April 15, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Paul Mercier


Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

The resolution before the house is as follows:
That it is expedient to bring in a measure to create employment by public works and undertakings throughout Canada, and to authorize the government to guarantee equipment securities of the Canadian National Railways and Canadian Pacific Railway Company in the amount of $15,000,000.
I take it for granted that in the ordinary course of events the bill founded upon the resolution will become law. I am most concerned however in the question how the moneys will 'be divided. Hon. members are aware that in the western section of Montreal we have a large plant known as the Canadian Car and Foundry Company, Limited. When that plant was operating at full capacity about
3,000 people were employed, but for the past three years the number of employees has averaged only about 100, and at times only 50. Formerly in the manufacture of railway cars, diners and freight cars the plant gave employment to tool makers, carpenters, varnish-ers, painters, and workmen engaged in other trades. To-day these operations are greatly limited. The birds have built their nests in the chimneys and we do not see the smoke or hear the whistles which tell that men are working. All these men are anxious to go back to work. When the $15,000,000 is divided up I hope that the eastern and western parts of Montreal will get their share. The Angus shops and the Canadian Car and Foundry Company should be considered in the distribution of this money so that as many workers as possible may be given employment. This foundry has always built the cars for the Canadian National Railways and I contend they should get a fair share of the money to be spent. If 2,000 people at present unemployed were able to go back to work, a considerable load would be lifted from the shoulders of the relief commission. All these men are sincere in their desire to go back to work and they should be given work not only in their own interest but in the interest of Canada as a whole.

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