February 10, 1926

LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

You are, but you

do not know it.

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

We claim that our principal products are fish and coal and lumber- and men. Allow me to refer to further hardships suffered by us. I have in my hand a statement showing the rates-taken at random-on grain from points in western Canada to Fort William and Port Arthur. These rates are shown per ton per mile in mills, with the percentage they bear to the eighth class rate under which grain and flour are classified according to the Canadian Joint Freight Classification. On the same statement are shown the rates on fifth class goods, steel products-which should be moved-and the tenth class rates on pig iron. This is assuming these goods were given equally favourable rates in proportion to class as is given to grain and flour.

We submit that if one section of Canada receives preferential consideration for its products another section should receive similar consideration for products produced within its territory. We think this must have been the intention of the government in passing the order in council No. 886 of June 5 last. The statement I am now dealing with shows that grain and flour are moved from some points in western Canada to Port Arthur and Fort William at as low a rate as 30 per cent of the class to which these products belong. It is well understood that the value of the goods receives consideration in the establishment of freight rates. There are no steel products manufactured in Nova Scotia valued at as high per ton as flour is at the present time. This is one reason why our iron and steel products should receive a more favourable rate. We submit that the westbound rates should be brought more in line with the rates we have mentioned as being given only for the benefit of other parts of the country, and the discrimination in freight rates westbound against coal, iron and steel products thus overcome.

There is only one word I wish to add on that subject. If Canada will impose a duty on coal considerably less than the duty which the United States at one time put on Nova Scotia coal, within ten years or less the Dominion will be entirely independent of all foreign sources for what is a vital necessity, coal, and can keep at home over a hundred million! dollars annually. All the anthracite now imported can be replaced by coke produced in by-product retort ovens. This policy would add .seven million tons to our Canadian output of bituminous coal, and would provide employment for over 40,000 working men. Of course it would add largely to our railway traffic.

When we in the Maritime provinces refer to our railway rates we are told that the British North America Act does not contain a clause guaranteeing to Nova Scotia or New

The Address-Mr. Cantley

Brunswick any definite rates of freight on the Intercolonial railway. True. But here we may inquire whether any stipulation was made or whether any clause of the British North America Act refers to the construction and free operation of an extensive system of canals in Ontario and Quebec at the charge and cost of the confederated provinces. The canals were constructed, they are now being greatly enlarged, and f,or many years they have been and still are operated wholly at the cost of the Dominion. Ninety-nine per cent of the advantage accrues to Quebec and Ontario, and the grain-exporting western provinces. Further, American products have been for years and still are carried free through these canals, and that in competition with the products of Nova Scotia, which have to pay high rates on a thousand miles of railway carriage, only to meet in Montreal manufactured goods from Ontario and the United States enjoying special canal transportation facilities at our expense. Maritime business has not only to pay heavy transportation rates, but it has also to pay its proportion of the cost of free canal service given to our highly specialized and long-established American competitors in the iron and steel trade.

Nova Scotia has but four important sources of trade: fish, lumber, coal and steel. No adequate effort has been made by any government since confederation to carry out the assurances then held out to us as to interprovincial trade. Geographically, the continental trade of the Maritime provinces should be with the eastern United States, and outside of these, with the West Indies, South America and Europe. This water-borne traffic is carried at rates of freight of from one-eighth to one-twelfth of a cent per ton mile, or, say one-tenth of the rate per ton mile charged for rail haul.

Full cargoes of iron and steel can be delivered at South American cities distant from 3,500 to 5,000 miles for one-half the present railway rate from Sydney to Montreal, a distance of 1,000 miles. Lumber is today being carried from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania ports at from $6 to $7 per

Shipping point Destination

Drumheller

Springhill, N.S

Stellarton, N.S

Stellarton, N.S

Sydney Mines, N.S... . . ..Montreal..

Sydney Mines, N.S... . . ..Toronto.. .

Sydney, N.S

Sydney, N.S

thousand feet, while the railway charge to-day is $3.25 for a haul of 106 miles from New Glasgow to Halifax, a distance only one-sixth as great as that to these United States ports. Again, the same class of lumber is carried to the West Indies, a distance of say 2,000 miles, for $9 per thousand feet, which is relatively even a lower rate than to United States eastern seaboard ports; it works out at about one-quarter of a cent per thousand feet per mile. Our fish is carried to South America, the West Indies and Mediterranean ports at correspondingly low rates.

