June 17, 1926

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

That is the rule.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND CABLE AND TELEGRAPH SERVICE
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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS


The House in committee of Supply, Mr. Duff in the chair. . Public Works-New Brunswick Barker's-wharf repairs $ 2,SOO Bay du Vin-wharf repairs 4,000 Burn's (Belle Isle Bay)-wharf improvements 1,150 Burton Court House-wiharf repairs 2,500 Cape Bald-breakwater repairs 8.400 Caraquet (Young Wah-rf)-wharf protection and repairs 21,000 Caraquet-repairs .to ice protection blocks.. 1.500 Bscuminac-harbour improvements 50,000 Grand Harbour (Ingall's Head) breakwater.. 25,000 Green Point-pier 16,000 Harbours and Rivers Generally-repairs and improvements! 45,000 Harvey Bank-wharf repairs 1,100 Lower Caraquet-wharf repairs 9,000 Mill's Point-wharf enlargement and repairs.. 28.400 Oak Point-wharf repairs 1,700 Petit Rocher-breakwater repairs 3,100 Riehibucto Cape-'repairs to breakwater and ipier 3,000 Shediac-wharf repairs 19,600 Shippigan-wharf repairs 6,900 Shippigan Gulley-repairs to breakwaters and breastworks 8,000 Stonehaven-breakwater repairs 3,300 Tracadie-wharf repairs 15,000 White Head-wharf repairs 2,700


CON

Robert Rogers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

What is the explanation of the $50,060 for Escuminac harbour improvements?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

James Horace King (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. J. H. KING (Kootenay, Minister of Public Works) :

This is a revote for the construction of 310 feet of breakwater. The contract was entered into on December 7, 1925, and the proposed construction was fully discussed in the House last year. It is intended to give the fishermen of the community some protection against storms. We had four tenders, the lowest of which, from the Burpee Construction Company, was accepted.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Will the minister put the whole thing on Hansard?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I would rather

not; it would not be wise. The lowest tender was $43,991 and the highest $44,952, so that there was pretty close competition. As

Supply-Public Works

to the necessity for the work, I can only repeat what I said last year: it is needed in the interests of the fishermen. I am told this work will be of great benefit.

Mr. ROGERS: You had the vote last

year. Why was it not gone on with?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The hon. member will know, from his experience as a minister, that we get supplies very late, usually in June or July. This is a new work of some magnitude. Plans and specifications had been prepared and the work was not let until December.

Mr. HANSON: For the benefit of the

committee, I should like to give a little history of this item. In the fall of 1924 there was a by-election in the county of Northumberland, and one of the prices of the success of the government candidate on that occasion was this vote.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Oh no, no.

Mr. HANSON: The contract has beenactually let and the contractor is on the ground, and this vote will have to go through. I hope the money will not be wasted. Will the minister tell me, is it still the intention to carry out the further project which involves an expenditure of $260,000? If so, I would ask him to pause and not proceed

further, as I believe this expenditure will not effect the end which he has in view, laudable as it may be, for this reason; I am advised by those who know the conditions on the north shore, by competent engineers, that this work will not survive the ice conditions that prevail there. Before the minister commits the department or the government to any further expenditure I would ask him to get the opinion of one of the best engineers in his department, Mr. Gray, of the city of St. John, who knows the ground thoroughly and the conditions that obtain in that part of the country, and to ask him for a report. If Mr. Gray will report that this work can survive the ice conditions in the Northumberland straits, I will withdraw my opposition to this vote or to the project. I do not wish now to be taken as opposing the project, because the government is committed to it, the contractor is on the ground, the material is all assembled and the men must be paid for their work, but I am calling the minister's attention to the larger aspect, because this, as I understand it, is only the first vote of a very considerable expenditure, involving at least $250,000 which is a very large sum of money to spend in that particular locality, with the exposed conditions that prevail there and -

