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


Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)


Wellington is a mining town close to Nanaimo on the Island of Vancouver and the railway now runs from Victoria to the town of Wellington. The people wish to have the road continued from Wellington to Cape Scott, a distance of about 230 miles, traversing the east coast of the Island of Vancouver, an island which is as rich as any island in the Dominion of Canada in minerals and forest wealth. Another line is one projected from Ashcroft, on the Canadian Pacific Railway near Kamloops, in the constituency of my hon. friend from Yale and Cariboo (Mr. Galliher), and running up through Cariboo district, the great gold mining region, in years gone by, of the Pacific coast, a district which has turned out, since it was discovered, more than $50,000,000 worth of gold, mined under the most primitive circumstances. There is at present a wagon road running up that distance, but freight rates on that road are so high that it is impossible for any mining development of any magnitude to be carried on there unless very rich diggings are found. If a railway were built into that country it would not only develop large agricultural and grazing districts, but it would open up one of the finest mineral countries that can be found in British Columbia. The fourth and last line that we wish to construct is a line for which the provincial government are asking assistance, from Kitmat, on the west coast of this continent, to run up to the Yukon, wholly as a Canadian line, so that we shall not have to pass through any American territory. In speaking on this subject, I wish again to say that the people of British Columbia beg that this government will take into consideration the amount that was paid and will deal liberally with the province in regard to subsidies. I know nothing, nor do I suppose any hon. gentleman on this side of the House has any idea, as to what the intentions of the government are in regard to railway subsidies to be brought down this session. The last time railway subsidies were brought down there was a meagre $96,000 given to British Columbia, but I sincerely trust, that when the railway subsidies are brought down we shall find that some large amounts are placed in them to develop one of the most magnificent provinces there is in the Dominion. It will pay well. The appeal to the government's pocket, I suppose, is the same as the appeal to the pocket of the private individual, the strongest that can be made.

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