During the summer season Nova Scotia coal is largely water-borne from Pictou and Sydney to Quebec and Montreal, but low rates which are needed during the season of closed navigation on the St. Lawrence, are lacking, Were Nova Scotia operators given a mileage rate equivalent to that last year accorded to the Alberta collieries from Drumheller to Toronto, rates of $3.25 from Sydney to Montreal and $4.90 from Sydney to Toronto would be available as against the actual rate of $4.50 to Montreal now charged on Nova Scotia coal, or the only rate published, a commodity rate, of $9.80 to Toronto. Last summer Drumheller coal to Toronto, a distance of 2,025 miles, enjoyed a rate of $7, or say 3.5 mills per ton mile. I have prepared a statement which I will read showing the relative mileage and the actual rail rates charged on Nova Scotia coal, and the rate which should apply if Nova Scotia coal was accorded the same proportional mileage rate as Drumheller coal.

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Was the

hon. member quoting the special rate or the regular rate?

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

I am quoting the rate

that was charged last year on a quantity of coal brought from Alberta to Toronto.

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

The special rate.

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

Yes. I think I know

the point to which my hon. friend refers, and

I will deal with it later. This is the statement:

Drumheller Actual rate

Miles rate

2,125 $7 00 $7 00 | Basis of 3.5 mills717 2 48 3 60 J per ton mile.816 2 82 3 901,140 4 00 984 3 20 1,318 4 28 1,001 3 25 4 501,335 4 90

TMr. Cantley.]

The Address-Mr. Cantley

This shows that from Sydney Mines to Montreal, a distance of 984 miles, if the Drumheller rate applied we should get a rate of $3.20. From Sydney to Montreal, a distance of practically 1,000 miles, the actual rate is $4.50, a higher rate than that charged in Ontario for United States coal between points about the same distance apart. Had we the Drumheller rate which was accorded last year to a certain quantity of coal from Alberta, the rate would have been $3.25. I am not objecting at all to my hon. friends on my left getting that rate. What I ask of them is to afford us equal facilities for carrying our coal to the central provinces to those which they enjoyed last year, and the same rate at which I think the minister who, I understand, represents .the railway department, stated that he was prepared to carry 25,000 tons of coal to-day from Alberta to Ontario if that was desired. The Springhill-Montreal coal rate is thus 45 per cent higher than the mileage rate from Drumheller to Toronto, the Stellar-ton-Montreal rate 38 per cent and the Sydney-Montreal rate 20 per cent higher. The railway management say that the Drumheller rate is unremunerative and cannot be given save at certain seasons of the year. But the fact is that a considerable tonnage of coal was last year carried to Toronto at the rate I have quoted, and equally low rates were not and are not now available for Nova Scotia coal going west.

Due to our position at the extreme eastern edge of the Dominion of Canada, and situated as we are practically 1,000 miles from our nearest Canadian market, transportation is a basic economic factor in the interprovincial trade of Nova Scotia. That factor was realized by the fathers of confederation when the Intercolonial railway was offered to the Maritime provinces as a means to solve that problem. The union of the provinces was urged by the Imperial government of the day. Why? The object as I understand it, was to create a united Dominion, more capable of defence than were the scattered provinces of that date, a Dominion which in sentiment and substance would remain British. The empire, the central and the western provinces have benefited, but faith has molt been kept with Nova Scotia, and we suffer thereby.

Well managed and efficient railways are vital and indispensable to our whole economic life. Transportation is a national problem, not a local issue. It is of peculiar importance to Nova Scotia on account of her position as the extreme eastern member of the confederation. What, it may be asked, has Nova Scotia contributed to the transportation system of the

Dominion, and what share of the advantages of that development has she received, or does she now enjoy? I wish it to be known that Nova Scotia has paid her full share of all the development cost of the Dominion from July 1, 1867, down to this present hour, while the promises made and pledges given prior to and after 1867 have not been kept. Hence we find this Maritime unrest.

