July 22, 1960 (24th Parliament, 3rd Session)

PC

George Stanley White (Government Whip in the Senate)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. White:

I just want to say a word or two on this item. Westminster hospital in London, Ontario, is located in my constituency and consequently I feel considerable interest in the problems of the veterans. First of all I want to pay tribute to the sympathetic understanding of the minister of the problems of veterans. I also want to pay tribute to the excellent staff of doctors and nurses at Westminster hospital. All over my riding I hear compliments from time to time about the great work they are doing at that hospital for our disabled veterans.
Having said that there are other questions which arise from time to time. It was brought to my attention during the winter months that of the over 800 trees in the grounds some 413 were diseased or had scale or some other problem and were to be removed. I have received more complaints regarding the proposed removal of these trees than about any other thing which has been done in the area. I am glad to hear that the destruction of these trees has been delayed and that the Ontario department of forestry was going to make a survey of these trees. It is interesting to note that a company in the city received in 1955 almost $1,500 for spraying, pruning and fertilizing these trees, and in 1956 they received $1,497. But when we come to 1960 it is discovered that almost half of these trees are earmarked for destruction.
I am concerned about this because not only the hospital authorities but also the provincial highways department and the county organizations have developed a tree butchery campaign, and when you realize it takes a lifetime to grow these beautiful trees, we should hesitate before they are removed. I do not object to the removal of those trees which become dangerous. They should be removed. But I doubt if there is one tree in all the forests of Canada on which you cannot find a bug, a scale or a disease of some kind. Consequently the argument that these trees are all diseased does not hold water as far as I am concerned, and I hope that before a large number of them are removed provision will be made for young trees to be planted before the older ones are removed.
I also want to say a word or two on item 462, but before I sit down I want to ask the minister what progress is being made on the new building at Westminster hospital? (Translation):

Topic:   I960
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