February 22, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. F. ARMSTRONG (South Timis-kaming):

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that in my maiden speech I shall not be as entertaining as the hon. gentleman who has just resumed
The Address-Mr. Armstrong (Timiskaming)
his seat (Mr. Baldwin). I feel a little timid, but I know that you, Sir, are very sympathetic towards a young member who has had very little experience in public speaking and is addressing this House for the first time. But I am sent here by people of the north. You have heard members from the west, you have heard members from the east, you have heard members from the south, but so far you have not heard a representative from the northern part of this Dominion. I come, Sir, from a new district created by the increased population due to the development of industry in the country between North Bay and Hudson bay. There you have two new electoral districts known as North Timiskaming and South Timiskaming, which now have representation in this House.
I have listened with considerable interest to many of the subjects discussed during the past few weeks, and when I look across at the other side of the House I am pleased to see that four of the young men who left primary schools some twenty ypars ago are now members of parliament. Two went east and two went west, and now they grace the other side. I, Sir, am a young man who went north because I believed that the march of empire was in that direction rather than east or west. There was a strong inducement for me to go to the United States, but I had faith in Canada-I have still and I am going to stay here as long as I live.
You have heard many excellent speeches on the Hudson Bay railway, Sir. I too, live on a Hudson Bay railway, one of the most romantic railways in the annals of our history, and possibly it -may be of interest to the House to hear something about that undertaking. I have heard many references to the railway and to the mining industry which are not accurate. I know that hon. members are interested in the mining industry. I have been to every mining camp in the last twenty years; the only rush I have missed was that into Red Lake the other day, and I would not have missed that thrill if I had not been elected to this House. Twenty years ago the government of Ontario projected northward what is now known as the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway. It was regarded as a waste of public money to build a railway into what many people described as muskeg country. But after the contractors had carried the road beyond the confines of North Bay they ran through the valuable silver formation at Cobalt-a camp that has become known throughout the world as the highest grade in the history of mining. It is going as strong
to-day as it ever was. It has already added $230,000,000 to the wealth of this country, and is still producing from $7,000,000 to $8,000.000 a year. The history of the advancement of that country is even more wonderful than the realm of romance. Hon. members may think I am enthusiastic. Well, I am enthusiastic, so much so that I am afraid I shall not be able to tell the story of the romance of the Temiskaming railway as it should be told. That railway has followed the trail that Champlain blazed. And that wonderful road is going towards Hudson bay.
Beyond Cobalt is the beautiful town of Haileybury, which was recently burnt out, but which its enterprising people have rebuilt and improved. It looks across lake Timiskaming, to the purple hills of Quebec. In fact we get our inspiration from that province. Further up you strike New Lislceard, and thence north for eighty miles you have the finest agricultural country in Canada. You will find there as beautiful farms as you have anywhere in old Ontario. Men have gone in there within the last few years and have taken off enough pulpwood from their land to provide them with working capital sufficient to establish themselves as farmers. Then you can drive over a fine automobile road for nearly one hundred miles. In about a year and a half we hope to have a trunk road from North Bay to Cobalt, passing through the beautiful forest reserve of Timagami. I would ask the House, Mr. Speaker, to have a recess not in the winter but in the summer, when we shall be glad to entertain hon. members in the beautiful isles of lake Timagami. That agricultural territory, Sir, is the embodiment of a great principle; the mining industry opened up there has made it possible for people to come in and till the soil with profit to themselves and benefit to the mining population-. We are almost a self-contained country. That is the only market the farmers have, but it is a good market. When referring to some statistics recently I noticed that our mining people are paid twice as high wages as they are in the Maritimes. The Maritimes have my sympathy. Many of our finest miners come from the provinces down by the sea.
Passing seventy or eighty miles over that agricultural area is the mining district known as Swastika and Kirkland Lake. Swastika, the magic word, was given to that town by a recent member of this House. Kirkland Lake is only a few years old, and yet it has the highest grade mine on the continent. In the Teck-Huehes, the Lake Shore, Tough-Cakes and a number of other mines we have very

The Address-Mr. Armstrong (Timiskaming)
rich producers. The Teck-Hughes is producing a millhead of $32. Men interested in mining will understand what that means. We have the highest grade ore coming from that mine. We have silver at Cobalt and gold at Kirkland Lake. I may say that Kirkland Lake is right opposite and on the same belt as the famous Rouyn district. It is just thirty miles from Rouyn, and we 'hope with the co-operation of the two provinces to be permitted to have a railway connecting fifty thousand people with that part of the province of Quebec. We are a very harmonious people up there, we are on the best of terms with our Quebec neighbours. Fifty per cent of my constituents come from the province of Quebec, and I am glad to represent them. As you go further north some fifty or sixty miles you come to what is known as the Porcupine district. You turn to the left and pass into Porcupine.
Mr. O'NEILL: Hear, hear.

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