February 4, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The question the hon. member (Mr. J. D. Taylor) has asked is a very proper one. It was a matter of very great regret to me to be obliged to postpone for the time the consideration of a post office building at Chilliwack. An appropriation was made last session and the necessary steps were taken towards securing a site, but tenders were not called for because Mr. PUGSLEY.
there was delay in acquiring a site. But I would say this, in justice to myself and as an explanation to our friends on both sides, that when the time arrived when, by reason of declining revenues, we had to make a reduction, in the public interest as we thought, in the expenditures, we found there would be great difficulty In discriminating amongst the public works which had been provided for last session, for all seemed to have very considerable merit. I could say to my own conscience that I have not asked for a vote for a single public work in any part of Canada which could not be justified on public grounds. What we did was this : We drew the line sharply between public works in respect of which tenders had been called, or which had been undertaken by day's work and those in regard to which no tenders had been called. In doing this an enormous reduction was made in my estimates, something over $8,000,000. I desire to say to our friends on this side of the House that nothing has occurred in my public life that has given me greater regret than to be obliged to postpone the building of wharfs, public buildings and other public works in the various constituencies throughout Canada to which parliament was pledged last session. I wish to express, in the most sincere manner, thanks to our friends in parliament who have yielded to our views and have acquiesced cheerfully in the determination, upon grounds of economy, to postpone-I trust for only a short time

the construction of these public works. I may say to my hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. J. D. Taylor) that Chilliwack does not stand in a different position from many other places throughout the Dominion. We have not discriminated between our supporters and opponents, but have treated all alike, acting upon one principle, and postponing the construction of these public works. We have also felt it necessary to postpone some for which tenders had been called.
. Mr. GEO. TAYLOR. What about the minister's promise ? We do not mind a promise made by an ordinary candidate, but, when a minister makes a promise, that pledges the government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   EDITION
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