May 2, 1916

LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Why should you charge the custom building on Sussex street to consolidated fund account, or to expense account, and charge these things to capital account? We own that building, do we not?

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CON
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Did we not pass an item for that building on consolidated fund account? You have numerous items charged to consolidated fund besides that all over the country.

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LIB
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

If you build a post office does it not belong to the Government? I do not understand your >

system of bookkeeping. You really do not own these harbours, but you charge them to capital account.

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CON
LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Yes, the Harbour Board is appointed by the city of Toronto and by this Government.

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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

The Harbour Board are put in Charge and they control the harbour. The property they own is indirectly under the control of the Government.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The city selects a number of the commissioners of Toronto harbour and the Government the other portion.

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CON
LIB
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That is owned by the Government. Under the Act of Confederation all those harbours which were of a public character at the time of Confederation passed over to the Dominion.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

The Government does

not own the harbours any more than it owns buildings in cities. If you tie your boat up to a wharf at St. John you pay so much to the man who owns t'he wharf unless you go to a Government wharf. Harbours in that sense are owned by the proprietors, but the governing body is the board that is appointed by the local authorities and the Government. They are not the owners. They are simply the governing body that makes rules and regulations for the harbour, but the harbour itself and the property in the harbour are owned by the people who live in the cities, and they ought to contribute something towards the maintenance of the harbours, because they get the profit. If we spend a million dollars in improving the harbour of Montreal every man who has a tract of land on the water front receives an advantage, because his property is worth that much more. It is the same at St. John and Halifax; all these expenditures raise the value of property in the vicinity of the harbour very much and consequently the minister ought to have some policy by which these different ports shall contribute something towards their maintenance and equipment. That is the proper idea in dealing with this question. It iis all very well to say that we ought to have national ports, but why should the farmer out on the western prairie pay his taxes to equip the harbour of Toronto and give additional value to property in Toronto if the people of Toronto themselves will not do anything? I do not know any good reason for it.

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LIB
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

In the case of Toronto, they are going to do something, but in some of these ports they are not doing anything and the minister does not seem to think that they should.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I am afraid that I cannot agree with my hon. friend. He mentions the case of St. John. It is true that if yon tied your boat up at certain wharves at. St. John you would have to pay something: for it. St. John spent a large sum of money' in the early days on the wharves referred' to by my hon. friend, they are controlled: by the city, and, of course, they have -a right to make a collection. But it all comes-back to this, that we are behind in the-development of our national ports. We-discuss day after day in this House the fact that a great portion of our trade is diverted to American channels. We have built three transcontinental railways in the hope of keeping our trade within our own country, but this cannot be done unless the Government undertake to meet the requirements and the development of our national ports for the carrying of freight in as convenient a manner as possible and in order to discourage shippers from diverting their traffic to American channels. That is the reason why the obligation rests upon the Government to see that out national ports are developed even more rapidly than they have been in the past and more rapidly than they are being developed to-day. If we are going to make a success of our transcontinental railways it is absolutely essential that we should have our ports and their development keeping pace with the conditions because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The people who are snipping over our railways do not get the accommodation, the connections and the services at our national ports that they should get and that they do get through American channels, with the result that trade is lost to the country. I agree with my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley) that the time has now arrived in Canada when we should have a new policy in connection with our harbours. We first of all must arrange for such a development as will ensure traffic and trade passing through our own channels and when we can do that it will be time enough to sit down together and see if we can exact a sufficient charge to pay the interest on the capital which we have expended and which must be considered

necessary for the develpoment of our country.

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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL:

The minister has

touched upon a point that is essential in the Toronto case. The opening of the new Welland canal will mean that lake Ontario will be placed upon the same [DOT] traffic basis as the upper lakes and that will make the development of harbour facilities at Toronto essential. Up to the present time practically no public money has been spent on Toronto harbour

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LIB

May 2, 1916