May 31, 1939

CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

In view of the fact that the hot-water main which heats this building runs right under the new supreme court building I cannot understand why an engineer would specify anything but hot-water heating for that building. However, I shall be glad to accept the minister's invitation to investigate further. I did not want to do that before bringing up the matter in the committee. The engineers that I overheard on the train must have been entirely mistaken because one said to the other that the air-conditioning system was not being manufactured in Canada. I do not know what type of equipment is being used in the Bank of Canada building, but it seems to be giving first-class satisfaction. I am glad to hear that the equipment which has been OJCd by the minister is to be made in the home town of my genial, good natured and good looking friend, the hon. member for Sherbrooke.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

With a view to stimulating employment in Canada and in an effort to relieve the unemployment situation, between the years 1930 and 1933, I think somewhere around 1932, the Department of Public Works introduced a standard clause into all specifications in connection with contracts let by that department. This clause provided that the materials required in the construction or operation of a building must be, first, Canadian if available; second, British if available, and then if they could not be obtained from Canadian or British sources, resort could be had to other sources of supply. From what the minister 'has said, I assume that this standard clause is still in the specifications of the Department of Public WTorks. I am glad to hear that, and I hope it will continue to be used. I think Canadian manufacturers can supply practically every kind of material and equipment satisfactory for Canadian requirements.

This item for the supreme court building is $1,300,000. Frankly, that appears to be a large expenditure for a building to provide accommodation for nine judges-seven supreme court judges and two exchequer court judges. There will be judges' chambers and library accommodation, which will probably be extensive. The supreme court has the finest legal library in Canada, and the present accommodation is altogether inadequate. I have no doubt that suitable and ample accommodation is being provided for the protection and expansion of that excellent library. Then there is the courtroom itself, which by the way does not require to accommodate a vast number of people. Not many people" attend the sittings of the court in the ordinary course apart from counsel and

those immediately interested in the sittings. The building itself is large in extent and, of course, must be modern in every respect, but $1,300,000 does appear a large amount. What is the reason for this cost? I admit that a building which houses the Supreme Court of Canada ought to be beautiful, and fine from an architectural point of view; it should be good in every sense of the word.

Someone has stated, and I believe it is correct, that extensive garage accommodation is being provided in connection with the building. Accommodation of that kind is perhaps necessary and desirable, and that may in some measure account for what looks like a large expenditure. If the minister could justify what does appear to be a very large expenditure on a comparatively small building, I am sure the committee would be pleased to receive his explanation.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

First, I must say that the terraces surrounding the building and the garage accommodation are included in the cost. So far as the general requirements for the building are concerned, the architect, before ever he started on his designs for the building, had several consultations with the chief justice of the supreme court and with the judges of the exchequer court, which is also to be housed in this building and after checking up on the recommendations and requests made by the judges of the supreme court, and particularly the chief justice, the architect began work on his designs. He did not start by designing and then afterwards ask the judges if they were satisfied; he consulted them first, and the building he has designed answers the requirements placed before him and before a committee by the judges of the supreme court. I think that is the proper way for an architect to proceed in designing a building of any kind, to make sure first what the requirements as to floor space are, and then make his designs in accordance with the requirements. That is the general procedure followed, and I am informed that the building as it has been designed by the architect meets the requirements of the judges of the supreme court.

I confess to my hon. friend that I am not competent to go into all the details, but I heartily endorse what he has said as to the importance of having a building of which we shall be proud rather than ashamed for the housing of the highest tribunal in this land, and possibly our court of last resort if a proposal now before the house is carried out. I think it is a good investment for a country like Canada to have, as my hon. friend suggests, a building which will be a source of pride to house the highest tribunal of the

Supply-Public Works-Buildings

dominion. There is no extravagance about the building. It is simply being built in accordance with the requirements and the desire to have a building in which we can take pride and which visitors to our country will look upon with a certain degree of satisfaction.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

In a general way I agree entirely with what the minister states as to the nature of the building. Would he tell the committee the extent of the garage accommodation that is being provided, how many cars will be accommodated, who will make use of the garage space provided, and also give the name of the contractor?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The contractor is the

Anglin-Norcross Corporation, which is a reputable firm. The garage space will accommodate 165 cars. It is to be used not only by people in the supreme court building but by people working in the neighbouring buildings.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Will they pay rent for the use of the garage for their cars?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

So far no provision has been made as to rental. That may be considered.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I do not see why they should be rent free when all the rest of us have to pay rent.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

What is the estimated cost of completing this building?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The total cost, when everything is completed, will be a little over three million dollars.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

A return that was brought down for me a short time ago gave the estimated cost to complete as $3,360,000. We know that the justice building, which is completed, cost $1,365,811.37, and it is a great deal larger than the supreme court building. What is the reason for the big difference in the cost. I was in a committee not long ago where one hon. gentleman opposite made the statement that we were erecting a building costing $5,000,000 to house five men. I do not agree with him. We are putting up a building which will cost $3,360,000 to house seven men. I should like to know the reason for the difference in the cost between the justice building and the supreme court building.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

The

supreme court building is to house the litigants of Canada who come to the supreme court. It is not seven men; it is the whole of Canada.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I wish to take issue with the minister. To house the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the justice department we

(Mr. Cardin.)

had a building erected at a cost of $1,365,000, while the supreme court building is to cost pretty nearly double, $3,360,000.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

It is not the same type of building.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

But consider what we are housing in each instance.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

There is no court house in the mounted police building.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The estimated cost for the building itself is $2,500,000. The balance goes for supervision, fittings, the library, equipment for the whole building, provision for a garage and the terraces surrounding the building.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The estimated total cost is $3,360,000, which includes the building itself, the equipment of the interior, the terraces surrounding the building, and the garage.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

But take the justice building; surely the sum of $1,365,811.37 includes the fittings as well. We have not any garage there. That includes everything?

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May 31, 1939