July 7, 1908

CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER.

While the question of the lighting of the canals is under consideration I would like to ask the minister whether he has considered the advisability of lighting the Williamsburg and Edwardsburg canals with electricity ? The power is available and if it is such a benefit to navigation as my hon. friend from Stormont (Mr. Pringle) suggests, the minister is very derelict in his duty in not taking steps to have these canals lighted by electricity. I can understand that the Welland canal might be lighted a little cheaper than the Cornwall canal from the fact that it is alongside of the great originator of electricity, Niagara Falls. But I think that the prices on the Cornwall canal are beyond all reasonable calculation. I am sure that the Williamsburg canal and the Iroquois canal will be lighted at very much less cost per horse-power if the minister sees fit to recommend that it be done.

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CON

Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRINGLE.

Just one word in connection with the positions of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Sargent. I have objected for some years to Mr. Stewart having absolute charge of the canal. I have nothing to say against Mr. Stewart as a citizen. He is a good citizen, but I do not think that a man |of his experience should have been placed in charge of such an important link in the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and I was very much pleased when I learned from the department that they had made a change. As I understand Mr. Stewart has to-day simply got control of the men, and sees that they do their work properly. Mr. Sargent has absolute control with regard to the maintenance of the canals from Cornwall to the Murray canal. I think that is proper. I have always thought they should be in charge of an experienced man such as Mr. Sargent is. There are doubtless many in the House who will remember that I before brought up the question of Mr. Stewart whom I was bound to speak highly of as a citizen but who, I feel has not the experience necessary to enable him to fill the requirements of this position, a feeling shared by those interested in navigation. I have heard men at the head of our large companies speak in that way in regard to Mr. Stewart. We should have a man with a large experience like Mr. Sargent who has charge of the canal system. As I understand the position Mr. Sargent has absolute charge in so far as repairs, maintenance and works connected with the canal are concerned while Mr. Stewart simply has

charge of the men, of the operation of the canal.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

When this installation comes into operation it will cost $15,000 per year to operate it including the price of the current and the wages of the men on the canal.

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?

Mr GRAHAM.

No, I said in answer to my hon. friend from Grenville (Mr. J. D. Reid) that that did not include the wages of the lock men. We had that information here when we were on the votes for maintenance.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

In other words, this is an extra expenditure. It w.ill be over and above what we paid for the management of the canal except the $10,000.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The question resolves itself into this : Is it in the interest's of navigation to light the canal ? Everybody says yes. Under the old scheme we had it lighted for about seven miles by gas at a cost of $10,000. Under this we have lighted by electricity twenty-seven miles of the new canal and six of the old for the guidance of the men in regulating the water, &c., over thirty miles in all that are well lighted by electricity. If it had been all lighted by gas before it would have cost as much but we get twenty-six extra miles lighted, we get all the lock gates and bridges opened and closed for an extra $5,000. It seems to me it is a remarkable investment, to say nothing about the improvement to navigation and I am told that vessels save two hours in every twelve by this system.

Mr. BERGERON I am not criticising the lighting of the canal and the working of the locks by electricity, but as a matter of fact the Welland canal will cost $18,000 a year more than it cost before, that is $2S,-000 less $10,000 for the gas, leaving $18,000 a year more than before.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

For which we get all the extra lighting and the working of the canal.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

At page 30 of the report this appears :

The cost of repairs, &c., for nine months, ordinary repairs under the head of staff and repairs, $53,247.50.

As I understand the minister that will not be reduced, that will be paid as before and in addition there will be $15,000 more for the operation of this electric plant and the interest on the $450,000.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I think so.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

By this system we wilt have better lighting and better operation, the saving of time in operating the canal now that you have this improved lighting and the operation of the locks by electricity instead of manual power.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I think there will be no decrease in manual power. The benefit will result in Improved lighting and operation, but we must continue to have two men night and day at each lock gate, onb on each side.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

To make it clear, I would say that the canal lias been lighted by electricity for several years so that is not included in the new vote, the electric operation of the gates is tne only new feature this year.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

This is to complete payments on the whole system.

To remove centre piers and rebuild bridges at Queenston street and Homer road crossing, $30,000.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

This is taking out a pier and making one wide passage instead of two narrow passages.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Will this complete it ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

No, a year ago there was an appropriation of $70,000. This year we will spend only $30,000 but it will take $70,000 eventually, I think.

To make survey of the canal, $15,000.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

This has been going on for some time. There was no complete survey or plan of the canal lands but it was necessary to have a plan showing the boundaries which should be properly marked. The survey was more extensive than it was thought it would be and more work had to be done. There are four parties at work. The survey had never been completed..

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What has been spent on it so far ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

About $27,000. The estimate for the whole work is about $47,000.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

How long have you been at it ? Since about 1870 thirty years ago I think.

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July 7, 1908