April 30, 1901

CANADIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION.


Mr. CARROLL moved that the fees and charges paid on Bill (No. 88) to incorporate the Canadian Nurses Association, be refunded, less cost of printing and translation, in accordance with the recommendation contained in the sixth report of the Select Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Private Bills. Motion agreed to.


SUPPLY-REQUIREMENTS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved that the House go again into Committee of Supply.


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Hon. E. G.@

PRIOR (Victoria, B.C.) Before you leave the Chair, I wish to offer some remarks to the House in regard to the disabilities and disadvantages that the province of British Columbia is labouring under at the present time, owing, in large measure, as I think, to the neglect of the government in not placing sufficient sums in

the estimates before the House. I did not speak on the budget, so, perhaps, the House will grant me indulgence if my remarks are somewhat lengthy ; but, I make no excuse, because I think the importance of the subject warrants me in so doing. My hon. friend from East York (Mr. Maclean) said last night that if eight men stood together they could get justice in this House. Well, as there are only six members from British Columbia in this House, l am afraid we may not be able to get it as easily as we think we ought; but, I feel convinced that in what X am going to say, not only shall I have the sympathy and support of my hon. friend (Mr. Earle), who is the only other Conservative besides myself from British Columbia, but also of the four government supporters from that province ; for, I may say to the House that whatever differences we may have at election times in British Columbia, we are as one in working for the good of the province when we come to Ottawa. Now, Sir, the faet is that the province of British Columbia is so far away that it is impossible for large delegations of business men often to come that distance to interview the government of the day. We are not in the same happy position that gentlemen are who live in Ontario, and Quebec, and the maritime provinces, who can run up to Ottawa in a day or two and lay their views before the government and go home again. But, as you know, Sir, it is a long and costly journey from British Columbia to Ottawa, and, therefore, the people of that province have to depend wholly on the efforts of their members and the communications they send to the government. As many gentlemen know, and as the government know, some three months ago the premier of British Columbia, the Hon. Jas. Dunsmuir, and the Hon. Mr. Eberts, Attorney General of that province, came to Ottawa and interviewed the government as a whole, and many of the ministers individually, in regard to the requirements and wants of British Columbia, that this government has power to alleviate. The government, therefore, are thoroughly conversant with nearly everything I shall lay before the House, but I think it is my duty to acquaint the members of the House with it also. At the beginning of this session, I moved for all the correspondence that had taken place between the Dominion government and the provincial government, but, before it was brought down, I found that the provincial government had got leave from the right hon. leader of this government to print the same, and they having done so. I did not press for it to be printed again. Now, that document, I may say, is a very able, a very comprehensive and exhaustive document, setting foi'th all the wants of British Columbia ; it has left nothing unsaid, I think, that can be said on the subject, and reflects great credit, in my opinion, on the gentlemen who drew it up.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRIOR.

I wish to-day to speak on some of the most important subjects it deals with, but I shall not go very much into detail, except in one or two instances. 1 am sorry to see that in the last few years the members from British Columbia on the government side of the House have not seen fit to rise in their places and talk more about the requirements of that province. I am well aware that when a member is on the government side of the House he has the ear of the government, he can interview the ministers privately, and do more good, perhaps, than by speaking in the House. At the same time, I think it is a pity that they do not speak in public, and thereby educate members from other parts of the Dominion as to how matters stand in the far west. We have now two members from British Columbia who have not sat in this House before this session, and I hope and feel convinced that they will lay their views also before the government when I sit down.

Now, one of the most serious matters, but one about which I shall not say very much, because I have already spoken about it year after year-one of the most serious matters that is engaging the attention of men in British Columbia, is Mongolian immigration. That, in conjunction with railroad development, are the two matters that seem most important to the thinking men in that country. A Chinese commission is, as hon. gentlemen know, sitting at the present time in British Columbia, and has been doing so for some weeks past.

