May 31, 1939

CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

The minister mentioned the hospital and immigrants. Are these hospitals used for any other purpose? Are the Canadian authorities supposed to take care of these immigrants for a certain period of time in these hospitals?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

These hospitals are not used for any other purpose than taking care of immigrants.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

How long are we supposed to take care of them?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

It depends. If it is discovered that these patients are suffering from

contagious diseases we cannot say in advance how long we shall have to keep them. It depends on the circumstances of each case.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I thought that came under the Department of Pensions and National Health.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The administration is looked after iby that department. The public works department erect the buildings.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

What are the postal

revenues from the main cities of Canada? We have no post office in Toronto except the terminal at the station. We are contributing seven and a half million dollars for post office- out of a total of twenty-eight million dollars. What was the revenue from this post office in Quebec for the last three years to justify such a reconstruction program, especially when there is a deficit in the post office to-day? The post office should be run on a commercial basis the same as the banks are. The post office has a deficit; the men are not getting a living; postmen are walking the streets for $600 a year and cannot get any help; yet here we are spending $700,000 for a terminal that may be necessary-I am not saying it is not necessary. I like Quebec; it is a very important city-

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Hear, hear.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

We do not object to Quebec getting a building, I am glad to see them get it, but what policy has the government in view of what the Postmaster General said the other night that he is not consulted; that the public works decide when a building is necessary and all he has to do is to say "me too"? What are the postal revenues of Quebec city compared with those of other cities?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I see the Postmaster General is not in the chamber at present. I will undertake to notify him of the question of my hon. friend and ask him to bring down the information as soon as he can.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

In connection with this vote of $700,000 for a postal terminal at Quebec, the largest amount in this item, where is that building to be situated? Is it an entirely new building? What facilities does it replace? Are the existing facilities not sufficient?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

This building is to be erected next to the union station at Quebec. It is being built to replace the old post office. It will be similar to the Ottawa postal terminal; it is not a city post office but is for

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the handling of all the mails coming to Quebec to be sorted there for all the territory. It is similar to the Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa postal terminals. It is rather a working establishment than an ordinary post office.

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Item agreed to. Chief architect's branch. Construction, repairs and improvements of public buildings. 5S2. Ontario. Barry's Bay-public building (revote $4,200), $5,000. Beaverton-public building (revote $12,000), $19,500. Blind River-public building (revote $20,000), $25,000. Brampton-public building-addition, $25,000. Brighton-Public building (revote $13,100), $19,000. Chapleau-public building, $20,000. Cobden-public building (revote), $5,000. Cornwall-public building-addition, $30,000. Colborne-public building, $20,000. Dryden public building (revote $13,500), $19,500. Forest-public building (revote), $4,500. Kapuskasing-public building (revote $25,000), $27,000. Mattawa-public building, $21,000. Millbrook-public building, $14,000. Oshawa-public building (estimated cost $317,000), $100,000. Ottawa - building for Supreme Court, $1,300,000. Ottawa central heating plant-improvements and repairs, $21,000. Ottawa-improvements to Confederation park, including compensation to the Ottawa Electric Railway Company, $295,000. Ottawa-Parliament hill-walks and roadways, $6,000. Ottawa-improvements to John St., $7,200. Ottawa post office (revote $325,000), $514,500. Ottawa - Langevin block - improvements, $19,500. Ottawa - National Research building-improvements and alterations, $11,500. Oakville-public building (revote $20,000), $22,500. Peterborough-public building (estimated cost $250,000), $100,000. Port Hope-public building-addition and alterations, $5,000. Ridgeway-public building, $15,000. Schreiber-public building, $18,000. South Porcupine-public building, $35,500. Stirling-public building (revote $14,300), $17,500. Sutton West-public building, $10,000. Tara - public building (revote $12,250), $14,000. Thessalon-public building, $20,000. Tweed-public building (revote), $16,500. Woodville-public building, $17,000. Mr. MacNICOL; Referring to the item for the new supreme court building, I wish to say a word in reference to the heating and air conditioning. I have no doubt that the design of the building generally is very beautiful; from what we can see so far it looks as if it is going to be a splendid addition to the public buildings of Ottawa. But looking over the specifications for the 'heating I find that notwithstanding that the hot water main which heats all these central buildings runs right under it, the new supreme court building is to be heated by another system. The engineer who laid out the first central heating plant for the government buildings was one of the eminent engineers of America, Mr. Melvern F. Thomas. He worked under two celebrated architects. He laid out what was designed to be the most economical heating system possible, which I believe it is. It is so efficient that this whole central building is heated for four months during the winter, without a dollar of cost, from exhaust steam which operates some of the equipment in the central boiler plant along the river, and which would otherwise go to waste. I do not know whether the engineers of the department have approved this proposed heating system; I intend to find out. I know from long experience that the department has a heating engineer of very high standing, whose name, I understand, is-


