Would the Prime Minister
give particulars regarding the second item in this estimate?
Would the Prime Minister
give particulars regarding the second item in this estimate?
Yes, I will give the hon.
member the information he desires. The statement reads as follows:
In full and final settlement of claim of Coast Quarries Limited of Vancouver, British Colum-
Supply-Harbours and Rivers
bia, in connection with their contract No. 15.942 for section 5 of the North Jetty at Steveston, British Columbia, $12,260.60.
This amount of $12,260.16 is asked to be provided in full and final settlement of claim of Coast Quarries Limited of Vancouver, British Columbia, in connection with their contract No. 15,942 for the construction of section No. 5 of the North Jetty at the mouth of the Fraser river at Steveston, British Columbia.
In memo of November 25, 1930 chief engineer Cameron states as follows:
Under authority of order in council of August 16. 1928, contract was entered into with Coast Quarries Limited of Vancouver. British Columbia, for the construction of Section No. 5 of the North Jetty at the mouth of the Fraser river, at Steveston, New Westminster district, British Columbia.
Contract was dated October 1, 1928, and called for completion April 1, 1930.
The contract provided for the supply and placing of rock to form a continuation of the existing Steveston North Jetty. The length of the section No. 5 proposed to be built was 5,000 lineal feet, and the estimated quantity of material under the contract was 41,300 tons of 150 lb. rock at 1.724 per ton; 106,200 tons of 500 lb. rock at 1.674 per ton which involved an estimated expenditure of $249,127.50.
Final estimate was forwarded March 24, 1930 and paid. It certified to
24.093 tons at $1.724 $ 72,610 42
105,164 tons at $1.074 176,149 70
and involved a total earning of.. $248,760 12
Which, it will be observed, is within a few dollars of the amount mentioned in the estimate.
In transmitting that final estimate I observed that Coast Quarries Limited had filed a claim for additional payment. This report deals with that claim. The contractors' solicitor, J. E. Bird, of Vancouver, wrote on February 3, and 13, 1930 setting out the grounds on which the claim was based. These letters were followed by numerous interviews in Ottawa with W. A. Bickwell of the contracting firm, and with district engineer Worsfold who was in Ottawa on departmental business.
The amount asked by the contractors as additional compensation isfor extra dolphins $ 3,036
for rock dumped by hand 10 August to
31st December 1929, 43,700 tons.. .. 17,480
for rock dumped by hand 31st December 1929 to completion 17,000 tons.. 6,800
A report to council was prepared February 26, 1931 recommending that an amount of $12,260.16 be paid the Coast Quarries Limited.
What was the date of settlement?
The report to council by the department was made February 26, 1931.
An. hon. MEMBER: Was this settlement accepted by the contractor?
The department determined on the report of the engineers that this was all they would pay, and so advised the contractors. This item is for that purpose. I am advised that they would have liked to get something more, but they cannot get it.
Before these public works items are passed, could the minister give the house the amount of money voted at the last regular session for public works that was not expended? If I understood the Prime Minister correctly a short time ago he said that no contracts that were entered into, for which money was voted by the late government, were cancelled by the present administration. I wish to say that, speaking for my own county,
I know of two contracts that were entered into but which were cancelled and the work under which was never carried out.
Would the hon. gentleman bo good enough to give the names?
One public work was the Summerside wharf, amounting to $7,500. Not only was the contract not carried out, but the cheque of the contractors was kept at Ottawa until just about a month ago, when it was returned to them. They were told then that the contract had been given to another party, and as far as I know that party did not even put in a tender for the work. These men were given a small cheque to pay the interest on their deposit cheque, which has been held here since last July. I think in all fairness, when money was voted at the last regular session of parliament, when there was unemployment in the county and a special session of this house was called during which $20,000,000 was voted for unemployment, that the $25,000 which was voted for the county of Prince should have been spent, especially when tenders for these works were called for and accepted. That amount of money would have been a great help to the farmers, fishermen and labourers of that county last fall, when unemployment was rife. Instead, the cheque of the contractors was held here and the work never was proceeded with. I submit further that if the government, for political reasons or otherwise, did not wish to allow the contractors to go on which those contracts, they had plenty of time to call for new tenders and to allow some of their own men to get the contracts and proceed with the work. We worked for years in the house to get those votes through, and they were very important. One concerned a harbour for poor fishermen along the shore. They have been fighting for that harbour for thirty or forty years. The item was supported by the Minister of
Fisheries and put through this house, and the contract was awarded. The work was never proceeded with, and I want an explanation from my good friend the Minister of Public Works as to why the deposit cheque was held here at Ottawa for four or five months and the work never proceeded with. I think the government has some explaining to do to square itself with the people of that county with regard to these two contracts.
The information the hon. gentleman seeks will be supplied in due course, either when the main estimates are under consideration, or through answer to a question put on the order paper. It is obvious that the information is not available at the moment. It will be supplied, in the one way or the other, by the Minister of Public Works. I may say that I am advised that there must be some mistake in my hon. friends appreciation of the facts.
The hon. member for Prince (Mr. MacLean) has made a very serious assertion with regard to the Department of Public Works. He has stated that a contract was cancelled and that the Minister of Public Works or his officials entered into a contract with new contractors without calling for tenders. I think we should have some explanation of this matter before going any further.
I am sure the hon. mem-eer for Antigonish-Guysborough realizes that this has nothing to do with the item under consideration. We are considering the British Columbia item now.
Mr- DU FI : As the deputy speaker would say, it is a matter of principle.
We are now considering the British Columbia item.
The reason I brought it up on this item is because we are now considering the public works for the various provinces, and there is no estimate for Prince Edward Island. If I brought it up at all I had to bring it up when we were considering the public works estimates. The only other estimate on which I could have discussed it was the dredging estimate, and I might have been shut out under that. I am willing to let the matter stand for now, but we should have an explanation why these contracts were handled in this way.
Item agreed to. Public works-roads and bridges-Dominion roads and bridges generally-further amount required, $10,100. Interprovineial bridge over Ottawa river at Hawkesbury, the Quebec government to contribute one-third of cost of construction only, the Ontario government to contribute one-fourth of cost of construction and to pay annually one-fourth the maintenance costs-further amount required, $28,300.-Total, $38,400.
How much money has been paid to the contractors on the Hawkes-bury-Grenville bridge so far, and how much money has been collected from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec?
Mr. BliNNEFl : The amount earned by
the contractors is 896,340; the amount paid by the Dominion government is $35,926, and by the Quebec government $32,114. The balance due is $28,300. Of that amount of $28,300 asked for, the provincial governments will eventually refund their portions.
I would like to ask also if there will be a further sum in the main estimates with regard to this bridge, because there is additional information I would like to secure.
Yes, there must be another estimate because the contract is outstanding for $150,000.
Then there will be another amount in the main estimates?
Item agreed to. Progress reported. PRIVILEGE-MR. LaVERGNE Mr. ARMAND R. LaVERGNE (Mont-magny) : I rise to a question of privilege. My good friend from Quebec South (Mr. Power) said this afternoon that I was owner and director of a paper in Quebec called Le Franc-Parler. I wish to say that while I write in that paper I neither own nor direct it. My hon, friend also cast a sort of aspersion upon me, implying that I might be a partisan. I understand that so long as you do not lay flowers at my hon. friend's feet you are supposed to be a partisan, but I appeal to the loyalty of my hon. friend from Quebec South: he knows better than anyone else that I am not a partisan.