February 10, 1905

L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

Then the census lies. It gives the population at 1,888 souls, and we are taking $25,000, in addition to owning the land, to build a custom-house, which, I understand, is also to be used as a post office. We had better put $10,000 into the building, and get accommodation outside for the engineer and his assistants. As the hon. member for Hafton (Mr. Henderson) has said, we have hundreds of towns needing accommodation more than this one. I have two or three in my own county, and I do not ask for one-half the amount the government is expending in the county of Antigonish. There is the town of St. Andrews, a very important watering place on the Atlantic sea-board, with a population very nearly equal to that of Antigonish, with a very large revenue indeed ; and it has a post office and custom-house in a small wooden building that certainly is no credit to the government. Then there is the town of Milltown, with a population of 2, 044. If the Postmaster General would come down there he would be ashamed of the public building in that town. I think this amount should be divided in two, and half of it be given to some other place, if it is desired to do justice. I have in my hand a little circular, I am not sure it was not got up with the complicity of the acting Minister of Public Works. It says ' Vote for a new building for St. George : vote for Mr. Gilmour.' St. George is in my county. I do not see anything in the estimates for that St. George building ; but I trust the minister will see his way to carry out the suggestion made in that circular when the supplementary estimates are brought down.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Colin Francis McIsaac

Liberal

Mr. McISAAC.

In many towns with a smaller population than that of Antigonish, Mr. FOSTER.

in various parts of Canada, public buildings have been provided ; at the same time, I am free to admit that many towns with a larger population than Antigonish have not yet been provided with public buildings. But it is a fact that has been recognized by both political parties that Antigonish, according to its population, is a much more important town than many others in Nova Scotia or elsewhere with a greater population. It is the shire town of the county of Antigonish, and has a university, the only university in eastern Nova Scotia. The importance of Antigonish has been recognized, not only by this government, but recognized by hon. gentlemen opposite when they were in power. Away back, some twenty-five years or more, when the policy of erecting public buildings was being inaugurated, Antigonish was recognized as a place where the government should erect a public building. The only difference, therefore, between the two parties in regard to Antigonish is that the Conservative party went about putting up a public building in the wrong way, and the Liberal party has gone about it in the right way. In 1882 the late Conservative government purchased in the town of Antigonish, for the purpose of a public building, an old wooden building used as the St. Francois Xavier College. The authorities of the college undertook to build a brick building in a different part of the town and sold the old buildirig to the then government. I am not finding fault with that at all, except with the way in which it was done. They sold to the government of the day the old building with the lot, for a very moderate sum indeed- But I say the late government went about it the wrong way. They should have done what the present government is doing-built upon that lot a new building of brick suitable for the requirements of the town at that time. But what did they do ? They bought the building and the lot, and undertook to repair the old building, and year after year appropriations were placed in the estimates by the late government for purposes of repair, tearing down the walls and building them up again, tearing out the rotten sills, and the roof, and remodelling it, so that it has cost nearly as much, at least half as much, as it would have cost to put up a new building. What is the result ?

Notwithstanding all the expenditures that were made year after year and the interest charges accumulating, the result has been that, through age, its condition and wear and tear it became absolutely unsuited to the needs of the post office or of the officers who are occupying the building. I brought the matter to the attention of the government for several years and they refused to do anything. At last they were compelled to send an officer from the Department of Public Works to examine the building, a thorough examination was made of it and it was condemned; so that it be-

came absolutely necessary to erect a new building in Antigonish. As to the cost, as to the dimensions and as to the kind of building that should be put up in Antigonish I desire to say a few words. This is a very important point. Nobody who knows the conditions which prevail there can deny that. It is important that we should have a large building because the resident engineers for the eastern section of the province of Nova Scotia have been located in Antigonish for the last thirty years. The province is divided into two districts as far as public works are concerned. The engineers of the western part are located in Halifax while those of the eastern part have their residences and offices at Antigonish. Therefore this is not used as an ordinary public building for the accommodation of the postmaster and his staff, and the collector of customs and his staff, but a building must be provided to suit the growing requirements of the resident engineers and their assistants not only for the county of Antigonish but for the eastern part of the province of Nova Scotia. The sum which it is estimated this building will cost is not at all a large one. It will be a very respectable building indeed and will afford ample accommodation to these various public officers to which I have referred. The cost of maintenance will not be any more than it was before. We have had to keep a janitor for the last twenty-two years in charge of the old building which, on account of its age, is a very much more difficult building to take care of and keep in proper condition than an up to date modern building will be. I think the estimate for the new building is not a large one. The building will be a very modest one for the requirements of the town.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

I think it w'ould be very difficult for any one to get a justification out of that speech. I would like to know if the hon. gentleman had anything to do with the distribution of this circular :

Vote for a new public building in Antigonish.

