July 28, 1911

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

We will come to that later on. Then I find these names: 'Councillors-L. A. Wilson, Charles Webster, John Knowles, W. J. Bassitt, W. C. Towns, Messrs. W. Baldwin, D. A. Radcliffe, Aurora; Hon. E. J. Davis.' I don't think Mr. Davis is a Conservative. Mr. Davis is a Liberal, but strange to say he has been fiequently cited by hon. gentlemen on the other side in recent discussion, which goes to show that they consider the opinion of Mr. E. J. Davis of exceptional value. I presume they think that Mr. Davis was a gentleman well qualified to be present with this deputation.

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LIB
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

And being against the government now hon. gentlemen opposite have nothing but praise for him. There was a time when he was associated with the Liberal government of Ontario, and these gentlemen were not throwing iany praise at him then.

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Then follow the names of. 'Mayor Roadhouse, Councillors B. W Hunter, T. Somerville, Newmarket, C. E. Lundy, Newmarket.'

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L-C
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Then come the names of ' J. W. Wildman;' is he a Grit?

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CON
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

A number of these gentlemen wrere Liberals at the time, but I am happy to say they are all voting Conservative now.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That only shows the generosity of the Liberal government in responding to the wishes of these gentlemen irrespective of their political leanings. Let me continue the names:

-A. W. Evans, R. H. Brimson, L. Cane, J. R. Y. Broughton, E. S. Cane, T. C. Watson, Dr. A. Webb, Robt. Schmidt, G. .S. Richardson, Wm. Keith, A. E. Widdifield, W. W. Bruce, C. G. Ross, bankers; Lieut.-Col. Lloyd, Wm. Hill, T. H. Lloyd, barrister; J. E. Hughes, N. L. Rogers, Newmarket; T. H. Legge, reeve, and councillors R. W. Phillips, S. Armitage, A. McMurchy, John Wells, King township; A McCallum, Jos. Rogers, county councillors, King township; R. Soules, reeve, Whitchurch; S. Foote, W. Leathers, Mr. Ressenetl, W. Thompson, councillors, Whitchurch; L. Baker, -ex-reeve, Whitchurch; councillors John Smith, F. Osley, J. Farr, W. H. Eves, East Gwillim-bury; councillors M. McC-ardell, Sutton; reeves G. B. Thompson, Holland Landing ; S. Oldham, Bradford; W. Woods, West Gwillimbury; councillor H. Stoddard, West Gwillim-bury. w

The Petitioners' Plans.

The deputation was -introduced by Sir Wm. Mulock. The Premier was -accompanied by Hon. R. W. Scott, Hon. Wm. Paterson, Hon. H. R. Emmerson, Minister of Railways and Can-al-s, and Hon. C. S. Hyman, Minister of Public Works. Secretary T. S. Brun-ton presented the petitions of the municipalities of Bradford, townships of West Gwillimbury and East Gwillimbury, -the town of Aurora, township of King and Whitchurch, village of Holland Landing, town of New-m-arket, village of -Sutton and -the -townships of North Gwillim-bury and Georgiana. The petitions asked that the Holland river and its branches be [DOT]widened and deepened so as to make commercial highway-s to give the towns of Aurora -and Newmarket -and the village of Holland Landing and Sutton the advantages of communication with the Trent valley canal system.

Many Advantages.

The various speakers impressed upon the government the advantages the improvement would bring to the large and populous district which would be given the boon of competition -in rates by water carriage. The Holland river, it was pointed out, is already navigable a largo portion of the distance. It was stated that manufacturers would save a large percentage of the cost of fuel, and that the saving to the farmers of the district in freight rates upon their grain alone would be $12,000 annually. As a result of the encouragement given to the cultivation of fruit by Sir William Mulock, there had been a great increase in the production -of apples and the extension of the canal would furnish an outlet for the crop to the -Northwest. The importance and extent of the manufacturing industries affected were also impressed upon the government.

Sir Wilfrid Impressed.

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Thomas Hay

When Mr. T. H.

Lennox came in such excellent company even Sir Wilfrid Laurier was impressed.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier complimented the delegation upon the able manner in which their

arguments had been placed, and congratulated them that, instead of asking for a post office or cut-stone building, the first request ever made by -the county of York for the expenditure of public money was for the more substantial purpose of enhancing the facilities of transportation of the people for the development of commerce. The project was one which must engage the attention of the government.

Sir Wilfrid expressed pleasure that surveys were in progress, -the results of which would, he was sure, he brought before the government at -the earliest possible moment, and without which -the government would be unable to arrive at a determination. He assured -the delegation of prompt consideration and reminded -them that they liad a friend at court in Sir Wm. Mulock, whose persistence in a good cause was notable.

