April 10, 1934

LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

How many miles have been constructed from Lake Louise north?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

Some twenty odd miles, and a greater number of miles at the other end.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Twenty-four and twenty-six miles.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

That is approximately

correct, and I may say that this road will be one of the most scenic roads in Canada. That, of course, is a purely dominion responsibility, because that road lies within Banff and Jasper park. Upon its completion it will provide an outlet for the people of Edmonton and others in the northern parts on which to travel to the coast. True, it is a different route from that which the hon. member advocates, but surely it is not contended that the dominion should be expected to carry on the construction of two transcontinental highways through the Rockies to the coast. One transcontinental highway should serve the purpose. But if another road is desired and the province see fit to connect up Canoe river eastward to the boundary of Jasper park, well and good. That would provide an alternative route.

While on the subject of the work done in our national parks under the relief scheme I would point out that we have carried on work not only in Jasper and Banff but in the other parks, for instance, at Waterton in southern Alberta, a certain amount in Yoho park and a considerable amount in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and in Riding Mountain park in my own province of Manitoba.

May I here pay tribute to those who have had charge of that work? It has been my privilege on more than one occasion to visit the work that has been done, and I can say that the roads that have been built are up to the park standard. They have been well built. The other works that have been carried on, such as underbrushing to prevent forest fires, the construction of trails and of certain needed buildings and bridges and other works too numerous to mention, are all a

credit I think to those who have been in charge of the work. It will be a permanent asset to the people of this country.

I have visited the camps in all of these parks with the exception of Yoho, and so far as I could judge on a visit which was not advertised in advance, with no one knowing that I was coming with the exception of my party, the men were contented. They were well housed, well clothed, and well fed. There was a big difference in their appearance and in their morale when they came out in the spring than when they entered those camps in the fall of the year. I may have something more to say on this subject, Mr. Chairman, on another occasion if it seems advisable.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

May I ask the Minister

of the Interior what rate of pay the men received on that work?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

My hon. friend asks what wages were paid on that work. Wages as such have never been considered as being paid. These men were placed there on a sustenance basis. They were given their food and their shelter, and their clothing and equipment to fit them for their work. In addition, they were given an allowance of twenty cents a day, which was given not as wages but to enable them to provide themselves with certain necessaries such as shaving equipment, toilet articles, tooth brushes, soap, towels and so forth, and tobacco. The twenty cents a day was not paid to these men as a wage. They were there simply on a sustenance basis. It had been pointed out to the dominion government that through no fault of their own these unemployed men did not belong to any particular municipality, and therefore not being considered a charge upon any particular municipality it was contended that they were a dominion responsibility. The dominion through the Department of the Interior and the Department of National Defence have been taking care of a good many thousands of men falling within that category. But again I wish to emphasize that it has never been my understanding that these men were working on a wage basis. It was a matter of sustenance and sustenance alone.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

That brings me to another question, and I am glad that the minister has been so frank in his answer. The Ontario government took the same position in regard to their camps, but they have recently issued a statement that from the first of April they are going to pay wages to the extent of twenty-five cents an hour. Might I ask if this government intends to

Relief Act, 193A

follow the example of the Ontario government in the work that is being done in the national parks under the Minister of the Interior and in connection with the air fields under the Minister of National Defence?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

I take it that the policy

of the government will be made known by the Prime Minister in due season. I am not prepared to make a statement on that point.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

So long as the matter is

still under consideration and the answer is not definitely no, I am satisfied to wait. But I should have thought that a time like this when the government is asking for a blank cheque would be a good opportunity to make an announcement.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I thank the Minister of the Interior very much for his very full explanation of the improvements being carried on in the parks. I will agree at once with his statement that the work is well done because I have some knowledge of the personnel that is still carrying on there.

The Minister of the Interior seems to feel that British 'Columbia should not be given greater assistance. As I understood the program carried) on throughout Canada, the Department of National Defence has undertaken the responsibility of taking care of the unmarried men at camps which they have established all over the country. If I am not mistaken there was a camp of these men under the Department of National Defence on the highway leading to Banff inside the park area.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is one near here.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I merely

mentioned that fact in passing. This national highway was a pet scheme of my own when I was Minister of the Interior. I was extremely anxious that we should have an all-Canadian route. True I was not as anxious about the northern portion as I was to complete the southern portion, because with its completion we would at least have one highway on which we could go through to the coast without passing through American territory. But as Jasper developed and as the provincial government began to project their highway to Jasper, in 1926 I had the very definite promise of that provincial government that within one year they would have completed their highway to the park; they would not have it all gravelled, not an all-weather highway, but they would have a highway reaching the eastern boundary of Jasper park. With that understanding, as Minister of the Interior I secured a vote in