It has had men of all classes and all trades before it in order to get their evidence. But I very much doubt whether i.t will be able to give any more reason for the Chinese being kept out of the country than did the commission of 1884, because I believe that almost everything is known that could possibly be known about the reasons why these people are not wanted in the country. The local legislature and the majority of the people in British Columbia are, without doubt, in favour of a prohibitive tax on the Chinese. As we know, the government were asked to fix this tax at $500 per head. There was some little opinion expressed in this House by gentlemen who were not so well up in the question as the western members-(I speak not for myself alone, but for all the western members)-who thought it was a hardship and a shame to put on such a tax and keep these people out of the country. But we thought otherwise. The end of it was that the government brought down the measure increasing the head tax from $50 to $100, at which it now stands. This, undoubtedly, is not sufficient to keep these yellow' men out of Canada. For I see that on the 24tli of this month, one of the Empresses that run between Canada and Japan and China, was due at Vancouver, and she had on board 500 Chinese, for whom the Canadian Pacific Railway Company would have to

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deposit with the customs $50,000, before they could land one of them. Of this 500 Chinese, I am informed, 250 at the very least were for the province of British Columbia, while the remainder were for the United States and Mexico. So that, although $100 is charged for every Chinaman coming in, they still come in In large numbers. The reasons that have been given to the House for a prohibitive tax on the Chinese I am not going to repeat, because everybody is au fait with the reasons. Briefly, no white man can compete with these Chinamen in wages. The Chinamen do not live like white men, do not spend the same amount of money for their living, and it is impossible for white men to compete with them in a country like British Columbia. I only wish to ask the government to further consider this matter. Perhaps it is asking too much to ask them to take it into consideration before the report of the Chinese commission is presented, but when it is presented, I hope the government will not put the matter off from year to year, but will take it up at once, as it is a very serious matter, especially for the province of British Columbia.

The Japanese are not coming into the country as they did at one time, the reason being that the Emperor of Japan issued an edict to prevent them leaving their country. But what the province of British Columbia wants is an assurance from the government that, if this edict is withdrawn, some means will be taken by this government to keep the Japanese also out of the province. The question of Japanese naturalization is one that ought to be taken up immediately by the Justice Department of the Dominion. We have seen not hundreds merely, but thousands of Japanese coming to the Pacific coast and, before they have been more than a week or ten days there, managing to get fraudulent naturalization papers, and being enabled thereby to take their place on the rivers and compete with white men who have been doing that work. Now, that is not fair to the white fishermen of British Columbia, it is not fair to any class of the labouring element of that country. The difficulty is simply that the law is defective. I have it on the authority of one of the Supreme Court judges of British Columbia that nothing can be done until the Dominion government alters the law making it so that justices of the peace and men who have the right to issue certificates, whereby these naturalization papers are obtained, shall be placed in a different position from that in which they are at present. Now, as to the head tax that is imposed on the Chinese, now fixed at $100 per head for Chinamen coming into Canada for the first time, the revenue collected for the year 1900. was $190,552. Of this, one-quarter was paid back to the province of British Columbia, $47,362.50. As British Columbia is the only portion of the Dominion that

suffers to any great extent from the presence and competition of these men, we consider that it is not fair that the Dominion should obtain three-quarters of the head tax and the province only one-quarter, we think that as we have to suffer we should get the reward-if you can call it a reward -and that at least three-quarters, if not more, of that revenue shall be paid into the provincial treasury. I am aware that this matter has been brought up before. But I wish to press it again in the interest of the coast. We see that the fishermen of Nova Scotia are given the whole of the Fisheries Award. That was not divided up amongst the different provinces, it was not put into the Dominion treasury for the benefit of the whole country, but, as it was obtained for the benefit of the fishermen of Nova Scotia, it was paid to them.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Prior) excuse me-that is not the fact. Nova Scotia does not get it all.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Well, of course, New Brunswick

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Some hon. MEMBERS

No, no.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

The maritime provinces-I am glad that about twenty of the Nova Scotia members have seen fit to correct me. What I mean is that it does not go to Quebec or Ontario.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Yes-some of it goes to

Quebec.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I have always been given to understand, and I think that this matter has been spoken of before, and it never has been contradicted in my hearing, that the whole sum was distributed in the maritime provinces.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

No, Quebec shares.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

The people on the Quebec coast may get some benefit. At any rate it is certain that none of it goes to the fishermen of British Columbia. I think that you might put us in the same position with regard to the Chinese revenue as you put the maritime provinces fishermen with regard to the Fisheries Award.

