January 17, 1911

CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

Has not the minister the date?

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

No. But the expert would be sent in ordinary course, a short time before June 8, 1910. And if, after examining other properties and learning when this property had changed hands and at what price, and what it was assessed for, if he reported it was a fair price we would make the purchase. And whatever else hon. members may criticise let me ask them what criticism they have to offer of a payment of $4,140 for a site in a growing suburb of the great city of Montreal which has been connected with the city by electric railway and has already a population of 3,000. Will they say that for a lot in a central 'situation, with a frontage of 230 feet on the public square and frontages of 100 feet on each of two other streets a price of a little over $4,000 is unreasonable? I say, on the face of it, it is a reasonable price, and we were absolutely justified in acting upon the reports of our inspector who made the examination.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Pugsley) is asking what we think of it. I will tell him what I think of it. When he was getting his postal accommodation in St. Lambert at $150 a year, he had no right whatever to spend more than three times as much for a site for a public building, as the building he was using must have been worth. A rent of $150 a year would pay a good fair return on a building of $1,500. And this government paid more than three times that much for the bare land on which they would put a $20,000 building. I think that is the greatest extravagance. If he had any accommodation whatever in the building for which he was paying $150 a year, in this place which he has so highly eulogized, these expenditures of his were not justified.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

It was very inadequate accommodation.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Why, it could not have been any accommodation at all if these expenditures are justified. His building at $150 a year could not have been, by comparison, a place fit for the accommoda-

tion of the post office coal scuttles. The largest sum he had a right to expend was, perhaps, $800, possibly $1,000, for a site, and $8,000 for a building. But to propose a site at over $4,000 and a building at $20,000 in a place where accommodation is now had at $150 a year is wholly unjustified.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The Public Works Department does not rent buildings occupied by the post office; the Post Office Department makes an allowance to the postmaster of a certain amount for rent, and he makes it go as far as he can. Sometimes he has to pay more rent than he is allowed. It does not follow that there is a whole building rented in St. Lambert. The accommodation is simply wretched and wholly inadequate to meet the wants of the people.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The post office accommodation in many places is inadequate.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

This is one of them.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

As we said last session, the proper way for the minister would be, instead of spending $20,000 in one place, to provide more accommodation than is needed, $5,000 apiece should be spent in each of four places giving accommodation that is very much needed. If he would take $100,000 and divide It by 20 instead of dividing it by 4, and give 20 places an accommodation at $4,000 or $5,000 each, he would be doing something that we could all approve of. There can be no justification for expending $25,000 for the building and site in this little town. Now the minister says they bought an enormous piece of land. What right had they to buy a piece of land the size of a park? What right have you to help any town to beautify itself? If you want to build a post office you should not buy one inch of land more than you need to put your post office upon. Do you want to make a free park for the town of St. Lambert? Now the hon, gentleman is going to erect his post office, on a big space of land so as to leave a vacant space on all sides of the building, merely because, as he says, the land is now cheap and will shortly become dear. It is absolutely ridiculous, besides improper, for the minister to come here and attempt to justify this expenditure, because, forsooth, it is a beautiful site. Now we are sick and tired of having attempted justifications for large expenditures by the Minister of Public Works, with no other object than to spend as much money as possible.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

There was no accommodation in the old post office for all who wished to use it, and spine people were obliged to go to Montreal to do their postal business. So far as I am concerned, I do not care about the opposition of these hon. gentlemen opposite. It will show their friends what kind of men they are, because Mr. LANCASTER.

the town of St. Lambert is Tory, and the conduct of the opposition in this House will show how much sympathy they have for their friends in St. Lambert. The people _ of St. Lambert will see the spirit of their friends when I tell them what was said in the House. My constituents in St. Lambert know that the site which was bought was the cheapest and best that could be got, and no other could be got. The town is growing very fast, and this site was recommended by my Tory friends in St. Lambert, who insisted that it should be purchased.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The hon. gentleman has made himself cheap, but he is not going to make me cheap. The hon. gentleman has no right to suppose that we on this side of the House care whether it is Conservative or Liberal who want a post office, so long as it is needed. Is the Minister of Public Works going to put up public buildings because Conservatives ask for them ? The hon. member for Chariibly (Mr. Geof-frion) got up to make an argument to help the minister out, and all he could say was that the Conservatives of the town .of St. Lambert had asked for this expenditure, and now he tries to frighten us by saying that he will tell them what we did. I hope he will tell 'them, because the Conservatives in St. Lambert are like the Conservatives everywhere else, reasonable and honest men, who do not wish to see the money of the country wasted.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

I think this government, in providing for public buildings, either in the Conservative city of Toronto, or the largely Conservative city of Winnipeg, or the city of Montreal, ought to remember, in the public interest, that these cities are growing rapidly, and that the price of real estate is rising rapidly. The hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster), says that nobody can make him cheap. I do not think anybody can make him cheaper than he makes himself, and I think it is fortunate that he is not Minister of Public Works. St. Lambert, as we know, is a suburb of Montreal, its population is bound to grow rapidly as the population of Montreal increases. There were two courses open to the government. They could continue that inadequate accommodation, and pay a very small rent for a post office, and delay purchasing the site, it may be for ten years. I venture to say that at the end of ten years, instead of buying this site for a little over $4,000, they would have to pay $20,000. Let me tell the hon. gentleman that I can show him a property in the city of Montreal that, two or three years ago, sold for $18,000, and that a little while ago it sold for $50,000. I think that the government acted wisely in buying when they did and in buying property larger than is re-

quired for the present purpose. The hon. member for Lincoln is exceedingly funny, but I do not think that he is businesslike or that he shows good, judgment

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I was asking the hon. gentleman a question as to the increase in the revenue?

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

That would be an allowance by the Postmaster General. I do not know the circumstances which led to the increase.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The hon. gentleman said that last year he was paying $100 and that now he is paying $150. Perhaps the hon. gentleman who represents the county can explain it.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

The only reason is that the Tents over there have increased immensely just as they have in Montreal.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Did the hon. gentleman suggest that rents should be advanced?

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

No, I did not recommend anything of the kind.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

I would like to ask if it is the intention of the minister to give us the number of options that were secured, the dates of the options, the prices and all the particulars before the Quebec items pass.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Yes, before the Quebec items pass I will get all the information the department has as to the purchase of the site.

Topic:   SUPPLY.-THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   BUILDING PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink

January 17, 1911