June 28, 1934

FREE CONFERENCE WITH THE SENATE IN VIEW OF AMENDMENTS

CON

Robert Charles Matthews (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. C. MATTHEWS (Minister of National Revenue):

By unanimous consent

of the house I move:

That a message be sent to the Senate respectfully requesting a free conference with Their Honours to consider certain amendments made by the Senate to Bill No. 89, an act to amend and consolidate the Excise Act, to which amendments this house has not agreed and upon which the Senate insist, and any amendment which at such conference it may be considered desirable to make to said bill or amendments thereto.

That the clerk do carry the said message to the Senate.

Topic:   FREE CONFERENCE WITH THE SENATE IN VIEW OF AMENDMENTS
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Stewart (Leeds) for the second reading of Bill No. 113, to provide for the construction and improvement of certain, public works and undertakings throughout Canada. Mr. CAMERON R. MeINTOSH (North Battleford): Mr. Speaker, before Bill No. 113 is given its second reading, I should like to make a few observations with regard to its negligible operation in the northern part of Saskatchewan. I recognize the principle of a public works program in the curtailment of unemployment; I believe that is a generally recognized principle on and off this continent. I recall, I think it was in 1928, the Senate of the United States appointed a special committee to investigate unemployment and to report thereon. If I remember correctly, about the same year a committee of the House of Commons in Great Britain was appointed to investigate unemployment conditions and to report thereon. In both those reports the principle of a public works program was accepted; I might say that it was only accepted as one factor therein because it was not the only solution put forward for the relief of unemployment. Another principle was education; another, immigration; another, monetary reform; still another, industrial reorganization and, lastly, freer trade. But we are dealing to-night with a program of public works and I would like to speak briefly in a general way for Saskatchewan and in a particular way for the constituency of North Battleford. I would like to deal with three points and, as I said, somewhat briefly. First, in looking at the preamble of the bill I notice that the argument is put forward that the construction program outlined therein will be for the general advancement of the country and to accelerate recovery. Possibly it may accelerate recovery; I believe it will to a certain extent, but this acceleration will be only sectional and not national. Consequently I fail to understand why the word Public Works Construction-Mr. McIntosh "national" is used in the preamble, because it seems very evident that the legislation is in a paramount way sectional and not national. If we look at the bill from the standpoint of a percentage basis, what do we find? We find an approximate appropriation of $39,000,000 for Canada and as Canada has a population of slightly over 10,000,000, that means about $4 per capita. Saskatchewan has a population of approximately 1,000,000, so at $4 a head we ought to have on a mathematical or percentage basis about $4,000,000 spent in the province. How much is to be spent in that province? We find that the only amount to be spent in Saskatchewan is $675,000, or practically one and one-half per cent. There- * fore, if we look at the problem from the standpoint of population, the proportion ought to be around at least ten per cent, which would mean well over $3,000,000 or $3,900,000 odd.


CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

In arriving at these figures does the hon. member in any way take into consideration the large general votes for that province?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSII:

No, I do not, and so far as northern Saskatchewan is concerned there is no large vote. As I will show by the time I have finished, there is in the main estimates hardly a dollar for northern Saskatchewan.

Again, if hon. members will look at the problem from the standpoint of area, Saskatchewan has an area of one-thirteenth or one-fourteenth of that of Canada. If you divide the amount by thirteen or fourteen, you will still get about $3,000,000. So, on a double count, from the point of view of population and area or of special need Saskatchewan is not getting a fair deal in the legislation now before the house. That is one point.

Let me proceed now to deal with the performance that we are going to get under this measure. From a percentage or mathematical point of view the thing is absolutely wrong so far as Saskatchewan is concerned; it cannot be defended, and as a representative of northern Saskatchewan I want to protest and to put some facts in a very plain and emphatic manner before hon. members on both sides.

I reviewed the percentage principle that is lacking in this legislation; let me go on to see what the performance is. The performance is simply spending in Saskatchewan $675,000 out of a total of $39,000,000. Where is this money to be spent? In two Conservative ridings in that province, one in the constituency of the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull), and the other in the constituency of the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Loucks). To prove that this is a political bill, I may say that the hon. member for Rosetown went home during the provincial election and on the platform in Saskatchewan used the argument that there was going to be a bridge built over the South Saskatchewan river at Outlook and in that way he tried to hold one of the local ridings for the Tory party. He could not do this; he hopelessly failed, 'but the very fact that he used this argument is proof positive that the foundation of this bill is to a very large degree political.

