 9, 1903