March 30, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


John Gillanders Turriff


Mr. J. G. TURRIFF (Assiniboia).

Mr. Speaker, as this is a matter that affects to a very large extent the province from which I come, I would like to take ten or fifteen minutes to express to this House and the- First Minister my complete sympathy with the action that the government is taking at the present time. I do not think it is worth while to spend half an hour or an hour, as some hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House have done, in discussing the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. We all know that the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a necessity, and we all recognize-I believe every member on the other side of the House just as much as members on this side-that the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific is just as much a necessity to-day, and was when it was undertaken, as the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was at the time it was.

undertaken. If that is the case, why waste time discussing the advisability of the construction of these roads? What we have to deal with to-night is the motion before the House-the advisability of making a loan of $10,000,000 to enable the Grand Trunk Pacific to complete the prairie section of the road in a better manner and with less strain on their credit and with more credit to the Dominion of Canada than it could be completed in any other way. That is the point we have to deal with, and I would ask if any hon. member on the other side of the House would say that that money should not be advanced to the company to enable them to complete the road? I do not believe, when it comes down to the fine thing, that any hon. gentleman on the other side of the House will take the position that we should not make the loan to enable the company to complete the prairie section, and to complete it before the end of the current year. What does that mean? It means that if the prairie section of the road is completed during the present year, the section between Fort William and Winnipeg will be completed also, so that by the time the next crop is ripe, we shall have a third outlet for the season's crop to the lakes. It was pointed out by the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. Pardee) what a great advance had taken place in the country during the last five years, since the inception of the Grand Trunk Pacific. If that line was a necessity then, and no one will deny it, it is doubly a necessity at the present time. It is all very well for gentlemen who live m the east to criticise the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific; but we who come from the west and who represent men living thirty or fourty miles from a railway, know that the advent of another railway in the country means an increase of transportation facilities, because the construction of the main line of the Grand Trunk Pacific means the construction of feeders through all parts of the grain-growing districts of the prairie provinces, and every one of these branch lines will bring railway facilities to hundreds of men who haven't them now.

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