David James HARTIGAN
HARTIGAN, David James, M.D., C.M.
- Cape Breton South (Nova Scotia)
- Birth Date
- November 8, 1887
- Deceased Date
- January 16, 1952
- October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
- LIBCape Breton South (Nova Scotia)
Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 25)
May 31, 1939
Had the number been called, I would have spoken before. What I wanted to bring to the notice of the minister was the position of Sydney with regard to the public wharf. I think it is of interest to the department to be well acquainted with conditions there in respect to public wharves.
A short time ago I took up with the transport commission the idea of re-routing the Canadian National Railways along the waterfront in Sydney. The dominion government has an extensive wharf property in Sydney; they have spent a great deal of money on it; but with all that there are a number of wharf properties below the government-owned property which are very unsightly, and I would suggest to the Department of Public Works that a survey of the Sydney waterfront be made this year. It would be of really economic value to the government as a whole, because, with the cooperation of the transport commission, a large amount of useless expenditure on the part of the railways could be avoided. What I have reference to is the fact that the Canadian National Railways go directly through the centre of the city, and at the present time Sydney is making application for overhead bridges to cross the railroad tracks. I am informed by the transport commission's engineers that those bridges will cost from $225,000 to $250,000 apiece. If we assume two or three of these are required, the aggregate expense will be pretty nearly a million dollars.
There are six crossings in the city, and because of the congestion of traffic, chiefly motor vehicles, I am informed, and I believe correctly, about twenty-five people have lost their lives at the level crossings. That fact will give some indication of the danger, which is increasing because of the greater tourist traffic following the completion of our public park and so forth, and probably the death-rate will increase in the future. Therefore Sydney has taken action by applying to the transport commission to provide over-head bridges or some means of eliminating the level crossings. My contention is that if the department would institute a survey of the waterfront at Sydney from their own wharf to where the railroad sidings go through the city, by means of a little cooperation-and I have no doubt the transport commission would be pleased to cooperate, because all these bodies come under the government of Canada-and because of this public works feature of the water-front, the whole scheme could be put through for roughly a million dollars, and it would give the government a real water-front. In any event it would cost the transport commission three-quarters of a
million dollars to provide overhead crossings. A word to the wise is sufficient; I am not going to belabour the point.
I quite agree with the junior hon. member for Halifax that the biggest difficulty in Nova Scotia, and one which I will venture to say is not usual in respect of public works offices in Canada as a whole, is on account of the fact that our Nova Scotia district office of public works is under-staffed and undermanned. The officers of the public works department should 'be more cognizant of what is going on; if they were, a good deal of money would be saved. The public works department should undertake this work. If a survey were made this year I have no doubt a minimum valuation would be put on the properties and a good many of them could be had for next to nothing. No one knows who owns them. Altogether the situation is deplorable and calls for remedial measures. I hope the minister will take the matter into consideration.
May 31, 1939
Why talk of Hull? What about Alberta?
May 31, 1939
Comparing this amount of $3,556,020 with the $2,817,357 spent for the maintenance and operation of dominion public buildings and grounds in Ottawa, I submit that the vote for Ottawa of practically $3,000,000 is, to say the least, out of proportion to an amount of only $3,500,000 to be expended throughout Canada. In this connection I have in mind a town in Nova Scotia, the town of Dominion. Although there are public buildings scattered all over the Dominion of Canada, there is not and never has been one in the town of Dominion. It is a long established town, yet they have not even a post office of their own; quarters are rented for a post office.
When I think of the amount of money spent in Ottawa, practically $3,000,000, and throughout Canada some $3,500,000 for the maintenance of grounds and buildings in cities and towns, I cannot help thinking that there is a marked disparity between the amount appropriated for some other places and the amount spent in Dominion. I am not asking for a large building, but at least the people there should have a respectable public building and a standard post office from which the Canadian flag or the union jack could fly. But there is no public building of any sort in that community. It is not fair. I admit that the revenue is not large; but, after all, that is not the sole consideration. Surely the government wishes to maintain a certain standard in its public buildings.
I do not see why we should be continually considering the revenue^producing capacity of any building in Canada. I venture to say there are many public buildings that could not begin to liquidate the capital expenditure
involved in their erection. I am not criticizing the department; I am speaking of the government as a whole,' and I am discussing public facilities, provided by the government to the .various provinces. I believe that we are too prone, whenever we are discussing any public building, to think mainly of the revenue that can be derived from it. That is the wrong attitude, and from my observations in the past four years it is becoming more and more evident. I think the fault lies with our system of government in Ottawa. Our civil servants are thinking too much in terms of revenues from amounts invested tq-day, forgetting the vast sums of money which, expended in the past, have yielded no revenues. One has only to look at the canals in Canada and other public works as well. Go down the St. Lawrence and look at that vast canal system which Norwegians and people from other countries make use of without paying any toll to the government. Again, I am not criticizing the federal administration with regard to all these public works. In my opinion they are wonderful feats of engineering and are a tribute to Canada; but it seems to me that the department lays undue emphasis upon the question of revenue. I repeat, I am not criticizing the minister. I give him full credit for all he has done. He is a genius, a prodigy; I have often admired his ability to stand up under strain. I am simply asking him to give some consideration to the smaller towns and to provide us with at least a small-sized post office in the community of which I speak.
May 31, 1939
The hon. member for Leeds went from item 540 to item 541, and the chairman did not call the number.
May 31, 1939
I know, but it was after the hon. member for Leeds shifted to the Charlottetown appropriation.