June 4, 1940 (19th Parliament, 1st Session)


Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)


It continues:
Some years ago a delegation of citizens in this town accompanied by members of parliament for this constituency and by the U.M.W. executive interviewed Mr. H. J. Kelly the general manager of the Dominion Steel-Coal Corporation in regard to future mining operations in this district and at that time Mr. Kelly stated that there was no question of the quality or the quantity of the coal in the Morien areas and that their corporation intended to open a colliery in Morien just as soon as the market for coal had increased enough to warrant it.
The time has now arrived when we believe we are justified in asking Mr. Kelly what they are going to do. With the war on the demand for coal has increased considerably and with two large collieries closing down within a short time, conditions should now warrant opening a new colliery in Morien.
The Dominion Steel-Coal Corporation receives large sums of money from the federal government in the form of bonuses for the coke they manufacture from coal and also receive assistance in the form of railway subventions to enable them to market more of their coal in western Ontario. This money is paid direct from the federal treasury and is raised by taxing all the people of Canada to which we contribute our per capita share and we take this opportunity to suggest to our representative in the federal parliament to put forth every effort he can to have these bonuses increased and the subventions extended so that there will be a larger market for coal from Nova Scotia.
In a very short time Dom. No. 11 colliery will be closed down and as there are about one hundred men from this district employed there, some provision will have to be made soon to find them employment or the local government and the municipality will be called on to provide them with relief.
If the Dominion Steel-Coal Corporation could be induced to start mining operations in this district in the near future, there would be no demand for relief and as an inducement to the corporation to make a start we would suggest that the government of Nova Scotia offer them exemption from the payment of royalties on all the coal produced in Morien for the next four years.
As a further inducement we suggest that the municipality set their assessment at about 50 per cent of their valuation for taxation purposes for the next four years on any new colliery they may start in this district.
From time to time we have heard that the corporation has plans to sink a shaft to the Gowrie seam near the shore, so as to mine the submarine areas of the Gowrie seam and also to win the Blockhouse seam by a cross-measures tunnel. There has been a proposal to sink a deep shaft to the Tracy seam in the Beaver dam section and also one to open a Slope mine on the north outcrop of the Gowrie seam. If any one of these proposals were to be carried out, it would meet with our entire approval and the company would receive the wholehearted cooperation of all those who reside in Morien.
The coal areas of this province are the property of all the people and should be worked for their benefit and the dead hand of a monopolistic corporation should not be allowed to cast a blighting shadow over this town of ours.
If we believe the democratic principle that human rights come before property right we then have every justification in appealing to our representatives in parliament and our leader ill the united mine workers to put forth every effort to have a new mine opened in this district.
This is signed by a citizens' committee.
I should like to draw to the attention of the minister another brief presented in the town of Glace Bay, where this No. 11 mine is threatened with closing. At the present time it is being gradually closed.

Full View