June 18, 1920

L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I fail to see 'the analogy between the experimental farm at Ottawa and this territory in question. I understand that this park is a beautiful tract of land owned by the Dominion Government, but so far as I know the traffic over the bridge under discussion is altogether local. If the minister can satisfy me that lit its the duty of the Dominion Government to build, a bridge in that place, (that is another matter.

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UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

If the hon. member (Mr. McKenzie) would visit the town of Banff he would understand the situation. Banff town is under the jurisdiction of the Dominion Government (having been incorporated vnder an Act passed in 1887); which exercises over it 'the same rights as a municipal council exercise over other towns in the province. The Dominion Government own and operate the sewerage system and the water system; they own all the streets and boulevards; and they receive a revenue from the land, which i& leased for a term of years to the settlers. I do not think there is any question whatever as 'bo the absolute necessity for the .bridge, (which crosses the Bow river.

Air. MoMASTER: What is the population of Banff on both sides tributary to the (bridge?

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UNI L
L LIB
UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. J. D. REID:

It is a considerable .town. There are a good many thousand people there for many months of the year. If ithe hon. member has ever been in Banff he mupt know that the bridge is a neoes-jSity. 'The last time I was there (it was not in good condition. It is not a credit to the ^Dominion Government that the bridge should (be as it is.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Has the minister any

figures regarding the number of tourists who use this bridge.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

We were told last year by some hon. member from the West that there were solemn promises from the Prime Minister, not only once but half a dozen times, that the natural resources of the western provinces were to be handed over to the provinces. This is a natural resource, and I suppose that when it is handed over bridges and every other improvement will go with it. It is not very likely that we shall retain any parks if we pass over the natural resources to the provinces, and if that is to happen in the near future, I do not think it advisable for us to spend large sums of money upon property which may soon pass out of our hands. 'It would be interesting to know whether the income from this place is sufficient to justify us in this expenditure. I for one would be satisfied that any monies derived from that park should be devoted to the upkeep of its bridges and other necessary works, but if it is not sufficient the proposition is altogether different.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The bridges to which the hon. member refers would be new constructions. This is to take care of a construction that already exists. It is true that a new bridge is to be put up, but the traffic and all the other conditions that call for this expenditure have been created by the very fact of the bridge being there. Furthermore, the property is altogether our own property, for which this Government is directly responsible, and we are running a grave risk indeed if we keep there a bridge which is unsafe. The cases are wholly different. As regards a new construction, the statement made by the Minister of Finance, as related by the hon. member, is quite true. As to what the hon. member for North Cajpe Breton (Mr. McKenzie) says, the revenue derived from the parks does not go to the Dominion Treasury; it goes to the people of Canada in many ways. Railway traffic is developed, retail business is increased, and money is brought into the country and spent in many ways. The whole people get the advantage. As regards the handing 'back of these parks, I do not know that even on the return of the resources the provinces would desire the parks handed back. They are naturally a national rather than a provincial asset. They are the recreation grounds of the whole people. Indeed, at the provincial conference the suggestion that the parks should not become provincial property was, if I understand, acquiesced in generally by the provinces themselves.

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L LIB

Charles Marcil

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure):

The minister has only answered part of my question. Regarding the bridge at Campbellton, a

new structure was highly desirable, and the provinces were willing to contribute. But worl; on the wharf at Gascons, where there are 100 fishermen, was held off after the contract was awarded. Evidently the Government made a mistake in that because we have the same amount in the Estimates this year notwithstanding their declaration last year that there was no commercial necessity for the work.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. J. D. REID:

There were works that were not carried out last year on account of financial conditions. We have made a survey of all the works in connection with every item and it is the intention to proceed with these works as soon as the Estimates are passed for the reason that we believe they are of urgent necessity.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

How is the town of Banff administered and what is the cost of administration?

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The town of Banff is administered by the Parks Branch of the Department of the Interior. Leases are given of the town properties and lots, and conditions are attached looking to the perpetuation of the beauty of the town and park. The town is laid out in the first place by town planners, and generally nothing can be done except under license or permit from the proper authority. A justice is appointed there under authority of the Governor in Council and before that justice cases are tried. I do not know what the arrangement is .between him and the judicial authority. The general lines of administration have not been altered in years, nor has the principle of maintenance and collection of revenue. Attempts have been made to reduce the levies, but we have not yielded except to do for returned soldiers in relation to the parks the same as is done by the provinces in the territory under their jurisidction.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Waghorn's Guide,

which I understand to be a standard work of its kind, gives Ithe population of Banff as 500.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is only in winter.

iMr. McMASTER: I would imagine that

in summer there would be a large tourist traffic but I understand that moslt of the natural features of scenic beauty are on the same side as the hotel and that the bridge is nolt used by tourists to any great extent. That is my recollection of a visit

I paid there in exceedingly good company some five years ago.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman is

mistaken; the bridge is between the station and Ithe hotel. Everybody has to use it.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is the Canadian Pacific Railway hcftel and there is the Dr. Brett sanitarium. I do not know how many there are.

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June 18, 1920