March 31, 1937


Richelieu River-improvements. $500,000. Rimouski-harbour improvements, $475,000. Riviere Caplan-repairs to jetty, $4,450. Riviere des Hurons-contribution towards dredging, the balance of cost to be borne by the province. $75,000. Ruisseau Castor-purchase and repair wharf, $11,500. . Ruisseau Chapados (Gascons)-fishing harbour, $12,000. Supply-Public Works Ruisseau LeBlane-dredging, $22,500. Ruisseau Pariseau - contribution towards dredging, the balance of cost to be borne by the province, $15,000. St. Andre de Kamouraska-headblock, $14,600. St. Cuthbert-wharf, $2,200. St. Charles de Caplan-wharf extension, $25,000. St. Chrysostome-protection walls, $12,900. St. Denis-wharf reconstruction, $4,650. St. Edouard de Fabre-protection wall, $11,000. St. Etienne de Malbaie-wharf improvements, $5,500. St. Felicite-wharf extension, $54,400. St. Flavie-wharf extension, $20,500. St. Godfroy-wharf repairs, $8,200. St. Ignace de Loyola-protection wall, $15,000. Ste. Jeanne d'Arc-wharf. $1,100. St. Joachim (Cote Neuve)-breakwater, $3,000. St. Paul (lie aux Noix)-improvements, $4,500. St. Pierre les Pecquets-dredging, $13,000. Ste. Rose-protection wall, $4,900. Saguenay River-dredging, $170,000. Sault au Mouton-channel, $24,100. Sorel-harbour improvements, $180,000. Tadoussac (Anse Tadoussac)-wharf improvements. $12,500. Taillon (St. Henri)-wharf extension, $1,300. Terrebonne-protection wall, $16,200. Trois Rivieres-dredging, $4,900. Val Barette-protection work. $3,000. Varennes-protection wall. $15,000. Vereheres-protection wall, $10,000. Vercheres County-dredging-the provincial government contribution being a like amount, $5,000. Yamaska protection work, $9,300.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

Topic:   SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, 1937-38
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Hon. members cannot expect this vote to carry so rapidly. There is one item in it to which the house should give careful attention: I refer to that pertaining to the Richelieu river, $500,000. Last session when this same amount was voted, if my memory is correct, the minister said that the matter of increasing the size of the Richelieu canal would be referred to the International Joint Commission. That commission held many meetings; I attended quite a number myself; some were held at New York, also at Albany, Plattsburg, Burlington, and Montreal. I believe I spent three days at the session at Montreal. A vast amount of information was submitted by eminent engineers and thoroughly competent men for and against further canalization from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson. I took my time and made a careful survey myself all along the Richelieu river, along lake Champlain and south to where the proposed canal would enter the Hudson river. I am convinced that the time has come when this whole project should be laid to one side until the International Joint Commission has reported on it.

There were three main proposals in reference to this work, and as far as I know not a

single one of them has been endorsed. Certainly the engineers from the United States- and there were quite a number of them at these meetings-and representatives of the railways and of business organizations all along the route were not at all in accord with the proposal for canalization via the Richelieu river.

From the United States side there were two proposals that might be considered; one was to commence a canal six miles east of Montreal, I presume from part of Montreal harbour, across to Chambly basin. That was not at all supported. The main United States proposal was to run a canal from lake St. Francis fifty-four miles overland to lake Champlain. I cannot see how any Canadian government could support such a proposal as that. They proposed to divert 5,000 cubic feet a second from lake St. Francis, which is 152 feet above sea level, run it across country, which is fairly level, and drop it into lake Champlain by either one or two locks, a drop of 52 feet. It is proposed to make the level of lake Champlain 100 feet.

I asked some engineers a number of questions about the volume of water and such matters, and it came out that this proposal was to take 5,000 cubic feet a second from lake St. Francis. What would they do with it after they got it to lake Champlain? They could not allow it to run down the Richelieu river; I believe the footage there is from 4,000 to 5,000 cubic second feet to 7,000 or 8,000. It is not to be expected that the Richelieu river bed would take in an additional 5,000 feet per second. And they do not propose to send it that way. Their proposal was to take it through the height of land, which I believe is about 47 feet, south of lake Champlain; in other words, send the St. Lawrence water south into the Hudson, at Northumberland, through one or two locks. That is out of the question; this government could not support that. And all the other proposals that Canada might entertain are out of the question, because the Americans are all against them.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

They would have to widen and deepen the Richelieu river to carry this additional water.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

It was shown at these meetings that there are many private rights on the Richelieu that the government would have to buy, such as dam sites or present dams which are there. The engineers submitted figures showing that the cost would be staggering. In 1900 they figured the cost at $60,000,000, but they now figure it at $200,000,000 if they run the canal from lake St. Francis.