This meeting appears to have taken place in Ottawa on the 22nd of February, 1905, and the account of it is published in the ' Globe ' of February 23, 1905.

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CON

Thomas George Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

Does the hon. minister mean to tell u-s that the surveys for the Newmarket canal or deepening of the Holland river had not been made before the deputation got here?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I have told the House that I merely desired to read this document. I am not trying to tell the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wallace) anything. I do not pretend to have the personal knowledge of this question that he has. Now, when I read this from the ' Globe,' some unkind member said: ' oh, that is the ' Globe,' and laughed. I anticipated that, and as I always like to be obliging, and to accommodate people, I propose to read an account of this meeting from another newspaper.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

Is that the first deputation that came to Ottawa, regarding this Newmarket canal?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I am not able to say with certainty. Possibly, there was a previous deputation. I snould judge there may have been, but I have no personal knowledge of the matter. The ' Globe ' not being accepted as reliable by 6ome hon. gentlemen opposite, let me turn to the report in the ' Mail.' It is not so long as that of the ' Glo-be,' but it contains one very interesting feature. I hope that nobody is going to assail the 'Mail.' I do not mind hearing things said in criticism of the ' Globe,' because I know they are not deserved. But I should not like to find anybody expressing doubt of the absolute impartiality and fairness of the ' Mail.' Everybody knows, at any rate, that if it has a weakness it is not in the direction of misrepresenting any gentleman on the other side, for it usually gives them credit for something even better than they have been saying or doing. I am

simply standing up to defend the ' Mail,' if anybody is daring enough to attack it. Head lines and all should go in so I quote them:

ASK DEEPENING OP HOLLAND RIVER. York County Deputation Supports Canal System.

Cheaper Freight Rates.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Promises .Surveys will be .Made for the Government's Information.

Ottawa, Feb. 22.-A deputation from York county,_ on behalf of the Trent Valley Canal Extension Association, waited on the government to-day, asking for the widening and deepening of the Holland river.

Sir William Mulock introduced the deputation .to .the Premier.

In the presentation of their case, the secretary of the association read resolutions by the local municipalities in favour of the project.

Not resolutions, it will he observed, of the workers of the Grit party, but resolutions of the local municipalities:

Mr. Cane, of Newmarket, explained that they wanted the east branch of the Holland river deepened to Newmarket, and a cut made of eight miles to Aurora. The west branch of the Holland river they wanted cleaned out to Schomberg, and two,,miles of the Black river improved to Sutton.

Other speakers emphasized the advantage this work would be to manufacturers and to farmers in the reduction of freight rates. Mr. Henry, of Aurora, claimed that North York was entitled to some special consideration on account of its having returned to parliament for many years a gentleman in the person of Sir William Mulock, who had saved many millions of dollars upon the administrative cost of the country.

Now, the next paragraph is interesting. I have no knowledge of it personally, except it is here.

Haughton- Lennox, Conservative M.P. for South Simcoe, gave his cordial endorsation to the deputation's request, and said that although opposed politically to Sir William Mulock, he was proud of him as the member for North York, and one of the Premier's ablest colleagues.

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Hon. E. J.@

Davis, who was present with the deputation, also argued strongly in behalf of the plea they submitted.

Sir Wilfrid, in his reply, said it was unique to receive a deputation from York County. Surveys would he made, he promised, and when completed the government would look into them. The deputation knew, he added, that they had a strong friend at court, for when Sir William Mulock made up his mind on a subject he was very persistent.

As I stated, I have no comment to make. I simply wanted to read this interesting report, for what it is worth.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAUGHTON LENNOX (South Simcoe).

As my name is mentioned in this matter I would like to say a few words, although I have spoken on the subject on a Mr. FIELDING

previous occasion. There is no fact in the statement that Haughton Lennox, member for South Simcoe^ was present and spoke either for or against the hon. Sir William Mulock. I spoke in the House about a week before the deputation referred to, and I spoke in opposition to this project. Sir William Mulock on this occasion told me that it would be well for me to reserve my opinion because a deputation was coming down, and that if I would listen to the arguments of that deputation I might change my mind. He also told me that there would be a deputation here from my own riding. I answered Sir William Mulock that I would in all probability be present when the deputation was waiting on the government. I knew the situation at that time, and on the occasion I refer to, I spoke very definitely against the scheme. I never at any time hesitated, or changed my mind, and I never had any uncertain views upon this question.

