Hon. George C. Marler (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that on June 3 I announced to the house that the government had decided to recommend to parliament that capital assistance be provided in the form of a subsidy of $25,000 per mile for the construction of the Lake Cache-St. Felicien section of the branch line from Beattyville to St. Felicien previously authorized by parliament. As I said then, this decision followed an intensive study undertaken with the co-operation of the Canadian National and local interests which had led to the conclusion that national interests as well as the normal development of the area would best be served by having the whole branch line proceeded with at once.
The house will, I am sure, be glad to learn that the management of the Canadian National has now informed me that surveys of the 139-mile section from St. Felicien to Lake Cache have advanced sufficiently to permit the management to call for tenders on Friday next, July 15, for clearing, grading and preliminary work on the first half of this section, and that at an early date tenders will be called for the second half of the line following the completion of the final surveys.
I believe that hon. members will also be interested to know that the work on the two sections totalling 159 miles in length between Beattyville and Chibougamau is being pushed ahead vigorously despite the late spring breakup which hampered construction activities, and that 11 miles of track have been laid to Belle Riviere where construction of a bridge is under way.
Subtopic: ST. FELICIEN-LAKE CACHE BRANCH LINE ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROGRESS IN CONSTRUCTION