LIB
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I was thinking of

Mr. Hamel, who is one of the most competent and efficient engineers in Canada. I have the utmost confidence in Mr. Hamel, and if he has approved what is going in there, I would have nothing more to say on the subject.

In years past I had a good deal to do with this type of engineering, although perhaps I have now forgotten most of what I knew. But I know well the cardinal objectives we kept before us in laying out -hot-water heating and air-conditioning systems, the latter having come in about the time I left that calling. As objective number one we kept before us the most satisfactory equipment. Number two was to keep down the first cost, so far as might be consistent with first-class equipment. The third objective was low cost of maintenance, and the fourth was low cost, of operation. The original system specified for the central heating of all these government buildings fulfilled all four of these cardinal objectives. In our central heating plant in Ottawa I believe we have one of the most economical systems, if not the most economical in Canada. It is what is known as a forced hot water system. The specifications for the mechanical apparatus for the supreme court building which I have here call for a large amount of the most complicated equipment, to which I shall refer in a moment. I am satisfied that had they called for the same type of system as that by

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which this building is heated it might not cost half as much money. I may be wrong, but the departmental engineers can tell; I know the minister has altogether too much to do to deal with a matter of this kind, and perhaps he does not bother with it at all. I am going to ask the minister to ask his chief engineer whether the system which is to foe installed in the supreme court building, if it is anything like what I have just said, will not be much more costly than would have been the *case if that building had been heated by forced hot water from the central heating plant.

Then there is the cost of maintenance. From my own experience I am as sure as I can be that the cost of maintaining this proposed heating system will be infinitely greater than the cost of maintaining a system such as we have in this building. To begin with I believe there are six pumps to take the condensation back to the central boiler building. So far as I know there are only two pumps used for forcing hot water through the whole central block of buildings. How many judges have we down there at the supreme court, or how many are we going to have? Are there to be a hundred or two hundred judges, to require such an extensive heating system and so much equipment?

Then I am sure the cost of operation, with these batteries of pumps, motors and valves to reduce the high pressure steam to low pressure-which would be wholly unnecessary if the central heating plant had been used- will be much greater. I am not finding fault with the plan; this proposed system may be so perfect that there has never been anything like it in the world before, and that may account for the costly equipment that is called for. As I understand it, the central heating plant which serves this central block of buildings requires only a few operators, but I believe it will take quite a staff to operate all the equipment to be installed in this new building. Nothing can be done about it now, because I believe all the contracts have been let, but I hope in future whoever is Minister of Public Works will see to it that the chief engineer of the department-one of the best in Canada-gives his O.K. to whatever equipment is used in government buildings erected in this central group in this city. I do not say that O.K. has not been given in this case, but I should like to know whether or not it has. I have a very high regard for the chief engineer, and I can hardly conceive that he would O.K. what is going in the supreme court building.

Then, when it comes to air-conditioning, one night on my way to Toronto I overheard

a conversation between two engineers. I did not know them then. I do not know them now, but having had some experience in air conditioning a few years ago I at once pricked up my ears and became interested in what they were saying. What they said may not be true, but they were very hostile about the fact that they could not figure on the air conditioning equipment. One of them said, "There is no equipment like it in Canada, and I know of only one similar installation in the United States." He may not have known of all the equipment of that type that has been installed in the United States; there may be installations for all he knew and for all I know. What I paid particular

attention to, however, was their attitude towards a situation to which I have always been very hostile myself; that is, a specification sewed up so tight that only one firm could figure on it. I can remember back some years to when I used to call on the engineers of the Department of Public Works in this city to discuss specifications. Never did I suggest to them to specify one line of equipment. I always suggested to leave their specifications open, merely calling for standard Canadian material and one hundred per cent efficiency. I heard one engineer tell the other, "I saw so and so, and it was no use; I could not figure on it." The other gentleman replied that he could not figure on it either; then I became interested and looked into the matter.