Let me go just a step further. In 1931 we had a letter from the Dominion Unemployment Relief department, Ottawa, under date of August 7 of that year and we were asked to report on undertakings in our constituencies that would alleviate or somewhat reduce unemployment. I fancy all members from western Canada, whether Conservative or Liberal, did report. Personally, I know I reported but there was nothing done. What was reported on about three years ago? I said: If you want to handle unemployment in northern Saskatchewan there is much work to be done. For instance, my right hon. leader (Mr. Mackenzie King) referred the other day to colonization roads. That was one of the undertakings I recommended three years ago. Colonization roads should be built for the farmers of northern Saskatchewan if the government was going to undertake any relief program. Then certain other roads could be built for better transportation facilities. Further, the Beaver river, 200 miles north of North Battleford and 100 miles from Meadow Lake could be cleared of some of its rocks in order to improve transportation facilities between that great northern area and northern, central and southern Saskatchewan. But in this bill nothing is to be found with regard to any of those greatly needed facilities. More than that, I also recommended that the bridge at Ceepee on the great traffic artery from North Battleford to Saskatoon be built over the North Saskatchewan river, if there was to be any real undertaking started with a view to solving the unemployment problem in that part of the province. I have here a telegram from the North Battleford board of trade on that point. It reads as follows:

North Battleford. Sask.,

June 21, 1934.

C. R. McIntosh, M.P.,

House of Commons. Ottawa.

Executive of North Battleford hoard' of trade keenly disappointed that there is no provision in announced relief program for work in northwestern Saskatchewan. Strongly urge

4414 COMMONS

Public Works Construction-Mr. McIntosh

representations be made to government to steel St. Walburg-Bonnyville railway; also to construct traffic bridge over North Saskatchewan river at Ceepee.

F. Wright,

Commissioner.

So you have in that telegram the North Battleford board of trade supporting the request for the building of this bridge at Ceepee, and also strongly backing up the placing of rails on about seventy miles of grade north of St. Walburg towards Edmonton. But in the bill there is not a word about these two great undertakings in the constituency of North Battleford.

Then I have a resolution here from the rural municipality of Great Bend, No. 405. It reads as follows:

Whereas there is a possibility of a bridge being constructed across the North Saskatchewan river in the near future, as a relief measure;

We, the council of the rural municipality of Great Bend, No. 405, wish to go on record as petitioning that this proposed structure be at the present Ceepee ferry crossing, believing this to be the logical and strategical point for the same, as records will show that this ferry crossing in the past has carried the heaviest load in the province, and is also on the main No. 5 provincial highway.

We would also urge that this work, once approved, be commenced at the earliest possible date, as it would be of considerable assistance in alleviating the relief burden of the adjacent municipalities.

There you have a resolution from a rural municipality and a wire from the North Battleford board of trade backing up what was recommended over three years ago, and this government has been in power now going on four years and has made no attempt to use a dollar of relief money in building colonization roads in the north, or improving transportation between the north and south or doing anything else in a constructive way to help unemployment conditions in the whole of that great northern area.

Mr. QUINN; Their representative in parliament is not effective.

Mr. MeINTOSH: If my hon. friend will

just attend to Halifax that will be all he can do in the next election. My hon. friend has sung his swan song; his political dirge has sounded.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. QUINN:

Will the hon. gentleman

come and run against me in Halifax? I challenge you now to come down there.

Mr. MeINTOSH: I might consider that.

May I say it would be a very easy run. My hon. friend would be buried with ballots. I might invite him to come to North Saskatchewan and be politically submerged.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

He cannot get over the bridge.

