September 23, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Hance James Logan

Liberal

Mr. LOGAN.

I am sorry that my hon. friend (Mr. Casgrain) was not here at the time, but he can refer back to the speech of the Minister of Finance for the information. As I was going on to say ; we have information as to the country from Quebec westward to Winnipeg and that information enables us to say that the weakest link in the chain, is that link which extends from North Bay to Winnipeg. And yet, Sir, my hon. friend (Mr. Brock) and his whole party were perfectly willing to assist the Grand Trunk to build from North Bay to Winnipeg, across the very weakest link in that whole chain. Our information shows that from Quebec to within 400 miles of Winnipeg, we have in the country a magnificent heritage, rich in agriculture and mineral and lumber resources. But from that point westward, there is no doubt that the country is not so good. However, it was through this least valuable of all the territory from North Bay to Winnipeg, that the member from Toronto (Mr. Brock) was willing to assist in building a railway. And what would happen if he had his way in this regard ? Why, Sir, the trade of this country, instead of being kept in Canadian channels, would
have been diverted to the ports of the United States. Sir, our information as to the country leads us to believe that we would not be true to Canada or true to ourselves, if we hesitated to give that country such means of transportation as will tend to develop its resources in minerals, In lumber, and in agriculture. I am surprised that a gentleman representing the progressive city of Toronto should stand up in this House and say : to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow. We want men of action in Canada. The day of delaying action until to-morrow is gone by. This project must be viewed from a broad national standpoint. This road does not come very near to my own province but we are looking on it, not as Nova Scotians, but as Canadians. We believe that the day for inaction has ceased in Canada, and that day has come when we should develop our resources with energy and with promptitude. That is why we favour this Bill. I was speaking, not over an hour ago, with a very prominent Conservative from Western Canada and he told me he regretted that his friends in the House of Commons were objecting to this railway, because, as he said, any man who knows the western country, realizes that we want not only one transcontinental line, but three or four transcontinental lines for the development of our western country alone, without taking into account at ail the development of northern Ontario and Quebec. I am surprised, Sir, that men who endorsed the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, should be so inconsistent as to now oppose the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. [DOT]
My hon. friend from Centre Toronto (Mr. Brock) spoke about the shipper in the wrest going to the agent of the Grand Trunk Pacific to find out the cheapest route by which to ship his grain. We admit that the shippers of the North-west desire to ship their grain by the cheapest route. But does my hon. friend not know that by the contract we have made, not only is the grain to be carried to a Canadian port at the same cost as to an American port, but that, more than that, it must be carried to the point of destination. whether Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton or anywhere else on the other side of the water, at the same cost as via United States ports ? If that is a condition of the contract by which the Grand Trunk Pacific Company are bound, does my hon. friend mean to insult the patriotism "of the farmers of the North-west Territories by saying that they are going to send their grain by American ports to Liverpool when they can send it by Canadian ports at the same cost ? Surely he does not know the spirit of loyalty and patriotism that animates the farmers of the North-west when he makes that suggestion. That is in the Contract, and that part of the contract will be carried out. My hon. friend has said that we have not any engineer's report, and

lie asks, why don't we wait until we get some eminent engineer to report on the line from Quebec to Winnipeg ? Mr. Chairman, the most eminent engineer of Canada is Sir Sandford Fleming. He was the chief engineer of construction of the Intercolonial Railway and the chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and has probably more knowledge than any other man in the Dominion of Canada of the engineering features of this country ; and he has endorsed this railway from Quebec to Winnipeg.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ROBERT MEIGHEN.
Full View