Relief Act, 1934

the House of Commons here for the purpose of taking up the ties on the abandoned grade and constructing a road from the town of Jasper to the eastern boundary. I regret very much that the provincial government did not carry out their part of the agreement. So far as I know there is still a small mileage that is not an all-weather highway from Edmonton into the park, but I am not finding fault with anybody. All I am urging now is that inasmuch as the federal government for relief purposes have camps on highways all across Canada under the Department of National Defence-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Other classes of work as well.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I am speaking now primarily of highways. It is not likely that the British Columbia government will complete that sixty-six odd miles for some years to come. They may do so, but judging from the statement of their provincial treasurer the province is not going to be in a very healthy condition financially to undertake works of this kind, and I should like to see work on that piece of highway concentrated under the Department of National Defence in order that it may be completed. Instead of concentrating on the highway leading from Lake Louise to Jasper, which runs in a southeasterly direction, I think the minister should concentrate on getting to the edge of the park. Then if the highway is to go on, the Department of National Defence might carry on to connect with the southern highway. I am finding no fault with what the minister or the department has done because I have seen the work and I agree with the minister when he states it is well done. The northern section of the highway from Jasper to Lake Louise will be valuable as a scenic route for tourists because it passes many beautiful lakes and does not have to go over any great height of land, such as is the case in the southern end. It will be valuable to that extent and certainly the work has not been wasted. I contend that before any further work is done on that particular piece of highway, there should be concentration on the other.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The representatives of

the Edmonton board of trade and chamber of commerce called on me when I was last in the west and we resumed a conversation which we had had some years before in connection with this work. The provincial government w^as unable to complete the highway west to the eastern boundary of Jasper park. We {Mr. C. A. Stewart.]

gave assistance and men were actually en-. camped on the line west of Edson. However, winter came on and it was not possible to continue with the work. I think the hon. gentleman knows exactly what happened-a snowstorm came up and it was impossible to carry on. It is the intention to assist the provincial authorities as far as possible to complete the line into Jasper park. From Jasper park west it has been completed by the federal government. Some years ago when we were carrying on relief measures, representatives from the Edmonton district concluded that it was desirable to cut that road through to lake Louise in order to enable people coming in from the south to reach Jasper and go back by way of Edmonton and those coming in fj-om Saskatchewan and the north to go south and then return on the other highway, in other words, make a round trip of it. The road which has been cut through is said by those well able to judge to be the most beautiful road in western Canada, but I am not in position to state just how accurate that statement is. I do not think it is fair for the hon. gentleman to suggest that any government, under existing conditions, should undertake the construction of a highway from the western boundary of Jasper park to Canoe river or Kamloops. There is a tote road down there and the reconnaissance survey indicates that the construction of a highway would cost a very substantial sum of money. That money would have to be found by the province and the province is not in position to find it. British Columbia agreed in a written contract to complete this part of the highway up to the western boundary of Riding Mountain park. That work has not been done but the government is assisting in the completion of that line. So far as it may be possible to do so, the work will be carried on and a highway completed to permit a continuous journey through Banff national park, past Canoe river and down to the coast. The cost of the work on the British Columbia side was somewhat greater than was anticipated when this house confirmed the agreement some years ago. Nevertheless, to the extent that it may be possible to do so an endeavour will be made to complete the line through to the coast even though by so doing we will be discharging obligations undertaken by British Columbia.

May I say a word with respect to the sustenance employment given to these men working in the parks, Riding Mountain, Banff and other places. They are told that whenever an opportunity for permanent employment offers

Relief Act, 1934

they are free to leave the camps. An effort is being made constantly to provide them with employment at suitable wages. In many instances this has been successful and the number of camps has become less than it was when they were first started.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

I wonder if the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon) will be good enough to amplify the statement he made just before six o'clock as to the future relations between the federal and provincial governments in so far as the relief of unemployment is concerned. A few days before the Easter recess he stated in answer to a question asked by me that it was the intention of the government to invite the provinces to a conference in Ottawa with a view to establishing a new system of direct relief. He made the positive statement that the federal government was to call the provinces to thiis conference', but just before six o'clock he left the committee under the impression that only those provinces which could not find their way clear to provide for unemployment would be called to Ottawa in conference. That statement is a direct contradiction of what he said before the Easter recess. I might as well tell him that the statement he made before the recess received fairly wide publication. I have received many letters asking when this famous conference was to take place but the only answer I was able .to give was that given to me by the minister. The minister told the committee that the western provinces already had been called into conference and I should like to know if it is the intention of the government to call other provinces, for instance Quebec, into conference as soon as possible after the Easter recess.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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CON

George Gordon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I do not think there need be any confusion in the mind of anyone in connection with the relationship between the dominion and the provinces. If a province can get along and discharge its own constitutional responsibilities, I hope that province will not come to Ottawa seeking money simply because some other province less fortunately situated financially has had to appeal to the federal government to supplement its own efforts in looking after its own constitutional responsibilities. That is the thought that I intended to convey. I hope that some of the provinces may be able to take care of at least the greater share of their relief requirements without help from the federal authorities. They may not be able to do this one hundred per cent, but they may be able to do more than they have been able to do in the last two or three years. These are matters which 74726-128

will have to be discussed by this government with the representatives of those provinces which acknowledge their inability to discharge their constitutional functions.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

What government is going to take the first step to ascertain if a province needs further direct relief? In the past the federal government took the initial step. For my own information I should like to know if the federal government is going to continue to take the first step to ascertain whether the provinces are able to carry their own burdens or whether they will require assistance from the federal government.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I assure the hon. gentleman that until this legislation is passed the provinces will have to look after themselves. What action is to be taken will be determined by the time it takes to pass this legislation.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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LIB

Eugène Fiset

Liberal

Sir EUGENE FISET:

I might tell my right hon. friend that I said, after this legislation is passed.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   BILL IN TERMS GENERALLY OF RELIEF ACT, 1933, WITH PROVISION RESPECTING DELAYED RELIEF ACCOUNTS
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April 10, 1934