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LIB
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

O.K.? It is not OH.,

and I say no Canadian can support a canal running from lake St. Francis that diverts 5,000 cubic second feet from the St. Lawrence, which would injure the harbour of Montreal, as the hon. member knows. Therefore that is totally out of the question.

Now I will go back to where I left off in dealing with two or three other proposals. If the United States engineers are asking for anything, they are asking for a twenty-seven to thirty foot canal, for if the canal were to go through from the Hudson river to lake Champlain-that is, if the height of land were cut down-that would be the depth of the canal. They are opposed to anything less than that; they say a twelve foot canal is not of much use. I believe the present lake Champhin-Hudson canal is a twelve foot canal, with a potential capacity of over 8,000,000 tons per season. How much traffic goes over it? Only 351,000 tons. Why? Because the traffic is not there.

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LIB
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I am talking of the

lake Champlain-Hudson canal, from the south end of lake Champlain to the Hudson river, which is a twelve foot canal. I went over it and photographed it from one end to the other. I photographed the boats on it, though there were very few. There were two or three steel barges carrying oil, which were pushed along by a steam barge. The figures that were submitted were very striking as to the value of the present canal on the Richelieu river. These figures, I believe, were submitted by the Chambre de Commerce of Montreal in opposition to the proposal; that is my memory, though I speak subject to correction. In any case it was a very representative body. The report I have in my hand was prepared by Mr. Graham for M. Lefebvre, whatever body that gentleman is connected with. It was pointed out that in 1935 the Richelieu river canal, from lake Champlain to Sorel, carried traffic in hard coal amounting to 2,114 tons. That is a mere bagatelle, showing a tremendous drop from the high point of 124.000 tons in 1917. The traffic in hay amounted to only 880 tons, though if my memory serves me right, last year we were given figures showing heavy traffic on that canal.

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LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

The canal is not deep enough; that is the reason for the light traffic.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

It is plenty deep enough to carry all the traffic that is offering on that canal, and I say that, after having made a thorough survey.

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LIB

Pierre Auguste Martial Rhéaume

Liberal

Mr. RHEAUME:

Has my hon. friend the

figures before 1930?

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Yes. Hard coal carried

amounted to 23,935 tons and hay to 2,087 tons. Coming back to where I left off, in 1935 no ore, pulpwood or sawed lumber was carried over this canal from Canada to the United States. The total traffic dropped from 669,299 tons in 1910 to the figure I gave a few moments ago, 45,000 tons in 1935. The traffic is not there. I saw the blueprints indicating what is proposed to be done; I went to Montreal in order to look them over, and then I travelled all over the canal. In my opinion it would pay this country forever to carry free any traffic going over that river rather than to launch upon this scheme which will call for a tremendous expenditure of money.

Last year something was said about lands being flooded, and I made a careful survey in that connection as well. By far the major portions of the flooded lands, the engineers tell me, would be in United States territory south of the international border. I asked the engineers where the flooded lands were on the Canadian side.

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LIB

Pierre Auguste Martial Rhéaume

Liberal

Mr. RHEAUME:

They cover an area

about twenty-five miles long on both sides of the river.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

The banks on both sides of the river are high enough to take all the water flowing in.

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LIB
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I have not the photographs here, but I can show them to my hon. friend, and my eyesight is pretty good. In any event it was not the river flooding we were told about; it was the flooding of the lands around lake Champlain, and those lands are largely in the states of New Hampshire and New York. By far the larger portion of the water that flows down the Richelieu river originates on the United States side, and if they have floods there, they can take care of them.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I take this stand. Last year we voted half a million dollars, and this year we are asked to vote another half million.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

This is a revote.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Well, I am mighty glad to hear that. I hope this will only be revoted every year and never expended. If that is all that is to be done I have nothing more to say.

Supply

Public Works

Topic:   SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, 1937-38
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March 31, 1937