June 7, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Robert George Macpherson

Liberal

Mr. R. G. MACPHERSON (Vancouver City).

Mr. Speaker, I have enjoyed very much the speech of the hon. member for the Yukon here to-day. It has been a source of a good deal of enlightenment to all of us. Many of the things he has said I heartily coincide with, because I know a good deal about the Yukon country ; for, though
1 have never been there, the province of British Columbia is contiguous to it. But the hon. member said one or two things which, as a representative of British Columbia, I can hardly let pass. If the hon. gentleman knew the people of British Columbia better than he does, he would not consider it a bad province to tie to. I am not prepared to say whether it would be a good thing for the Yukon Territory to be joined to the province of British Columbia ; but the Yukon country produces gold alone, while British Columbia is the next largest gold producer of the Dominion, and has solved to a great extent many of the problems presented to any new gold-producing country. The hon. member has made a comparison between the Yukon Territory and the other parts of Canada in regard to the production of gold. Figures can almost prove anything. We have not complete returns of all the gold that has been produced in British Columbia from the first finding of gold in the Fraser river in 1858 ; because British Columbia did not then belong to the Dom-i inion of Canada, but was a crown colony, and there was not a very accurate record kept of the gold production, so that statisticians can only guess what was taken out. But if we are to believe many of the men who worked in the Cariboo and Cassiar districts in the early days, millions of dollars which were never kept track of were taken to the United States. I fancy that the same thing would apply to the Yukon. There is no doubt that the province of British Columbia has been a very large gold producer. In the comparison which my hon. friend made, he said that the province of British Columbia produced some $90,000,-OoO of gold while the Yukon produced in its short history $120,000,000. But I would like to call your attention to the fact that the province of British Columbia is the great mining region of the Dominion of Canada. Last year, that is, in the year 1903-4. that province produced gold-and it was almost all placer gold-to the value of $5,373,000, silver to the value of $1,521,472,

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE YUKON TERRITORY.
Subtopic:   ROBERT BELL.
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