The details in connection with the proposed expenditure of $8,000,000 are as follows: Sections 1 and 2, $2,000,000; sections 3 and 4, $2,700,000; section 5, $800,000; gravel, $40,000; sand, $200,000; cement, $1,000,000; metal work for locks, $330,000; timber, lock 1, $35,000; bridge superstructure, $250,000; moving superstructure, Grand Trunk bridge No. 11, $25,000; land expropriated not paid for, $110,000; engineering staff, $410,000; construction railway staff, $100,000; making a total of $8,000,000.
Sections 1, 2 and 5 are being carried on under straight contract. On sections 3 and 4 the work was on a cost-plus basis. We have asked for tenders, and they are now in, and will be considered within the next day or two.
Can the minister give the committee some information about any new scale of rents that the department is charging for water-power in connection with our canals? I believe that the new plant near Peterborough is coming into operation. What does the Government propose to charge the HydroElectric for that service?
Will the minister tell us something of the present status of the work,-what new construction is ahead, how far this appropriation will go towards completing the work, and what the condition of the canal will be when the work is completed? I have been told that the channel both above and below the canal is such that when this work is completed the canal will be s'.e to accommodate no larger boats than are now using the old canal; in other words, that this new construction will add comparatively little to the navigability of that water route.
The original estimate of the cost of the whole canal was $50,000,000. Contracts for sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 were let in 1913, at an estimated value of $20,350,000. When the contracts were abandoned under agreement early in 1918, the total expenditure on the work to the end of 1918, including the purchase of plant, material and stores from contractors was $16,069,000. Work was resumed under cost-plus agreements in January, 1919, and total expenditure to March 31, 1921, was $25,340,000. Early in 1921, Section 5 was put under contract; later in the isame year, Sections 1 and 2 were combined and re-let; and at present Sections 3 and 4 are about to be placed under contract. The estimated value of a schedule-rate contract for completion of Sections 3 and 4 combined is $16,500,000, which includes $2,000,000 for plant and stores which the successful tenderer will have to take over. The estimated amount yet required to fully complete the canal from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is $55,000,000.
Will the minister say what will be the position of the completed Welland canal in relation to the proposed further improved waterways system in order to allow the passage of seagoing vessels to the ports of the upper lakes?