Mr. HAUGHTON LENNOX (South Sim-coe) moved:
That, in the opinion of this House, before committing the country to any of the alternative propositions, no w under consideration for construction of the Quebec bridge, or incurring any substantial additional outlay, it is the duty of the Minister of Railways to inform this House, by a general comprehensive statement, of all the important steps taken and information secured by the government in connection with the undertaking, and the present situation in reference to alternative plans, cost and the like, but not including information liable to prejudice the public interest in connection with tenders; and to afford the peoples' representatives in parliament an opportunity of considering and advising upon what is best in the public interest.
He said: This is a question which is
of course surrounded by a good deal of difficulty, and I recognize the embarrassing position the Minister of Railways finds himself in in connection with this Quebec bridge. So far it has been an unsatisfactory and expensive undertaking, without any good results. We are now committed to an additional large expenditure and what I aim at in this motion is not for the present to criticise the government, hut to ascertain what the situation is. A good deal of effort has been made during the present session to discover how far the undertaking has advanced, what the probable cost may be, what kind of structure is contemplated, and other matters of interest to the public, but we have not been successful in getting that information. In January, 1909, the minister said that plans were being then prepared, and that before a year's end he expected he would be able to tell the House the probable cost of the new structure. But the year has elapsed, and another year since, and still we are in the dark. In 1909 the minister seemed to think that as soon as the three experts had prepared their plans and were ready to call for tenders he would announce to the House the probable cost. I understand that he is less hopeful now of being able to tell us that.
Subtopic: THE QUEBEC BRIDGE.