Mr. MeINTOSH: There is one thing more I want to mention. This bill runs true to form, true to the policy of high protection that has been guiding the destiny of this country for the past four years. It is eminently selfish. Whenever we get a Tory government putting forward high protection principles under the cloak of unemployment relief we can bet our last dollar that the essence of the legislation is selfish, and sectional, and costly. If unemployment is going to be cut down there is only one way to do it. This program may help, but it will not solve the problem. What must be done is to take down the tariff barriers between Canada and the empire and the world. We have to liberate internal trade by ending artificial price control and trade restrictions. In this bill there is no attempt to do that, consequently as far as a solution of the unemployment problem is concerned I am afraid it will be at best but a half way measure. Then we have to liberate external trade; internal and external trade go together. We have to liberate trade in every direction to help Canada and to enable Canada to help liberate the world. By doing that the Liberal party believes we shall get business, and the moment we get business our industries will get busy, our farmers will be able to sell their produce at home and abroad and unemployment will gradually disappear. In other words, we desire to promote trade with all nations, not only with the empire, not only internal trade, but trade with all the nations of the world, by abolishing the extravagant increases in tariffs that have taken place from 1930 on.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. QUINN:

Look at your own record for the last nine years.

Mr. MeINTOSH: Only thus can a contribution be made to the solution of the unemployment problem. In closing let me again express my regret that the Minister of Public Works has done nothing constructive to help conditions in northern Saskatchewan; he has made no attempt to work out a bill on a sound and fair basis; he has done nothing that will mean really anything to northern Saskatchewan. Lastly he has done nothing that will help to free internal or external trade and thereby overcome the serious difficulties that to-day affect the whole of Canada from one ocean to the other.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Ross Wilfred Gray

Liberal

Mr. R. W. GRAY (West Lambton):

Before the question is put I would like to have just a minute or two to mention three items that affect the constituency of West Lambton

Public Works Construction-Mr. McIntosh

which I represent. First may I thank the minister for including in the estimates provision for the completion of the public wharf at Sarnia by placing on it the warehouse the building of which I have been urging for t'he past three years. The minister is quite conversant with the need for. this, and at one time the matter had proceeded so far that tenders had been called, but then the rod pencil of the government struck it out. In making this grant for the completion of work begun by the late government we shall have brought it to a successful conclusion and will be in a position to utilize to better advantage the fine natural waterfront of the city of Sarnia.

In connection with the experimental cold storage plant for the onion growers of that constituency, I quite appreciate that this is an experiment. I do not believe that the amount is sufficient, but when one gets even a crumb from the table of this government I suppose he should be satisfied. I rise in particular to protest-I am sorry to do this, especially in view of the fact that I do not see in the house any member from t'he county of Essex-because I find included an item of 8600,000 to build an elevator at the c:ty of Windsor. In other words the government is going into the elevator business in competition with the Georgian bay ports, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Goderich. The hon. member for North Huron (Mr. Spotton) should be here. The minister kindly received this week a delegation representing these various ridings, consisting of three members of his own political faith together with the representative of the constituency of West Lambton. The views of these gentlemen and of the elevator owners, namely the municipalities in which they are built, have been fully placed before the Minister of Public Works. He quite properly stated that he is carrying out the building program which has been placed on his lap. He did not in any way attempt to shirk responsibility for the item, but he did state, and I believe quite truthfully, that the item of $600,000 had been placed in the schedule on the recommendation of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) who, I am sorry to say, is not in his seat. The deputation was received by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is therefore quite conversant with the views of these municipalities. As I have said I am sorry not only that the members from the Essex constituencies are absent, but that hon. gentlemen representing the constituencies in which are Collingwood, Owen Sound and Goderich are not in their places 74726-279J

and are therefore not in a position to add to the protests I am making.

