Matthew Robert BLAKE

BLAKE, Matthew Robert, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.

Personal Data

Winnipeg North (Manitoba)
Birth Date
January 8, 1876
Deceased Date
November 21, 1937
physician, surgeon

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
  Winnipeg North (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 14)

May 31, 1921


I was very sorry to hear from the member for West Lambton (Mr. Pardee) such an attack upon the people of Winnipeg and upon this Bill. I agree with every word said by the member for Proveneher (Mr. Molloy) that this is an interpnovircial stream, and as such should be controlled for the interests of both provinces rather than for the sole benefit of Backus. The hon. member for West Lambton expressed his regret at this Bill being brought down in the dying hours of the session, but we must do some work before prorogation.

It has been urged that because nothing but small and shallow boats are used on the Winnipeg river, therefore it cannot be regarded as a navigable stream. Will my hon. friend say that because there are small draught boats plying on the Mississippi that therefore the Mississippi is not a navigable stream? This river is a navigable stream, and must be regarded as such and controlled by the Dominion Government.

My hon. friend from West Lambton also regrets that the people of Winnipeg are interested in this matter. Why should they not be? Would he rather have Backus completely interested and the people of Winnipeg taking no part? The industrial life of tne province of Manitoba depends upon the power development on this river. We are also dependent upon the waters of this lake for our supply of drinking water. We have had our whiskey cut off but we do not purpose having our water supply cut off. The city of Winnipeg is the fourth manufacturing city in Canada and we have as cheap power as is to be foiind on the American continent. The water for our waterworks comes by gravity from the lake of the Woods, there being a drop of 291 feet from the lake of the Woods to lake Winnipeg. Practically every foot of this water can be utilized for the development of power to meet the needs of Winnipeg in the days to come.

The member for Lambton went on to say that there was plenty of power on the Winnipeg river for Manitoba and that there

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May 25, 1921


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May 20, 1921


The point raised by the member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding), has not so far been dealt with, and that is that chemists and druggists should have some better rate than $9. I was speaking to a druggist in the city who makes up his own tincture of iodine, and I learned that he uses one gallon per month. He will be precluded from doing that and will have to buy tincture from the pharmaceutical houses. I do not know that that will make much difference. The pharmaceutical manufacturer can get alcohol for $2.40 a gallon, and the druggist has to pay $9, so that he is precluded from doing any manufacturing whatever. I do not see any way by which you can overcome this difficulty. If you legislate so that what the druggist uses for manufacturing purposes will be charged excise at $2.40,

and what is required for beverage and rubbing purposes will be charged at $9, it . will be impossible to collect the tax. It would simply resolve itself into either giving the druggists the same rate as is charged at present, or a lower rate, or else the flat rate of $9 for all they use. If you say that what is used for manufacturing purposes will be charged at $2.40, some druggists would say that all of the alcohol used was for manufacturing. As the member for Lanark (Mr. Stewart) says, they would put in some tincture of gentian or medication, and say that they used the alcohol for manufacturing purposes. As I say, it resolves itself into the question whether the druggists shall be given a rate of $2.40, or an intermediate rate, or whether the rate shall be left as it is. In the West-I speak particularly in regard to Manitoba-alcohol is not obtainable by the public, except on a doctor's prescription for drinking or application. Practically all the alcohol handled in Manitoba is therefore obtained through the prescriptions of doctors, who can prescribe only'12 ounces. Of course, it all comes through the Government vendor and the revenue could be charged on it through the vendor. In Manitoba, the alcohol used for beverage purposes is all bottled before it leaves the Government vendors, but in regard to the other alcohol handled by the druggists, I think it would be only reasonable to leave the rate at $4.40.

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April 19, 1921


The object of this Bill is to prevent persons who have a tendency towards the drug habit from becoming what are known as dope fiends. If a man has a broken leg, in the United States, under the Harrison Act there must be a record if he is given a quarter of a grain or half a grain of morphine. We do not

need such restrictions in Canada. This resolution covers that point, for it provides that no drugs shall be given except for medicinal purposes, and on prescription. I remember a case in one of the cities in Canada where a doctor was approached by a drug fiend and offered a fabulous sum for an ounce of morphine. The doctor proceeded to procure the drug, but by a very ingenious trick on the part of the "patient" he was nicely taken in. He had arranged to meet his client at a hotel, and after delivering the drug, he was instructed to go to another room to receive the price of the sale; but when he went there was nobody there, and, of course, he did hot get the money he expected. The drug ring to-day is the greatest menace we have to contend with in Canada. Winnipeg is one of the important centres for the distribution of drugs, and, according to this morning's papers, $35,000 worth of drugs, which would have been sold at double that figure, were caught on one of the chief men in the drug ring in Toronto. Now, these restrictions cannot be made too stringent if we are to stamp out the drug traffic. The provision that no prescription shall be used more than once is, I think, necessary and wise, because in the large cities certain people have acquired the drug habit, and if they were allowed to refill a prescription indefinitely you might as well abandon any attempt to control the traffic. The suggestion that this resolution will work a hardship on those people who obtain cough medicines has nc weight, in my opinion. I cannot recall, in the course of my practice last year, any case in which such a prescription has been filled more than twice, and it is easy to renew the order. I do not think, therefore, that there will be any hardship on anyone. We must restrict the sale of these drugs, and to do so we must prevent the indiscriminate use of them. I have gone over these amendments with the officers of the Health Department, whose explanations are entirely satisfactory. In connection with almost every Act, some loopholes are always discovered after the Act has operated a certain time, and steps should be taken without delay, to repair them and make the law as workable as possible. I do not think that more than once or twice in a large practice will there be found any case of real hardship from the operation of section 1.

Mr. DuTREMBLAY: Will the suggestion I have made regarding the matter of sworn complaint be embodied in the Bill?

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April 12, 1921


I rise to a point of order.

The hour is late and I think the hon. member should speak to the question before the committee.

Mr. DUFF; I wish to speak for a few minutes on that point of order, Mr. Chairman If I understand the point raised by the hon. member for North 2 a.m. Winnipeg correctly, it is that the hon. member for St. James Division of Montreal was not speaking to the question before the committee. It seems to me that the point of order is not well taken, for although the hon. member did

not keep perhaps as close to the subject under discussion as he should have, it was because of the fact that the hon. Minister of Marine in his usual manner interjected a remark with regard to Yamaska.

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