Hon. H. A. STEWART (Minister of Public Works) moved the second reading of Bill No. 113, to provide for the construction and improvement of certain public works and undertakings throughout Canada.
Public Works Construction-Mr. Elliott
He said: Mr. Speaker, the general principle of this bill will, I think, prove acceptable to the house. It is introduced in answer to a general demand from various sources for the inauguration of a program of public works throughout the Dominion of Canada. The bill has the threefold purpose of providing employment over a considerable period of time for those engaged in all lines of trade and activity connected with the construction business; of providing useful public services in the way of buildings and other structures, and of stimulating others to go and do likewise in connection with the building trades.
There is attached to the bill a schedule which sets out in detail the works that are proposed, with a general item which is calculated to enable the departments to put every public building in the Dominion of Canada in first class repair, including painting, plumbing, heating, wiring and so on. Then there is a similar vote for improvements to wharves and other structures in the harbours. It has been found that some of these wharves are not adequate for present needs. Some of them require strengthening, owing to the increasing use of trucks which has resulted in heavier loads passing over the wharves, and a survey is being made with a view to bringing them up to present requirements. In addition recent storms on the Atlantic have made repairs necessary in many instances, and this vote will provide funds for these purposes.
I hope the general principle of the bill will meet with the approval of the house. I can understand that there may be some discussion as to the details and as to some of the items in the schedule, but I submit the bill for the approval of the house with the hope that we may get into the schedule as soon as possible.