The reason given for including this item providing for the erection of an elevator at Windsor is that there is a need to stimulate the growing of corn in the great southwestern Ontario com belt consisting of Lambton, Middlesex, Kent and Essex. The facts have already been presented indicating that already there is at Walkerville an elevator capable of taking care of 400,000 bushels of corn. At that elevator they have the driers, cleaners and all the equipment necessary to carry on the operation. An attempt has been made to stimulate the growth of corn in those counties, and should the government desire to lease the plant it would be available at a very nominal rental. Yet, despite this fact, at least for the moment-and I say that because I still believe the government will give serious consideration to our representations which may not have been made until after the item was placed in the schedule- the situation I have described exists. First, as I have said, there is no need for this building, and although I have already placed the reasons before the house I shall repeat the chief one, namely that there are already facilities at that point. Secondly there is the fact that the municipality I represent-and I dc* not pretend to speak for the others-is already in the elevator business on the strength of the fact that elevator capacity sufficient to serve the grain trade was needed at these various points. In the city of Sarnia we constructed at a cost of $800,000 an elevator with a 2,000.000 bushel capacity. The municipality issued the debentures, and then by an agreement with the elevator company extending over a twenty year period, entered into an arrangement whereby there would be a return. At the moment the elevator company in Sarnia have managed to keep up their payments of principal and interest, but there is still the sum of $665,000 owing. If the Toronto Elevator Company Limited, owners of the Sarnia elevator, did not buy their own grain, bring it down, and look after it in the businesslike way in which they conduct their business, our elevator would not be filled today, and they would not be able to pay the interest and the principal as it falls due. Yet the government is now proceeding to enter into competition with these municipalities who have staked their financial backing in order to encourage the grain trade of the dominion. I say that if it were only a matter of stimulating the corn trade in the counties I have mentioned I would have no complaint.

4416 COMMONS

Public Works Construction-Mr. McKenzie

If we could label the elevator which the government proposes building with the words "for corn only," I would have no complaint. But it cannot be believed that this elevator will not enter into direct competition with the elevators on the bay ports, Goderich and Sarnia. The government is placing in jeopardy the faith of these municipalities in respect of the elevator companies when it goes out into competition with them.

As I have stated, the Minister of Public Works, the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Prime Minister are now fully conversant with the facts. Although the item will be reached again in committee I do not intend to repeat what I have said. I earnestly suggest to the minister that before the government enters into open competition with the municipalities who have shown their faith in the grain trade by investing in these elevators at various points, he should consider seriously the representations which have been made to him during the past week. I am glad to see the Minister of Trade and Commerce has now taken his seat, and I suggest he should instruct the Minister of Public Works not to proceed with the construction of the elevator named in the schedule which, I submit, would be in the nature of a duplication and an unnecessary expenditure.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, I desire briefly to join with the other hon. members from the province of Saskatchewan who have preceded me in the debate, and to express my dissatisfaction with the amount of money to be allocated to our province. We find only two items; one is a bridge at Outlook costing $275,000 and the other a public building at Regina costing $400,000.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

These votes would not

have a tendency to relieve the strain in that part of the country where relief is most needed. I have always had some doubt as to the advisability of erecting public buildings as a means of relieving unemployment, because a great deal of the money expended in such works goes towards the purchase of material and for purposes other than the payment for actual labour.

Speaking in this chamber on February 8, I drew to the attention of the government a proposal for the constituency I have the honour to represent, and one which I believe would result in more unemployment relief than either of the proposals outlined in the

[Mr. Gray.l

bill. I referred on that occasion to the proposal to erect a dam over the Souris river west of the town of Estevan. The purpose of the dam in the first place would be to control the flood waters of that river and to give a regular water supply to this growing town. It would also ensure a water supply for the developments which they hope to carry on at that point. The cost as estimated by the engineers who went over the ground a year or two ago was $125,000. The work consists in scraping down two hills into the ravine and river bottom, thereby forming a dam. The width of the space between the two hills is between 1,900 and 2,000 feet. The $125,000 which I have mentioned would to a large extent be expended on day labour and team work. There would be very little necessity for expenditures for material. Plenty of rock is available at the site for any work which would be necessary, and there would be very little need of any investment other than the payments to labour. This work would be of great benefit to the people in [DOT]that constituency who are in need not only of work but of a little money. I believe the town of Estevan has an industrial future. We look upon it as the coming industrial centre of Saskatchewan because of the coal and other natural resources in that area. For the development of these resources a supply of water is essential, and that is one reason why the town officials and practically all the organizations are so solidly behind this project. I understand that at one time there was some international dispute as to whether the Canadian government would be allowed to dam back this water but I am advised now 1 hat the people of the state of North Dakota are very much in favour of the proposal I have put before the house. If the government have the idea of relieving unemployment as much as possible by this schedule of works presented to the house, there is nothing I can think of that might be included in the schedule of this bill that would give more relief for the money expended than this proposal, and therefore I would highly commend it to the government for inclusion in the schedule before this bill passes. -

