March 21, 1905

LIB

$ 87,000 COMMONS


In Ontario, the following is the list of the new works to be done : Burlington, new tower $ 2,000 Rondeau, new tower 2,000 Victoria Island, fog alarm 15,000 Improvements to existing fog alarm.. 20,000 Welcome Island, new light 5,000 Sister Island, moving light 1,000 Inspection 5,000 Colchester reef protection 5,000 Large repairs 20,000 « . $75,000 111 New Brunswick, we propose to do the following : Wharf accommodation $25,000 Large repairs 22,000 Inspection 3,000



In Nova Scotia : Dartmouth, wharf and stores $15,000 Mauger Beach, repairs to breakwater.. 5,000 Grand passage, new dwelling 3,000 Budget, Herring Cove, Bass River, Amherst River, Fisherman Harbour, Emmings Island, new towers 6.000 General account, including repairs, inspection, &c 25,000



Prince Edward Island : Souris, new light $ 1,000 Indian Point, repairs 6,000 General account, including large repairs, inspection, &c 10,000



These figures total up as follows : General account $ 65,000 Quebec 150,000 British Columbia 87,000 Ontario 75,000 Nova Scotia 54,000 New Brunswick 50,000 Prince Edward Island 17,000 Steel buoys 10,000



The apparatus will be provided for in the supplementary estimates. These apparatus are procured from the only firm in the world from which they can be procured at reasonable prices, namely, Chance Brothers, in England. There are three firms which furnish them-a firm in France, another in Germany and Chance Brothers, in England. I inquired about prices from the three, and Chance Brothers offered the best prices and conditions and material /and everything. It is that firm which supplies the American government, so that we will have just as good a system of lights as any country in the world.


CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Does the hon. minister expect during this coming season to practically complete his plans for the illumination of the St. Lawrence gulf and river ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

We hope to be able to complete the plans we have laid out, but there is always a certain proportion of uncertainty. Sometimes the orders are given and the material is not delivered. Sometimes it is more difficult to erect a piece of construction when it is far out at sea, or where there are storms and difficulties in the way. In most of the cases in the gulf we are prevented from proceeding by way of contract, because we could not get, except at extravagant prices, contractors to come and take charge of the work. They would have to provide very large plant, for which the government would have to pay. We are trying as much as possible to do these works by day's work with our own men. We send them from different points, especially from Quebec, with material and everything they require. In some of these remote places there is no possibility of getting labour and material. In British Columbia we have abandoned almost entirely the idea of giving out contracts in remote places. We send out our own men and steamers and material, so as to have the work done efficiently and at less cost.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

My hon. friend has stated that some years ago there had been, after consultation, a definite plan arrived at for the improvement of the Lower St. Lawrence and the gulf. Do I understand the minister to say that he expects that by the end of the present working season this plan will be practically completed ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

I fear I have left the committee under a wrong impression. What I stated was that, if I get supplementary estimates to cover the plans shown by the drawings and charts I have laid on the table, I shall be able to do so much of the work this season that next year I hope to finish the whole. It was estimated at the time that it would cost from $3,500,000 to $4,000,000. We have expended about $2,000,000, and, so far as we can see the work will require the expenditure of about $2,000,000 more. The work will go on as rapidly as possible.-' At the present we are suffering from the want of help in the engineering branch. This is not a difficulty confined to my department. The Department of Public Works and others are in the same position-the engineers and draftsmen required are not to be had. I have personally inquired from McGill and Laval Universities to secure men for this service.

I hope that we shall be able, with the help we can procure to complete the work, laid out this season.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I understand, then, that it will require this year and probably one year more to complete the works under the plan that has bedn followed by the department for some years. When that plan is fully carried out will all the recommendations in this document from the shipping federation have been fulfilled ?

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

Yes, except any minor new points tliat may be discovered as we proceed. I have here a plan which shows what is to be done in 1905-6, and any hon. gentleman who consults it will see that the department is not going blindly at this work, but has taken it up systematically to follow the recommendations of the shipping interest of the board of trade of Montreal.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

May we expect any marked decrease in the rates of marine insurance because of the expenditure of this large amount of money ?

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

We sincerely hope for a considerable decrease. Still insurance companies are loath to reduce rates. This matter is working itself out gradually, as is shown by the resolution passed by the board of trade and the shipping interest, which declares that there has already been a reduction. Some vessel lines have benefited more than others. I have been trying to get at the figures but it is not easy to do that at once. I know that the first to obtain the reduction of insurance rates were the Canadian Pacific Railway boats, probably because the company enjoys great confidence and the boats were supposed to be manned in first-class style. Other lines have also obtained reductions. What these reductions are we do not know yet, but, of course, it will all be known In time.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The reason I ask is, because the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Sutherland) made the statement in the House a few years ago that one of the reasons for expending so much on the improvement of the St. Lawrence, was that we should thereby have a considerable decrease in marine insurance, besides helping materially the shipping interest of Canada. I suppose the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Pre-fontaine) is keeping that point in view and is pressing it. Because, it would be a very serious matter if, after the expenditure of millions in these works on the expectation of a decrease in insurance rates, no such reductions were actually made. The House will expect the minister to regard this as part of his duty as well as the expenditure of the money.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

There is no doubt that safe navigation will secure this reduction by itself, even if it is not pressed. But, having in view the reduction of the insurance rate, and keeping this before the insurance people-and the British people especially, who control most of the marine insurance-I am sure of a favourable result. We keep in constant touch with Lloyds and the best authorities in Great Britain so as to keep them well informed of what we are doing and of what our plans are for improving the navigation of the St. Lawrence and making it as safe as possible. As regards the lighting bv gas

between Montreal and Sorel-and lower down for we have added 33 miles more to this system-the improvement has facilitated navigation so as to give quicker access to the port of Montreal and so shorten the trip by six or seven hours, making almost an extra trip during the season. All these aids to navigation tend to reduce the cost of freight, and so give advantages which reach the people of Canada generally, for Montreal is the national port and the reduction of freights to that port has a tendency to reduce the cost of goods to the consumer.

I have now the information asked for by my hon. friend from East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) with regard to the harbour master of Midland. The harbour master of Midland is Mr. John White. His salary is $300 a year, paid out of fees. In 1902, he collected $316.50 in fees, returning $16.50 to the department; and in 1904 he did not collect sufficient to pay his salary.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

Will the minister state what the harbour master does for this $300 ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

He is obliged to fulfil his duty as harbour master.

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Subtopic:   $ 87,000 COMMONS
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March 21, 1905