June 7, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)


Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Black (Cumberland):

I do not know whether the minister wishes to proceed with this matter tonight. It has been the practice
Supply-Resources and Development
to have a general discussion on the first item, that of administration. The minister's department is an important one, which is asking in the estimates for more than $35 million. There are very many headings.
I do not know of any of them that is as important as the one that was discussed all day and all night, namely, the item of housing.
When the department was organized with the minister in charge we in Nova Scotia and eastern Canada expected a good deal from him and from the department. As one Nova Scotian to another I say to him that I want to see him succeed in his effort and to make a success of his department. But there is a feeling in Nova Scotia that very little progress has been made in the activities that have been assigned to this department.
I have a few items here such as the Chignecto canal and cheaper power for our part of the province. I doubt whether the minister has made an inspection of the Chignecto canal and whether he gave support to its construction when a very large delegation came here. It was rather enlightening to see the interest which the Minister of Transport took in the proposed St. Lawrence seaway. He accompanied a large delegation over the St. Lawrence river inspecting that part of the river in which the seaway is proposed to be built at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, and perhaps a billion dollars, which would give cheap power to central Canada when constructed. I do not say that I am opposed to that expenditure, but I would expect some compensating expenditures in my part of the country.
I should like to refer to the St. Mary's tidal power project, which was discussed in this house some sessions ago. The minister gave it his blessing at that time and said that he would see that it was investigated. Ever since that time we have been waiting for a report from the minister. It would create about two million horsepower or more and it would give us cheap power in eastern Canada. While they have cheap power and are looking for still cheaper power in central Canada we have had to meet increased costs of electric power in my part of Canada. The cost of power in that part of the country has increased by as much as one-third, 25 per cent and so on.
During the discussion of his estimates I should like the minister to make a statement on the results of the investigations of the St. Mary's tidal power project at the head of the bay of Fundy. If it could be constructed it would be very important to eastern Canada, and probably would warrant the electric smelting of the enormous tonnage of iron

ore which will be produced in Labrador and which it is expected will be shipped largely to the United States centres.
We have also been disappointed with the progress made in the construction of the bridge over the strait of Canso. While this matter may not come directly under the minister's department, it has to do with resources and development. I presume he is working in close conjunction with the Minister of Transport and the government.
We have also been disappointed in the building and putting into service of the ferry steamship from Nova Scotia to Maine. We have had that promised to us and it has been delayed. Eastern Canada, and especially Nova Scotia, have every reason to be disappointed. There is also the question of the trans-Canada highway which we shall discuss in some detail when the item is called. We were assured that there would be large expenditures long before this in the construction of a trans-Canada highway which would give direct service to every part of Canada by the shortest practical route. In Nova Scotia nothing has been done up to the present. We shall get a further explanation from the minister. Perhaps he will make a general statement on that item when it is called, but anyway we shall expect direct information from him.
In Nova Scotia we have also been disappointed that no headway apparently has been made with the construction of the Blomidon national park. We were given assurance, perhaps not by the minister, but by his predecessor, that headway was being made in building this park.
Another important subject which has to do with resources and development is railway freight rates. I should like to have a general statement from the minister with respect to that as it relates to Nova Scotia. We are not satisfied with the situation there at the present time.
I shall refer to one other item before eleven o'clock, namely, the dispersal of industry and the construction of defence industries in the maritime provinces and the desirability of dispersing these large plants in this country. During the discussion of building houses it was pointed out how difficult it is, in fact almost impossible, to supply housing in the large centres of central Canada to accommodate the workmen required in those centres where as much as $100 million is being expended in a single constituency, which is more than is being expended in all of the maritime provinces under this heading.
As opposed to the dispersal of industry, people from central Canada are going to Nova

Scotia and eastern Canada all the time draining off our workmen. Just a few days ago a large mining concern from central Canada asked for 1,000 men from Nova Scotia, labourers, to supplement the 2,000 that they had already procured in Nova Scotia. That is just one instance. There have been scores of them. Scores of industries are drawing labour from the maritime provinces, and particularly from Nova Scotia, where industries of our own should be established under this heading with the assistance and encouragement of the government.
Item stands.
Progress reported.

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