Mr. JEAN-FRANGOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): I do not ask the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart) for any favours, but I would remind him of his duty. He has dealt fairly with me in the past and I hope he will deal fairly with my constituents in the future, and especially during this summer. I ask for nothing. But I would remind the minister that in Temiscouata county, which was cut in the last gerrymander, there are still some very important places. On the shore of the

Public Works Construction-Mr. Pouliot

St. Lawrence river I would remind the minister that there is a wharf at Notre Dame du Portage, which by the will of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and his supporters is now a part of the county of Kamouraska. The wharf there was kept in very good repair when the Liberal party was in power, but it has been destroyed since because the necessary repairs were not made. A resolution was passed by the municipal council asking that repairs be made to this wharf to relieve unemployment, but nothing has yet been done about it. Now is the time for the Minister of Public Works to see to it that this work is done this summer. I need not describe to the minister Notre Dame du Portage. It is one of the finest summer resorts in lower Quebec, and I simply draw his attention to the matter. This work was not proceeded with because of a foolish promise that was made by the Conservative chiefs in the parish saying that the government would spend $15,000. This amount was decided to be spent for the purpose by the former minister of public works, but the work was not done and it will be more expensive to do it now. I hope that the minister will see that that work is done.

Leaving Notre Dame du Portage I come to the present and the past. I would speak of the beautiful city of Riviere du Loup. May I tell the minister that important works have to be done there? I would remind him that in the past when I told him of the abuses that had taken place at Riviere du Loup he righteously saw to it that the wrongs were redressed, and that those who were guilty of padding the roll were obliged to refund to the government. I give credit to the minister for that. But now he should see to it, if some public works are to be done at Riviere du Loup that they are supervised by honest and reliable men, and that men of both political parties be given the opportunity to work. These are no ordinary items of supply, Mr. Speaker. This is the schedule of an act to relieve unemployment, and both Liberals and Conservatives have suffered because of unemployment and both should be given work regardless of their political creed. There are some very important works to be done at Riviere du Loup, both at the wharf and in the river. The minister knows what I mean and I shall not insist any more about it. The minister knows what is his duty and I leave it to his conscience and sense of duty to be fair with the people of Riviere du Loup, whatever may be their political creed.

Next is the beautiful summer resort of Cacouna. If the minister wants to know what Cacouna is he has only to look into the files

of his department and see what kind of works have been done at Cacouna in the past-t These works should be looked after. The wharf should be kept in good repair, and there must be some dredging done there also.

Next I come to Isle Yerte, and Notre Dame de 1'Isle Verte. There is a sea grass industry there which is of great importance. There are only two places in Canada where sea grass is cultivated; one of them is Isle Verte, and the other is in Nova Scotia. It is an industry which gives a little profit to the farmers in the summer time, and the minister should see to it that all those who are engaged in that industry are given a fair deal.

The wharf at Isle Yerte is also important. It is a means of communication with the north shore, and it needs repairs very badly. Let me tell the minister that Isle Verte is a very important farming community. It is also a place where people pick berries in the summer time for shipment to the north shore, and there is great activity on the wharf there. I direct the minister's attention to that and to all the work that must be done in the neighbouring rivers not far from the wharf.

Let us go next to Tobin, halfway between Isle Verte and Trois Pistoles. This is no longer in my constituency. By the will of the Prime Minister this wonderful place was annexed to the county of Rimouski. Nevertheless there is some work to be done there. Some work was to have been done in 1930 but the government decided otherwise. This time they have another chance to do it. There is a lot of unemployment there and the minister should see to it that in order to relieve unemployment important work is done there.

Next we come to the delightful place called Trois Pistoles, which by the will of the Prime Minister has been annexed to the county of Rimouski. I know the people there well. They are my friends. After an election I do not consider whether they have voted for or against me. I try to serve them all to the best of my ability, but let me tell the minister that he should see to it that these people are treated fairly. I am sure that the people of Trois Pistoles will be well looked after by my good friend from Rimouski, (Sir Eugene Fiset) as well as the people of Notre Dame du Portage will be looked after by my good friend from Kamouraska (Mr. Bouchard). In spite of the fact that these fine parishes have been taken from my constituency I have still an interest in the welfare of these people and I direct the minister's attention to the important works that should be done there.

