May 11, 1928

LIB
UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

This is a very large item. Would the minister give us some particulars?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

This is the same amount

that has been granted for a number of years past. The expenditure for the last few years

are as follows:

Year Amount

1921-22 $710,335

1922-23 591.000

1923-24

1924-25 612,000

1925-26 652,000

1926-27 623,000

1927-28 651,000

It is required for carrying out the work of repairs, alterations, additions and improvements and for procuring furniture, fittings and other supplies in connection with the maintenance of all the Ottawa public buildings.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Who is responsible for

looking after the ventilation and heating of

<2918

Supply-Public Works

this chamber? After a time it is usually so hot and stuffy that it is not fit for people to live in.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Employees of the Department of Public Works operate the equipment under the direction of the officials of the house.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

That does not give us

very much information. Is anybody responsible in general for looking after this chamber and the other rooms in order that they may be properly ventilated, not overheated, and that the air, at least in this chamber, may be fit to breathe? Surely there is somebody whose duty it is to superintend this work. The matter has been referred to a number of times in the house but we do not seem to get anywhere. Is there someone on whom the minister could place the responsibility?

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I do not see the Sergeant-at-Arms in his seat. There is a thermometer on his desk. He is supposed to keep an eye on the temperature indicated by that thermometer and if it gets too high, to have some fresh air let in or, if it gets too low, to see that the temperature is increased.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The real difficulty is the

condition of the atmosphere. Some times it is not only the heat but the bad air which i? oppressive. The place is not properly ventilated. We have an expensive set of machinery for ventilating the building. I do not know what type it is but either the machinery is faulty or those who are operating it do not know their business. That is the long and the short of the matter. The situation is serious because while we sit here during the session, we almost invariably get a headache or feel some other depression. With this expensive machinery we ought to have satisfactory ventilation and we are not getting it.

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CON
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

This is something to

which I have been devoting some thought and time in connection with some of my other duties. The system is called the combination plenum and exhaust system. There are fans that are supposed to suck in the pure air and other fans which are supposed to draw out the impure air.

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CON
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

This building is a good

deal like other buildings which have been erected under the supervision of the best architects procurable; it is well constructed After a number of people have been in all the galleries and in the house from three o'clock in the afternoon until perhaps ten o'clock in the evening and a number of members on all sides of the house have been talking a good deal, the air is not as good at ten o'clock in the evening as it was when the house opened at three o'clock in the afternoon. My hon. friend will notice that now there is nothing to complain about. I see we are all agreed on that.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

What would happen if we called the divorce bills?

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Of course, you cannot expect it to remain like this all the time. To be serious, I am told that in practically every building after it has been occupied five or six or seven hours, even under the best regulated system off ventilation known to architectural science, the air becomes not as fresh as it was at the beginning. It is the same with any theatre. I understand that the system here is one to which great consideration was given at the time of the construction of this building, and it is said to be in repair at the present time. Only recently we have adopted the system of gauging the temperature by a thermometer, which is under the supervision of a very careful official of the house, who makes it one of his duties to regulate the temperature.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

No plenum system will work if an outside door is open, because that lets the draught in and puts the whole arrangement out of order. The plenum system in a building of this kind will not work, and you might as well make up your mind to that, but we might get some relief from letting in the fresh air.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I suppose that, like all

questions of a more or less scientific nature, there are differences of opinion about that.

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CON
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I think so, if I may say so. According to my information, our system is one of the best available, but, of course, if a door is open in very cold weather you will get a draught through any building.

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CON
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

It is the point, if I may say so, in connection with this building. Those sitting particularly in the vicinity

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where I now stand can feel a draught on the back of their neck practically every time the outside door and the door over here are open at the same time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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May 11, 1928