March 2, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Mulock


By the authority of the Minister of Railways.
So we have it established as clear as anything can be established that this transaction originated in the way that it is here described. Then we go on and discuss the matter and Sir William Mulock tells me that a deputation is coming down within three or four days from the riding of North York; he understands that some of my own constituents will be here with that deputation and he invites me to attend it. I did go and listen as he had invited me. He said that I would be convinced, but I was not convinced, and I am not convinced yet. I think I will not be convinced as the time goes on because it has demonstrated more and more the utter uselessness and absurdity of the scheme. The Minister of Justice thought it was worth while to refer to the personnel of that deputation. I cannot say that I am surprised at the Minister of Justice. I have been here since 1905 when he came in and I am not a bit surprised that he thought it magnificent argument to put up, that T. Herbert Lennox, representative of the riding, at the request of people who wanted money expended in the riding, came down as one of the deputation. Where have we drifted since then? What was the amount that was said to be the total expenditure for the scheme ? I understood from some members of the deputation that it was then said that it would cost $350,000. What is it to cost now ? I do not know whether it was for the purpose of influencing votes during the last election, but it was reported during the election that there was going to be $.3,500,000 expended upon the work. The Minister of Justice has thought fit to refer to the fact that I have advocated the digging of a trench from the Holland river proper up to the railway station at Bradford. In that he is entirely mistaken. My constituents at Bradford have felt that inasmuch as the government carried away the wharf which they should have built in South Simcoe and put it across on the other side of the river so that they have to cross the river in order to get to the wharf which should serve them on Holland river, they were entitled to have a cutting made up to the railway station and they sent in a petition in regard to the matter. As representative of that riding I had the honour to present that petition, as I shall be happy to accede to any proper request which my constituents make to me. The hon. gentlemen will not find that I have advocated the scheme further than to represent the wishes of my constituents in that regard. But, there is a thousand miles of difference between that scheme of cutting a trench up to the railway station, if it can be done for a moderate expenditure, and this mad-cap scheme of

spending one million dollars or two million dollars for a cutting which has already demonstrated itself as an absolutely indefensible scheme. Last summer in going through _ that county * two or three times a week in the dry season-and I want to say that it was a particularly dry season last year and could not be taken as a fair average-but in going through that district last year I never could detect that any water was escaping beyond the pond or dam in the village of Newmarket. In other words, all the water of that stream appeared to be evaporating from the surface of the pond, and scores of people passing up and down noticed the same fact. This is an absolutely indefensible expenditure of public money and notwithstanding the fact that so much money has been squandered already on it I believe it would be wise at this point to stop.

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