Nova Scotia's one commodity (that affords a large measure of employment and that should find a market in Quebec and eastern Ontario, is coal. About 5,000,000 tons of anthracite coal, as well as ail the bituminous coal required1 for the production of coke for ithe blast furnaces of Ontario, is admitted into Canada duty free. During 1923, 22,687,320 tons of foreign coal were imported into Canada. More than

17,500,000 tons of bituminous coal were imported into this country in the same year, this coal now paying an average duty of about 12 per cent on its delivered cost. As regards anthracite, every ton of this fuel, long imported, could be replaced by by-product retort-oven coke having a higher heating value than hard coal and at a price about two-thirds of that paid for that kind of fuel of which in 1923 Canada imported 5,167,881 tons. Had that tonnage of anthracite been replaced by Canadian coke, it would have increased the market for our soft coal by say 7,000,000 tons. Canada in the same year, 1923, imported 17,519,439 tons of soft coal. Had we bought this coal from our own mines to the extent of four-fifths of these two quantities, or say twenty million tons, we would have retained in Canada over one hundred millions of dollars, provided a larger traffic to our railways and afforded employment to 37,000 men and boys who, working an average of 280 days per year at an average yearly wage of $2,500 each would have earned $92,500,000, thus leaving seven and a half million dollars to meet the cost of mining supplies and overhead charges. Why do we not do it?

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

What would be the cost of laying down coke in, say, Toronto?

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

Coke ought to be laid down and delivered to wholesale buyers in Montreal for about two-thirds the present price of hard coal. And remember this: you are getting a fuel that is worth at least five to eight per cent more than any hard coal that is coming into this country to-day, whether it is American, Welsh or any other coal. The domestic coke to-day made from Cape Breton coal has a fixed carbon content of about 93 per cent. There is no anthracite coal coming into Canada, whether it be American or British, that will go over 85

The Address-Mr. Cantley

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?

Albert Joseph Brown

Mr. BHOWN:

Does the hon. member say that all that expense was borne by the four eastern provinces, or was it not simply added to the debt of the country which the whole country now bears?

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

At the time I refer to,

when we bought out the Hudson's Bay Company, there was very little settlement in the western provinces.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

But it is part of the debt of the whole country.

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

The Address-Mr. Cantley

horse-power for about six to ten dollars per year. Under the circumstances we could not compete with them, because in the cutting of nails pow'er was the largest item in the cost of manufacture. That gives you a concrete example of the advantages derived by manufacturers in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario in connection with the power privileges from the system of canals.

This great lake commerce made possible by and dependent upon the Canadian canal system is reflected in the enormous tonnage passing through the Soo canal, the main artery of the west. The contribution the Maritime provinces have made and are continuously making towards the construction, extension, repair and operation of this great free transport system, useful only for the more favoured provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and the central west, is seemingly quite overlooked or, if realized by those who profit most, is seldom if indeed ever acknowledged.

Per contra, the Maritime provinces were contributors to the purchase of the prairie land, the policing, settling, early government, and opening out of the country for settlement, aiding immigration, quelling rebellions, building the Canadian Pacific railway, guaranteeing the Canadian National and Grand Trunk Pacific bonds, and constructing the Transcontinental railway and the Quebec bridge- all projects foreign to our necessities, but to which the Atlantic provinces have contributed their full per capita proportion of cost, interest and upkeep. And yet the Maritime provinces, when they ask that their larger, richer predominating partners abide by the promise they have given, are told that the Intercolonial railway is regarded as the milch cow of the Maritime provinces. To this taunt, and it has been made if I mistake not in this House in years past, it might then have been retorted that the Canadian canal system is the champagne locker of the central provinces, shared in some degree with our American coal and steel competitors. The milch cow of the Maritime provinces forsooth! We got the cow in exchange for our independence. We have fed her, and the older and central provinces have both the milk and the manure, and the Minister of Agriculture, when sometimes he feels his bowels of compassion moved, throws some of the latter product back to us. That is all we get.

At six o'clock the House adjourned, without question being put, pursuant to rule.

Thursday, February 11, 1926

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February 10, 1926