Well, I am referring to the matter of $33,000,000, of which about $3,000,000 has been repaid in some way, I do not know how. I am asking the question particularly for the reason that for almost everything which is lacking funds for the purpose of completion the federal government is blamed if it does not come through with the money. But I have before me a press dispatch in which the finance minister at Victoria makes the statement that he does not expect the federal government to demand repayment of this money, or to collect this money.
What public works are being undertaken in British Columbia, either by the dominion government, or by this government in conjunction with the provincial government, on which the unemployed men who are in the Vancouver post office and in the art gallery can be placed?
Well, there are no joint works to which the dominion government is now contributing through the Department of Labour. There are two stretches of highway, the Big Bend highway and the new highway from the international border to New Westminster, either to which the dominion government is contributing or for which there has been an undertaking that the dominion government will contribute.
Oh, no, I would not say that, because a number of other public works projects of the various departments-the Department of Transport, for instance, and the Department of (Public Works-are being carried out in various parts of the province. My hon. friend has raised his question rather under the Department of Labour votes, and I am able to tell him only with regard to the votes that are given here. As a matter of fact, although last year our contributions to highways were under the Department of Labour, this year they are rather under the Department of Mines and Resources, and to some extent under the Department of Transport in so far as our contributions pertain to the abolition of level crossings.
I take it that the minister is very much concerned to have these men working, or at least to offer them work. Can they be placed on the work on the Big Bend highway and on the road from the boundary to New Westminster? If so, I suggest that this information be conveyed to them at once. If that were done, we might get quite a number of them out of the post office and the art gallery, and public support would be swung behind the government instead of, as I think it is to-day, being largely behind the men because it is felt that nothing is being done. The tragedy is that no move whatever is being made by this government. At least that is the feeling in Vancouver. Cannot the minister take some step to offer these men work right away on these two highways?
The work on the Big Bend highway has been continued over a period of years under agreement with British Columbia. The work on the highway from the international boundary to New Westminster has not yet been started. In all probability it will be done as a joint project with British Columbia. I believe an announcement has already been made with regard to that work, and it has been stated that those who are single and unemployed and residents in British Columbia will be upon the same footing as others as to eligibility for this work, but I am not saying and could not say that there would be an opportunity on this work for all those who are at present unemployed in the city of Vancouver.
As I explained before, this is a revote. It is designed rather to carry out commitments under agreements of the past year, that is to say, to complete the program in which the dominion government agreed to participate in the past year. I will give the break-down of them:
To provide for commitments under agreements with the provinces for which claims covering work done prior to March 31, 1938, will not be received in time to be paid before the close of the present fiscal year, 1937-38:
Quebec $ 76,500
British Columbia 45,400
That is not for new work, but to provide rather for the payment of accounts which will be received after March 31 ,of this year but pertaining to work done last year.