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LIB

Colin Francis McIsaac

Liberal

Mr. McISAAC.

No, I never deemed it necessary to refer, even in my elections, to any appropriations made for public buildings or any other work. It was so difficult for the Conservative party to get a man to run against me in the county that they had to import a man from another county for appearance sake.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

Well then, you do not need a building.

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LIB

Colin Francis McIsaac

Liberal

Mr. McISAAC.

No. I do not need a building or a public -work of any kind to get votes. But, the town of Antigonish needs it and it is only right that they should gel a fair share of the good things that are going.

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Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. SCHAFFNER.

Being a new member I am not very familiar with these estimates.

but in looking over the appropriations for Manitoba, a country in which the conditions are changing very much more rapidly than they are in the east, I find that outside of the amounts put down for the constituency of the hon. the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) who represents the riding north of mine and outside of the city of Winnipeg, his right arm, there is only $15,000 in the estimates for public buildings for that great province which is developing so rapidly. I am surprised that any business government-

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

You need not he surprised. -

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. SCHAFFNER.

Perhaps it is because I am a new member-but I am surprised that $25,000 should be placed in the main estimates for a public building in Antigonish, a town of 1.800 inhabitants. I think the population has been 1,800 for some time, it will likely be 1.800 for the next twenty-five years, and it is not likely that they will want any additional buildings. I believe this is not a fair estimate for a building in a town of that size in the eastern country. In estimating the probable requirements of a town in the next twenty years with the view of erecting a public building there is no possible comparison to be made between the east and the west. The development of the west is going ahead so rapidly that such comparison is impossible. AVhile a town in the west may to-day have only 1,800 inhabitants the prospects are that in ten years the population will be ten times as great. And we should therefore prepare for the future, but there can be no justification offered for erecting a building in the expectation of an equally rapid development in old Nova Scotia.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

I presume the hon. gentleman (Mr. Schaffner) who has just taken his seat knows that these estimates are not the estimates in which new expenditures are initiated. These are the main estimates. These are revotes and consequently it is impossible to say what may appear in the estimates for the province which the hon. gentleman represents.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. SCHAFFNER.

Well then they do not mean anything.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

Benjamin B. Gunn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. GUNN.

Alay I ask the hon. Alinister of Public Works if it is the intention of the department to provide for the erection of a post office in the town of Seafortb. The post office revenue exceeds the post office revenue of the town of Wingham in the constituency of my hon. friend from East Huron (Mr. Chisholm) yet a new post office was erected in Wingham at a very large cost-$15,000 or $20,000. I am not finding any fault with the expenditure of that money because I believe it was necessary, but I would like to know if the hon. minister has in contemplation the erection of

a post office in our town. I have just arisen to endeavour to obtain this information because many of my constituents are interested in knowing whether the hon. minister intends to erect such a building. I may say for the information ,of the hon. minister that the post office at present in use in our town is a very old building indeed. It has been in existence for more than a third of a century and a new one has become a public necessity. Complaints are frequent in our town that the present building does not.afford the necessary facilities for handling the business there. I am sure that if the hon. minister understood the necessities of the town of Seaforth he would at once conclude to erect a building in that town worthy of the position which it holds in the county. As far as the policy of erecting public buildings is concerned, I see by the estimates that a post office is to be erected in the village of Antigonish in tiie province of Nova Scotia at a cost of $25,000. It is not my intention to ask the hon. minister to erect a building, costing anything like that sum of money, nor do I believe the people of my constituency desire it. We will be- very well satisfied with an expenditure of, say, $10,000. We have a population in the neighbourhood of 2,600, and I am perfectly confident that if the hon. minister would see to it that an amount of $10,000 was included in the estimates our people would be very well pleased and the probabilities are that when the next general election comes around they would not return a Conservative representative, but would send a follower of the government.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

I shall be very glad indeed to take into consideration any representations which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Gunn) may make as to the necessity of a public building in the town of Seaforth. .Speaking from memory I do not think that the county of Huron has done so badly in the way of public buildings.

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Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

It is a large county.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

Quite true, but there are other large counties. There is a public building at Goderich, another at Clinton and another at Wingham.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

But. the hon. minister-

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

May I be permitted to say a word once in a while without being interrupted?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

I will not interrupt the hon. minister if he is so fastidious.

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Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

I am not fastidious at all. On almost every occasion on which I rise to speak I am interrupted. Surely the hon. gentleman can allow the county of Anti gonish a public building. There are three in Huron and if the hon. gentleman has any representations to make in regard to a public Mr. GUNN.

building at Seaforth I shall be glad to listen to those representations.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

I was going to remark to the minister, who is very fastidious-he is not always so fastidious-and 11 he was not so fastidious we might make better progress

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE POLITICAL CRISIS AT QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   COMMUNICATION WITH PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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February 10, 1905