James Houston SPENCE

SPENCE, The Hon. James Houston, K.C.

Parliamentary Career

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 137)


February 22, 1939

Mr. SPENCE:

Were not times better in 1937-38 than in 1934-35?

Topic:   MONTREAL CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY AND EQUIPMENT LIMITED-SHELL MANUFACTURE
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON MOTION FOB APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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February 21, 1939

Mr. SPENCE:

The minister must have a wonderful country.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES-CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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February 16, 1939

Mr. SPENCE:

No, it is better than beautification; it has to do with the health of the people. We do not want our lake polluted with sewage from any city. This matter should receive attention. I hope the Minister of Labour, with all the money he has under his control, or the Minister of Public Works, will see that this is done. It would be something of lasting credit to this government and to this country. The taxpayer of Toronto has been literally overwhelmed paying taxes. Relief there is getting worse and worse every year. No matter what anyone may say, relief in Toronto is getting no better.

The hon. member for Broadview referred to the Toronto and York roads commission. At one time I was chairman of this commission, and I have been a member for the last twenty-four years. When my hon. friend was mayor of the city, an arrangement was made between the county of York and the city of Toronto whereby the city paid twenty-five per cent of the cost of maintaining roads extending all over the county. The provincial government was to pay fifty per cent of the cost. This arrangement covers roads extending out as far as fifty and sixty miles to the borders of Ontario, Peel and other counties. No doubt York is a rich county and has done great things in its time. There are over 400 miles of roads in York. The present chairman of the roads commission is my old-time friend, Senator O'Connor. I am sorry to say that he has been ill in Florida, but perhaps hon. members will be glad to know that a letter 71492-65

was received last Monday by the commission stating that he was getting better and expected to be back by the middle of April or the first of May.

I am tired of hearing people call Toronto a hog town. " Hog-town " pays a great deal of money to this government by way of taxation. Just consider the business done in the post office and the money taken in at the customs.

Topic:   CITY OF OTTAWA AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OP PAYMENT OF $100,000 FOR THE YEAR ENDING JULY 1, 1939
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February 16, 1939

Mr. SPENCE:

We cannot take all the credit for that because Toronto is the centre of the district. But I do get sick and tired of people referring to Toronto as "hog-town." I have lived in Toronto for forty-eight years and I have been behind every big municipal proposition and development carried on in that city. I have supported the program of bridge construction, road building, the improvement of the harbour front and many other useful developments. I am proud of Toronto at all times. Not only has it contributed largely to the building of roads in the county of York, but it contributed $200,000 to Ontario towards expenditures in other counties of the province. So don't talk about Toronto being Hog-town. Toronto is doing more to build up that portion of the country than this government is doing here.

Topic:   CITY OF OTTAWA AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OP PAYMENT OF $100,000 FOR THE YEAR ENDING JULY 1, 1939
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February 16, 1939

Mr. SPENCE:

Mr. Chairman, there is no doubt that the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Hanson) is willing to support a proposition of this kind. He got a very nice building in his little town. I do not begrudge him it; I only hope that Prince Rupert grows to a size where that building will be in proportion to the size of the town. Every on: seems to be willing to support this vote of $100,000, so I am not going to oppose it. However, as the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) said a minute ago, certain other cities in Canada should also receive some consideration. The hon. member referred to the many services rendered by Toronto. There are in that city

City of Ottawa Agreement

a great number of public buildings from which the city receives no taxes. I think the Minister of Public Works should include something in the estimates for Toronto to cover the work that city is doing.

I understand the city has been communicating with the Minister of Labour in an effort 4o obtain a grant to help in the construction of a sewage disposal plant. We have a plant now, but it is inadequate. It is almost dangerous because some of the sewage is running into the lake without being treated properly. A proposition of that kind would employ thousands of people for the next two or three years, and better results would be obtained than if the money was spent in many other ways. It will cost about $15,000,000, and I understand the provincial government has offered to pay twenty-five per cent. The city was hoping that this government would pay twenty-five per cent, which would leave about eight million dollars for the city to spend itself.

Topic:   CITY OF OTTAWA AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   AUTHORIZATION OP PAYMENT OF $100,000 FOR THE YEAR ENDING JULY 1, 1939
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