Not altogether. They are based upon our experience from year to year as to what is required. Some years we have to defer to the next certain works which should be but are not done. Last year we had to do this, and it will probably have to be done this year.
Is it the intention of the department to complete the new channel prior to the beginning of the freshets? Has the minister any information as to the silting up of the old channel which may interfere with shipping on the river?
I gather from the minister that he is including in this general vote the amounts required to make repairs rendered necessary by conditions which have already arisen. Is it his usual practice to include in this special vote repairs rendered necessary before the estimates are prepared? I understood him to say that the total had to be estimated in order to provide for contingencies which might arise because of storms during the year and I should like to know if he expects that the storms will increase three hundred per cent in some provinces and only thirty three and a third per cent in others?
My hon. friend knows very well that that is not the basis upon which this estimate is made. I have told him that there is no principle as to storms or anything else upon which we can
Harbours and Rivers
rely. My hon. friend carried a substantial general vote and this vote is for the very same purpose. Our specific items have been reduced very materially and this general vote is enlarged to enable us to meet emergencies rather than have the money tied up in some specific vote so that it cannot be used when something more urgent turns up.
total-I will not ask for the shameful details -of the few meagre nickels which have by some fortuitous change been scattered around the district which I represent? I know he will blush when he states the amount because it is so small; I will blush when I hear it, but it may be just as well to have it upon the record.
I am somewhat in the position of the young lady teacher who went to the bank to get her salary cheque cashed. The teller had run out of clean bills and he asked her if she would be offended by having to take dirty ones, with the possibility of getting some microbes. She said she was not afraid because no microbe could live on the salary she was getting.
excuse me for taking up a little of his time at this point. Unfortunately I was ill at home at the time the New Brunswick items went through and therefore was not in a position to obtain the information I would like to obtain. Under appropriation No. 116 I see an amount of $25,300 for wharf extension and repairs at Shippigan. Is it the intention to ask for tenders for this work?
because I have word from home that it is understood that tenders would not be called for and that the department was already preparing to see that only such-and-such persons would get on that work. I am satisfied now that if the work is under tender, things will be all right.
Perhaps I am trespassing on the rules of the house, but I wish to refer to another item:
Harbours and rivers generally-for maintenance of services, no new works to be undertaken, $125,000.
Either under that item or under another further on, No. 124, "dredging, maritime provinces," is it the intention to do any dredging work in Tracadie harbour this year? If it is, this would be quite satisfactory; but if the minister has not money devoted to that purpose, that is for continuing the work done in 1930 by a suction dredge, I target whether it was No. 4 or No. 12, I wish to point this out to him: An expenditure of $175,000 or $165,000 was made for the construction of breakwaters for the opening of a new entrance to Tracadie harbour. Tenders were called for this work in 1930 under the former government; the contract was awarded under the present government and work was completed last year, I think some time in October, and accepted by the department. If no dredging is done in Tracadie harbour this year out of this item for dredging in New Brunswick or the one for harbours and rivers generally in that province, that work will remain in such a state that it cannot be used and $175,000 will have been spent without there being any chance of 'the work already done being used. In these times of depression the government should be anxious to do everything possible to help people to earn their living, and if the opening of the new channel at the entrance to Tracadie harbour could be proceeded with this year, this would mean giving a chance to earn a living to from seventy-five to one hundred fishing boat crews. If this dredging is left as it is and the $175,000 breakwater already constructed remains idle, those people will have no means whatever to earn 'their livelihood in the fishing industry. The present entrance to Tracadie harbour is and has been for years too dangerous to allow those people to carry on their work in the fishing industry. Prior to about four or five years ago, the lumber industry was flourishing in that district, but now that the mills are closed and that industry is not carried on to any great extent, the people there have to resort to farming and fishing. The dredge boat is in Tracadie harbour; it was idle during a,11 1931 and 1932; it has to remain there because it cannot get out without dredging its way out. It is going to decay because no repairs have been made. The minister might as well have it employed to do this useful work which will give those people the means to earn their livelihood.
The only reason is that the appropriation will not permit. When the construction of the breastworks or breakwater referred to by my hon. friend was undertaken, it was realized that to make the work effective, dredging would have to follow. The breastworks had to be constructed first. The importance of the work to the fishermen is fully realized and I can only assure my hon. friend that when circumstances permit and when funds are available, we shall resume that work, but I do not hope to be able to do so this year.