The second matter of great importance, if I should not have mentioned it first, is the question of railroad development. I think, and all British Columbians think the same, that, taking into consideration the amount we pay into the revenue, the province I come from deserves far more liberal treatment at the hands of the government than it receives. I do not mean at the hands of the present government alone, but it deserved it at the hands of the former gov-

eminent-for I never was backward, when I sat on tbe other side of this House in calling attention to tbe fact that British Columbia did not receive its just due from the Conservative government. There is no politics in this. Now, as everybody who knows anything about that province, knows, it is a land of enormous resources, it is a province teeming with gold, silver, lead, copper, coal, iron, timber, fish-everything to make a country prosperous if its resources are at all developed. But we find that, instead of the government coming to the aid of the men who are trying to build up that country, instead of treating them with an open hand and giving them a fair share of the sums that are distributed all over the Dominion, British Columbia does not get anything like its fair share.

We have a magnificent coast line of some thousand miles, we have water stretches innumerable, we have water powers such as I suppose there are in other portions of the Dominion, but in almost no other country in the world, and to develop these resources we must open up the country by railroad, it is a hard and an expensive country, owing to its rugged nature, to build lines in, and. therefore the government should, I think, in their wisdom, see fit to subsidize the lines pretty heavily that we wish to build. Enormous sums have been spent in other portions of the Dominion in railway building and in opening up the country. Large sums have been spent in British Columbia in putting the Canadian Pacific Railway through to the coast, but, this is a national highway, just as much for the benefit of Ontario and Quebec as it is for the benefit of the province of British Columbia. Now, if the government saw fit to subsidize such roads as I shall mention later on in British Columbia, so that we could get them built, it would not only be British Columbia that would derive benefit from these roads, but it would be the eastern manufacturers of every sort. I have no hesitation in saying that in a very few years, when British Columbia is developed, as it will be developed, and as it must be developed, eastern manufacturers and merchants will find it one of the very best markets for their goods. The four roads, that, at the present time, are needed in British' Columbia, are these : The Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railway is a railway from Victoria and Vancouver, from the coast along the Fraser river, through the rich delta lands, and up through Chilliwack and Hope to Midway in the Boundary country. That would give direct communication between the rich mining districts of the Kootenay, through the agricultural districts of Chilliwack and the Fraser river, and afford an outlet to the coast where the merchants might do business with the interior. The distance is about 200 miles, in a line as the crow flies. Another line that the people are agitating for is the line from Wellington to Cape Scott.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRIOR.

Wellington is a mining town close to Nanaimo on the Island of Vancouver and the railway now runs from Victoria to the town of Wellington. The people wish to have the road continued from Wellington to Cape Scott, a distance of about 230 miles, traversing the east coast of the Island of Vancouver, an island which is as rich as any island in the Dominion of Canada in minerals and forest wealth. Another line is one projected from Ashcroft, on the Canadian Pacific Railway near Kamloops, in the constituency of my hon. friend from Yale and Cariboo (Mr. Galliher), and running up through Cariboo district, the great gold mining region, in years gone by, of the Pacific coast, a district which has turned out, since it was discovered, more than $50,000,000 worth of gold, mined under the most primitive circumstances. There is at present a wagon road running up that distance, but freight rates on that road are so high that it is impossible for any mining development of any magnitude to be carried on there unless very rich diggings are found. If a railway were built into that country it would not only develop large agricultural and grazing districts, but it would open up one of the finest mineral countries that can be found in British Columbia. The fourth and last line that we wish to construct is a line for which the provincial government are asking assistance, from Kitmat, on the west coast of this continent, to run up to the Yukon, wholly as a Canadian line, so that we shall not have to pass through any American territory. In speaking on this subject, I wish again to say that the people of British Columbia beg that this government will take into consideration the amount that was paid and will deal liberally with the province in regard to subsidies. I know nothing, nor do I suppose any hon. gentleman on this side of the House has any idea, as to what the intentions of the government are in regard to railway subsidies to be brought down this session. The last time railway subsidies were brought down there was a meagre $96,000 given to British Columbia, but I sincerely trust, that when the railway subsidies are brought down we shall find that some large amounts are placed in them to develop one of the most magnificent provinces there is in the Dominion. It will pay well. The appeal to the government's pocket, I suppose, is the same as the appeal to the pocket of the private individual, the strongest that can be made.

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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Mr. WADE.

What does the hon. member for West Toronto say to that ?

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

The hon. member for West Toronto is certainly capable of answering for himself.

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April 30, 1901