February 28, 1930

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That will be understood.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS


The house in committee of supply, Mr. Johnston in the chair. Public Works chargeable to income-harbours and rivers-Nova Scotia, $893,700.


LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Is it the desire of the committee that we should take up the resolution as a whole or item by item?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Item by item.

Barringtsn Passage-ice piers, $25,000.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

My information is that

the contract for this work was let to a gentleman by the name of Boone, whom I know very well. I understand that the work involved very considerable difficulty and that the department took over the work. I should like full information on this item. Mr. Boone is a very competent contractor. He has done a very great deal of work in the province of New Brunswick; he happens to be one of my constituents, and I know him very well. I am wondering just what the trouble was and how the government proposes to use him. Some of the workmen, I might point out, have not been paid. One of them came to see me just before I left home, and told me that the government engineer at Halifax, who was then in charge of the work, which I understand has been suspended1 on account of the season, had assured them that they would all be paid. I know that some of these men have not been paid, and I think that the government ought to see that they are paid. That is only one phase of the situation.

I think we ought to have a very full explanation from the minister as to the position of this contract.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. J. C. ELLIOTT (Minister of Public Works):

The contract was let on September 22, 1928, to Mr. Boone, an order in council f\Tr. Mackenzie King.]

having been passed accepting his tender for the construction of pier No. 5. The work did not proceed in accordance with the contract, and it was taken out of Mr. Boone's hands and proceeded with by the district engineer. As far as the sub-contractors are concerned, when a contract gets into that position, it takes a little time to make all the necessary adjustments, but I understand that these matters are being looked after.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

The minister has not quite covered the ground. I have no brief for Mr Boone. He has not retained me or consulted me, but I have been consulted by some of the men who have not received their pay for the work they did previous to the government taking over the contract. I am very much surprised to hear that Mr. Boone has fallen down on this job, and I would like to know what the trouble is. The minister said that he did not proceed in accordance with the contract. Mr. Boone is a very capable man. He has plant, machinery and equipment; he has experience and he has capital. How was Mr. Boone used? Was he simply shouldered off the job? I would like the details. I do not question the minister's word as to anything he said, but he has not said anything, and that is the fault I have to find. For a lawyer I am rather surprised that he is so sparing of information. If there is anything damaging to Mr. Boone in connection with the contract, let us have it, because I am satisfied that he will have an answer.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I can give the whole particulars if my hon. friend wishes them, but I have not them at hand. My information is that Mr. Boone took the contract, started upon the work, quit it, was notified to proceed at various times and did not proceed, and it was not until he had been notified and bad omitted to proceed with the contract that steps were taken to have the work carried on under the direction of the engineer.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

That being the case, will

the minister produce some evidence to support that statement?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I would like to know what you. are going to do about the unpaid workmen? Are they to be allowed to starve? The men worked up to the time the contract was taken over by the government. I am not saying that it was taken over wrongly or improperly; I do not know; I am looking for

Supply-Harbours and Rivers, N.S.

information. But I do know that one man at least needs the money that is owing to him. He has waited all winter for it. I told him that he had better get after Mr. Boone, who is quite capable of paying these men.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

But the government must

have this man's deposit in their hands.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

Yes, he must have put

up a deposit. It is the government's business to look after the employees.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I think the minister had

better let the item stand until we get more information.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
LIB

John Campbell Elliott (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I shall be very glad to

furnish my hon. friend with all the information.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I am not making any

charges against the department. I am looking for information. The minister's statement so far as it has gone is all right, but let us have the whole facts.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS
Permalink

February 28, 1930