I would draw the attention of the Minister of Public Works to a really urgent case which has developed in my riding during the past two weeks, and I am afraid that if something is not done in the way of provision in the Supplementary Estimates the wheels of industry in that part of my constituency will be at least retarded if not entirely tied up.
1 have reference to the harbour at the town of Little Current, on the north channel of Georgian bay. As hon. members no doubt are aware, we have a large coal dock at that point handling from 100,000 to 200,000 tons of coal per annum, coal which is shipped in during the session of navigation and carried northward over the Al-goma Eastern railway to the various industries on that line. Up to two years
ago boats of about 10,000 tons burden could carry the coal to the dock, but owing to the lowering of the water in lake Huron, probably due to the Chicago drainage canal and other causes, the channels of that lake are becoming so low that boats of large draft can no longer go through them. In this connection I should like to read a letter I have received from Mr. G. A. Montgomery, and of which no doubt the minister has a copy in his department:
Dear 'Sir,-The Steamer Collier owned by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. Cleveland. O.. loaded with approximately 5,500 tons of coal for the Spanish River Pulp & Paper Mills, struck while coming to our dock at Little Current on Sunday, April 23rd. The point where the steamer grounded was in mid-channel just off Gibbons Point. Captain Wilson who was in charge of the vessel, claims he was on the ranges when the boat grounded. Steamer was drawing eighteen feet six, but there was only abount eighteen feet two or three inches of water. Damage to the vessel consisted of thirteen frames bent and three plates sprung. This is the seventeenth trip that Capt. Wilson has made to Little Current and he states the Collier was on exactly the same course as followed by him on previous trips. The Coilier is being repaired at Little Current by stopping up the leak with concrete. The Harbour Master at Little Current has been notified of the grounding and I understand he has, in turn, notified the Marine Department.
Following that, I received yesterday and the day before three or four telegrams. Here is one I received from the Soo:
Would appreciate anything you can do in removing danger of navigation at Little Current. Grounding of the steamer Collier already reported to you will have serious effect upon our business. Vessel owners making strenuous objections sending their boats to our dock on account of navigation difficulties that point.
I have also a telegram from the mayor of Little Current, as follows:
On last trip steamer Colilier aground in centre of channel. Bottom badly damaged. Something must be done at once or coal dock wiM have to close to large steamers.
The minister, I think, received a wire yesterday from the owners of the boat at Cleveland, reading as follows:
Cleveland, Ohio, May 16, 1922.
Steamer Collier entering Little Current channel April 23rd struck rock obstruction damaging eleven plates and frames to such extent boat obliged come down light. For drydocking cost of repairs approximately ten thousand dollars. Very necessary obstruction be removed. Considerable pressure is brought upon us from time to time move coal into Little Current as some Canadian owners have refused to carry coal to that place account of constant liability of damage.
A. E. R. Schneider, Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company.
I might say in passing that the Espanola Pulp and Paper Company consumes some
150 tons of coal every twenty-four hours throughout the year. They get all their coal from that dbck, so you can see what this means to them. If something is not done to remove this obstruction, that immense industry and. other industries along the north shore will have to close down. I trust that the minister will have this matter attended to immediately. I might even suggest that the Government dredge, which I believe is now fitting out at Midland, on the Georgian Bay, he taken up to Little Current to do the work, so that these boats can get in. It will be a serious national loss if this work is not done.
Topic: PUBLIC WORKS