May 30, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Kemble Esling

Conservative (1867-1942)


Everybody is delighted to see the approaching completion of the Big Bend highway. Originally the west leg was to have been completed by the provincial government and the east leg by the federal government. Complications arose, and the federal government took over the whole project, which it was originally intended to have completed in 1932. We are all glad that the federal government has been so active in completing what will be one of the most picturesque of scenic routes for tourists. But what I am interested in as representative of Kootenay West is the matter of some expenditure in the west Kootenay district. I do not want to be misunderstood. It is a sensible thing to have all the approaches to the national parks hard-surfaced as early as possible. That is being done, and I heartily approve of it. But a member would be lacking in his duty to his constituents did he not claim recognition of tourist highways which enter his district from the international boundary, to connect with the transprovincial highway. I hop'e the minister understands that there is, first of all, the trans-Canada highway, which is the Big Bend route. Then there is the transprovincial highway, the southern route, which runs along the international boundary, to which it is quite close. There are two tourist links entering Canada from the United States connecting at the international boundary with 24-foot standard hardsurfaced highways in the states of Washington, Oregon and California. There is a link from the international boundary at the out-port of Nelway, connecting with the transprovincial highway at Nelson, which is the capital of West Kootenay, and we have another

link connecting at the outport of Paterson with the transprovincial highway at Rossland. That is only about six miles, the first one being about forty-two miles.
There has been no expenditure on these tourist links, but surely the minister realizes their importance. The federal government's contribution last year to the tourist links east of Kootenay lake amounted, I believe, to $175,000, and on the dollar per dollar basis that would mean $350,000. Is that correct?

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