The government is carrying out, just as rapidly as it can reasonably be done, the recommendations of the Transportation Commission. But let me say that, as one member of this government, and as having to do with the administration of public works, I fail to see that all other sections of the country should be sacrificed for the benefit of these great ports which are part of this great transportation system. What was the recommendation of the Transportation Commission? It was that the ports of Fort William and Port Arthur should be improved and made capable^ of rapidly assisting in the transportation of the products of the west to the eastern sections of Canada and the Atlantic seaports of our country; it was that the canal system should be deepened, that the port of Montreal should be improved, as also the ports of St. John and Halifax, and, on the Pacific coast the ports of Victoria and Vancouver.
Now, let us commence with the west and see what the government is doing. On the Fraser river, we have a powerful dredge that has been working there for some time, and another dredge in the harbour of Victoria. Within the last few months we have purchased two as good dredges as are to be found in either the Atlantic or Pacific waters of the United States. We have the * Ajax,' a very powerful dredge, and lately we purchased in Germany* a suction dredge of the most superior character, one capable of dredging to the extent of 1,000 cubic yards per hour-a thousand per cent greater capacity than the average dredge we have had working before this, a dredge with enormous capacity and one which will enable
us to do splendid work. Our idea is to make the Fraser river a great ship channel up to the city of New Westminster. We are dredging the approach to the harbour of Victoria, carrying out a definite scheme of improvement of that harbour with which the people there are well satisfied, as shown by the manner in which they expressed themselves though their board of trade and otherwise in appreciation of the work we are carrying on. In Vancouver we are entering upon the work of improving the harbour. This has not been necessary in the past, because the traffic was not congested as it has since become. We are putting on a dredge to improve the entrance to False creek, a very important part of the harbour, and we are having an examination made of the Narrows, the entrance to Bur-ard inlet, and also of the Parthia shoals and some other shoals which require to be removed. Now, coming eastward to the western shores of Lake Superior, we find that this government is to-day spending millions to make Port Arthur and Fort William capable of accommodating larger vessels which ply upon the lakes, so that the traffic of our country may be handled with as great facility as traffic is handled at Duluth. Coming eastward to the eastern shore of Georgian bay, you will find that the government, in conjunction with the two great railway companies, the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific, is developing the new harbours of Tiffin and Victoria. The railway companies are building new lines of railway almost as level as this floor, in order to divert the traffic which now goes to Buffalo and through United States ports to Canadian ports and through Canadian channels, spending on these railways no less than $50,000 to $60,000 a mile. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Monk) will see, if he looks at the estimates, that large appropriations are made for the dredging of these ports of Victoria and Tiffin, and he will see that for Port Arthur and Fort William the magnificent sum of $600,000 is appropriated for the carrying out of this part of the great transportation scheme which the commission has recommended to the government. Now, if he comes to the port of Montreal he will find that very recently the government has expended upwards of $1,000,000 on the new pier there, and also that we are lending to the Harbour Commission of Montreal money for the purpose of carrying on vast improvements there and lending at the low rate of 3 per cent. Coming to the Atlantic sea-board, you find that so far as the port of St. John is concerned, this government has departed altogether from the policy of its predecessor, which was that no work should be done by the government in the harbour of St. John unless immediately connected with the Intercolonial. Last year the expenditure of this government at that port amounted to three-quarters of a
million. And if he will look at the estimates he will find an appropriation of $500,000 for the coming year, to carry on the work necessary to make St. John one of the great winter ports this also being a part of this great scheme of transportation. If he will go to the port of Halifax he will find great improvement there in connection with the terminus of the Intercolonial Railway. And if he will go to Quebec, he will find that we are engaged there upon works for the purpose of providing ocean terminal facilities, which will run into $2,000,000 or $3,000,000, before we get through with the very large scheme we have undertaken. If he will visit the south shores of the St. Lawrence at Levis, he will find that we have purchased there a property capable of being made into a splendid depot for our terminal, and we have an item in the estimates of $400,000 for the purpose of completing the purchase of this property and beginning the making of improvements. All along the line from the Pacific to the Atlantic, we have been moving forward to the accomplishment of the ideal which this commission had in view and recommended to the government; but while doing that, are we to sacrifice all the other sections of the country? Are we to refuse to give to the people living along the St. Lawrence in small towns and villages the accommodations in the way of wharfs and dredging which they require and the ordinary conveniencies of transportation? Let my hon. friend not forget that the trade problems of this country do not simply concern the great ports and the people inhabiting the large cities, but also the people living along the St. Lawrence and on the shores of our great lakes and the lakes and rivers of the maritime provinces, as well as the people of British Columbia, who live not alone in Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster, but in Nanaimo and on the west coast and in many small harbours along the coast. All these people in all these sections are doing their part in contributing to the business of the small towns and cities, and these in turn are doing their part in building up the great cities of Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, St. John and Halifax. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, whilst giving attention to this great transportation problem, I am not prepared to lose sight of what might be called the smaller transportation problem, but still one which concerns many thousands of people. Take this item of St. Sulpice, and it is the only item to which my hon. friend ventured to refer. He says it might be criticised. The amount we are asking for is to repair a wharf 25 miles below Montreal, which was built by the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company and which has got sadly out of repair. The people are asking us to put it in repair. That is a place of some 700 to 800 people,
principally farmers, who send a good deal of produce from there, and it would be a great loss to them if the steamers were not able to call at that wharf. We are putting that wharf in repair in order that steamers may call there and the farmers get the accommodation to which they are entitled.
Subtopic: WILFRID LAURIER.