This will provide winter navigation between Quebec on the north shore and the gulf and also will provide a service between RiviSre Ouelle and Murray bay. There is a ferry between those two points now provided by the Marine Department, because the company, which had the subsidy last year, refused to continue the service with a proper boat.
I cannot understand why you should establish a ferry to Riviere Ouelle. You are doing there what in every other part of the Dominion is done by private enterprise. This is the only case I know of where the government spends money on a ferry service.
There are over GOO miles on the north shore of the St. Lawrence which are perfectly closed to navigation during the winter. Unless some winter navigation is provided, these people will be deprived of all communication whatever in the winter season. Private companies would not accept the subsidy offered by tfie government as they were not sure winter navigation was pcfcsible, and we judged it would be wise to show that winter navigation is possible. It is for this reason we are providing $125,000 for the construction of a steamer.
I would be rather favourable to the experiment and I can understand that it is difficult to get private capital to undertake the risk. I think it is the duty of the government, if the experiment is reasonable and feasible, to spend public money in trying it.
It may be put on (luring tbe summer between Murray bay and Riyi6re Ouelle in case no company will undertake that service. We require a ferry there for the benefit of the Intercolonial, as such a ferry brings a great deal of travel and freight over the Intercolonial for Murray bay which otherwise would be lost to that road.