April 27, 1922


Item agreed to. Dominion Public Buildings-improvements, repairs, etc $35,000 00 Vancouver post office, fittings, electric wiring and elevator.. .. 5,500 00 Vancouver, H.C.M. Police Barracks at Fairmont, improvements.. .. 4,000 00 Victoria post office improvements. 6,500 00 Victoria, old post office-taxes due city for 1921 1,019 77 Williams head quarantine station repairs and improvements to existing buildings, fittings, etc.. 7,500 00


CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Can the hon. minister

inform me as to the repairs made to the Victoria post office?

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Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF PREMIER NORRIS
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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay) :

The items are

as follows:-

New box installation equipment $6,500 Installation clearing house in

registry branch 500

Installation of observation

gallery 1,600

Contingencies 400

Total $9,000

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

I have heard a good

deal this evening about post offices. I was not asked to get much when I came down here. I was merely asked to gat four post offices, but I am not asking that 'to-night. If there is a place in British Columbia which needs a post office it is Kamloops. We need a building from several standpoints. We have in Kamloops no land or no forestry office accommodation, no telephone office, and several other branches of the Dominion government need accommodation. We should have a post office building there. Money was voted for it some years ago, and I do not see why that money should not be voted again, and, at least, a start made on it. The present post office is a menace to public health. It has been condemned twice by the health inspector of that district. Kamloops is in a central location. It is a distributing point for the North Thompson, for the southern portion of that district and for both east and west, and they have no facilities there for such business. I think it is up to the present minister to take action, and I would like to know what he intends doing with regard to the Kamloops post office.

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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay) :

I do not think I have any further explanations to make in regard to post offices. I know that my hon. friend from Cariboo (Mr. McBride) has made representations previously to those he made in the House to-night, and, although we sympathize with him, and the conditions in some parts of the constituency which he represents and the necessity for better buildings, still the conditions must be applicable to British Columbia at this time, as well as to the other provinces.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I should like to ask the minister for two or three post offices for Vancouver South or Vancouver, but we are most interested in a dry dock out there.

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LIB
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

Did the hon. gentleman say there was something doing?

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LIB
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I have been looking

through the estimates for some clue or suspicion that perhaps the minister has given the matter consideration. The minister should know that an anxious public awaits the fatal word which may fall from his lips and messages by wire of one kind or another have permeated to and from the coast. Some tell us that a dry dock will be built at Victoria, others say one will be built at Vancouver, and still others say a dry dock will be built at neither place. I think it will be an appropriate occasion at nearly the eleventh hour-having regard to the clock-that we should have from the minister some information as to whether the project of a dry dock at Vancouver will receive some encouragement in the way of an appropriation during the coming year.

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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I think we will confine ourselves to the estimates for public buildings. Later on, when we reach capital expenditure, the question might be considered.

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

I am not quite satisfied with the minister's answer. We have out there a large number of idle men, and Kamloops has not been asking the Dominion government, or any other body, for assistance to give the idle men employment. I think the least this House can do is to revote the amount that was voted to do the excavating and to put in the foundation of that post office at Kamloops, this spring, which will give the men some employment. A large number of them are returned men.

Supply-Public Wo-rks

who are out of work and who have been living there from hand to mouth. Many of them went there for their health, and I think as little as this House or this Government can do is to revote what was voted some years ago in order, at least, that the excavating may be. done and the foundation put in. I trust the minister can see his way to have that done.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

I think, on the question of buildings generally, I ought, in fairness to my colleague the Minister of Public Works (Mr. King), to take more than a fair share of the responsibility. He is a kindly disposed new member, and I believe he would like to yield to the many requests made for new buildings; but ever since he came here, indeed, almost before he came, I have been preaching to him, warning him against putting into the estimates items for new public buildings. If there is anything in which we can afford to economize this year, it is along that line. I am not referring to any particular building; but I have taken the responsibility of urging all my colleagues along certain lines of economy, and particularly I have asked the Minister of Public Works to resist the applications, many and urgent, for the construction of new public buildings. If that is a bad policy, do not blame the Minister of Public Works entirely for it. I am largely responsible for it.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

There is a small item of $1,000 odd for taxes. How does that item arise? Is this not government property?

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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay) :

I am advised that this is an old post office property which the Government rents, and this is an item that has been appearing in the estimates for years. I thought probably it was a local improvement tax. I know there are local improvement taxes which the Government have from time to time, consented to pay in the province.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

This is a local improvement tax, I understand?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
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PRO
CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The Crown is not supposed to be taxed for general purposes.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Militia and Defence; Minister of the Naval Service)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The building is rented to people for stores.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

In Ontario, and in,

perhaps, a number of other provinces, cer-

tain local taxes appear in the larger cities and towns and are imposed upon the principle of so much per front foot. We have, in a number of western Ontario cities, under the authority of our municipal law a tax known as the garbage tax. This is assessed on all the streets of the cities and towns; but when you come to government property, the Government refuses to pay the tax, and I think the refusal is very improper. This tax amounts to a good deal in some of our smaller cities, and complaints have been made in St. Thomas, Galt, Kitchener, Guelph, Stratford anu other places. A city council, for instance, divides up the tax over the different lots on the main street, and everybody on that street is taxed so much per front foot for the collection of garbage. When you come to government property, the waste paper and ashes are thrown out and the city garbage man takes them away; but when the bill comes in, the Government has made it a rule to refuse payment. The Government will pay for local improvement, for city water; but when the question is one of collection of garbage, it makes a distinction and refuses payment. This is most unfair; it means that people who are on a street on which there is government property-and sometimes the government property covers a large block *-have to pay so much more than they should have by reason of the refusal of the Government to pay this tax. The minister should take this matter into serious consideration.

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April 27, 1922