I saw some of the gentlemen who came with the deputation, and they told me that my cousin, Mr. T. Herbert Lennox was there. He is quite a politician, and a fairly good jollier, so much so that at times I have wished I could follow him in some of his ways of treating public questions, and public men. However, I wanted to speak to him, and I went down to where I presumed the deputation was to assemble, in the Langevin block. In arriving there I found a group of men talking a good deal, but not doing anything. I understood from them that Sir William Mulock was making preparations to entertain the boys right royally in the evening. It was quite a jolly party. Now, as I well knew, the whole scheme had been arranged at Newmarket long before this, at the instance of Sir William Mulock, and some Liberals, who assembled as a Liberal organization, and there was a report of it in the Newmarket ' Era.'

I spoke for a moment or two with some of the members of the deputation, but said nothing in reference to the deputation except to Mr. T. Herbert Lennox. I said to him: ' How does it come, Herb, that you

are down on this thing?' He laughed and said: ' Well, Haughton, it is quite a good

scheme.' I said: 'It is nothing but a

scheme.' And he answered: 'Oh, it is a

fine scheme.' What he meant by that, I do not know. But my opinion is that as he was a politician, and these men wanted him to come along, he decided he would come. Now, we did not discuss the matter at all, and I came away immediately after this conversation with him. I did not speak at the deputation, and was not present when it met. I do not know who introduced the deputation, nor do I even know where they met. There were no

ministers present, and no deputation proceeding while I was there.

Now, this is the second time I have been called upon to speak on this matter, and this is the second denial I have made. So far as the ' Mail and Empire ' is concerned, I have no doubt the report was made in perfect good faith, but the mistake was the substituting me for Mr. T. Herbert Lex-nox. I presume the hon. minister knew this perfectly well, because be has gone over this programme before. We had it rehearsed here at all events, and pretty nearly every member of the House knew that there was not one syllable of justification for connecting my name with this except that on all occasions I have condemned, as T do unsparingly condemn)) now, this nefarious project to exploit the public money in the building of this canal.

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CON

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

This matter has been so often threshed out in this House that I should not consider it my duty to speak, nor would I have spoken had not the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) quoted these extracts. The hon. minister told us that he did not know anything at all about the matter. Well, it seems to me only natural that when public money is being expended he should make some inquiry.

Of all the fool reports I have ever heard read, the report just quoted by the hon. minister from the ' Globe ' is the biggest fake that was ever presented to this House. I think I can speak with some authority on this subject, because I was born up there, and as a boy I. used to bathe in the Holland river at Newmarket. I can tell the hon. members of this House that very often in the month of August there is not enough water in the Holland river for the boys to bathe, unless they make a mud dam to retain it. Many times as a boy I have helped to make a mud dam so that we might get enough water to bathe in this beautiful stream. I have lived on Lake Simcoe during the summer for the last twenty-six years, and week after week I have passed that magnificent river by train, and in an automobile, and many times have I seen people take a trip up to this grand river to look at the gorgeous fake. The thing is such a circus that people talk about it, and go out to see it.

The government are trustees for the people's funds, and I say that in spending money for the Newmarket canal they are committing a breach of trust just as serious as the breach of trust committed by the directors of the Ontario and Farmers' banks. They know it is of no use. There is not enough water in the place to float a boat if there was freight for a boat to carry.

There is not one single tug boat on Lake Simcoe, there is not one single ton. of

freight on Lake Simcoe to be moved through that canal. When I first summered there, there were tugs going up and down Lake Simcoe hauling logs to a very extensive sawmill at Bradford and Belle Ewart. There is not a stick of timber towed on the lakes now, and there is not a mill on the lake shore. There is no business to go to Newmarket, because the cost of freight from Newmarket to Toronto by trolley would be infinitely cheaper than anything that could be charged by the canal. There was a heavy wind storm at that point four or five weeks ago, and unfortunately it blew down 40 to 60 very fine pine frees which were the beauty of the property owned by the late Sir James EdgaT. I was told that these trees were sold to one of these Newmarket mill owners. They were loaded on the trolley which passes the property, and in half an hour they were in Newmarket, in a shorter time than it would have taken to ship them to the wharf and tow them over to the mouth of the canal. There is one pleasure steamboat on that lake, as old as I am I fancy, which makes excursions once or twice a week around the lake.

