May 25, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)


Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)


Hon. Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 18, 1951, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) asked me to explain the difference between certain amounts that were given in answer to questions put by two hon. members concerning the site for the printing bureau in Hull. The answer is a lengthy one, but I think I should put it on Hansard.
The Federal District Commission Act, 1927, chapter 55 of the statutes of 1927, was amended by chapter 51 of the statutes of 1946 to provide for the establishment of the national capital district, which is defined in the amending act as the national capital district established pursuant to this act.
The responsibility for selecting the location of sites, inter alia, for public buildings within the confines of the national capital district is vested in the federal district commission by virtue of section 6A of the said act as amended in 1946.
The national capital planning committee was established by the federal district commission, under authority of order in council P.C. 1266 of April 18, 1946, for the purpose of drawing up a master plan for the development, improvement and beautification of the national capital district.
By letter dated December 5, 1946, directed to the Minister of Public Works, the chairman of the federal district commission advised that upon the advice of the national capital planning committee the federal district commission had' recommended the expropriation of a property in the city of Hull by the dominion government, the commission having approved the site for the erection thereon of the printing bureau and other departmental buildings incidental to the future building development, the said site being described by the commission as follows:
That area bounded on the north by Brewery creek, on the east by Maisonneuve street, on the south by Boulevard Sacre Coeur to St. Henri street to Marsden property line to St. Redempteur street
to Elgin street to Brewery creek, saving and excepting the property already owned and occupied by the Reverend Oblate Fathers.
The expropriation of the above described area, as approved by the federal district commission, was further authorized by the governor in council under P.C. 842, dated March 6, 1947.
The first question referred to by the leader of the opposition in sessional paper 107-D, dated May 17, 1951, as asked by the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness), was as follows:
How much was paid for the site on which the building is being erected?
The answer is as follows:
Estimated cost, $496,817.56.
The figure contained in this answer is an estimate covering the cost of the acquisition of land acquired for the purpose of the erection of the printing bureau proper, and is exclusive of the land contiguous thereto that was acquired for the purpose of future building development in accordance with the approval of the federal district commission. Of this estimated cost, the sum of $455,080 has to date been paid. The balance of $41,737.56 is the estimated cost of the settlement covering the remaining lands in the printing bureau site proper as aforesaid.
The second question referred to by the leader of the opposition in sessional paper 107-B dated March 27, 1950, as asked by the hon. member for Victoria, Ont. (Mr. Hodgson), was as follows:
What was the cost of the site of the proposed printing bureau in Hull, Quebec?
The answer was:
Cost of the site to date, $824,979.72.
The figure contained in this answer represents the cost at that date of the lands acquired in accordance with the recommendation and approval of the federal district commission for the purpose of erecting thereon a printing bureau and development of the contiguous area for government buildings in the future. The figure is, of course, not exhaustive of the cost of the acquisition of the entire area, but will be supplemented in accordance with the adjudication by the exchequer court, or settlement reached, as the case may be.

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