June 26, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)



I am in constant communication with the chief engineer. As the hon. gentleman has seen in the press, the break is a very serious one. If it were merely the giving away of the embankment, a dam could have been constructed and navigation, in a temporary way, could have been restored within a few days. Unfortunately, the bed of the canal, perhaps it should be called the basin, has washed out in the shape of a horse shoe, within a comparatively few feet of the north bank. A few feet from this horseshoe is a pier of the Ottawa and New York Railway. It has become necessary to build a dam from a point on the south bank, extending around the horseshoe, and again, in the form of a semicircle, touching the south bank at the further end. In order to secure the reopening of navigation as soon as possible, two plans were suggested, one to remove the northern pier of the railway with perhaps a small amount of excavation to the north ; the other plan was to make an excavation north of the pier sufficient to afford temporary relief. That necessitates the moving back of two spans of the bridge on the north side on account of the steel abutments being in the way. After consultation with the railway engineer, the chief engineer of the department and myself, it was decided to adopt the latter plan, and to excavate around behind the north pier. How long that will take, I do not know. I received a message this morning telling me that a staff of 200 men were at work, and with probably a sufficient number of teams. It is to be hoped that the

time will not be too long-I am afraid to mention even an apm'oximate time because I do not know what will happen-but the House can rest assured that the work is being expedited as rapidly as possible. The men are divided into three shifts of 8 hours each, so that the work is continued during the whole 24 hours, extra light being obtained from the power company. .

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