I have rendered the minister a great service in pointing out the abuses of which the Conservatives at Trois Pistoles were guilty when

4418 COMMONS

Public Works Construction-Mr. Vcillance

they sold cement for twice as much as it was worth, and I congratulate the minister upon the action he took in that matter. I informed him of what was going on, that the man in charge of the patronage was selling the cement for twice what it was sold for before, and the minister gave an order that that man should refund the money or that the account should be reduced. After what I told the minister he succeeded in saving money for the Canadian exchequer. I did this not to cause harm to anyone but just because it is my duty. I am sure the minister appreciated my stand in the matter, as I did his.

We have a beautiful inland sea in the constituency of Temiscouata. Lake Temis-couata is twenty-seven miles long and there are many parishes along its shores such as Dame du Lac, Cabano and St. Juste du Lac, while on the shores of the Madawaska river is Ste. Rose du Degele. There is also the Squatteck wharf. After the erection of a dam on the Madawaska river the waters of the lake were much higher than they had been before and much damage has been caused to these wharves. I direct the attention of the minister to these matters. I ask him to look into the corrupt practices which are prevailing among the Tories in charge of the patronage in my constituency. I have no right to ask for favours for the Conservatives or the Liberals. My duty is to direct the attention of the minister to what he should do in the future. I am sure if he does not listen too much to those greedy ones who are trying to make abnormal profits at the expense of the state he will see to it that we get a fair deal when the money voted under this bill is spent. I leave it to his conscience as to whether he does his duty.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. JOHN VALLANCE (South Battle-ford) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire to associate

myself with the other hon. members from northern Saskatchewan in raising objection to the contents of this bill. I have been looking over the estimates for the years 1932-33, 1933-34 and 1934-35 and it is rather interesting to note that the total amount estimated to be spent under this bill is just about equal to the reductions which have occurred in the votes for public works. In 1932-33 we spent

81,060,000 upon public works chargeable to capital; in 1933-34 the amount dropped to $250,000, and this year we have dropped down to $220,000. This money really should have been spent during the last two or three years.

I must compliment the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Loucks) if he is responsible

rMr. Pouliot.]

for the item of $275,000 for the building of a bridge across the South Saskatchewan river at Outlook. In my opinion this bridge is very necessary and it will serve a great portion of middle and western Saskatchewan. The hon. member is to be congratulated. I notice that this afternoon, when certain hon. members were objecting to the appropriations given to their provinces, the minister drew attention to the fact that probably something might be done under the general items in this bill. I have gone through the bill very carefully and I can find only three items under which the province of Saskatchewan could benefit in a general way. The first item is No. 78 and reads:

Interior Department-

To provide for the construction and development of public buildings, campsites, electric light and telephone systems, highways, trails, water and sewer systems, recreational areas, wharves and river protection works.

The amount allotted to this item is $2,000,000 and it is possible that Saskatchewan may get some of this. The next item is $500,000 for the construction of Indian residential and day schools, and hospitals. It is possible Saskatchewan may get something out of that. The next item is No. 135, public buildings generally-improvements, additions, fittings, repointing, painting, repairs and so on. The amount here is $2,000,000 and possibly we may get something out of that. If the total of these three items is to be divided among the nine provinces there will be only about $500,000 for each province.

I should like to endorse what the hon. member for North Battleford (Mr. McIntosh) said this evening. I do not think there is a place in northern Saskatchewan where a crossing is more necessary than at Ceepee. I think wdien the government was contemplating spending approximately $40,000,000 they would have been well advised to provide for the building of a bridge at this point. I also want to associate myself with the hon. member for North Battleford in his criticism of the government for not setting aside some portion of this $40,000,000 for the building of colonization roads. There has been a large influx of people into the northern areas and roads are badly needed. I was sorry to see that the government had not made any appropriation for this purpose.