I have in my hand one of the principal engineering journals of the United States, which is called Heating, Piping and AirConditioning, which gives the names of many of the leading firms manufacturing air conditioning equipment, such as: Baker Ice

Machine, Worthington, Air Temp, Curtis, Brunner, York-perhaps the oldest of all and the one with the most experience, according to this magazine, having been manufacturing for fifty-four years-Carrier, which I believe is installed in the new Bank of Canada building, Kelvinator, Frick, Vilter and many others. Each of these famous companies has been barred from figuring on this equipment. I have been told, and I believe the statement to be correct-though of course I speak subject to correction-that according to these specifications only one firm, whose name I do not know, could figure on this installation. I heard one of the engineers add, "And it costs twice as much." Similar equipment might have been supplied for half the price, but it may be that the type that is being installed is worth twice as much; I do not know, but I do maintain that these specifications should

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have been wide open so that any company manufacturing one hundred per cent efficient equipment could have had the opportunity of figuring.

I want to be fair; I am not finding fault with what is going in, because for all I know this may be the finest equipment made. What I am finding fault with is that any specifications of the dominion government should be so sewed up that only one firm [DOT] could figure. And I do stress the fact that of all the buildings in this central heating area the one above all others that should have been heated from the central heating plant is the new supreme court building. Why, the forced hot-water main runs right underneath the supreme court building, but these specifications call for a main bringing steam into the new building, which steam will have to be greatly reduced in pressure before it can be used.

Then I find that the specifications call for 500 gallons of hot water per hour, or two batteries of 250 gallons each, to provide the hot water for domestic purposes. Well, the judges must be going to wash themselves every second and a half. They will be able to invite all the judges in Canada to come there and wash, and still there will be lots of hot water. We have nothing like that in this main building. The equipment in use here is modern ; I venture to say that it costs little to operate or maintain, and certainly it is very satisfactory. You cannot turn on a hot water faucet anywhere in this building where you will not find plenty of hot water available.

I do not want the minister to think I am finding fault, 'because I am not. Having had experience in this line of business, however, and having accidentally overheard the conversation to which I referred, I thought it my duty to inquire into the matter and this is the result of my inquiries.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I must thank my hon. friend for the moderation of his observations on a question about which hd seems to be much concerned and, so far as I can gather from his remarks, in connection with which he has had some experience. I am told that the new supreme court building is to be heated from the central heating plant in Ottawa. There may have been some discussion between the architect who designed the building, the assistant architect, and the assistant engineer in the department who looks after heating, as to what systems and methods of procedure should be used, but my information is that all points have been cleared up and an agreement has been concluded so far as heating is concerned. My information also is that there will be no large increase

in the staff in order to take care of the system and that it will not cost any more than any ordinary system. Of course, I speak subject to correction because I have not the details before me, and I am sure my hon. friend would not expect me to have all this information. The department is open to my hon. friend, and I invite him to come and discuss this matter with the engineers. He will be welcome and we will take advantage of his experience.

There was also a certain amount of discussion between the officers of the department and the architect in connection with the air-conditioning system. After discussing various points they came to an understanding as to the system to be used. The specifications were not drawn with a view to favouring any firm or individual. We always take care in the department not to bind ourselves to any class of material or to any firm or manufacturer. We try to leave matters open to all contractors and manufacturers provided they can produce the results we expect from the machinery or supplies required. The machinery and materials going to make up the air-conditioning system which will be installed in the supreme court building will be supplied by Canadian firms.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

One hundred per cent.

Perhaps I am answering a little too quickly, but I would say that the percentage of Canadian labour in the system we are installing is much greater than it would be in any other system proposed. My hon. friend has referred to certain firms, but if my information is correct they are all United States firms which do not manufacture in Canada to any extent. It .may be a compliment to the hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Howard), but the firm manufacturing this system is located in that city. I repeat what I said in connection with the heating system. The air-conditioning system will not be installed for some time, and I invite my hon. friend to give us the benefit of his views and experience in connection with matters of this kind. I can assure him that we are not paying any substantially greater amounts for the heating and air-conditioning systems we are installing in the supreme court building. If my hon. friend is able to convince me to the contrary after discussing the matter with the officers of my department, I am open to conviction.

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May 31, 1939