April 30, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

The people on the Quebec coast may get some benefit. At any rate it is certain that none of it goes to the fishermen of British Columbia. I think that you might put us in the same position with regard to the Chinese revenue as you put the maritime provinces fishermen with regard to the Fisheries Award.
The second matter of great importance, if I should not have mentioned it first, is the question of railroad development. I think, and all British Columbians think the same, that, taking into consideration the amount we pay into the revenue, the province I come from deserves far more liberal treatment at the hands of the government than it receives. I do not mean at the hands of the present government alone, but it deserved it at the hands of the former gov-

eminent-for I never was backward, when I sat on tbe other side of this House in calling attention to tbe fact that British Columbia did not receive its just due from the Conservative government. There is no politics in this. Now, as everybody who knows anything about that province, knows, it is a land of enormous resources, it is a province teeming with gold, silver, lead, copper, coal, iron, timber, fish-everything to make a country prosperous if its resources are at all developed. But we find that, instead of the government coming to the aid of the men who are trying to build up that country, instead of treating them with an open hand and giving them a fair share of the sums that are distributed all over the Dominion, British Columbia does not get anything like its fair share.
We have a magnificent coast line of some thousand miles, we have water stretches innumerable, we have water powers such as I suppose there are in other portions of the Dominion, but in almost no other country in the world, and to develop these resources we must open up the country by railroad, it is a hard and an expensive country, owing to its rugged nature, to build lines in, and. therefore the government should, I think, in their wisdom, see fit to subsidize the lines pretty heavily that we wish to build. Enormous sums have been spent in other portions of the Dominion in railway building and in opening up the country. Large sums have been spent in British Columbia in putting the Canadian Pacific Railway through to the coast, but, this is a national highway, just as much for the benefit of Ontario and Quebec as it is for the benefit of the province of British Columbia. Now, if the government saw fit to subsidize such roads as I shall mention later on in British Columbia, so that we could get them built, it would not only be British Columbia that would derive benefit from these roads, but it would be the eastern manufacturers of every sort. I have no hesitation in saying that in a very few years, when British Columbia is developed, as it will be developed, and as it must be developed, eastern manufacturers and merchants will find it one of the very best markets for their goods. The four roads, that, at the present time, are needed in British' Columbia, are these : The Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railway is a railway from Victoria and Vancouver, from the coast along the Fraser river, through the rich delta lands, and up through Chilliwack and Hope to Midway in the Boundary country. That would give direct communication between the rich mining districts of the Kootenay, through the agricultural districts of Chilliwack and the Fraser river, and afford an outlet to the coast where the merchants might do business with the interior. The distance is about 200 miles, in a line as the crow flies. Another line that the people are agitating for is the line from Wellington to Cape Scott.

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