July 7, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Angus McLennan


Mr. ANGUS MCLENNAN (Inverness).

Before you leave the Nova Scotia items, I desire to call attention to the fact that while I am pleased to see so many votes for increased accommodation along various sections of the Intercolonial Railway passing through that province, I regret that the good old county of Inverness, through which thirty-five miles of the road runs, is left out. My regret is that the minister, on his tour of inspection, did not have time to see that fine county in daylight, and most of all to see its requirements. There is a private company owned railway running along the county of Inverness, a distance of 61 miles. There are three thriving coal mining towns tributary to that road, together with about two-thirds of the area of the county of Inverness and its people. All the freight emanating from these mining towns and other parts of that county, together with the passenger traffic, passes, almost all of it, over the Intercolonial Railway. That other railway forms a junction with the Intercolonial Railway about a mile and a half or so from the Strait of Canso, or about a mile and a half from Point Tupper, one of the Intercolonial railway terminals. Every passenger-and this is what I desire to call attention to particularly-who leaves the county of Inverness by that road has to land in a swamp along the track of the Intercolonial Railway. The government, it would appear, took excellent care to make accommodation for the freight coming off the Inverness and Richmond Railway, but it left the passengers to shift for themselves, and they have to land, as I have said, about a mile and a half from the government station at Point Tupper. The attention of the late Minister of Railways (Mr. Blair) was brought to this matter by myself, and he claimed that it was the duty of the private company to provide a shelter there for its passengers. The company, on the other hand, contend that they have their station in the town
of Hawkesbury, about one-quarter of a mile from this junction, and that the moment they land their passengers on the Intercolonial track they are Intercolonial passengers, and consequently they back their train right to their station in the town of Hawkesbury. I have been time and again on board the Intercolonial and taken the Inverness train to my home, and in the spring and winter I have seen twenty-five to thirty passengers, of both sexes, having to walk the whole length of the train in snow and slush to their knees and get to the Intercolonial as best they could. This has been going on some six or seven years, so that it is a case, as far as the people of Inverness are concerned, of being between the de'il and the deep sea. What I contend is that the passenger earnings which the Intercolonial derives from this traffic amply warrant a station being built at that junction by the government for their accommodation. The passenger earnings on this 61 miles of the Inverness railroad this last calendar year were $20,000, and no doubt that would be at least duplicated on the Intercolonial, because the run on that road is longer. With its freight traffic and passenger traffic that 01 miles of railway cleared $75,000 last year, as is shown by the government returns. These earnings, I say again, have been more than duplicated in the case of the Intercolonial, because the greater amount of that freight and traffic would go over the Intercolonial sometimes twice or three times the distance that it goes over the Inverness road. I listened to a question asked and answered in this House the other day as to the amount paid by the Sydney and Louisburg Company to the government for the use of the government terminals at Sydney. It is evident from that question and its answer that the Sydney and Louisburg road is compelled to make use of the government terminals at iSydney, for which they pay a certain amount. What I claim is then that it is the duty of the government either to erect a modest station for the shelter of the passengers here or compel the running of the Inverness trains into the government terminals at Point Tupper. The people of Inverness would be perfectly satisfied with either.

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