February 19, 1909

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I am free to say that I never was thoroughly satisfied that the expenditure for these buildings ought to have been so large as it is, but the plans and specifications were prepared before I became Minister of Public Works. The requisition was made upon us by the Militia Department for these quarters. They are not for what might be called servants but for the subordinate staff; the instructors and teachers in connection with the military college and school. The plans do provide for quite nice dwelling houses, and I am rather inclined to think that it would have been better had plans of a more simple design been prepared. I cannot but believe that the cost of these buildings built as they are is reasonable. I remember I had some hesitation in regard to the matter and I provided that half of them should be erected last year and half during the present (year. There is no way to get out of it; the buildings are completed and this amount is to pay the balance. It may be, as I have said, that if the design of the buildings had been more simple, a few thousand dollars might have been saved; but we have good apartments for the staff, the buildings are substantially constructed, and we have received good value for what we have paid.

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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

If my hon. friend will allow me, I will read the description of these buildings in the report of the Department of Public Works, at page 22:

On January 15, 1908, a contract was entered into for the construction of two buildings, each 167 feet long by 33 feet broad, placed on two opposite sides of a square, facing outwards, with yards in rear; each series separated by a lane which bisects the square.

Each block consists of eight dwellings of two stories in brick with stone dressings and on a stone basement.

The division walls, the partitions in basement, the lining of basement walls and the chimneys are of brick; the partitions, floors and stairs of first and second stories and the roof are of wood; the floor of basement and verandahs in rear are of concrete, and the front entrance steps are of stone.

Each dwelling has, in basement, a cellar, a laundry and a store-room; on the ground floor a living room, a kitchen, an entrance hall, a vestibule, a stairway hall and a verandah,

and, on the first floor, two bed-rooms and bath-room.

These are the rooms of an ordinary everyday ,five-roomed or six-roomed cottage, which could have been built, I should judge, from my knowledge of building, for about $1,500 apiece; and yet we find that the minister has paid the sum of $55,000 last year and $57,000 this year for these paltry terraces' If there were modern fortifications hidden away in the basement, or something of that kind, we could understand the item; but no one who knows anything about the ordinary building trade would justify such an enormous expenditure for two small blocks of five-roomed cottages. I would like to have some more satisfactory explanation of this.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

All I can say to my hon. friend is that the requisition was made by the Militia Department and that plans were prepared by the chief architect's department. When my hon. friend says that these buildings could be erected at a cost of $1,500 for each dwelling, my answer is a perfect answer-that tenders were called for by public advertisement widely circulated in the various newspapers, that four tenders were received, and that the lowest was $77,939 and the highest $85,000, for sixteen dwellings in two terraces, eight dwellings in each.

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?

Mr. G.@

TxiYLOR. Why do you ask for $112,000 if the building^ cost only $77,000?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

That is for the buildings alone. Heating, boilers, electric wiring, fixtures, furnishings, sidewalks, &c., are in addition.

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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

I think the hon. minister might gracefully accede to our request to let the item stand, and bring down the plans and tenders. I supposed, from the statement of the minister as to the cost of these buildings, that they must have been trimmed inside with marble, the walls frescoed, and supplied with electric chandeliers and all modern improvements; but now I find that the improvements are extra.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I have no objection at all to bringing down the plans and specifications and the tenders for the information of the committee. The item may stand.

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

They are members of the subordinate staff, part of the permanent force. They were in Toronto, and were brought from there to Kingston, as I am informed.

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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

I live in Toronto and have a knowledge of military matters there, and I never heard anything of that kind in regard to the Toronto garrison.

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I think that was the statement of the Minister of Militia last year.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Why should the servants be in Toronto while those they were serving were in Kingston?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I presume they must have been doing the work in Toronto.

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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEO. GORDON (Nipissing).

I am glad to find the hon. minister so candid and frank in stating his policy, and I am glad that that policy is that public buildings should only be erected in places where the revenue is overflowing and where such facilities are most urgently required. The reason I say that is because in the district of Nipissing foundations have been laid for five of the greatest cities that we shall perhaps have in the Dominion of Canada and they conform in every respect to the condition stated by the minister in regard to both population and revenue. The first of these young cities is Sudbury. I need not mention its population, because it is increasing every day; but I might mention that it has a suburb with a population of over 3,000 inhabitants and one of the greatest nickel works in the world. Yet Sudbury has not a public building fit for any person to go into. A friend of mine remarked not long ago that he had gone into the post office and could not turn around to come out, but had to back out. The next-young city is Sturgeon Falls, the population of which is probably greater than that of any of the towns to which public buildings have been given to-night, with the exception of the cities. It has a very large water-power and immense paper mills and a fine agricultural country around it. Then, going up to Cobalt, we have there the foundation of one of the largest cities that Canada will perhaps ever see. If the hon. minister has not already been there, and would go up with me and see silver being practically shovelled into cars, he would I am sure come to the conclusion that a place which possesses such wealth should not be left with the insignificant little shanty it has for the people to do their public business in. Going north a little further, we have another young city called Haileybury, which is in the mining country and is doing an immense business, and where the revenue and population are up to the requirements of the minister. Right within three miles, we have the town of New Liskeard, which is also in the same class and in the midst of a very important agricultural country; and I should judge, from the policy the minister tells us he intends following with regard to public buildings, that he will see the propriety of giving to each of these places a suitable public building.

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CON

William Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE.

I understand the Minister of Public Works has stated that these

houses will cost $87,000. I notice that a vote was asked last year for $55,000 and that we are now asked to vote another $57,000, making $112,000 for these 16 houses or $7,000 a piece. Is that correct?

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

February 19, 1909