The government about the time they commenced to build the Newmarket canal, [DOT]started to spend money ion wharfs on the (lake. They spent $4,000 lor $5,000 building a wharf at Roches Point, where it was not wanted. A few planks had 'been thrown out in previous years when the season opened at a cost of $20, so the building of that wharf was just so much money wasted and thrown away. It was never used, it was an absolutely worthless expense. In the first place there is no water to supply that canal if the canal was wanted unless the water could) be pumped up from the lake. We have an instance of how foolish people may be in the case of the old Sir Lister Kay farms in the northwest. It will be remembered that this gentleman established many farms for growing wheat in a district that afterwards turned out to be unsuitable for growing wheat. His foreman thought he would overcome the difficulty, and send up an enormous number of watering carts to these farms. He started to send out the water carts which he filled from a little stream there, over the 5,000 or 6,000 acres of wheat. They may fill the Newmarket carnal with a watering cart, 'and get enough water to have a stream1 Tunning down which would carry a rowboat. This work has been discussed so often, and so strongly, and there is so much money spent on it that it is the duty of the government to send some independent outside man to make a full report on it with a view to stopping this expenditure of money. I say it is a breach of the trust of public

funds, and no man of common sense, engineer, merchant or farmer, can go there and see the work, see the conditions, and not say that every dollar of that money is being wasted. Probably for some years it will entail on the country a large annual expenditure to keep it up before it is finally abandoned as an absolutely useless work.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. D. STAPLES (Macdonald).

The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Sharpe), referred to a public work undertaken in the constituency I have the honour to represent, the wharf at St. Laurent, and I believe it is my duty to once more explain the shameful wastefulness and extravagance of this expenditure. The Minister of Justice has referred to the Newmarket canal as a sand pile. I might refer to this as a rot heap. This government, for political purposes in 1904, in order that they might corral the whole vote in that part of my constituency, undertook to build a wharf. They got a dredge and began work with great activity. Orders went out that no person need apply who would not support the Laurier candidate, and they gathered up some 60 or 70 men. They held these men there until the day before the election, and then they went off on a jollification, winding up at the polls. Since that time not one dollar has been spent there, -and there has been no effort to make any public use of the wharf. That $25,000 of public -money was wasted, and stands there in a rot heap to-day. The Minister of Justice has told the House that he challenges any speaker on this side of the House to go into the constituency in which the Newmarket canal is situated, and make the speeches they have made here. I am told that they have all been there and have made much stronger speeches than they have made here. I challenge the Minister of Justice to go up into St. Laurent and undertake for a moment to justify the expenditure of some $20,000 on that wharf. I asked for a return which showed that they had expended $15,870, but that d-oes not cover it all. They built a dredge there, and when they -abandoned the work they left the dredge, and it stands there -a monument of ruin beside the wharf. The Minister of Finance has tried to justify this expenditure. He is the man who has control of the public chest and who should see that the public money is expended in the interest of the people, and not wasted on such works as the-se. He has been in Winnipeg, and so has the Minister of Public Works. The Minister of Public Works almost promised me that he would come up and look at the wharf at St. Laurent, but I -suppose when he got to Winnipeg, and some of his own political Mr. OSLEE.

supporters told him of the shameless waste up there he was ashamed to go further. I invite the Minister of Finance to go up there as the member for West Toronto has invited him, and look at the way in which the public treasury has been robbed. When they undertook to construct this work, if they had spent $25,000 or $30,000 more, possibly it would have -been of some public use to the people up there, but the government refused to expend any more, and while I was up there during the recess, I visited the wharf in company with the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Campbell), who will verify everything I say. There would be sufficient water to float a boat if it were dredged deep enough, but no -boat has ever landed there, there has never been any traffic over this wharf which has cost some $20,000, and there it lies rotting. The hon. member for Dauphin stood there and kicked the boards into the river. I h-ave no hesitation in believing everything that has been said regarding the Newmarket canal, and other public expenditures that have been made throughout this -country by this government, when I know, and have seen right there in my -constituency the condition of affairs. There is no road- to- the wh-arf, you cannot get to it without going down the beach a distance of over a mile, with sand up to the axles. I say that if the people of Canada coul-d go up and look at this one foolish waste of money they would immediately say: We have no further use for this government, they are not responsible, they have no consideration for the interest of the public; -all the consideration they have is simply to loot the public treasury.

While we h-av-e had, d-uriing the recess, members from this House going up -and down the western -country appealing to the people to forget all about wasteful expenditures, to forget the Newmarket canal, to forget -the St. Laurent wharf, to forget the sawdust wharf, and others that" it would take me an hour to -mention, and to -stick by the reciprocity -agreement, let me tell the h-on. member for As-sinib-oia (Mr. Turriff) that the people of the west are just as much interested against extravagant expenditures as they -are in reciprocity, and they will be much more interested in hearing the facts than some of the clap trap that the hon. member put up at his meetings when he did more -damage to his -cause than he -could to help it. The -attention of the people where he held hi-s meetings was -directed to these public expenditures, and also -to misrepresentations which the hon. gentleman made, both on the public platform and in this House, and I will refer him to one of them. He -stated -in this Hou-se that a man who bad been -down to -his house, I think his name

was Moffett, claimed that he had paid 3^00 in cold cash to put two carloads of flax into the Duluth market. I ask if that is the case?

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LIB

July 28, 1911