Mr. H. R. EMMERSON (Westmoreland).
When the debate adjourned last evening, Mr. Speaker, I was speaking of the benefits which will result to the country, in the way of colonization, from the scheme now under discussion. I was pointing out that the lands along the route of the proposed railway would he very much more enhanced in value, and I propose to dwell for a moment on this point of the question more particularly as regards that portion of the route with which I am familiar. I know that in the province of New Brunswick the sections which will be opened up by this railway are very rich in agricultural and other resources and only require greater railway facilities to become centres of settlement. In those districts there are rich forest preserves, which have as yet scarcely been touched. Only those portions near the streams have been worked, leaving vast regions from which immense stores of wealth can be taken. There are besides abundant mineral resources and a soil well adapted for agriculture. In the constituency represented by my bon. friend from Queen's and Sunbury (Mr. Wilmot) there are rich coal deposits, which only need to be brought into touch with the market. So that from whatever point of view you choose to look at it, the projected line through that province cannot fail to promote settlement, to enhance the value of land, and aid in the development of rich forest and mineral resources. Coming to the province of Quebec, with which I am of course not quite so familiar, I have been fortunate enough to have had placed in my hands a reference, which I think will prove that the portion of that province to be opened up by tbis transcontinental railway is a very promising one. For many years there has been a strong desire on tlie part of people living in that section, who are familiar with its fertility and resources, for railway facilities. In 1884, the then member for Bellechasse in the
Quebec legislature, tlie late Fauclier de St. Maurice, who was one of the leaders of the Conservative party of that day, and far more patriotic' than any possessed by that party to-day, read in the Assembly a letter from the Reverend Mr. G. Boulet, parish priest of St. Magloire, in which that clergyman said :-
I see by the press that you and your friends are working to have a railway built which will pass along the southern front of the county of Dorchester, Bellechasse, Montmagny, L'Islet and Kamouraska. That would be a grand and patriotic undertaking, a most happy conception, one that should long since have been realized.
That is exactly the line to be taken by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway except that it crosses the county at Levis instead of Dorchester.
In rear of the above named counties there is a magnificent valley, most suitable for the construction of a railway. It is neither hilly nor rocky. Starting from Metgermette, sloping down to Edmundston, there is a regular and fertile plain. Any company that would undertake to build a railway there would find all the necessary material on the ground. Cedar and spruce abound.
Well, Sir, Edmundston and the valley that extends to it in New Brunswick, is exactly the land over which the new line is proposed to be built.
Why do not our governments direct their colonizing and improving energies in that direction. The soil is suited to all kinds of cultivation, the climate is milder than the northern one of the Saguenay region.
This is exactly what my right lion, friend the Prime Minister proposes doing, but which the Conservative party of to-dayunworthy descendants of men like Fauclier -will have none of. It was Mr. Fauclier de Saint Maurice who said :
From the south shore of the St. Lawrence is the frontier of Maine, the land must be rescued from its unvisited isolation, and that heart of New Brunswick must be opened, but by an artery that will send its pulsations east and west to give life to the commerce of our country. But it is the federal, not the provincial government that must accomplish the work.
Further on he said :
Unfortunately my influence, humble as it is. goes not beyond the provincial sphere, but some day, men of large views and iron nerves will arise to accomplish the patriotic task, which the letter I have read so recommends, and whomsoever they may be, future generations will bless them.
These were the utterances in 1884 of one of the Conservative leaders of that day, and an eminent litterateur, in whose footprints the Tartes, the Casgrains, the Monks and others of our day were ever proud to follow. This shows the opinion held at that period of the rich resources of that section of the province of Quebec, which hon. gentlemen opposite are now so anxious to decry. From Moncton to the in-Mr. EMMERSON.
terior of New Brunswick, through the counties of Queen's, York, Carleton, Victoria, Madawaska, on into the province of Quebec, there is a long unbroken line of country, rich in agricultural mineral and forest wealth.
I do not look upon this scheme as merely one for the purpose of finding an outlet for the rich products of the west. If It were necessary, it would be well perhaps to have it for that alone. But when you combine the other attractive feature, the development of the country, with that of colonization, it certainly is a scheme which must commend itself to the people of our day in Canada. It certainly will receive the plaudits of those who are to come after us, of those who will enjoy the rich benefits which, will result from the accomplishment of this great project.
Now we are told that in northern Quebec there are conditions very similar in character to the conditions which exist in that section to which I have just now referred. There always has been, and is to-day, I believe, a great desire in tlie province of Quebec to colonize its undeveloped country. Away back in 1853, and from that time down, the cry through that province has been, Colonize. The national poet of French Canada gave the watchword to the people when he said, ' Let us take possession of tlie soil.' He wanted them to enter the forest, to open up roads, to establish settlements, and to turn a desert region into gardens of plenty. For fifty years the people have been called upon to push forward colonization projects, but they could not respond to the call. It was easier for their young men, as it was easier for the young men of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, to cross over into the borderland, to go into the great neighbouring republic, and as a result tlie New England States contain today, I might almost say, millions of the bone and sinew, of the brawn and brain of our maritime provinces and of the province of Quebec. This is more true of those provinces than it is of the province of Ontario, because in Ontario the people have enjoyed the developing influences of railways. * It is true, they have made many sacrifices to obtain these railways, they have adopted schemes of bonusing railways by the municipalities, and they have had great assistance from their national and provincial governments. But even there the blighting influence of these enticing calls from tlie southern republic has been felt, and this is further true in the maritime provinces and tlie province of Quebec. If these young men could have been kept in our country, they would have helped to build up Canada, they would have found means of earning their way into tlie vast regions of our northern country. This railway now contemplated will do all this for our young men who are now living here ; it will do more, it will invite people from abroad. It will estab-
lisli settlements, It will broaden ont our settled area, and it will increase tlie value of our great domain. This railway will create a highway through the heart of a region which possesses untold resources, the wealth of which, for petty political reasons, the opposition of to-day are willing to deny. They are ready and willing to hold their country up to the wide world as a land confined to a few valleys, the greater portion of which is as barren as the Tartar steppes. I was pained to hear my hon. friend the ex-Miu-ister of Railways refer to his province of New Brunswick in the way he did. lie was willing to hold up that province as one the greater portion of which did not contain resources worthy of consideration. It seems to me lie has not, in that respect, done justice to his own province.
Speaking in a general way, the line from Quebec westward will pass along the northern slope, as I understand it, of the Lam-entinns, and that dividing line will cut through the vast valleys out of which spring the Batiscan, the St. Maurice, the Gatineau, the Coulonge, the Desmoines, and the Ottawa rivers. From the best sources of information that is from men who have travelled over and over again through these great sections, the resources of that country are three-fold-forest, mineral and agricultural. On the Batiscan, away north beyond the parish of St. Narcisse, there fj'fe forests of spruce which extend westward and northward all along that line, in addition to the pine and spruce forests north of the rivers I have just mentioned.