No doubt when the minister is dealing with his supplementary estimates he will point out that considerable has been given to the western provinces. I notice there is an item of $7,000 for the purchase of an old bank building in my home town for postal purposes. This is not exactly a relief project although,

Public Works Construction-Mr. Denis

as has been suggested to me, there is probably a measure of relief in that $7,000 for the Canadian Bank of Commerce. If the minister goes through his estimates for the last two years and this year he will find that the reductions which have been made total about

839,000,000, which is just about the total covered by this bill.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. ARTHUR DENIS (St. Denis) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, before this debate

ends, I wish to reiterate my request of the other day with reference to the stone cutters of the city of Montreal. I requested the government to kindly specify in the contracts which it would award in erecting buildings in Montreal or elsewhere, that the contractors would have to employ stone cutters to carry out the work, instead of machines. It is obvious that such a provision would be of a nature to considerably decrease the number of unemployed in Montreal and elsewhere. Experts in the matter contend that a machine does the work of 25 men and, therefore, throws 25 workmen on the street. On the other hand, I am told that the stone cut by machines is of an inferior quality to that cut by expert workers.

Often there exists in the rock certain cracks, certain weakness which cannot be discovered by machine work; however, when a workman cuts it, he notices whether it is split, cracked or of inferior quality. The stone cut by machine detracts a good deal from the value of the building. Therefore, I request the government to furnish work to the stone cutters, who are, to-day, among the unemployed in Montreal.

I do not wish to congratulate the government for having submitted to us this bill at the end of the session. "The mountain in labour has brought forth a mouse 1" This government which thought itself important and capable of settling the unemployment crisis in 1930, submits to us, after four years in office, a bill which will permit it to expend $40,000,000 to relieve those who are unemployed since then. It seems to be an important event, but let me assure you, sir, that it does not amount to much. It is not a permanent remedy to cure unemployment, it is an artificial, a temporary measure which will amount to nothing, unless it be for a few months this year. The government thinks, thanks to such a measure, that the Canadian people will forget the 1930 promises and its inertia heretofore! Being acquainted with its rule for the last four years, especially during this session, the Canadian people realize perfectly that they were wrong in replacing the Liberal regime by this one and

will again repose their trust in us They will replace this government by a Liberal one. If one examines specially this session's legislation, one might conclude that the goverment did its utmost to create positions, carry on patronage and thus endeavour to capture the confidence of the Canadian people. I wish to protest, sir, because so little work has been set aside for Quebec.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

You

should cooperate, instead of protesting.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

Let the hon.

member for Berthier-Maskinonge have no fear. When the time comes, I shall cooperate, as I have always done in the pa$t, especially for sound and rational measures; I have never refused to accomplish my duty in the house or elsewhere. It is not in introducing such a bill after four years, that the Canadian people will be led to believe that the government carried out its duty and understood the responsibilities that it had to assume in this respect. It is not because the government erects in the town of Berthier, a public building at a cost of $48,000 or $50,000, that it can imagine that it has performed its duty. The government in this respect only proves that it cares very little for the people's money and, to help in electing one of its friends, it has no compunction in having parliament appropriate an amount double to what would be necessary to satisfy the town of Berthier and the whole county. The government showed that it was incapable of administering the finances of this country. That is why the Canadian people will remember, when the polling day comes, to thank the government for its services to Canada

I shall not add anything further, sir, so as not to delay the house. I am aware of the servile majority of which the government disposes. When it is a question of championing our nationality and allowing bilingualism on our bank notes, our good friends opposite, with a few exceptions, thought fit to repudiate the rights of Quebec and the French language, by voting against the amendment moved by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). One more thing to stir up the people's regrets and feelings-I shall not say of rebellion-of revenge towards those who, in the face of the country, have, so to speak, repudiated their language to servilely support their leader.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU (Translation):

Will

the hon. member allow me a question? Could he inform us why, from 1921 to 1930, when the hon. member for Quebec East formed part of a strong government, supported by

4420 COMMONS

Public Works Construction-Mr. Denis

almost 60 French Canadian members of Quebec, neither him nor any other representative of the French Canadians, among whom was to be found the hon. member for St. Denis (Mr. Denis) dared raise their voice to request that the two languages be both printed on dominion notes, and never dared to request-

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

There was no question of a Central Bank then, and we had notes in both languages.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCTION ACT
Permalink

June 28, 1934