with the ice conditions that will always prevail. I do not think this project will be a success. If it could be made a success, if the conditions were such that this structure could stand, I would not have very much opposition to it, because those of us who live along the coast know the exposed conditions that prevail with respect to the fishermen's business, and if at a reasonable cost we can better those conditions, I do not think any man on either side of the House would be opposed to a fair expenditure of public money for that purpose. I know something about it, I have made it my business to inquire of men competent to speak and they tell me this structure will not stand the ice conditions. Has the department investigated the project from that aspect? The question of the by-election is over and gone. This vote was designed to return the government candidate in Northumberland, but failed in that respect; therefore let us drop it and view the proposition from a business standpoint. Has the minister in his record a report with respect to the effect of the ice conditions there? My opinion is that the structure will not stand the conditions prevailing in the Northumberland straits, because it is too much exposed, and there is too great danger of the ice lifting such a structure. It will not stand for three years. That is the information given to me by an engineer whose name I will be glad to give the minister, and when he sees the name I think he will be glad to sit up and take notice.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I would be glad

to have it.

Mr. HANlSON: I will give it privately

but not publicly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

All right. I think

it is unnecessary to say that this structure was undertaken and money voted for it at the last session of parliament. It has been under consideration for many years, and many representations have been made as to the necessity and desirability of the work. All that the government pledged themselves to do was to erect the present structure. 1 made that very plain last year during the discussion of this item. With reference to the question of whether the construction will stand or not, I may inform my hon. friend that in the case of new work of this character involving a large expenditure, the territory and the nature of the work are dealt with by the district engineer. He submits plans and his plans and the specifications go to a board of engineers in the department. Mr. Gray is the engineer in St. John. He is on the

Supply-Public Works

.staff of engineers and if he is of the opinion that the work will not stand it is his duty as a public works engineer to advise the board. I do not think he has made any representations.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I did not say he had.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

But the hon.

member said that we should consult Mr. Gray.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Mr. Gray will

be consulted, but the work has been before the engineering board in the department. In the case of the lower St. Lawrence where we have a tremendous quantity of ice and difficult conditions, the department has Shad experience, and should be able to judge whether this work is proper or not and whether it will stand. Our report is that it will stand. The contract is a good one. It is below7 the estimated cost of the department, and I hope the work will stand as we have been told it will. There are 1,700 or 1,800 people who will be benefited by this work, and those who know the Maritime? and the conditions there to-day will surely be in sympathy with any policy calculated to assist the people who try to make their living down by the sea.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I am glad to hear the

minister's statement that Gray will be consulted. That is all to the good.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. ICING (Kootenay):

You have suggested it, and I have no objection to it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I did not think you would, because Gray is a first-class man in whom I have great confidence, and if he puts his imprimatur on this work I think it would satisfy the public mind; at all events it would satisfy me, but perhaps that does not make much difference. There is a larger aspect however. The minister stated that the government's commitment did not go beyond the one unit, and I would ask the minister to consider this matter most carefully before making any further commitment. I agree that if the work can be done, and if it will be capable of withstanding the ice conditions, then much good may come from it. If we can do anything to improve the conditions of the fishermen on that exposed work that will not be a waste of the public money, I will not oppose it. I am not questioning the good faith of the government in this action, although we all realize the inception of this transaction.

Mr. M'acLAREN: There are two questions I wish to ask. First, does this vote cover the building of a wharf at Mispec in St. John county? The minister may remember that he received a petition from a very considerable number of fishermen at that point, pointing out that they had no protection in their occupation, coming and going out into the bay of Fundy. I think they asked for a small wharf which would act as a breakwater as well as a wharf. I feeli that this is a real need to enable the fishermen to carry on their occupation. Would the minister inform us if there is any sum in this vote which will help to meet that need? The minister shakes his head. Will he inform us then if he has this matter under consideration, and if he is prepared to look into it with a view to putting up such a small structure?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I am glad my hon. friend has mentioned this matter. It is true that there has been a petition before the department, but as my hon. friend and the members generally know, the department receives many requests for works of this character. The matter, however, will receive consideration and the work be reported on. There is nothing in the present estimates to take care of that expenditure.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Murray MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacLAREN:

I hope we shall receive some favourable indication the next time the matter is brought to the attention of the minister. The other matter I wished to bring up is that of the need of protection for the fishermen at Lomeville, in the same county. That is an important centre, and the village is devoted to fishing of a valuable character. There is a pier there, but the water is very shallow so that the fishermen cannot get in for shelter for their boats and for their lives in bad weather. It is a fishing village of considerable importance, and I hope the minister can give us some assurance that there is some item in this vote which will help to meet their needs.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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June 17, 1926