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


Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG (South Timiskaming):

My hon. friend from North Timiskaming will be able to tell you all about hie country. I want to tell the House about some of the wonderful gold mines. For instance, take the Hollinger mine that is producing and putting through the mill six thousand tons of ore a day. Last year our gold mines produced about $23,000,000 and this year they have created $30,000,000 of wealth in gold. They are increasing at the rate of 20 per cent per annum so that in the next five years northern Ontario will be producing over $?0,000,000 in mineral wealth. To-day we hold the third place in the world in the production of gold and to-morrow, that is to say, within the next two or three years, we shall occupy second place. We shall be beaten only by the mines in South Africa. To the right of this wonderful mining district you have the pulp industry at Iroquois Falls, where every twenty-four hours they produce 600 tons of newsprint, a train-load that goes south to supply the great cities of this continent. And that is only one pulp concern in the north country. Twenty-five miles further up the road you come to the town of Cochrane on the Canadian National railways, which is the best built road, with the easiest grades, on the North American continent. This road does not stop at Cochrane, however; it goes further down over the height of land and passes on towards the icy waters of Hudson bay, and at the Tin Can rapids there is a flow of 25,000 horse-power which is utilized to turn the wheels of the Abitibi mills. There is a wealth of romance in that northern country and I tell the people from the west that if
they do not get a hustle on we wiil beat them to it. Beyond that we have the largest china day belt probably known to the world, and we have asbestos. A gentleman who came out the other day brought also a very fine sample of coal. We have not much coal but if we can get this commodity in the north country we shall have the greatest industrial centre there that will be found on this continent.
This brings me to the Rouyn railway. I do not intend to dwell on this matter but I may observe that this railway is a branch line commencing 112 miles east of Cochrane and going down to within thirty miles of the interprovincial boundary. The road, when it is completed, will provide a freight and passenger service to the Canadian National railways in the north. To-day they have only three trains a week, so that you can readily understand that at first the service will not be very efficient. If this government could possibly bring about harmony between the two provinces so as to facilitate the building of that short railroad between the Temis-kaming and Northern Ontario Railway and Rouyn, a daily service would be provided. Passengers at present embark in Montreal and pass Swastika each day on the trip either way, and if it were possible to have the connection made you would have the best service to Rouyn that could 'be given. And that service could have been provided without spending one cent of money from the Dominion treasury. That $5,000,000 could have been saved, and in this connection I wonder why the Hudson Bay railway should be mentioned at all in the Speech from the Throne. We have been discussing that railway for weeks and yet we have $5,000,000 being spent on a railway here without any mention of it in the Speech. Why do not hon. members from the west get on to this scheme? Do they not ask themselves how it is that $5,000,000 can be Spent on this railway without its being mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, while it is necessary to mention the Hudson Bay railway specifically? Let the government take that $5,000,000 and devote it to the Hudson Bay road. The Hudson Bay railway may have many things in its favour, for our history in the north country has been one of romantic and profitable adventure. There are members here representing the east and the west and those who are in the mining area know that the country stretching north of the western provinces and taking in northern Ontario and northern Quebec, known as the pre-Cambrian area, has been swept clean by the wonderful forces of nature, exposing to Canada the greatest treasure country in the now known
The Address-Mr. Armstrong (Timiskaming)
world. That may strike the House as strong language, but it is backed up by the best geologists who come to this country.
Now, I represent the people up there and I have come here to put some pep and spirit into the mining branch of this government. I come to offer some assistance to the minister in charge of our mining affairs, because I want some action taken. The people up there want something done, and I am here to urge their needs upon the government. We feel the influence from the west. We want coal and we want fish from the Atlantic. We *want those who go down to the sea in ships to send their products to our country. We are in the centre of Canada and it costs us more to live there than it does anywhere else in the Dominion. A ton of coal there to-day cannot be procured at less than from $25 to $30, and you cannot even get it at that. We are the people who stand dn need of some action in the matter of transportatiop for we are the greatest sufferers. We reach both east and west. We gather the sentiments of the people of the west, the people who have certain transportation problems, and we know their political views. And we derive from the energetic and magnificent province of Quebec a good deal of inspiration. We are the melting pot of Canada. The young people of that country are vigorous and they want me to represent their case in parliament and to get the wheels of government moving in their behalf. This is the day of great opportunity. Fortunes and opportunities are passing daily, and I would ask the House to look forward to a great development of that country in the future. A spirit of strong Canadianism is being engendered up there. As I say, we have been called the melting pot of this Dominion, and \ve look forward with hope to a great development in the not distant future. And I know we shall not be disappointed.

Full View